Although dominating the ninety minutes of play, Tottenham were unable to come away from the Stadium of Light with all three points. I felt it was important for us not to lose this game on the back of the Liverpool result but after being in front twice, it’s a real shame we were unable to hang on for the win. These are definitely the type of match that Spurs need to be winning if a slightly ambitious push for the top four is to be realised, and we can only hope that all this talk of a takeover was not a contributory factor to the slight lack of concentration that cost us here. Jonathan Goldstein and the Cain Hoy Group’s interest could come to nothing but they would at least appear to possess the necessary financial clout.
Sunderland are the draw specialists thus far this season but there was certainly nothing boring about the match in Wearside. Two goals inside the first five minutes illustrated both sides desire and it was only a Harry Kane own goal which prevented us from coming back to North London with another victory. These things happen in football, but it’s an unfortunate twist of fate for a player who needs his confidence building rather than being knocked. I’m hoping that Harry will feature against Partizan Belgrade in midweek and get on the scores heet to quickly put this behind him.
Tottenham now have three very winnable games in succession, but only one of those are in the Premier League which is a home game against West Bromwich Albion. West Brom are yet to win and were soundly beaten at home by Everton today which indicates that we should have too much for them at White Hart Lane. The most interesting game of the three might well be the League Cup clash with the Stuart Pearce managed Nottingham Forest who are sure to arrive at the Lane in confident mood following some excellent performances in the Championship. You can see the odds at allpro for that particular clash.
I can’t say I’m not slightly disappointed by the draw with Sunderland but we have a point more than Arsenal and will be facing them at the end of the month. If we can go into that game off the back of a win over West Brom then I’d be hopefully that Poch and his men can go to the Emirates with a positive attitude and at least give a committed and passionate account.
Tottenham will be fighting on four fronts during their 2014/15 campaign with the Premier League, Europa League, League Cup and FA Cup all on the agenda for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. Daniel Levy appointed the Argentinian with a main objective of returning to the top four of the Premier League in mind. To me, that looks a very tall order as Tottenham’s last result against Liverpool clearly shows, they are still some way off the very best sides in the country. bet365 have put Spurs in at odds of 3/1 to finish in the top four this season but that does not appeal to me as a value bet at this stage. I realise that things could change once the top teams have Champions League fixtures to cope with, but it could be argued that Tottenham’s Europa League travels are going to be just as demanding.
At slightly bigger odds of 10/3, to win a major trophy is a more attractive bet as far as I’m concerned. Both the League and FA Cups, and to a lesser extent the Europa League, are within Tottenham’s capabilities given a bit of luck with draws and such like. I would imagine that Pochettino will be taking the Europa League extremely seriously, with the winners now receiving a spot in the following season’s Champions League. While there are a number of matches involved, it’s a very winnable competition for a team such as Tottenham. On paper at least, there are probably only a couple of sides taking part who have a squad to match Tottenham’s and as long as none of the real big guns drop out of the Champions league at an early stage, Spurs should have a solid chance of making the latter stages. Tottenham can also be backed at 16/1 to lift the trophy which isn’t the worst bet in the world.
I believe the realistic target for Tottenham Hotspur in the premier League this season is a top six finish, and the bookies clearly agree. bet365 make us odds on at 2/5 to end the campaign within the first six places in the league and given a bit of improvement throughout the season under Pochettino, that’s achievable. Finally, the top goalscorer market would appear to be very competitive with Costa, Falcao and Aguero just a few of the likely candidates for that honour. Tottenham’s best hope would appear to be Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor who can be backed at 33/1. However, Adebayor will likely be representing Togo at the African Cup of Nations which means he will miss a number of league games. I think he could have a small each way chance even with his international commitments, but nothing more.
Here is a round-up of the various Tottenham Specials available at bet365
To Win a Major Trophy – 10/3
To Finish in Top 4 – 3/1
To Finish in Top 6 – 2/5
Adebayor Premier League Top Scorer – 33/1
To Win Europa League – 16/1
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Although Tottenham bossed possession during Sunday’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool, the home side never really looked like they were going to get anything from the match. One shot on target against Liverpool’s eight tells the story and a goal from Raheem Sterling after eight minutes quickly killed the feel good factor generated from the win over QPR just seven days previous. Two goals better than last year you might say but results such as this are still a reminder that Spurs are very likely to be fighting for 6th place in the Premier league and nothing more. Had Mario Balotelli been more clinical in front of goal, this result could have turned embarrassing, and Mauricio Pochettino now has two weeks to reenergise his troops for a tricky trip to Sunderland.
With Liverpool having come to White Hart Lane off the back of a disappointing result at Manchester City, I expected Brendan Rodgers to set them up not to lose and give this new Tottenham side plenty of respect. How wrong I was. Liverpool were very positive from the outset and gained reward with the early goal which meant that Tottenham had to chase the game, and were constantly vulnerable to their opponents rapid counter attacks. Spurs’ first four results under Pochettino were positive however and at least the new manager can draw on this when working with the players over the next couple of weeks between their international commitments.
The slightly depressing realisation for me following Sunday’s result was that Spurs are basically going to finish no better than sixth in the Premier League for the foreseeable future. Manchester United have spent a serious amount of money in the transfer window, and it’s very difficult to see them not forcing their way back into the top four this season with such an array of talent at Luis van Gaal’s disposal. Chelsea and Manchester City are shoe-ins and the Liverpool result illustrates that we are still a long way behind them also. Does this mean we are in a fight with Arsenal and Everton for 5th? I hate to say it but the Gunners squad looks good enough to secure 5th spot at worst. Realistically, 6th or even 7th is the likely finishing spot for Tottenham this season and it is going to be very difficult for us to improve on that anytime soon without massive investment, no matter who is manager. It is a long shot, but Spurs’ best chance of playing Champions League football again may well come via the Europa League, as winning that competition looks less challenging than breaking back into the Premier League’s elite.