Silky Spurs or Tumbling Tottenham? The Truth About Their Dramatic Downfall In 2012/13
With Spurs narrowly missing out on Champions League football once again, Jason Phillips looks at where it went wrong for Andre Villas-Boas’ men last season.
With Tottenham narrowly missing out on Champions League football once again, writer Jason Phillips looks at where it went wrong for Andre Villas-Boas’ men last season.
“We are extremely satisfied with the way the season has gone.” (Source: Telegraph). Was this a way of reducing any appearing complacency, or was the “jig” really up? When Andre Villas- Boas uttered these words the week of Spurs’ vital last game of the season, the fans could sense that his army had fallen and the leader had accepted defeat. For supporters of the other Premier League clubs, (although the Wigan, Reading and QPR faithful may like to be exempt) the annual demise of Tottenham is amusing. However for the white half of London, this is no laughing matter.
The knowledge of conceding 46 goals, 9 more than their friendly neighbourhood Arsenal, in this erratic season, will rile the Spurs coaching staff and loyals. Sending pound notes flying with the signing of French international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will do little to put Daniel Levy in the White Hart Lane faithful’s good books again. To add to the frustration, the vocal satisfaction of the regular back four consisting of Walker, Vertonghen, Dawson and Assou-Ekotto did little in avoiding finishing below their biggest rivals and competing in the Europa League yet again next year.
What leaves little to the imagination is Tottenham’s form guide for three different parts of the season. From August to October, five wins, two draws and two losses put them in a good position to assault the top four and avenge their Champions League woes, after Chelsea’s unexpected and controversial trophy win in 2012.
November to February provides evidence to suggest why Spurs were perceived to be the big guns (irony) in North London at the time, a record of ten wins, four draws and four losses catapulting them to third in the league and four points above rivals Arsenal. It was on the 25th of February specifically that hinted towards Spurs finally proving that they were the side to beat, a last minute Gareth Bale winner against West Ham showing that Spurs could win at all costs.
With red delight and white fright, the prospect of six wins, three draws and two losses meant that March to May provided a final blow for a timely Tottenham demise. Despite being seven points clear at the start of March, another slip up meant that they faced missing out of the Champions League yet again, a last gasp chance on the last day of the season providing little consolation for Tottenham.
Another season and another slide down the table provides striking questions for the Spurs fans themselves.
What went wrong?
One Spurs fan believes that Tottenham’s season collapsed because of their weak attacking force, stuttering negotiations and midfield enforcer Sandros absence. “Levy not buying a striker in January and Sandros season-long injury are crucial, while Adebayor’s inconsistency and Defoe’s injury woes proved costly.” the fan voiced on Twitter.
What needs to change?
Another lifelong supporter believes that psychological factors may be key in changing Tottenham’s luck next year. “In the past 13 seasons, 72 points would have been enough, but what needs to change specifically is mentality and consistency. We were stronger this year, yet there is a psychological weakness at the club, with players feeling that there is an inevitability about throwing it away as soon as we put ourselves in a dominant position. To add to this, the lack of defensive discipline and ability to seal out wins against the ‘easier’ clubs (such as the unforgivable losses to Fulham and wigan at home) is unforgivable with Champions League ambitions. I think our transfer policy needs to change; bring in players sooner and get rid of the early season uncertainty and transition that costs us points.” Another fan claims.
But after all of that misery and negativity, is it possible to leave on a positive note? With a competitive squad, an ambitious manager and a generous owner, Tottenham have the resources to compete at the highest level. It’s common knowledge that Gareth Bale’s whereabouts next season is up for much debate, but his role in Tottenham’s team cannot be understated. 27 goals is just the least of his potential and with more investment and further experience, his team-mates may rise to his level and give him, the fans and the club what they want; The Champions League.
Where do you think it went wrong for Tottenham last season? Get involved in the comments section below.
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