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
Click here to visit bet365 and get a deposit bonus of £200!
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.
This weekend will see an in-form Tottenham Hotspur side travel to Wales to take on Michael Laudrup’s Swansea City. The Swans are arguably a better team than their recent results suggest but they are in need of some Premier League points to put a bit of distance between themselves and the relegation zone. Things are really tight at the foot of the table and there are only six points separating Hull in tenth spot and Crystal Palace at the bottom. It will make for an exciting climax to the season, but could also cause a side to get sucked into the battle unexpectedly.
It’s also tight at the top of the Premier League, particularly amongst the clubs that look to be in a battle for the fourth and final Champions League spot. A lot could change between now and the end of the campaign, but it would appear that Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham and Man Utd going to be fighting for a European place rather than the title. Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal are beginning to draw clear of the chasing pack and I expect that trend to continue.
Considering an indifferent first half of the season for Spurs, the fact that they sit just eight points off top spot is pretty satisfying for me as a Tottenham fan. Although Tim Sherwood has seen his side get knocked out of both domestic cup competitions, they are unbeaten in the league thus far under his guidance. What may cost Tottenham when it comes to the Champions League places is their poor goal difference following a number of big defeats during the Andre Villas-Boas reign. Their last away game saw Spurs win at Old Trafford by two goals to one, a scoreline which Swansea also won by at Old Trafford in the FA Cup recently.
Spurs are favourites this weekend to continue their fine run of form under Tim Sherwood, according to sports bookmaker bwin. Tottenham can be backed at odds of 2.3, Swansea are priced at 3.1, while the draw is available at 3.2. While they are worthy favourites on recent form, I don’t think this will be a walkover for the away side and the draw looks the most likely result for me.
I saw a stat on Twitter earlier which I quickly passed on to my WhatsApp group, which is full of Gooners, Chelsea and Millwall fans. Basically, they all hate Spurs.
@BBCSport: Spurs have conceded the fewest of any team in Europe’s top five leagues so far this season.
I was quickly shot down, ‘You’ve played Cardiff and Palace and a load of teams with made up names that aren’t even proper football clubs in the Europa League.’
While that all may be true, Tottenham have started the season in impression fashion. The defeat at Arsenal, a game which arguably came too soon for this new group of players, is the only blip on Spurs record thus far this campaign. With Arsenal sitting top of the table, it doesn’t seem like such a terrible loss, albeit a painful blow for any Spurs fan to take.
So this Saturday at 12:45pm we kick off against Chelsea. This is the first time that I can remember the top online bookmakers putting Spurs in as favourites for a match against the Blues. Tottenham have a woeful overall record against Chelsea in the last couple of decades but, things have certainly improved in recent times with the home side having lost just five of the last fourteen encounters.
Although Chelsea returned to winning ways against Fulham last time, they aren’t exactly on fire. Jose Mourinho’s men have scored just six goals in their opening five matches which is their joint-lowest return at this stage during the last eighteen years. Admittedly, they are only two points off Tottenham and Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table and a win at White Hart Lane would see them reach the helm at least temporarily.
This could be one of the defining games of Tottenham’s season and Andre Villas-Boas career as a manager. No matter what he is telling the media in the run up to this game, victory over Mourinho and his former club Chelsea would mean everything to him. Spurs have had a number of false dawns before but this is for me the best squad of players we have had since the Premier League began. Whatever the result, I just hope the players go out there with no fear and play with the freedom, passion and ruthlessness they have shown in recent weeks.
One of the worst feelings in football is having to rely on another team doing you a favour in a game you’re not involved in. That’s exactly what we need from Newcastle this weekend as our nervous battle for a Champions League place reaches its conclusion. Tottenham have what is arguably the easier fixture on paper as they face Sunderland at White Hart Lane, while bitter rivals Arsenal travel to the Sports Direct Arena to take on Newcastle. Should both London sides manage to secure three points in their respective games, it will be Arsenal and not Tottenham competing in the 2013/14 Champions League.
The bookmakers have Spurs as the strong 3/10 favourites for their match against Sunderland. Arsenal are put in at a best price of 4/7. If you’re having a bet this weekend, you can check out available odds at Topbet.eu. Everything points to both of the Champions League hopefuls getting the job done against their Northern opponents, with both Sunderland and Newcastle having nothing to play for after they managed to avoid the dreaded relegation zone. Arsenal are long odds on favourites to take this season’s final Champions League spot and only the brave will be backing Spurs as things stand.
