ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - Tottenham Hotspur
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Tottenham Hotspur
Posted by Colin McCullough on 05/12/2012

"We're a good side. If we're bold in the summer, we can build a team again that can be right there again next year. The league is changing and a top-four position is very difficult to achieve."

Harry Redknapp's comments ahead of the last game of the season are interesting for a number of reasons. They contain just a hint of getting the excuses in before the possibility of not making the Champions League actually comes to pass. If that does happen - either as a result of Chelsea winning in Munich or by actually finishing outside the top four - it will certainly have considerable bearing on the players that will be willing to move to White Hart Lane in the summer. Not so long ago, Lille's Eden Hazard was describing Spurs as "a great English club" and one that could provide a home for his considerable talents. In the time it has taken for Spurs to go from dark horses for the title to possible Europa League contenders, the race for the talented young Belgian's signature appears to have turned into a contest between the two Manchester clubs, with Spurs warranting barely a mention.

At the same time, Harry has had to come out and deny that the club has agreed a £32 million fee with Barcelona for Gareth Bale. No doubt there will be a need to issue more of these sorts of denials in the coming weeks, but the timing of this one ahead of the crunch game with Fulham can only serve to further unsettle the player.

The atmosphere going into that game could possibly have been different if Harry were more inclined to follow the advice he was directing towards Daniel Levy. If he had been "bold" a week ago, guaranteed Champions League football might still be in Spurs' own hands. Despite being a man down, Spurs were bossing proceedings at Villa Park against poor opponents who have won only four times at home all season. The ten men on the field pushed hard, yet could not find the elusive second goal that would have given them all three points. With players tiring, with time running out, with Defoe and Saha on the bench, Harry's throw of the dice was to bring on Scott Parker in the 89th minute.

Whether or not that approach pays dividends only time - and other results - will tell. It was notable how, on the same day, Roberto Mancini changed the fortunes of his team by displaying some tactical acumen from the sidelines at St. James' Park - most probably securing the title in the process. In any event, all Spurs can do now is beat Fulham and hope that the other team from north London slip up at the Hawthorns. Or, alternatively, that Bayern Munich don't slip up on their home turf in a week's time. Failing to qualify for Champions League would not necessarily have been looked upon as a huge disappointment at the start of the season. Now it would be hard to see it as anything else.



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Comments

Posted by dazzwater on 05/13/2012

Come On You Spurs. nothing much else i can say as a fan at this time, while waiting for the Fulham game.

Posted by QUADRI on 05/13/2012

Redknapp have done a great job by mentaining the 4th probably you get 3rd later today.The fact is remains that Chelsea would get the CL spot at Munich.

Posted by tigersan06 on 05/14/2012

We are fourth !!! Now, hoping for Bayern to maul Chelsea at their own turf. GO BAYERN !!!

Posted by Kevin on 05/15/2012

Although we're still in with a chance of UCL, I can't help feeling this was a season wasted to make a real statement for spurs. Could have pipped the arse to 3rd, could have made a more credible run at the title, so many possibilities and now we're staring a possible nightmare run in europa again. With europa, we'll definitely lose modric, bale would get unsettled, and vdv would start grumbling. The two games that really killed us were the villa game recently and more crucially the game with the arse that started our terrible run and jump started their 3rd place charge. We need a better attacker to lead our line, not Adebayor who went missing during that 10 game run. Pour the money into a world class ST and CB and we'll be able to challenge for UCL again next season.

Posted by Alfred Kux on 05/15/2012

I suppose if someone had told me a year ago Spurs are gonna be 4th by the end of the season, I would have been one happy geezer, but with results going the way they did and Tottenham surrendering a 10-point-lead to A######, I now need to keep my fingers crossed for Bayern Munich, a team I love to hate. Strange times ...
Go Spurs!
Alf from Berlin

Posted by David Guy on 05/30/2012

Go get Unyewu from Sporting Lisbon....an American international defender who could work with Friedel. Then get Dempsey...he would love another run in Europe. Get rid of Nelsen, Jenas, Huddlestone, Bentley...and Defoe if he wants away. Throw some $$$ at Adebayor, Luka and Bale. We MUST keep them!!!!

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