Tottenham Mid-Season Review: Top 4, A Real Possibility

Tottenham Mid-Season Review

Top 4 on Christmas Day. The words echoed around the away stands at St.Mary’s last weekend. Spurs fans were ecstatic and very well know that they could be comfortably in the top 4 and not present in it due to goal difference. The attitude of fans has changed dramatically, that they viewed the draws v Arsenal and Chelsea as points dropped rather than times in recent years where most would be more than happy to walk away without losing all 3 points per game to the big names of the Premier League. Such has been the transformation of mentality for both players and fans from Mauricio Pochetino and his staff. So what really has changed this season at White Hart Lane, that has made such a major difference to the outcome of results and mood of the fans?

A slow start:

The season began at Old Trafford for the North Londoners. They were facing Louis Van Gaal’s refurbished Manchester United as the first game of the season. Tottenham made a bright start to the game and were in fact, the better side over the period of 90-minutes in my opinion, having had much clear cut chances of scoring than the home side. Unfortunately, they lost the game to an own goal unfortunately scored by Kyle Walker, who this season has so far looked a completely changed player for good. Pochetino wasn’t happy with the result but was happy with how the team performed. Spurs took the momentum forward to their next 2 home games, Stoke and Leicester but failed to collect all 3 points after taking the lead on both occasions, as they conceded poor late goals. They were hoping to get their first win at Everton, just before the international break but it turned out to be a goal less draw where Spurs looked toothless up front in attack.

The Turning Point:

The International break came as a boon for Spurs. It gave the coaching staff to assess what was going wrong and sign South Korean, Son in the last few days of the transfer window. These decisions proved vital as Spurs came back to win the away game at Sunderland. A close 1:0 win which was sealed thanks to a Ryan Mason goal, injuring himself in the process. The game was the start of a good run of form for the club. They beat Manchester City at home next with a 4-1 victory as they overcame a 1:0 deficit thanks to goals from Dier, Alderweireld, Kane and Lamela. This game marked the fantastic team that Spurs could turn out to be and with an unbeaten run of games in the bag, they were gathering momentum. Soon, the run was extended to 14 before losing 2 games ago at home to Newcastle, surprisingly after a slight slump in form.

Best Player?

Dele Alli
Dele Alli

Dele Alli – The youngster slotted into the first team due to injuries to Dembele, Mason and Bentaleb. He knew he had to take his chance and he did. Splendidly too. Since making his debut v Leicester and scoring his 1st PL goal seconds after coming on the pitch, he has made his appearances for England as well and is now an integral member of this Spurs side and already been dubbed as the next Steven Gerrard.

New Signings?

Well stocked in almost every position other than up top in the strikers area, Spurs should probably go for a PL proven goal scorer who can give them that extra lift and also play as a back yo for Kane. Players like Jamie Vardy or Riyad Mahrez are ideal choices but to make them 2nd choices at a new club would seem like a bad footballing decision in this monstrously good form they are in. Plus they would cost a lot, especially in the winter window. Alvaro Negredo on loan would be a good move. He can score goals and won’t mind being second fiddle either. Else there is talk about signing Marseille’s Michi Batshuayi. The Belgian is a typical brute force goal scorer like Benteke. Could be a cheap and good gamble to take in January, as he is a player with good development prospects.

What to look forward to?

Plenty. Exciting times at the Lane if you are pro spurs. The players are reeking with hunger and passion. They want to build on this good start and finish the season well and ideally get top 4. It would be disappointing if they finished outside top 4 at the end after such good foundation work.

Written by Alankrith Shankar

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