Following the unfair way in which Tottenham Hotspur missed out on Europe’s elite competition last season, it would be awful for Andre Villas-Boas side if they one against end up in the Europa League. The financial implications are one thing, Gareth Bale moving on is another and possibly most important of all, Spurs qualifying would mean Arsenal do not! In a way, Tottenham only have themselves to blame. A top four finish looked to be in the bag following the excellent 2-1 victory over the Gunners back in March, but poor results since, particularly at home, mean that Arsenal fans are more the more likely to be bragging come Sunday evening. I’ll live in hope until just before 6pm that day, but confident I am not.
One of the biggest games in Tottenham’s season this Saturday as Southampton visit White Hart Lane. With the Saints now looking safe from relegation, all the pressure is one the home side to secure the three points and make the most of their game in hand over Arsenal. The Gunners could only manage a draw against Manchester United this past Sunday and although that would have been a good result in normal circumstances, neither side can afford to be dropping points at home.
Spurs go into the match with Southampton on the back of a fairly positive result after gaining a point away to Wigan. Andre Villas-Boas side should arguably have won that match when you look at the league table, but Wigan are fighting for their Premier League lives at the moment and will be very difficult to beat for the remainder of the campaign. Southampton arrive in London off the back of one of their worst defeats of their season, a 3-0 home reverse at the hands of West Brom. Spurs fans will be hoping that their opponents this weekend already have one eye on their summer holidays and that the Lillywhites can take full advantage.
Although Spurs have had their injury list eased somewhat in recent weeks, they do have a couple of fresh concerns following last weekend, with both Mousa Dembele and Younes Kaboul picking up knocks. The Tottenham manager is hopeful that both players can be involved in this Saturday’s all important clash. Danny Fox and Gaston Ramirez are both suspended for the remainder of Southampton’s games this season and will be a big miss for the South Coast club.
Bookies seem to be strongly favoring Spurs at the minute, with odds at $1.44 – (£.95) at time of writing (TAB). It’s understandable that Spurs have been been in as favourites, but I personally don’t think it will be as straightforward as the bookmakers believe. Tottenham have struggled at home at times during Villas-Boas first year in charge and they have often looked more relaxed and clinical on the road. I’m hopeful that Bale and co can run out winners and I fancy a hard fought 2-1 victory for Spurs.
Former Tottenham and Arsenal boss George Graham is apparently a huge horse racing fan and perhaps he should stick to trying to predict the finishing order of the 2013 Kentucky Derby horses rather than voicing his unwanted opinion on Spurs in the press as he has been recently. Graham believes that both Chelsea and Arsenal will finish above Tottenham this season, meaning that we will once again miss out on Champions League football by the narrowest of margins.
“Tottenham will be the ones to lose out.
“They have a difficult run-in and they have played a game more than the others.
“But I want to stress that it would be anything but a disaster for them to make it a poor season. In fact, I would say the opposite.
“He (Villas-Boas) has been assembling a squad and has done well to be in such a high position in the league and still be involved in the Europa League.
“He can build on that. And I hope he can keep Gareth Bale – for the club’s sake and the player’s sake.
“It is unfair on Bale to compare him to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. He would really benefit from another season in England.”
Although Graham isn’t completely negative about the club, he has always had a problem with Tottenham since his sacking back in March 2001. While some of what he says is true, Spurs have been improving throughout the campaign. A couple of bad results does not mean that our season is over and I’d be fairly confident that Graham was singing a different tune a few weeks ago. I truly believe it could well go down to the wire and with Spurs having Sunderland at home on the final day of the season, I’d say that would put AVB’s men in the driving seat. There is still a lot of football to be played before May 19th and many twists and turns still to come.
For more information on the Kentucky Derby visit www.kentuckyderbyonline.com
Hopefully this won’t be as Mariboring as the game two weeks ago in Slovenia, as Spurs host Europa League opponents Maribor at White Hart Lane in the return fixture this evening. On that occasion, Tottenham laboured to a 1-1 and actually went a goal down to a side they shouldn’t have any problems seeing off at home, but will it be as easy as that?
