Title Challengers??? Well, To Dare is To Do...

Discussion in 'Columns' started by Krafty, Nov 8, 2011.

  • by Krafty, Nov 8, 2011 at 9:22 AM
  • Krafty

    Krafty Well-Known Member

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    On Match of the Day 2, Sunday night, Jason Roberts said with great conviction that Tottenham were, in his opinion, title challengers. At first I thought the occasion had got to the journeyman striker – a debut as a television pundit, in the new MotD studios in Salford, the desperation to make an impression. He was getting carried away. But then I began to wonder, maybe the Blackburn man was on to something...

    Whenever talk of a top 4 finish and Champions League qualification comes up, there is always the worry that fourth becomes the limit of our ambitions. If you aim for fourth and fail it’s a disappointing season. Aim for third, second or first and come up short, Champions League is still in the bag. That’s why Tottenham should be looking to progress from top four challenger to a team at least aiming to join the title race, and it’s why us fans can start believing the words of people like Roberts.

    Ledley king joined in the title talk in the Evening Standard. Seven wins from eight, including matches against Arsenal, Liverpool, and an on-form Newcastle is a great run, and something I cannot remember Spurs teams achieving ever in my lifetime. Three, four or five wins on the bounce sure, but then came the inevitable collapse. The result against Fulham indicates this team has a stronger backbone than lilywhite sides of the past.

    If you aren’t moving forwards you are going backwards, and if you aren’t aiming for the top you’re sliding down to the bottom. Liverpool went from Premier League runners up to a sixth place finish, and all the talk moved from winning titles to top 4 finishes to simply qualifying for Europe. Arsenal have also slipped from the title picture, if they miss out on the Champions League the only way is down. Spurs have a different trajectory - Europe’s elite competition is still a relatively new phenomenon at White Hart Lane - but that should not stop everyone connected to the club from wanting more.

    And it’s to our London rivals that we should look. Level on points with a Chelsea team that has stuttering title ambitions and three points ahead of a struggling Arsenal that half of the media still thinks can challenge for top spot, with a game in hand on both, are Spurs in a better position to challenge the Manchester clubs?

    Tottenham title talk has a fly in the ointment in the shape of Newcastle . While many expect them to slip up in their next three games against Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea, they remain unbeaten and currently reside in third position. No pundit will believe they will maintain their lofty position, and I doubt if anyone at Newcastle honestly believes they will either, but if Tottenham are title challengers, what are the Geordies? The real deal or just on a lucky run? How they do in the next month could answer that question.

    Spurs have shown they have the squad depth to compete on both domestic and continental fronts, even with quality players like Dawson, Kranjcar and Huddlestone ruled out by injury. We face Villa at home, then WBA (a), Bolton (h), Stoke (a) and Sunderland (h), all winnable games, before a match up against Chelsea. If the unbeaten run stretches until then Spurs will be right in the mix for more than just fourth place, and only Manchester City streaking ahead of the rest will stop Harry Redknapp and his men from being involved in a real title race.

    Normally I wouldn’t post this article for fear of jeopardising our good run but I believe this team has overcome fits of form and luck and now has a consistency to match its quality. The only attribute that remains unknown is how the team will react if/when this unbeaten run comes to an end, but given the way the team has bounced back from the two Manchester defeats the omens are good that when we do experience our next loss we will bounce back with another unbeaten spell.
     
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Comments

Discussion in 'Columns' started by Krafty, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. lilywhitecurtis
    Great post. I'm trying my best to keep calm after last season, the one game at a time approach is the key to keeping my sanity should we fluff an 'easy' run of games.

    I think one of the things that has changed is we have that 'winning' mentality in the squad. Players like VDV, Ade, and Gallas have spread belief through the squad and perhaps the feeling in the dressing room is that if we continue to quietly go about our work we could be up there at the end of the season.
  2. kungfugrip
    Don't go there........too late. It's like that Scottish play that you're never allowed to mention the name of. Lot's of us are secretly thinking along these lines but I can't bring myself to go into any detail, because, I know it is false hope. We're now a really good team, but not good enough to win that shiny trophy.
  3. wee_spur
    No, we are not going to win the title but that doesn't mean that we won't have a bloody good go! This spurs team are increasingly beating the teams that we "should" which has resulted in our form. My main concern would be injuries to key players in the form of Modric, Ade, Bale & BAE (not fringe players like Dawson (harsh I know but back up based on form), Kranjcar, Huddlestone & Rose). With the right tweeking in January involving reinforcing the strikers and wide men I see 3rd as the minimum achievable target!
  4. davidmatzdorf
    "Being title contenders" is not something that derives from the history or reputation of the club, nor is there any fate or momentum that would prevent Tottenham (or Newcastle, for that matter), from being "title contenders", as of November 2011.

