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Is a top four finish too much to ask of Spurs?

‘5th place is about as good as it’s gonna get’ were the words of Redknapp at the end of last season, despite a 4th place finish the year before.

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‘5th place is about as good as it’s gonna get’ were the words of Redknapp at the end of last season, despite a 4th place finish the year before.

Many fans were left bemused, puzzled and, rightfully so, rather angry. Not many tweaks had been made from the year before, in face some argue that squad had been strengthened from the 4th place winning season.

Nonetheless, it could be construed that Redknapp has admitted defeat in the race for a second Champions League gaining season in three years.

While Arsenal appear to have taken a step backwards, Manchester City and Liverpool, two top four rivals in seasons past, have significantly strengthened over the summer.

The signings if Friedel, Adebayor and Parker have improved certain quarters of the pitch that were in desperate need of a re-vamp while the refusal to sell Modric sends out a serious message of intent to Spurs’ rivals.

But, the defence still looks frail at times, especially with King as injury prone as he is and Gallas sidelined for the foreseeable future, the hopes of the back four rest on Dawson and Kaboul.

Surprisingly, a number of the Spurs faithful don’t believe Dawson to be as good as some make out while Kaboul, despite the progress he has made, has shown faults in the games against both Manchester sides.

Bassong, as good as he was in his first season alongside Dawson, has looked a shadow of his former self last year and against Hearts, he was given the run-around by the Scottish sides strike force at times.

Coming so close to signing Cahill, but ultimately missing out on the England centre-back, looks to have been a backwards step and he is proving why he is so highly rated by members in the media and football.

His signing would have bolstered the back four significantly and even though reports suggest Spurs will re-open negotiations in January, some feel it may be too late by the time the new year rolls around.

The midfield, however, looks to be up to the standard that could compete with the top four rivals but up front is again where Spurs look light.

Adebayor was a superb signing, let’s face it. But would another striker have been too much to ask? Say, the Togolese forward is caught on the wrong end of a mis-placed tackle and made to spend significant time on the sidelines, Spurs are left with just Defoe and Pavlyuchenko as the only recognised senior strikers.

While Kane and Coulibaly may be biding there time for their chance to shine, a more proven professional may be exactly what Spurs missed out on this summer.

Like Cahill, Spurs missed the opportunity to sign Leandro from Internacional. Now after doing the business on the international stage, the likes of Barcelona and AC Milan are keeping tabs on the young Brazilian.

Yet the ball remains firmly in Spurs court courtesy if the commercial relationship between the two sides, the same relationship that saw Sandro end up at White Hart Lane.

Some believe that a deal is arranged already and the striker will arrive in January, something I hope to be true.

In short though, is this squad really capable of landing another Champions League spot this year? That talent is there but the players need to maintain a winning mentality against every team, not just the ‘big four’ or the bottom six.

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Lamela stars: Player ratings from Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion

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Tottenham got back to winning ways after three successive defeats, thanks to goals from Harry Kane and Erik Lamela.

Glenn Murray handled the ball late in the first half which allowed Kane to score from the spot. The home team came at us with all they had in the second half and Paulo Gazzaniga pulled off a great save before Danny Rose crossed in for Lamela to slot in our second.

Anthony Knockaert pulled one back in stoppage time to make it a nervous last minute or so but we held on for all three points.

There were a few heroes on the pitch today and here are the player ratings from the game.

Paulo Gazzaniga – 6.5/10

The youngster did pretty well and made one good save to deny Knockaert. He couldn’t do much regarding the goal he conceded.

Kieran Trippier – 6/10

Trippier didn’t have the greatest time as he struggled a bit and even got a yellow card for a needless foul.

Toby Alderweireld – 7.5/10

The Belgian had a great chance to score early on and did a great job at keeping things tight for Spurs.

Jan Vertonghen – 7/10

Vertonghen didn’t have a lot to do at the back but he helped us to an important win in the final few minutes of the game.

Danny Rose – 7/10

Rose got the assist for the second goal but didn’t have the greatest of games for us. The Englishman should have done better for the goal we conceded.

Eric Dier – 5.5/10

This was another poor performance from the Englishman as he kept on making the wrong passes and losing possession.

Mousa Dembele – 7/10

The Belgian had a decent outing as his passing was good and kept things ticking for Spurs in the middle of the park.

Son Heung-min – 6/10

This was a quiet outing for the South Korean and he should have done more to help Spurs get all three points.

Christian Eriksen – 6/10

Another player who seemed to be out of touch was Eriksen. He must do a lot more if he is to keep his place in the team.

Lucas Moura – 6.5/10

The Brazilian tried to do things but they weren’t coming off. He did have a role in the second goal and was later subbed by Dele Alli.

Harry Kane – 6.5/10

Kane scored the penalty but couldn’t get another shot away as Brighton did well at keeping him quiet.

Substitutes

Erik Lamela – 7.5/10

The Argentine changed things as he provided an attacking outlet. He did well for the goal and maybe should start more games.

Read more: Tottenham deny reports claiming stadium will be ready only by 2019

Dele Alli – N/A

The Englishman didn’t have a lot of time to make a difference to the game.

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“We need this man in our team” – Some Spurs fans want 21-year-old Lyon midfield tank to join club

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Tanguy Ndombele was linked with a move to Tottenham in the summer, as per Sky Sports. The Lyon midfielder is a quality destroyer in the middle of the park and was at it again last night.

The French side played Manchester City and came out 2-1 winners at the Etihad. While Nabil Fekir starred in the attack, Ndombele was immense in the midfield and did his bit for Lyon.

The 21-year-old Frenchman has played five times for the Ligue 1 club this season and his performance in the Champions League caught the eye of a few Tottenham fans.

Spurs didn’t buy a single player in the offseason and have struggled in recent times, losing their last three games. Ndombele might not help us find the back of the net but he surely can keep the midfield from being overrun.

Some Spurs fans were quick to suggest we needed the 21-year-old while some were irate as to why we didn’t add to the midfield in the summer.

Read more: Pochettino explains the real reason behind leaving out key players for the Inter Milan clash

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“Can I sell mine back”, “God help us” – Some Tottenham fans are dreading facing this club at Wembley

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Tottenham’s Twitter account certainly know how to rile up some of the fans. We just came off a third defeat in a row but the team decided to give an update on the tickets being sold out for the Barcelona game.

We took the lead against Inter and should have wrapped up the three points by managing the game in the final few minutes. Instead, Tottenham allowed the Italians a chance back in the game, thanks to a wonder goal from Mauro Icardi. Subsequently, the players fell asleep defending a corner in the last seconds of the match.

The Catalans will face Spurs at Wembley on 3rd October but we first need to get our season back on track.

Losses against Watford and Liverpool have pushed us six points behind the leaders in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Inter Milan, Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven don’t make for easy reading in our Champions League group.

Our next game is against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League but some of our fans weren’t confident of a quality showing when the Catalans pay a visit.

Read more: “Don’t disrespect the players” – Pochettino unhappy with journalists after 2-1 loss against Inter Milan

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