Tottenhamai??i??s 3-1 victory away to West Brom coupled with Manchester United dropping points against Newcastle, has left Spurs just two points behind the Champions with a game in hand. They remain a further five points behind pacesetters Manchester City who were relatively fortunate themselves to leave Anfield with a point. Was it a case of a perfect weekend for Tottenham, with their two main title rivals dropping points as they picked up the all three?

Certainly on current form they canai??i??t be dismissed easily. Indeed recent performances have led to many in the media, as well as manager Harry Redknapp, to pose the question of the North London club being genuine challengers for the Premier League title.

The ease with which Tottenham took apart Aston Villa on Monday night at White Hart Lane demonstrated the strength and excellence of their first eleven and in particularly their midfield quintet. However, against West Brom the story was different. On Monday, Villa offered little and were dispatched in a straightforward manner. West Brom posed far tougher questions and in many respects Spurs rode their luck, particularly with regard to some first half refereeing decisions.

Robbed of the two principal creative players from that midfield, Redknapp was forced into a rare shuffle of the pack. For a trip to a dangerous side, under the astute stewardship of Roy Hodgson, it was a difficult game to have to bring new players into the fold. Yet as all top teams do they came away with the points without two of their best players. And after a ai???backs to the wall jobai??i?? in the first half, in which they missed Modric and Van der Vaart and were lucky to come out of on level terms, they were still able to grind out an impressive away win. It was the sought of victory that title-winning teams produce.

There is no denying the side has recovered well from their first two games, which left them propping up the table following heavy defeats from both Manchester clubs. On current form an aggregate 8-1 defeat would seem more than unlikely if they were to play the pacesetters again.

.

Parker and Adebayor

 

The addition to the squad of experienced Premier League duo, Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor, has added a bit of required steel in the midfield and a strong physical presence up front. Their arrival has led to a more settled line-up being put out by Redknapp, who in turn is reaping the rewards of consistency in an age of rotation.

Indeed since those two opening games, 8 players started the subsequent 9 Premier League matches. Their consistency in midfield and up front has resulted in a tremendous development of understanding, treating the White Hart Lane faithful to some fantastic flowing football. It is just like the rewards Newcastle are enjoying in terms of defensive displays garnered from playing a consistent back five. Both clubs fantastic starts to the season are no doubt indebted to their stability in terms of personnel.

.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp gives instructions to Luka Modric

 

In addition for Spurs, key players have returned to fitness and form such as Luka Modric, the subject of a big money move to Chelsea over the summer. His absence, along with fellow central midfielders Sandro and Huddlestone in those first games led to fringe players, Kranjcar and Livermore, starting in central midfield. It also meant an unknown and ultimately fruitless front pair of Van der Vaart and Defoe, which was unable to greatly trouble the quality back-lines on offer at both Manchester clubs. The pair did not have the physical presence to impose themselves on these defences and with a makeshift midfield; Spurs were unable to build a platform to play to their strengths on the ground. Performances and results since have shown the impact of the two additions and the strength of this Spursai??i?? first eleven.

Yet despite the many obvious benefits of sticking fairly rigidly to a starting 11, it is not without its pitfalls. Players missing at the start of the season through injury, such as Sandro and Gallas, who were both in impervious form at the fag end of last season but are now unable to force themselves into the reckoning. In addition both Huddlestone and Dawson will be looking to play significant roles in the campaign when they return from injury. Redknapp will have difficulty, as all modern managers of top teams do, in keeping all the players happy whilst maintaining this consistency.

There have already been rumors of discontent and interest in Defoe, who is a player that can get into a rich vein of scoring when given consistent games but has been reduced to a marginal role. Ai??Sandro in particular, after developing his game and adapting to English football so successfully last season will be needing plenty of games to continue for his future development, which is what Spurs invested in.

Regardless of the practicalities of balancing a squad, there is no denying the quality that Tottenham are producing at the moment. The fans, and possibly Modric himself, will be enjoying the irony of looking down the table at the club that successfully managed to turn his head in the summer to the extent that his departure seemed almost inevitable. They way the 2 clubs are heading that looks set to remain the case when they meet on the 22nd of December.

Now it is Spurs and not the West London counterparts who will appear best placed to challenge the Manchester duo. Especially given the disarray Chelsea now find themselves in, with victory at homes to Wolves unable to cover the underlying cracks.

Ultimately though, Tottenham just donai??i??t have the strength or know how, yet, for winning a major trophy such as the Premier League. It will see them fall short of this lofty ambition this year. But a top four finish and a chance to be Londonai??i??s top club would be a more than satisfactory outcome for the season. It is a challenge that is far from straightforward. One thing that is for sure though, they will entertain fans of all colors on the way.

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3 Responses to “Tottenham Hotspur’s Corner : Reckoning For The Title?”

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  1. Del says:

    You had better stump up some cash for Adebayor if you want to keep him cause if he continues his current form going forward then City will want to take him back.

    • Joseph Walsh says:

      I’m not convinced City will be overly keen to have him back no matter what he does… I don’t think Mancini likes him that much. His wages (which City are currently contributing over half of) will be the major stumbling block preventing him staying. As Spurs won’t break the bank to keep him and I can’t see him taking a drastic pay cut.

  2. Saikat Mandal says:

    The real for Spurs will come in the month of march-april when the Londoners will face few big teams in succession. Last season, just the time, when Spurs needed to put a gear on acceleration paddle, they stuttered. Fixtures from February: Liverpool, Wigan (who will be fighting for lives), Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton, Stoke, Chelsea…