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Tottenham Hotspur
Posted by Colin McCullough on 04/25/2012

For the moment, let's not worry about the future prospect of Chelsea winning the Champions League and turning fourth place into a Europa League spot in the process. Let's look instead at the past and the present. Ten short weeks ago Spurs beat Newcastle 5-0, with a performance full of verve and creativity. Those same qualities were on show this past weekend - but unfortunately at St. James' Park, as a resurgent Newcastle put three past Stoke without reply.

While the team now in fourth were wowing both their own fans and the neutrals with their attacking flair, Spurs were huffing and puffing at Loftus Road. As pass after pass was played across the face of the QPR box, Harry Redknapp looked on, seemingly unable to do anything about his team's lack of guile or penetration. When Harry allows Giovani dos Santos off the bench, you know he's in trouble.

While it's true that Spurs have some injury problems, it's equally true that the likes of Kranjcar would not be very likely to feature even when fit. Other players that could have done a job for Spurs in their current predicament, such as Corluka and the rejuvenated Pienaar, have been allowed to leave the club. So much for the strong squad with which the manager expressed his satisfaction earlier in the season.

Once again the performance on Saturday was not abject, merely flat. Of all the Spurs players on show, the only ones who could take any personal satisfaction from the game were Kyle Walker (newly-crowned PFA Young Player of the Year), substitute Danny Rose and - perhaps - Rafael van der Vaart. As for the rest, it was a disappointing display against a poor side, made poorer still by the late dismissal of Adel Taarabt.

To say that Newcastle now have the momentum in the hunt for fourth (and hopefully Champions League football) would be an understatement. Redknapp, however, remains upbeat in the face of what can now be definitely termed a slump:

"We might have to win all four games but I'm very confident. But Newcastle still have to play Chelsea and I don't think they'll both win that. And Newcastle also have to play Manchester City. If we win all four of our games it won't matter what the others do."

An interesting assessment, given that Newcastle are now three points ahead with the same number of games left to play. The Spurs fans must hope that Man. Utd. don't get a result at the Etihad on Monday, meaning that Man. City will face Newcastle with the title race still alive. Newcastle's other remaining opponents - Wigan, Chelsea and Everton - are by no means pushovers, even for a team brimming with confidence. Ten weeks ago, a run-in against Blackburn, Bolton, Villa and Fulham would have looked like a much easier proposition. Not any longer.



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Comments

Posted by Clifford Chapman on 04/25/2012

I think things are much more serious than Harry is admitting here, and whatever he says, you can't help connecting what has been an incredible slump with the chorus of calls for him to become England manager. That team that beat Newcastle is a shadow of the team now playing, and if our performances before Capello resigned were instrumental in making him the leading candidate for England manager, what price the irony of our performances since? Where, for example, does his famed man-management skills now sit?

Posted by solly on 04/25/2012

Newcastle will come third. Chelsea will win champions league.
Arsenal in UEFA cup. Looking at the fixtures I see only one win

Posted by allardyce on 04/25/2012

I don't question the quality of the players we have, but man, we are weak mentally. Some of our best players are looking for the way out. Not only that, but we can't beat the big clubs as well. If we had some success againsts them, perhaps we would have had more confidence to build upon when the going to rough. As it is, we do not have that aside from the 5-0 win vs Newcastle, but we all know, they would suck in Champions League. What they have done is remarkable, but they are not a great side. As it is, if Chelsea win CL in Munich, 4th is moot anyway. With Newcastle's killer schedule coming up, it looks like the big clubs will remain big clubs, and we will continue to aspire. Forget about getting big players to come, lets get loyal ones.

Posted by abe on 04/25/2012

Yep, totally flat, lacking commitment and passion. Defoe barely did anything. Messi for example last night did not have his greatest night, but you still saw him running back and dispossesing players. We saw little of that by many Spurs players. Spurs slump is due to multiple reasons including poor Jan transfer windows, tactics, the uncertainty on Harry's position, as well as injuries. 3 of these were under our control - and most teams get injuries. When you hear Harry saying we were too open at Norwich, you wonder why on earth did he not change it? He then goes the next week while just 1 goal behind to chelsea (at 2-1) and plays that same open system, and sees us picked off.

Posted by usaid ahmed on 04/25/2012

For all the comments Harry would give about his squad depth, he ruined everything by not rotating his first eleven enough during the course of the season.
A league campaign coupled with cup runs demands squad rotation as we have seen other teams do a lot. Harry seems to be stubborn in not even bringing on innovative substitutions to change the course of a match.
While i may be a fan of Harry in terms of his motivational skills as well as his wheeling and dealing in the transfer market, i still am to be convinced by his tactical nous and squad management abilities.
Newcastle seem to be benefiting from the point that they have been merely dealing with league games each weeks due to early cup exits however their manager also has to be commended for rotating his squad and juggling the formation depending on the opponents.
Spurs r really struggling at this time, i hope they get their act together.

Posted by josh on 04/25/2012

The players look lifeless. I don't think it's half as much looking to leave as it is overuse. We've trotted out the same squad for nearly every game, and they're clearly out of gas. We still might get fourth, as our run in is easier than Newcastle's by a long shot. Even though they won at Camp Nou, I wouldn't put money on Chelsea winning in the final in what amounts to a home game for Bayern so fourth should still net us a CL spot. I do think Harry is leaving for England, and I think a coach with better squad rotation would do us a world of good. If we can't get a big name I'd love to snag Roberto Martinez from Wigan, what he's done there is nothing short of miraculous. Who does everyone else have on their coaching wish list?

Posted by steveg0822 on 04/26/2012

We have the perfect opportunity to get back in the groove when we play Blackburn this weekend. We're at home, we should have our best eleven available, and we know it's a must-win game. If we blow it, we don't deserve a CL place. On the upside, whether we finish top 4 or not, we'll need to spend a decent amount of money to be competitive next season. The two questions are: who will be manager and how much will he get to spend?

Posted by Swaleh mwakalimbo on 04/28/2012

Am spurs fun and for me what we have do right is not to put blames on another.lets say what had happend happend so we should focus for forthcoming games &challenges.lets in full support of our team to make sure better results are being achieved.you never no we may be the ones in the fourth or even the third place.

Posted by Spurs Fan on 04/28/2012

The worst part about our slip is that all the contending teams have given us chances to regain ground; but we've screwed ourselves over every-time.

Posted by Acemod on 05/02/2012

Harry is the reason we're even having conversations about top 4. I can't think of another coach who would suit Spurs better. We're not backed by mega-spending arabs or russians. Our benefactor keeps his megabucks in his pocket in the Bahamas. We need a coach who understands Tottenham and Harry does precisely that. Just because our dip in form has come at the end of the season is no reason for despair. All clubs struggle at some point and we're no different. The table speaks for itself and on that evidence it's been a fabulous year and can still end on a high. Roy getting the England gig is the best news as I don't want Harry leaving us until we win the EPL or the CL. Believe it people. COYS!

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