Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughCan Tottenham win the Premier League - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Can Tottenham win the Premier League - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Can Tottenham win the Premier League

Can Tottenham win the Premier League? It’s one of those questions that come up every season (through critics and Harry Rednapp) and just like this season, we’ve been waiting for the answers: Do Tottenham have the squad to win the league? Are they mentally ready to go the extra mile? Can they catch up and overtake the Manchester giants?

The Premier League is tough marathon. Last season, Chelsea began the league on fire, yet mid-year they dropped as low as fifth; by the end of the season, they caught up the 16 point lead on Manchester United before finishing second. Arsenal, were there challenging for the title; so were City. Of course, no one thought Manchester United would win, but raced back in the second half of the season. These examples should the dramatic nature of the most entertaining league in the world and with this season being more surprising with Arsenal and Chelsea’s slump and the rise of Newcastle, Spurs and Liverpool, there is every chance Tottenham can go all the way. And every chance they can bust.

The mix of youth, experience, hard working, sparkling players has made Tottenham had a very well balanced team with quality players in defence, midfield and in attack. Their form shows it: after two heavy defeats against the Manchester clubs, they’ve won nine out of the last 10 games and have rushed to the third place. They scored a healthy 26 goals and conceded just 16. But it’s the performance that have taken the eye: Spurs have been clinical, doing enough to get the three points against lower team opposition, but also gathering good wins against rivals Arsenal (2-1) and Liverpool (4-0). Rednapp has instilled that “winning” mentality (a positive, self-believing, never say die attitude) in the squad has given them the ability to grind out games regardless of the opposition.

Rednapp has had the tag of being a “wheeler dealer” in terms of his transfers. It’s deemed a negative but far from it. Rednapp has shown that his bought quality players for a decent value to build a very good team. Rafael Van der Vaart, Scott Parker, Emmanuel Adebayour and William Gallas are just a few, who have added experience from playing with bigger clubs around Europe to a squad filled with youthful prospects. In similarity to his London counterpart, Arsene Wenger, Rednapp has brought in youth from the ranks, including Tom Huddlestone, Kyle Walker and Aaron Lennon. They have been instrumental over the last couple of seasons, notably Lennon who has played every game this season. Then there are those team members who are rotation players, there to provide that depth for the squad when first team players are out, such as Sebastian Bassong, Steven Pienaar, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Niko Kranjaar. This impressive list fails to include stars like Gareth Bale, Luka Modric; Jermaine Defoe bought for decent value.

Upcoming fixtures give Spurs the chance to cement themselves in the top three (or top two). After yesterday’s 3-0 win over Bolton, Spurs come against Stoke City, Sunderland and then Chelsea. The Blues are the only team they face in top six, before a run of games against Norwich City, Swansea, West Bromwich and Wolves. Winnable games for the Spurs; if they can get enough points on the board, they will be given a great chance to challenge for the title, before the decisive run in.

With Tottenham out of the Champions League, their focus is clearly on finishing in the higher echelons of the Premier League. While, they are in the Europa League, they haven’t taken the competition seriously, with Rednapp using squad players in games. Their 2-1 defeat to PAOK has even made Rednapp admit that “we are not going to be in the last 32”. Spurs’ focus is clearly now on the Premier league as Rednapp explained the defeat to PAOK was due to having “changed the team around so we can do well in the league and this is the chance you take”. With a European dropout looking enviable, Tottenham have their eyes firmly fixed on the Premier league.

If there is one thing going against Spurs is they haven’t won the title before. Winning the first title is always the hardest; one example would be Manchester United – it took Ferguson six seasons before leading the club to the title. One might also look at Arsenal and how it difficult it is for them to break their trophy drought. To win the title, is a difficult task – its demands the highest of consistency, getting results when the teams plays badly; lifting your game when the going gets tough and beating the top sides to given the team a chance. Rednapp might have instilled that “winning” mentality, but he has to really make his players believe that they can go all the way – even when the times get rough (and there will be times) to make sure the team don’t fall off the rails.

In terms of squad members, Rednapp must hope that his most important players stay fit and healthy. While he can’t control injuries and suspensions, Rednapp must rotate the squad wisely, ensuring that he doesn’t play unfit players. If there is one weak spot, it’s the backline. Ledley King is playing now more than ever, but he can break down any minute; Gallas too is struggling with fitness problems; Micheal Dawson isn’t of the highest quality and same term can be used to Younes Kaboul. Rednapp has to focus his efforts on building a strong and solid backline. If he can develop a solid base in which the attacking players (Defoe, Van der Vaart, Bale) can express their creativity and focus on scoring, Tottenham can be a dangerous force.

If Spurs can keep their best players fit, win the games that are there to be won, they have a fantastic chance. The month of December will be key for them: they face one side from the top six and play very winnable games against sides in lower half of the table. With no European matches to distract attention, they can solely keep their minds on the Premier League. Is this the season in which Tottenham go all the way? We’ll have to wait and see over a very exciting couple of months.

Andrew Bishara

Football Friends Football Blogs bring you the latest football news and opinion from football fans around the world.

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