Typical tension and torment for Tottenham as Champions’ League spots go down to the wire

On this same date last year I wrote about the EPL battle for Champions’ League spots, and in particular, the quest by my Spurs to reach the big league.  History will record that it ended in tears in the cruellest possible manner.

 

The top four clubs in EPL make the Champions’ League, with this simple rule only compromised by the possibility that an EPL club wins the Champions’ League but doesn’t finish in the top four, and wins one of the four spots.  Spurs were denied third spot in the final round of the EPL through a combination of their late-season stagger and the most inept high-league goalkeeping ever witnessed, with WBA’s Fulop making three howlers in the final game to give Arsenal three points and sneak ahead of Tottenham.  Spurs fans then had to wait for Chelsea to play the Champions’ League final against Bayern Munich.  Bayern scored in the second half and looked like winning until Drogba scored a great goal for Chelsea, taking the game into extra time and then a penalty shoot-out which Chelsea won.  A couple of posts on my article summed up the mood perfectly, with my “bloody hell” followed by Flynny’s “Drogba=Bartel.”

 

Spurs responded by sacking the much-loved Harry Redknapp and replacing him with the more suave Andre Villas-Boas, a Portuguese former Chelsea manager.   Spurs were typically up and down during the early part of the season before launching a magnificent burst of form over December, January and February, largely on the back of a super-hot run of form by the Welsh Wizard Gareth Bale.  Click here to see his goals from that period, he has scored more goals from outside the area than anyone in Europe.

 

Come the end of February and Spurs were in third spot, with City in sight ahead of them.  Fast forward seven weeks and we have stumbled, again, are now fifth and have Bale recovering from being carted off on a stretcher with an ankle injury a couple of weeks ago in the first leg of our doomed Europa league semi-final.  Familiar territory.

 

United and City have their Champions’ League places sewn up, with four clubs doing battle for the remaining two spots, as follows:

 

Played Pts Remaining opponents
Arsenal 33 60 Fulham A Man U H  QPR A Wigan H Newcastle A
Chelsea 31 58 Fulham A Liverpool A Swansea H United A Tottenham H Aston Villa A Everton H
Tottenham 32 58 Man City H, Wigan A, Southampton H, Chelsea A, Stoke A, Sunderland H
Everton 33 56 Sunderland A Fulham H Liverpool A West Ham H Chelsea A

 

The stakes are high for all these clubs with a Champions’ League spot estimated to be worth at least 50 million quid.  For Spurs, the stakes are arguably higher than others.  While Bale has signed on, most think that he will have an out clause if we again fail to make the big league.  As a Welshman, he is unlikely to ever experience World Cup action, so he can hardly be blamed for wanting to ply his trade at the highest level, with Bayern Munich one of many overseas suitors.  Additionally the decision to jettison Harry and insert AVB cannot be considered a success if we don’t make it and lose by far our best player.

Fingers crossed, all these recent travails have given me some insight into being a Tigers’ supporter with all those ninth-placed finishes.  The games against City and Chelsea will be particularly important.  COME ON YOU SPURS !!

Comments

  1. Steve Fahey says:

    Tottenham 3 Man City 1
    Liverpool 2 Chelsea 2

    Two reasons to be very happy this morning, and a third in that Bale played, scored and got thru the game unscathed.

    Fingers and toes crossed, taking it a week at a time, one bridge crossed.

    Everton’s loss pretty much kills their chances. Table is now :

    Man Utd 33 81
    Man City 33 68
    Arsenal 34 63
    Chelsea 33 62
    Spurs 33 61
    Everton 34 56

    Which London club will miss out ?

  2. Never been a Spurs supporter but how good was that game?… the roar when Bale scored was exhilarating.

  3. Well done Spurs sorting out City.

    As we now know United have beaten Vila 3-0 on Tuesday morning to claim their 20th League title. A hat trick from RVP with his second goal being outstanding.

    Tremendous.

  4. Steve Fahey says:

    Chelsea’s late goal to beat United has left Spurs’ position quite desperate, despite Bale saving us yet again with a late winner – see the table below. We simply have to draw or win at Stanford Bridge Thursday morning our time, with all three teams having pretty soft draws for the last two games.

    I guess the equation is relatively simple -three wins gurantees us a spot.

    Chelsea 35 68
    Arsenal 36 67
    Tottenham 35 65

    I note that as Spurs remain 5th, Richmond have returned to 9th – what law of the universe is it that has these two teams constantly returning to these positions ?!!!!

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