Why Tottenham must win on March 16th

9
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

There is the usual pressure and the desire to win a derby game. We need the points if we are to even think of 4th spot, but there is more to it this time and the term ‘6-pointer’ may never have meant as much to Spurs as it might on March 16th. Surely we are trying to catch Liverpool? The match on the 16 March is just about getting three points in that race isn’t it, plus pride of course? Maybe it isn’t. There is a case that it is not Liverpool we will be vying with for 4th spot. In considering this I am only looking up and not down to Everton and MU. I am also not considering goal difference in this scenario. If it comes to a situation in which goal difference is to be the decider between Spurs and any of the current top four, then we would be condemned to 5th place. I am also assuming Chelsea and MC will not slip up. That is, if we are to do it, we have to be ahead of either Liverpool or the old enemy.

I will throw in here that I think getting a top four finish now would appeal to me a lot more on football (financial remains the same) reasons than it would have a few weeks back. The reason for this is that if (and that is an important if) we continue to play with energy, determination and purpose, and we retain key fit players, and we play flexibly, approaching each game as is required rather than in a fixed format, I think Spurs would have a very decent CL run in 2014-15, as I can only see improvement.

So what’s the reasoning for my first paragraph? First, I am taking as a basis that Liverpool have been improving, and although the current table does not demonstrate it, Arsenal have been doing less well.

Let’s take a look at the current situation.

Played

Points

Points per game

Points per 38 games

1 Chelsea

26

57

2.19

83

2 Arsenal

26

56

2.15

82

3 Man City

25

54

2.16

82

4 Liverpool

26

53

2.04

78

5 Tottenham

26

50

1.92

73

By the way, did you notice how many pundits got mixed up about who was in charge when they were discussing our away record? They mixed up Spurs winning away games with Tim being in charge and attributed none of those games to AVB. Anyway, back to the future. The table below shows where we were up to AVB’s departure and it shows clear improvement in points per game. It may not seem a huge difference, as we are still 5th, but it really is.

Played

Points

Points per game

1 Arsenal

16

35

2.19

2 Liverpool

16

33

2.06

3 Chelsea

15

33

2.20

4 Everton

16

31

1.94

5 Man City

16

30

1.88

4 Newcastle

16

28

1.75

5 Tottenham

16

27

1.69

On 1.69 points per game, the total would be 64 points over 38 games. On 1.92 points per game, the total would be 73 points over 38 games. In 2012-13, 73 points got 4th spot, and I do not need to remind you which team got it. 64 points would have got 6th place. In 2011-12, 73 points would have got 4th place and in 2010-11, 73 points would have got 2nd place. Given this and given some recent experiences, it is safe to say that the number of points needed to be in the top four is increasing, even if it is only by a point or so a year. Given the competition at the top this year the final column in the first table looks scary, but there are saving factors.

We are six points of second place. Let’s have a look at some recent form, in fact form from 17 December after Tim took over. We are in second place though MC have a game in hand.

Played

Points

Points per game

Points after 38 games

1 Chelsea

10

24

2.40

86

2 Tottenham

10

23

2.30

84

3 Man City

  9

22

2.44

86

4 Arsenal

10

21

2.10

78

5 Liverpool

10

20

2.00

74

The final column takes existing table figures and adds the remaining games multiplied by points per game. Well this is wonderful and what’s all this nonsense about Liverpool? Let’s look at the last five games. There are other teams in the mix on form (West Ham for example) but I am not including them so we can focus on the issue in hand.

Played

Points

Points per game

Points after 38 games

1 Liverpool

5

11

2.20

79

2 Chelsea

5

11

2.20

83

3 Tottenham

5

10

2.00

74

4 Arsenal

5

  8

1.60

75

5 Man City

5

  7

1.40

72

The final column takes existing table figures and adds the remaining games multiplied by points per game. I really do not think MC will slip like that. I do think there may be just one point in it between us and you know who, as per last year. We must hope that current form continues but there is a real opportunity on 16 March to take matters into our own hands. A win at WHL would be a real boost and by ‘real’ I mean six points!  That may make the difference between 4th and 5th spot.

COYS

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Brian has been a Spurs supporter from around 1960, so was there for the double, the FA Cup in 1962 and the European Cup Winners Cup in 1963. He admits to having cried when Spurs lost to Benfica in the 1962 European Cup Semi-final and to times when he could weep when watching Spurs for the past few years (but for very different reasons). Brian has been lucky enough to see greats such as Jimmy Greaves, Pat Jennings, Glenn Hoddle and Paul Gascoigne. During the 60s, 70s and 80s Spurs won at least one domestic trophy and one European trophy each decade (with those wonderful all white strip floodlit games). It has taken Brian more than 20 years to realise that may take a while to come back, but hope lives on.

9 COMMENTS

  1. The difference in Spurs is mainly Adebayor. AVB wasn't doing that bad but had nobody to score the goals.
    If Liverpool are title contenders with Spurs only 3 behind means Spurs are title contenders too.

    • Yes they are of course. The difference is what is always needed inn a tight race. If AVB cannot make that difference he had to go. The difference is bigger than u think. The difference is the difference between Europa and Champions league

  2. We have this run of games in March:

    Chelsea away
    Arsenal at home
    Southampton at home
    Liverpool away

    IF we take eight points from these games we will be in with a CL chance but if we lose at Anfield our only chance will be if Arsenal slip up and last season they finished strongly and as I remember they had the match officials helpfully giving them vital penalties (the Norwich game springs to mind).

  3. Oh, Ade? Where were you LAST year, apart from the final few weeks of the season? Back then, with only Bale to worship, we loathed you for your indifference to your talent and your lack of commitment to our cause, and AVB refused to give you another chance this year because of it (many of us became resigned to that punishment also, and simply dreamed about all the other saviour strikers out there) but how things are different now!! Overnight, since Tim brought you in from the cold, you've become our Drogba, our Van Persie, our Suarez. For years we had to put up with the hot and cold form of Defoe (bless him, despite his goal tally, very few of them seemed to settle the biggest games), the missed scoring chances which cost us over recent CL 'could've been' years, by him, Crouch, Pav and you (last year), when we DID have huge amounts of creativity in the final third. How we could have done with a 'box-striker' like Soldado then! …But anyway, it's just great to see you perform, even for a limited time, like a true Spurs legend. However, can you stay committed, on-form, fit and injury (and suspension) free until May? Can you be our Jimmy Greaves for this run-in, our Chivers, Lineker, Klinsmann or even Keane? If you can, and we make top four (owing as much to your goal exploits and guidance in the squad as anything) then no matter what happens afterwards, you will retain a deep affection in the Tottenham heart! Give us, and yourself, this legacy, Ade, and Tottenham will be in your heart and dreams for ever, as much as you will be in ours.

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