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Tottenham Hotspur Supporters, Beware The Ides Of March

At this point of the season, Tottenham Hotspur sit firmly entrenched in the third spot of the Premier League.  They boast one of the best attacking squads led by Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Aaron Lennon while their defense has been buoyed by the addition of Brad Friedel at keeper.  Spurs rise up the table, in some sense, has served as a redemption tale after last season in which after much promise, they failed to qualify for the Champions League.  But for all of the positive vibes going around White Hart Lane, Tottenham hasn’t ensured themselves a top four finish. It is more likely that they are set for an epic collapse over the last few months of the season.

Tottenham began the 2011-2012 campaign on shaky ground.  Their first match of the season against Everton was postponed because of the riots in London.  This was followed by being outscored 8 to 1 by the two Manchester clubs.  It took some time, but Harry Redknapp was able to steady the ship and saw his club go on a tear and slowly move up the table.  Bale and Lennon were full of pace down the flanks while Modric was a maestro in the center of the pitch.  The club was also able to secure on loan a deal for Emmanuel Adebayor to shore up the forward position.

From the outside, the club’s fortunes have been in ascension, but there appear to be some cracks in the Spurs’ armor.  In the league matches since the beginning of December, Tottenham has a very impressive record of seven wins, four draws, and only three losses.  Going by those results, it would seem like the Spurs would finish the season threatening for the league title.  But taking a closer look at the opponents played during the run, we see there were several of matches against the likes of Bolton, West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton, and Sunderland.  Basically, Tottenham’s record was inflated by beating up on the weaker teams in the league.  Also during this sequence of matches, Spurs outscored their opponents 25-14.  Take out the five goals conceded against Arsenal last weekend and this total is even more remarkable.

Some will point out that Tottenham did what they had to do.  Harry Redknapp can only play against the clubs that are on the fixture list.  With that said, however, the upcoming month of March appears particularly daunting for Spurs.  They start off with a match against second place Manchester United followed up with a difficult trip to Goodison Park.  Next is a home match against Stoke City and as if March couldn’t get anymore difficult, the month is concluded with a journey to Stamford Bridge.  Those four clubs are a combined 50-23-30 (W-D-L) in league play this season.  So it is quite possible that with one bad month, Tottenham could drop quickly in the table, as they are only seven points ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea.

Even after twenty-six matches played, it is difficult to know what to make of Tottenham.  Yes, they have the flashy names that at times can produce miraculous goals. But the fact remains that against the other members of the Sky Six, Spurs has a very pedestrian record of 2-2-4.  A certain amount of blame can be pointed at the lack of quality in the backline.  Though Kyle Walker looks like he is a star in the making, he is still lacking experience.  Tottenham’s central defense, outside of Michael Dawson, has struggled for much of the season.  This was quite evident in the last match against Arsenal as Ledley King looked slow to react against the Gunners’ attack.  It is quite possible that Spurs will go as far as the defense will take them.

To this point, Tottenham have been aided by the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea not playing like their normal selves that has lead to those two historic clubs having mediocre seasons.  When Tottenham fans look back at the 2011-2012 season, it may be the month of March that was the Spurs undoing.  Failing to secure the sufficient amount of points in the next four weeks could be what keeps Tottenham on the outside looking in on the Champions League for a second consecutive season.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. toonatnoon888888

    March 6, 2012 at 12:08 am

    well what do you know, united 3 hospud 1. i was 2 goals off calling the rest of the weekend correctly.

  2. tom1

    March 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    30 minutes left 2-0 down at home. thinks are looking up spud fans.

  3. Football Blographia

    March 4, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Hi EPL

    I’m currently on a mission to find the best football-related websites to list on Blographia. EPL Talk certainly falls into this category and I have added your RSS feed.

    Hopefully this will lead to a few more decerning footbal fans heading your way.

  4. tom1

    March 4, 2012 at 12:30 am

    @oldreigatian

    not kidding when I say that the number of people who liked you comment is currently 5 and of those who don’t there are 2. 5 and 2. 5-2. 5 for them, 2 for you. please keep these numbers in mind before you make the sad assumption that you’d somehow remain safe after losing to united and chelsea since you would numerically give arsenal and the rest of the pack a chance to catch up. watch your backs spuds.

  5. toonatnoon888888

    March 4, 2012 at 12:23 am

    @Nelson

    “their starting 11 is much stronger than Chelsea’s or Arsenals” lol, what 11 are YOU talking about? Certainly not the one the rest of the world saw last week against an Arsenal squad that wasn’t even at full strength…or are you? When they lose to Chelsea in a couple weeks I sincerely hope that you will provide us with more insight.

  6. toonatnoon888888

    March 4, 2012 at 12:16 am

    It would be harsh and a bit biased of me to say the spurs are doomed but they will need an absolute miracle to take all 3 points from United tomorrow and would be fortunate to draw (1-3 I’m predicting). Their remaining schedule is favorable but they will have a hard time getting through the next few weeks especially with a mid-week cup tie before heading north to Goodison Park. Tomorrow’s loss blows the doors wide open to the limping Chelsea and inconsistent Arsenal. Tack on a couple of ties (Everton, Stoke, Chelsea) and this team is in trouble of hanging on to 4th. I don’t care what anyone says or how many bad ratings it gets me but I would also, and most importantly, like to say that the talks of beating out United or City for 1st were absolutely ridiculous, glad we’ve got that out of our systems. Sheesh.

  7. Nelson

    March 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I agree with the article and it’s possible that Tottenham could falter. However, I don’t agree that Tottenhams remaining games are any tougher than Arsenals or Chelsea’s. Those are the only teams that Spurs need to worry about for CL. With that said, we shouldn’t worry about Spurs, their starting 11 is much stronger than Chelsea’s or Arsenals and their back four is the strongest they’ve seen in years.

  8. John

    March 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    So did you even look at the April schedule? After Chelsea Spurs have one game against a team that as of now is in the top 10. That is Norwich on April 9th.

    • John

      March 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      and the combined record of the April schedule is 42-39-80

  9. OldReigatian

    March 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    What a load of rubbish. Everybody was saying that February would be our downfall, and here we are still third.

    Yes we have difficult games away coming up, but look at Chelsea, lost to WBA today, and still have Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City away and Newcastle at home.

    I would say that opponent for opponent, Spurs are looking ok, but we need to keep winning against the teams below us. We have Chelsea and Man U from the top 7 still to play the rest are all mid table and below.

    By my reckoning, 6 wins will get us to 71 points, add a couple of draws and we can still afford to lose to Man U and Chelsea.

    Arsenal were v lucky today, but that’s football, maybe on another day they’ll get turned over. The number of games to play is running out. I would rather be in our position than Chelsea and Arsenal’s right now.

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