The atmosphere at the Lane is sure to be electric tonight thanks to The Fighting Cock boys and their 1882 movement taking over block in the East Upper. I was lucky enough to go to their first stab at this which took place at Charlton. Basically, you just sing and jump around for 90mins, no matter what is happening on the pitch. No booing, no jeering, just support the shirt. It’s a fantastic idea and a great experience if you can get to the game.
As far as tonight’s match is concerned, it would be a real shock for me if Tottenham can’t get the job done in convincing fashion. While it does appear to be home matches where Spurs have struggled most this season, Maribor don’t realistically present much of a threat, especially if their performance in our previous encounter is anything to go bad. Yes, we did concede a goal but it was totally against the run of play and even though it was one of their worst games of the campaign thus far, AVB’s side still looked head and shoulders above their opponents.
Tottenham are the overwhelming favourites with the bookmakers at a general price of 3/10, Maribor are on offer at a best price of 11/1, while the draw is available at 5/1. I’d personally be looking at Tottenham on the half time/full time market or to cover the handicap. Before placing a bet, it’s a good idea to check sportsbook reviews to get the best odds and bookmaker offers.
I’ve always felt the Europa League is a bit of a nonsense competition. Having to fly out to various distant parts of Europe to play in the cold on a Thursday night must have a negative effect on Premier League results. The taste of Champions League action probably hasn’t helped and neither did the fact we finished fourth last season only to be cruelly denied another tilt at that elite contest. Seeing Real Madrid and Manchester City play out that classic last night also reminded me exactly what we are missing out on as Tottenham fans.
I do feel that in our current situation, the Europa League could well be a positive thing. Our squad is extremely healthy at the moment and a number of top players are sitting on the bench getting very little game time. While playing in this competition may not keep them all happy, it will maintain their match fitness and also give Andre Villas-Boas the opportunity to assess their talents on the pitch. With Defoe in fine form, it might be a while before Adebayor and Dempsey get a start in the current system so I’d expect them both to play a part in the Europa League.
Andre Villas-Boas also appears to have a strong passion for the Europa League. As Porto manager, Villas-Boas became the youngest ever manager to win a European competition when his team took the 2010–11 Europa League. Although the Premier League and a top four finish will be the manager’s priority, he will also be keen for his new side to do well in this competition, beginning with Lazio this Thursday night. Villas-Boas has been quoted in the press this week saying that he ‘wants to do something special’ in this season’s Europa League and sounds very keen on winning the trophy for a second time.
I expect Spurs to have a successful European campaign this season and while it may not be the Champions League, I think we will be in for some exciting Thursday evenings over the coming months.
There is always much debate surrounding the merits of Jermain Defoe. Twitter is awash with comments about him being a flat track bully and is nothing more than an impact sub. While I agree with some of the criticism levelled at him, I don’t think Defoe has had enough opportunities at Tottenham to judge him without some level of doubt. If given the chance to lead the line for a full season, would he be able to produce sufficient quality performances and ultimately goals?
Defoe scored the winning goal for England last night and was well backed by the betting public to get on the score sheet. Sportsbook reviews and more sports information on Defoe’s chances of scoring against the Toon Army this weekend tell us he is amongst the favourites to net again. However, I’m sure a large proportion of the Spurs faithful wouldn’t dream of backing him to get the winner away from White Hart Lane.
While some aspects of his personal life are questionable, Defoe has suffered multiple personal tragedies over the last few years but he has continued to be a model professional where Tottenham are concerned. Jermain has never quite hit the heights expected of him earlier in his career and at 29 years of age, it’s now or never as far as fulfilling this promise is concerned. With Spurs light on strikers currently, Defoe has the perfect opportunity to prove all the doubters wrong and become AVB’s main man. It will be interesting to see whether Villas Boas gives him the opportunities that Redknapp did not.
I accept that some of his all round play is lacking, but what Jermain Defoe is all about is goals. If he’s finding the back of the net with enough regularity, the rest quite simply won’t matter. Given a decent run in the side this season, I’m confident that the man who is arguably the best finisher in the Premier League can play a key role in helping Tottenham to achieve great things.