Crash, bang, wallop, what a win. The first time Tottenham Hotspur win at the Reebok Stadium in their history and what a way, and time, to do it. A stonking effort from Luka Modric, a sweeping Rafael Van der Vaart finish and an Emmanuel Adebayor brace was enough to see off Bolton Wanderers, who enjoyed a second half, 15 minute flurry that threatened to drag them back into the game after Nigel Reo-Coker had netted just two minutes after the restart.
The win was Spurs’ second in as many games, and the first time the North Londoner’s have won back-to-back league games since the 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion and 2-0 victory over Everton back in January. Modric’s 30-yard strike was Spurs’ first away goal since Adebayor’s penalty against Arsenal back in February.
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Since the England speculation ceased to exist on Sunday, following the appointment of Roy Hodgson by the FA, the team look more focused and interested in overcoming the opponents in front of them. Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp has also found his love for managing Spurs once again with the team looking more organised and able to keep their shape better against teams that are pressing for an equaliser or the goal to take the initiative, as witnessed on Wednesday night’s win over Bolton.
What next for Tottenham?
Two games to go against first Aston Villa on Sunday followed by Fulham at home the following week and two wins would be enough to secure fourth spot. However, with just one point separating Spurs and rivals Arsenal, the chance to snare third place is there for the taking. If the Gunners fail to pick up six points against Norwich and West Brom, and the Lilywhites pick up victories over the aforementioned duo, a finish in the top three would be Spurs’.
However, the importance still remain on the North Londoners winning their games, regardless of what happens around them. Newcastle may be level on points with Spurs, but host title chasing Manchester City, who in turn will need to win every game to secure their first Premier League trophy.
The initial target for the season was a top four finish and to secure Champions League football for next season. To end up in fourth place come the final whistle of the last game of the season would be round-off an excellent campaign for Spurs. But, there is still the lingering possibility that it may not even be enough to qualify for Europe’s elite tournament.
Chelsea are the one team standing in their way, even if they are languishing four points behind Spurs in sixth place. Despite losing ground in the hunt for a top four finish, the Blues are set to face Bayern Munich later this month in the Champions League final and should they win, will qualify for next season’s competition at the expense of the team who finishes fourth.
Until the 19th of May, however, it is still in Spurs hands as to whether they decide to finish in the top four. An exceptional goal difference over Newcastle, and with Chelsea focusing on the Champions League final at the Allianz Arena, a City win over the Magpies coupled with a win over Aston Villa could be enough to see Spurs drop points on the final day of the season and still secure a top four finish.
But, that is one of many possibilities. All that matters between now and the end of the season is that Spurs pick up maximum points. Prior to the Blackburn Rovers encounter, I anticipated they would pick up four points from the remaining four points. After the performance against Bolton, I don’t see any reason why they can’t pick up six points from the remaining two fixtures.
Parker vs Sandro
With Super Scotty Parker injured for the last two games, Sandro has come in and been an absolutely beast in the midfield alongside Modric. While many have been critical of the Brazilian this season following a number of below par performances, the time he needed to step-up and grab the game by the scruff of the neck he has done just that.
Towards the end of last season, the Beast from Brazil was showing similar form in the middle of the park alongside the diminutive Croatian and many anticipated that this year would be the one he made the holding midfield role position his. However, a knee injury on international duty during last season’s Copa America ruled him out of pre-season, while a number of niggling calf problems has seen his impact hampered significantly.
The injury he suffered with Brazil saw Redknapp dip into the transfer marker to bring in Parker in order to plug the gap that had been left. Naturally, as many assumed, the England midfielder has been excellent this season breaking up play before starting up attacks with his sensational work ethic and commitment.
However, with Sandro in reserve, Spurs have a more than adequate back-up for Parker. As many have presumed, the Brazilian is likely to be the long-term successor to the combative midfielder once his input begins to dither. Yet, as previously stated, Sandro has filled in for Parker exceptionally well the past two games.
Many were pondering whether, should the latter come in to replace the former against Aston Villa upon his return from injury. From a personal point of view? Redknapp should persist with Sandro for the remaining games of the season. He has performed brilliantly once again and dropping him would do nothing more than shatter his confidence. Yes, Parker has, as I’ve insisted, been excellent this season and part of the reason we are where we are is because of him. But, with the last two games won when Sandro has started, he should absolutely stick with a winning formation regarding of whichever player has returned to full fitness.
It was nice to see Spurs back to their brilliant best. Please, please, please keep it up against Villa and Fulham.