Opinion: Looking back at how Spurs typically perform in the final ten games of the season

It’s without question that every match will matter for Spurs as they embark on the final stretch of games in their first season under the management of Ange Postecoglou.

Following this weekend’s match against Luton Town, Tottenham have just nine games to prove whether or not they deserve a place in Champions League football next year.

This season has clearly been filled with its fair share of ups and downs. Undefeated stretches, injury crises, incredible signings, international duty, and new tactics have all made the 23/24 campaign a spectacle for Spurs supporters, young and old alike.

Now, closing out his first shift in the dwindling fixtures of a high-intensity Premier League season, Ange Postecoglou will have to dig into the repositories of his decades of football expertise to pull out an answer for his team, who hope to bounce back from a tough loss before the most recent international break.

Amongst the challengers who lie ahead include West Ham, Newcastle, Manchester City, Arsenal, and Liverpool.

Looking back on previous seasons, however, it’s clear that this isn’t the first time Tottenham have found themselves in their current position, wavering on the bubble of a shot at European football.

Let’s take a look at how the club faired in the 20/21, 21/22, and 22/23 seasons, and perhaps we could gain insight into what the coming months may hold.

Champions League
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2020/2021 season

On March 18, 2021, Spurs sat eighth in the table with ten games remaining in the season. Among those who stood in their path to European football in the remaining fixtures included ninth-place Aston Villa, seventh-place Everton, third-place Leicester City, and second-place Manchester United.

Across those ten matches, Tottenham went 5-2-3, finishing the season just one spot better, in seventh place.

While of course, it does little to compare that team to the one that competes today – especially considering the difference in management and the fact that Jose Mourinho was sacked on April 19th, halfway through the end-of-season run – the performances during those fixtures point to some undeniable truths.

Namely, the job becomes harder the more points you have to make up. With ten games remaining, Tottenham were six points behind fourth-place Chelsea, the team that ultimately went on to stay in that position and secure Champions League football.

As it currently stands, however, Tottenham sit just three points behind fourth-place Aston Villa with one game in hand. Looking at this difference alone, Spurs stand a far better chance of competing for fourth place this season than they did back in 2021.

2021/2022 season

With ten games to go, Spurs sat seventh in the table on March 18, 2022. They would play their 29th match of the season on March 20, just as they will this weekend when they face The Hatters.

Taking on sixth place West Ham, fourth place Arsenal, and second place Liverpool in the months that followed, the team, under newly appointed Italian manager Antonio Conte, had plenty of work cut out for themselves.

Nevertheless, they won and drew the most crucial of those matches, defeating West Ham 3-1, and smashing Arsenal 3-0 on May 12th to knock the Gunners down to fifth.

If there’s anything to take away from those months in which Spurs lost just one game, it’s that you have to win the clashes that matter most.

Of course, many would argue that each game is just as important as any other. However, the reality is that when you defeat a team whom you’re competing with for a top-four finish (or perhaps top-five this year), you not only gain points, but you simultaneously take them away from your opponent.

In the coming weeks, Tottenham will be challenged by West Ham, Manchester City, Arsenal, and Liverpool. Of course, fans may care more about whether or not Aston Villa, the team currently occupying the fourth spot, will lose their games, rather than whether Tottenham are able to beat seventh-place West Ham.

However, while Spurs’ fate may depend partially on Villa’s success, other teams which sit in close proximity can’t be ruled out so easily, especially in a league touted to be the world’s most difficult to compete in.


Still fresh in the minds of the Spurs faithful, last season’s finish was probably one that most fans would like to forget. On March 31, 2023, once again having ten games left to play, Spurs sat nicely at fourth place and just one point behind third-place Manchester United.

What would unravel across the remaining fixtures should remind us all that nothing is guaranteed in English football.

Tottenham would go on to win just three of those final ten games, dropping all the way to eighth and missing out on European football for the first time in several years.

What we can take away from this string of performances is a message that’s clear and quite simple: you can’t let the train run off the tracks.

Spurs have demonstrated their resilience this season despite injury, and the new manager’s philosophy seems to be one of tactical purity and consistency.

If Tottenham want to finish this season with Champions League football in their possession, they’ll have to reignite the momentum they carried before losing to Fulham 3-0 on March 16. The loss at Craven Cottage cannot stifle what they’ve been working on over the past seven months.

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