After that shocking 5-0 loss against Liverpool, many fans completely wrote off Tottenham as top four contenders. It seemed a fair assessment, and many Tottenham faithful had also given up hope. Minus Villas-Boas, add Tim Sherwood as head coach and nine fixtures later Spurs are actually in a pretty good position to be challenging for top four. But the battle isn’t over, and it seems that a few key things have to go in Tottenham’s favour in order for them to achieve their ambitions. This list will not deal with changes in formation or changes in personnel, only in the things deemed to be dependant on luck, and more or less out of Sherwood’s control.
Adebayor Not To Slow Down
It seems like a common opinion to doubt Emmanuel Adebayor when he’s in a rich vein of form. When there is no other striker available (other than misfiring Roberto Soldado and departing Jermain Defoe) it seems like a huge gamble on Sherwood’s part to trust Adebayor to keep banging in the goals. If the Togolese does manage the rest of the season at least, Sherwood is going to look like a genius for giving him a chance and letting him take it. However, nobody ever really knows with Adebayor, except for maybe the man himself.
No More Injuries
It doesn’t seem like we will ever see the fabled Vertonghen – Chiriches partnership. Would it be particularly effective for the defence? Maybe, maybe not, but the fact that Sherwood (nor Villas-Boas for that matter) hasn’t had a real opportunity to try it due to unfortunately timed injuries is enough for Spurs fans to feel cheated. Other injuries have taken their toll on Tottenham, and while the injury list isn’t too bad at the moment (Sandro we miss you) any additions will surely weaken Tottenham’s squad, no matter which player is effected (unless its Nacer Chadli maybe).
Townsend To Pick Up Where He Left Off
We haven’t really seen much from Andros Townsend under Tim Sherwood after the Englishman picked up a bad injury early on in the new bosses career. Under Villas-Boas, the winger was extraordinary and almost unplayable. While his end product was lacking, bringing him to the left side seemed to have a positive effect on his contribution (despite not seeing him much on that left side because of the aforementioned injury). If Townsend can continue the form he was in under Villas-Boas, Eriksen may just fear for his recently untouchable place in the starting lineup.
Everton To Continue To Stumble
After Everton’s recent loss to none other than the Lilywhites, their record has been two wins, two draws and two losses from six fixtures. That doesn’t represent a huge drop in form, but it is certainly enough for Spurs to pounce on. To be fair to the Toffee’s their two losses has come at the hands of Liverpool and Tottenham, and its becoming less and less likely for any team to take all three points away from them (they have only lost four times all season and only once to a team not currently in the top five), they have been susceptible to recording draws where they should have won, and that’s all Tottenham should need.
Liverpool To Mess Up … Somehow
Top four is Liverpool’s to lose, it seems. After a satisfying 5-1 victory over Arsenal (satisfying to Liverpool and Tottenham fans) it seems that Liverpool can do no wrong. Its almost impossible to keep Luis Suarez or Daniel Sturridge off the scoresheet (ironically Arsenal were able to keep the former off of it), Coutinho is in good form and is capable of turning a game just as easily as the two aforementioned strikers. Liverpool’s defence has been weak at times, but their ability to outscore their opponents should be able to negate that (most of the times). All we can hope for now is that somehow Brendan Rogers manages to screw this up.
Arsene Wenger To Decide To Focus Energy On The Champions League
Its old news that Arsenal has a daunting fixture list awaiting them. One could even say that they have even begun it already, and in the worst way possible, with a thrashing at the hands of Liverpool. It may seem impossible for Spurs to overtake Arsenal considering the Gunners eight point lead over them currently, but if Arsene Wenger gets too confident with making the top four it is possible. If Wenger decides to shift enough focus away from the EPL and towards the Champions League, he may see his return to the latter become much more difficult. It would be unwise for Arsene Wenger to play anything other than a strong team against Bayern Munich, but it could serve as a bigger distraction for the Frenchman than it ought to. Who knows, maybe Spurs will get lucky and Arsenal will beat Bayern Munich further congesting their fixture list.
Nothing Really To Manchester United
At this point in time, Spurs shouldn’t waste too much time thinking about if the Red Devils leapfrog over them in the race for Champions League. With each passing game it seems more and more unlikely that United are going to stage a comeback. Even with Juan Mata, Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney all in the side, Moyes and his men have only mustered one point from two very winnable games. Then again, I said Tottenham could overtake Arsenal when the gap was eight points, what’s stopping United when the gap is only six points?
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