Inside Lane: Spurs are outsiders for top-four finish but let’s give it a go
Tottenham blogger Henry Tribe looks at Spurs’ run-in and says it is too early to write the Lilywhites off as they try to close the gap on the top four teams.
I don’t know about you, but it’s been a long two weeks without any club football.
That’s not to say it hasn’t been without Spurs success – Harry Kane’s debut England goal and that amazing strike from Andros Townsend on Tuesday night, assisted by Ryan Mason, mean many of the international cohort will return to the training ground this week full of confidence. So what can we expect for the rest of the season?
Well there’s eight games to go – three at home and five away. That’s 24 points still to play for. We’re effectively, with goal difference, seven points behind Manchester United in fourth. This is a significant gap, and it’s perhaps no surprise we’re 10/1 with bookmakers to make the Champions League.
It’s a long shot – and at this stage finishing sixth, ahead of Southampton, would represent a decent season. We could look forward to a summer of reshaping the squad in the image of our head coach, and making a stronger challenge on the top four next year.
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But, while there’s still a glimmer of hope, we shouldn’t write it off. Where would be the fun in that? On the face of it, playing more games away than at home should suit us, and the fixtures are relatively kind. The next two games are against two sides fighting for their lives – Burnley and Aston Villa – but we should be looking at getting six points. Newcastle away also shouldn’t present too much of a problem, whereas Southampton away is a different prospect and a draw could represent a decent result.
After that follows our toughest game, Manchester City at home. Perhaps we could hope the title is done and dusted by then and one or two City players have mentally checked out. There’s no reason, if we play like we did against Chelsea and Arsenal at home, that we can’t get all three points.
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Then we finish with Stoke away, Hull at home and Everton away. We could easily drop two points in one, or both, of those away games but I’ll put us down for seven points out of nine. So by my wildly optimistic calculations we COULD get 20 more points, finishing on 73 points. Only once in the history of the Premier League, in
1994-95, has that number of points not been enough to secure fourth spot.
I’m not saying we will go the rest of the season unbeaten, or even that it will be enough given we are relying on Manchester United or Arsenal losing at least two games, but let’s have a go at achieving that target and ending the season strongly. COYS!
Follow me @tribalspurs