Can Spurs qualify for the Champions league?
After 12 game weeks, Spurs have lost only once – Opening day fixture against Manchester United at Old Trafford, where they were unlucky to come back without a single point. In fact, it was am own goal which resulted in their loss. These past 12 weeks, Spurs have faced 3 teams from last years top 4 and they have collected 4 points from a possible 9. The solitary win came against Manchester City at White Hart Lane, after going behind, but they bounced back and rather crushed the Manchester side by scoring 4 past them. Last weekend, they faced Arsenal at the Emirates. It need not be told as to how important this fixture is and Spurs were rather the better side for the majority of the game, but conceded a goal in the last quarter of the game. They should have walked away with all 3 points, but unfortunately, Arsenal hit back to save face after the humiliation faced at the Allianz Arena.
Coming back to the curious case of Spurs, 11 games unbeaten, yet only placed 5th in the PL table, seems quite weird that they haven’t broken into top 4 yet. That would be due to the cheap late goals they have conceded so far after going ahead in games that had to be won namely, Stoke City and Leicester. Not losing and being on an unbeaten run is good for team confidence and morale, but at the end of the day, the position in the table is what matters and Spurs have to look to stop converting these winning positions to draws.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing their gameplay. A few seasons ago, that would exactly be what I would be doing, but this season, rather after Pochetino has taken over and shown promise ever since, things have changed a lot. Right now, I and probably a lot of football fans around the world would want to see better from Spurs. They boast one of the tightest defences in the league but yet they have gone from winning positions to draws. But other than the Arsenal game, recently Spurs seem to have solved that problem.
So what seems to be lacking? Why are they yet to break into top 4? Can they break into it? And more importantly, can they stay there and maintain the level of consistency required to finish in the top 4 along with the added pressure of doing well in the FA Cup and Europa league?
Well, these questions can be answered only with time but we can surely get a glimpse of whether or not it is possible for them in the upcoming two crunch fixtures – both London derbies, one against high-flying West Ham and the other against strugglers Chelsea, but trust Mourinho to find a way out. He would also like to put past the ghosts of last season, the thrashing his side received on new years day from Spurs. If Spurs can win both these games, comfortably or not, if they can play rough and show that they can collect all 3 points anytime and anywhere, then there is a very good chance they’ll make top 4 at the end of this season. Times are changing and if not this season, it will be hard to break into the top 4 once again for Spurs. It is now or never.