After being dismantled at the hands of Liverpool 5-0, Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas was given the boot. Spurs are currently sitting surprisingly well in the top third of the table, only a mere 8 points behind the league leading Gunners. Did Villas-Boas deserve this fate? Perhaps so, but probably not. Tottenham’s problems started the moment they let their ace Gareth Bale leave for Madrid in the most expensive transfer of all time. Bale’s loss sent seismic reactions through the Spurs camp, and those aftershocks are still being felt today. Losing a player of his caliber is devastating, and the Spurs have not been able to bring in a goal scorer who can remotely match Bale’s production.
Can Tottenham move up the table?
Where will this team end up over the remainder of the brutal English Premier League campaign? It will be interesting to see what happens with a new manager and the transfer window opening up in January. Obviously, if the Spurs bring in a high caliber striker, everything being said now could be rendered mute. As it stands, the Spurs are good enough to hold their 7th spot in the table but seeing them move up much further seems rather unlikely. There is some undeniable talent on this team with Paulinho, Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado (among others) but to be a true contender for the Premiership title or even dream of making it into the Champions League it is going to take more talent or more cohesion as a unit – two things that have been noticeably lacking over recent weeks.
Finding ways to compete
The problem with Tottenham, and a big reason why Villas-Boas was shown the door is this team’s performance in big games. Losing 6-0 to Man City and then a few weeks later 5-0 to Liverpool is just embarrassing. Villas-Boas can receive some of the blame for these losses as he clearly could have adjusted his strategy to better fit his opponents, but a manager cannot be held entirely responsible for a lack of effort and being outclassed talent wise. Sure, City and Liverpool are in great form, perhaps the best in the league right now; yet the Spurs look like they failed to even show up to the stadium for these matches. The Spurs win most of the games that they should be winning, but that’s it. To become elite, and get the respect that the top teams garner – Tottenham needs to find a way to compete – or at the very least, avoid complete and utter humiliation – in these big matches. Being a manager in the Premier League is tough for anyone – and whoever the Spurs choose to supplant Villas-Boas is in what could be a turbulent start.
The rough road of the EPL
Fans and players want more than the 7th spot in the table, although the Spurs should be thankful they are still holding that high of a position. The EPL is one of the most brutal leagues in the world – many will argue that there is more parity from top to bottom than anywhere else – which means that you cannot sleep on any opponent, regardless of their position on the table. With that said, the next few weeks will be a very important stretch for this team as they have three very winnable matches on the horizon before a killer two game run against Man United followed immediately by Arsenal. Throw in dates with Man City and Everton before the middle of February and we should begin to see just how good (or how bad) this Tottenham team really is.
This guest post was submitted by Harry Snell, founder and owner of UK’s leading free sports bet offers and free bets comparison website.