It would be fair to say that Tottenham Hotspur’s first half of the season has been inconsistent to say the least. Spurs now sit in fourth place in the Premier League, but most supporters will feel they have had a hard time getting there. This season Tottenham have not been at their best, but have produced some moments of brilliance and quality in games that has seen them cement 4th spot in the league before the break for the world cup. Bookmakers and indeed the best horse racing bookmakers still have us as even money to qualify for the Champions League next season.
The World Cup being held in winter this year has lead to a hectic schedule for every club in the division, and with injuries to key players added into the mix, it has been difficult for Tottenham.
This season it would be more than fair to say, Spurs are a second half team. Tottenham have won more points from losing positions than any other team in the Premier League this campaign. In most games they have had to deal with relentless pressure and only seem to come to life after conceding a goal.
Some would say it’s possibly the way the enigmatic Antonio Conte has set his team up in order to conserve energy. The defensive style hasn’t gone down well with some sections of supporters, and has been a cause of much ridicule from rival fans. This makes it even more odd that Tottenham have the 3rd highest XG per game (behind Manchester city and Arsenal) in the league.
The willingness to sit back and soak up pressure has cost spurs this season; most notably against Liverpool, a game in which we went two nil down, but overall still deserved something from the match. If Tottenham had started on the front foot then they probably wouldn’t have been in a situation where they needed to find two goals to get something from the game.
Finally pulling your boots on and having a go with a 2 goal mountain to climb isn’t a sustainable way to play football if you’re in the business of collecting points. Granted it has lead to some very exciting moments such as the Bournemouth and Leeds games, but more composure is needed if Tottenham want to be taken seriously as challengers for the biggest prizes.
I think it’s fair to say despite some poor performances in games the fight and togetherness showed by the squad in tough moments can’t be questioned. It’s glaringly obvious the defence needs sorting out, and Tottenham fans will be hoping that this is addressed in January and the summer. If you had asked any Spurs fan if they would have taken a place in the last sixteen of the Champions League and a place in the top four at the break, most fans would have bitten your hand off.
The only thing left to do now is sit back and enjoy the world cup. Hopefully the tournament is a good one and England can go and get the job done. Above all else it would be nice to finally see Harry Kane win something and let’s also pray that no one else gets injured – Tottenham don’t need that smoke.