    Similarly, when Redknapp was making similar statements last December, we were then, accurately speaking, "title contenders". Then we had a bad run and we stopped being title contenders, but that doesn't invalidate our status in December.

    Being a title contender is a matter of numbers and verifiable fact. Last December, at one point, we were 4 points off the top with half the season to play. That's a title contender. The rest is pseudo-psychological or superstituous bullshit (I don't mean the OP).

    The same applies right now. As of today, there are seven clubs that are title contenders, because they combine being close to the top of the table with having squads that are deep in quality. Perhaps Newcastle lack the deep squad, but there's no more certainty that they will have their first team depleted by injury than any of the other contenders.

    It doesn't follow that I am predicting that Newcastle or Tottenham will win the league. It's unlikely. But both clubs are presently contenders.
  5. rupert miller
    there is only one contender this year for the title. man city will will it by quite some distance in my opinion.people say aim for the top and worst scenario is top 4,but although its nice to hear your players say they want to go for the league,it didnt do us any good last year,and just to quietly get on with winning games will do for me. its very exciting times to be a spurs fan.enjoy while its good!
  6. bigspurs
    I'm not criticising the content of your posts, but for the love of God, please sort out your punctuation. Reading your posts is getting nauseating. Is it really so hard to have a space after a comma or full stop?! Maybe start a sentence with a fecking capital letter FFS?! Jeeeeez... :roll:
  7. guate
    Wise words indeed by the Tottenham faithfull. However, due to our far too often excessive expectations, born out of the 60's "Glory Glory" years when we were top dog, for the last 40 or so years we always seem to stumble when approaching the final hurdle.
    I've been quietly confident since the Martin Jol days that, step by step, the jigsaw pieces are finally falling into place and we now have a team capable of competing for the top spot. Call me a day dreamer if you like but after having been a Spurs fan for the last 54 years we now have IMHO a team capable of competing with the very best at both a national and international level.
    I am also convinced had we had Adebayor and Parker in the side right from day 1 (as 'Arry wanted) of this season we would not have lost both games to the Manchester sides and would be right up there battling the two of them for Premiership honours.
    There's still a long way to go but provided there are no extraordinary interruptions like 'Arry having to leave due to health problems or becoming a temporary guest of Her Majesty or our Danny boy playing the occasional role of superman we will give City a very good run for their money come the end of the season in a much more sustainable and respected manner
  8. DogsOfWar
    Our starting eleven is as good as any in the league.
    Our squad depth is as good as most in the league so I believe we are contenders on merit and not just on current form.

    We also have the advantage of no CL football so rather than having to double up games for our first team we can use the Europa league to develop our youngsters and give our fringe players games.

    Unfortunately I believe that City are too strong for the rest of the league and will win it comfortably. But I do genuinely believe we are capable of second.
  9. spud
    They said that about Chelsea last year after their fast start and look how that turned out. Citeh are certainly favourites, but anything could happen, and they are by no means nailed on. I remember a season when ManUre won the first ten games and they finished second (or possibly lower).

    As for whether we are contenders, a simple answer: yes. As others have said, we have the ability in our team and squad. The odds are against us winning it, but it should ALWAYS be our objective. Then 'even failure will have in it an echo of glory.....'
  10. boris
    Mathematically any team can still win it but the teams above them have to fuck up. We have fewer teams above us than most so we're in with a better chance. We'll be battling United for second come April.
  11. Kingstheman
    We just have to do our own thing...

    Concentrate on our own games...

    Take it one game at a time...

    ... and other such footballing clichés.
  12. tevezito
    Finding the onion bag more consistently than last year and even more often when we're outplaying the opposition this year would help...

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