Spurs Supporters Suicide Hotline
The International Suicide Hotline has had to open a dedicated Tottenham Hotspur department after their appalling start to the season. Four years ago this kind of start would have been met by fans adorned in their “mid-table mediocrity” T-shirts with a “yeah, well- what do you expect”. But, with expectations high from the start, combined with derisory behaviour from the board and talk of political rifts (thought to be a thing of the past) there has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth.
But where, actually, do Tottenham sit, apart from fourth-from-bottom? They have a good squad, at least the 5th best in the Premiership. They also have a decent quality manager who has brought them 2 successive 5th place finishes when that squad was weaker than it is now and, about half the time, attractive and attacking football. With the exception of their opening game their approach play has been good. Their defence, affected badly by a ridiculous injury list, has been, admittedly, laughable. But with the first-choice players returning will settle and start performing.
Inexplicable, though, is the inability of what is one of the best attacking forces in the Premier League to convert and create more chances. In Darren Bent, Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov there is arguably GBP 60million worth of talent there. How many teams can boast that amount of talent in their striking force?
Realistically Tottenham’s aim should be at least a 5th place finish with top four the prize. Spurs are not the only team to have made a shaky start this season which means, with 6 games played and a string of negative results, they are still only 8 points off 4th place. Even with the strikers fluffing so many chances in front of goal there are only two teams, Arsenal and Liverpool, who have scored more goals so a better defence will make a huge difference to the club.
The 8 points off position is significant because it is exactly the number of points that Tottenham will feel they have genuinely dropped: three against Everton at home and Sunderland away then two against Fulham. The loss at The Lane to Arsenal is a personal pain to the fans but in no way an embarrassment the way the Gunners are playing right now.
Wins against Bolton and Aston Villa will bring Tottenham to the middle of the table and likely leave them 2 wins away from 4th before a tough trip to Liverpool likely to yield them at best a point. It is the game after that that will define their season. A visit to Sam Allardyce’s Newcastle, thought by many to be a top6 contender capable of usurping Tottenham for their 5th place, armed with a strong line-up and Big Sam’s resilience, is going to be tough.
A win in the north will bring confidence and serve as a statement that Tottenham are ready to leave behind the second-tier of the Premiership and can finally focus on competing in the top tier.
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