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Tottenham Primed to Challenge For a UEFA Champions League Spot

roberto soldado Tottenham Primed to Challenge For a UEFA Champions League Spot

Roberto Soldado, whose £26m move to Spurs turned into the subject of much ridicule, finally scored a goal again from open play in the Premier League this season. His goal on Sunday was the first in the league during 2014. However, much like he did with Emmanuel Adebayor, manager Tim Sherwood has begun a reclamation project with a high-profile striker. The success of Adebayor since Sherwood’s appointment as manager shows what is possible and if Soldado can find form again, Tottenham has a great opportunity to secure what has the last few seasons been an elusive UEFA Champions League spot.

Tottenham sit just three points out of the final Champions League spot currently held by Manchester City (who have two games in hand). Since Tottenham’s embarrassing 5-1 defeat at the hands of City in January, the Blues have won just once in the Premier League, scoring one goal in three league matches. While Manuel Pellegrini’s side has won the League Cup and progressed in the FA Cup, their league form in addition to four remaining difficult away fixtures must give Spurs hope of catching them. Additionally, League Cup winners often see a dip in form after lifting the trophy. This happened with Swansea in 2012, Liverpool in 2011, Manchester United in 2010, Spurs in 2008 and Chelsea in 2007.

Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side has begun to wobble of late and now sit just five points clear of Spurs with a trip to White Hart Lane still to come this season. While the media tends to make more of the Gunners recent troubles than they should, certainly Spurs have the quality and confidence in their side to push forward and make a real challenge. The return of Aaron Ramsey in the near future to the Arsenal side will give the Gunners a renewed sense of confidence, but Wenger’s side have little margin for error going forward.

Tim Sherwood has restored confidence and harmony at White Hart Lane. He has done it with honesty and old-fashioned English tactics. Spurs are showing the team spirit and fight that often eluded the side under previous manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Injuries have taken a toll on Spurs side this season but with fitness issues solving themselves in recent weeks, Sherwood has almost a full disposal of players to select from. With depth superior to Arsenal and similar to Manchester City, Tottenham can make a real fourth place challenge despite the topsy-turvy nature of this season. Spurs’ ability to keep itself alive in this season for a Champions League spot speaks to the competitiveness of everything happening this year in the league. The top sides have all gone through rough patches and the turnover of managers throughout the division has been remarkable. But Tottenham can see the light at the end of the tunnel and make a real push for achieving the club’s preseason goals despite all the negativity and question marks surrounding the team for much of the season.

The Spurs manager has yet to obtain all his necessary coaching badges to manage at this level and has been thought to be tactically naïve in his first weeks on the job. But in the last two months, Sherwood has shown a great deal of growth and maturity as a manager. The tests get tougher for Tottenham in the league beginning with a showdown with Chelsea on Saturday at Stamford Bridge. But Sherwood has proven he can manage at this level and he has a side that was suffering a crisis of confidence in great shape to potentially snatch the 4th and final Champions League spot.

For more Tottenham news, analysis and opinion, visit the Tottenham Hotspur team page.

This entry was posted in Leagues: EPL, Tottenham Hotspur. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

21 Responses to Tottenham Primed to Challenge For a UEFA Champions League Spot

  1. Ken says:

    Not a chance of CL.

    • Paul says:

      Absolutely agree with this. The top 4 this year will be made up of the 4 clubs currently occupying the positions… just not in the same order as it is at the moment.

  2. Mysterious J says:

    Spurs in great shape to get 4th? Man City has a 4 point advantage AND two games in hand. What are you smoking?

    • Phil Badger says:

      if Spurs are to catch anyone above them, it’s Arsenal or Liverpool (if they catch an injury or 2 in the front line); Chelsea and Man City – with the games in hand – no way.

  3. Mysterious J says:

    Oh, and Man City has an insurmountable GD lead. Aside from that, great post!

  4. Phil Badger says:

    “Soldado finally scored a goal from open play in the league this season”…

    nope, it’s his second. Away to Villa, October 20th. Facts, please.

  5. Cody (#2) says:

    Last week they lost to NORWICH.
    This week Soldado finally scores in a 1-0 win over a weak Cardiff side, and all of a sudden they are headed for the Champions League?

    What am I missing?

    • Cody (#1) says:

      You are missing nothing my son other than the fact this article was written by a hack.

      • Christopher Harris says:

        Cody, come on, just because you don’t agree with it (and you’re a true-blooded Arsenal supporter) doesn’t mean that the writer is a hack. That’s ridiculous and uncalled for.

  6. confused says:

    The editor must be really high while writing this post….not that we can rule out Tottenham from CL spot but come on catching Man city with 2 games in hand and with best goal difference in the entire league…maybe for 3rd and 4th spot battle between liverpool, arsenal and tottenham(maybe mix everton) can be argued but this post is just ——

  7. scott says:

    This article is a little premature, if they win their next two matches against Chelsea and Arsenal then maybe they could nip Arsenal or Liverpool for last CL spot.

  8. jtm371 says:

    They will lose their next two matches and the CL talk will be put to bed.Sorry i just thinks Spurs had the worst signings and wasted the Bale money.On paper the signings are great the players have yet to perform to their pay grade.

  9. JOHNNY says:

    Dream on pal you are on something thats for sure .

  10. Ben says:

    There’s nothing like a bit of wishful thinking…

  11. Scrumper says:

    Unfortunately Tottenham is a one man team. Let’s hope for their sake Adebayor lstays fit and doesn’t go off on one of his walkabouts because Sodado is no striker.

  12. Eddie says:

    They’re primed for sixth place. Maybe seventh.

  13. Martin J. says:

    The way this season has gone it’s very difficult to say what will happen next. With 10 games to play, for most teams, anything can happen. Just a 2-game winning streak can dramatically alter the landscape. Same for a 2-game loss.

    For Spurs they have to begin with a result at Chelsea on Saturday. A loss and it could be more difficult to make up ground on the teams above them. Arsenal have a very difficult month with games against Spurs, Chelsea, City and Everton while Liverpool have United, Spurs, City and Chelsea. So there’s still bound to be dropped points by these teams. Still a lot to play for and at this stage it’s all about making sure you don’t drop points to your rivals.

  14. Brian says:

    With 30 points still to play for it’s too early to count out any of the top 7 teams for a Champions League spot. The present top 4 teams have an advantage but they need to avoid dropping points to stay there. The top 4 teams need to beat the bottom teams and avoid losing to the teams around them. The 5-7 placed teams need to beat the bottom teams and also beat the teams around them to have a chance of getting into the top 4. Lots to play for and there will be twists and turns that await. Hopefully till the very last day to keep it interesting.

  15. Ken says:

    Hope yesterday put an end to this silly nonsense.

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