How many times have we seen Tottenham end up losing or drawing games in the last minute/s this season? After the sacking of Martin Jol and the appointment of widely praised Juande Ramos many thought their season would turn around. Wrong!
They didn’t get off the best of starts to the 2007/08 campaign after losing 1-0 to Sunderland. And Michael Chopra’s last minute goal to snatch a result from Spurs on the opening day of the season has not been the only one they’ve seen since.
Their abysmal record in the Premier League this season, from their expectations, has seen them win just two games in total. Both at home meaning; they’ve actually lost more times at home (4) so far this season than away (3). They have the second highest record of goals scored at home so far this season with 17; better than Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool, (only Arsenal have scored three more than them). In return though, they’ve actually conceded the most goals at home this season so far — 15. Derby who are languishing at the bottom of the table have even conceded one less with 14.
These statistics have revealed Tottenham to be in 16th place, well below their expectations where for the last two seasons running they’ve almost broken into the top four and getting themselves in the Champions League. The latest defeat came at the weekend at home to Birmingham. A fine win for new Brum boss Alex McLeish, 3-2 with, yet again, Spurs conceding a last minute goal this time from Sebastian Larsson.
The stats I’ve just highlighted above show that Spurs don’t lack goals. In fact they have one of the best attacking forces in the Premiership. Fair enough Dimitar Berbatov hasn’t reproduced his remarkable tally last season but captain Robbie Keane has been brilliant. In fairness to them they can play good football on their day and can produce goals. They have a decent young team and made some good signings in the summer in Gareth Bale and Darren Bent (although he’s not worth the same as Thierry Henry, definitely overpriced). So it doesn’t take a lot to work out the problem with the team lies at the back. The stats don’t lie!
Recently I read an article that the board were still blaming Martin Jol for the outcome to their season so far. Well…what about the players? As Brian Clough once said, “Managers don’t win games, players do!” And what happened at Birmingham?? What about the great Ramos revolution, why has it not started?? Paul Robinson has not had the best of season’s, for club or country, that’s a given. But he needs a lot more protection from his defence. I’ve got several mates who are Spurs fans who have told me that their team are missing Ledley King. Maybe but what about the other defenders? Does the Spurs defence really just rely on injury-prone King??
Far too often I’ve watched them this season not defend properly and not close down the opposition sooner, therefore not defending their lead/ point. They always seem to buckle under the pressure, especially when having to fight in the last 10 minutes of a game.
The amount of points dropped by Spurs this season in games they’ve thrown away in the last minute/s amasses to 19. A shocking 19 points! Add those points onto their total now and the club would find themselves level on points with Chelsea, potentially levitating themselves all the way up to third. Isn’t that what they were expecting at the beginning of 2007/08? Instead they find themselves with a measly 12 points, one more than Middlesbrough who are in the relegation zone.
I expect January is going to be a massive month for Spurs in the transfer market. I’m just wondering whether a DECENT defender or two will be brought in though or whether they’ll bring in another striker and three or four midfielders to clog up an already expanded squad.