Friday, 13 January 2012

Tottenham make their game in hand count

Winning a game in hand always seems more precious than a normal win. In this case, Tottenham won a game in hand that they have had since the first day of the season. Spurs put in a solid performance, and after remaining unbeaten over Christmas and New Year they are now level on points with Manchester United and 3 points off the top of the table.

Everton failed to have a single shot on target on Wednesday, and Spurs’ defence looks tougher than ever after keeping their 8th clean sheet of the season. This was despite not having either Ledley King or William Gallas. Michael Dawson came back into the side after a long period out injured and partnered excellently with Younes Kaboul. Jake Livermore was also covering in midfield, where both Scott Parker and Sandro were missing. Tottenham’s squad depth is often overlooked, but with players like Defoe, Pienaar, Pavlyuchenko and Huddlestone in reserve, Spurs have a lot of cover all over the pitch.

Tottenham are now 8 points above Chelsea, 9 points ahead of Arsenal and 11 points clear of Liverpool. Such a strong league position is relatively unknown for Spurs, but it would take a catastrophically bad second half to the season for Spurs not to collect a Champions League place now. Challenging for the title should be Tottenham’s aim now, and falling short of that would be no disgrace. The top of the Premier League has been rather stale for a long time, and you would have had a hard time convincing people five years ago that in 2012 Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur would be battling for the Premier League title. Now that doesn’t seem so implausible.

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