Robbie Savage, this week, predicted, on Radio 5 Live Football Focus, that the top three would finish as follows: Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United respectively. It would be difficult to find a non-Man United fan that wouldn't disagree with the his prediction of Manchester City to finish in 1st place, however, to predict Spurs to finish 2nd must surely be a prediction that has come from Robbie Savage's heart, rather than his head.
Wishful thinking could be used an excuse for the prediction, by Savage, that Tottenham Hotspur will finish in 2nd place this season in the English Premier League. If this was to happen then it would be the first time that Spurs have ever finished above United since the Premier League's introduction in 1992. Sure, Spurs are currently flying high at the moment in 3rd place, but surely this is as good as things can get for the North-Londoners?
That question may have been asked by many at the beginning of last season as Spurs looked to have a good run in the Champions League after pipping Manchester City to fourth spot in the previous season. A good Champions League run is what they got as they were eventually eliminated in the Quarter-finals by Real Madrid, which, is nothing to be ashamed of. It was, however, their form in the Premier League that suffered as a result of a good Champions League run. Finishing 5th and 6 points behind North-London rivals Arsenal. An example that every silver lining has a cloud.
This season, however, Spurs have been able to focus their efforts mainly on the Premier League with Harry Redknapp putting out the youngsters and reserves in the Europa League and League Cup. As a result, they have flourished in the league going on a 6-game winning run, the first time they have ever achieved this in the English Premier League. Their high points of the season so far are, arguably, being 2nd place momentarily and, of course, their 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the North-London derby at White Hart Lane.
Spurs' summer signings were kept fairly low key with Scott Parker (£10m, from West Ham), Brad Friedel (Free, from Aston Villa) and Emmanuel Adebayor (Loan, from Manchester City) were the only notable introductions. Keeping Luca Modric was essential to Spurs having a successful season and Kyle Walker's form has been arguably one of Spurs' best players so far this season. A productive summer laid down the foundations for Redknapp's side to mount an attack on the Premier League's leading contenders.
With the introduction of Scott Parker in the summer, Spurs' style of play has changed slightly since their memorable Champions League season last year. Luca Modric is able to focus primarily on attack with Parker keeping his interests on cleaning things up in the middle of the park. This has given a lot of added protection to the back four with the likes of Ledley King talking of Scott Parker's impact on the teams and his own performance. According to The Sunday Telegraph, King stated "Scott’s been amazing. The other day, I was joking with the fitness coach as my [running] stats have gone down 40 per cent in some games."
Brad Friedel's arrival at White Hart Lane has provided Spurs' back four with a confidence boost after Gomes was guilty of a number of high profile mistakes in previous years. Friedel has been a calming influence between the posts and Ledley King has managed to put together a few runs of consecutive starts in the league, both of which have helped to stabilize the Tottenham defence. The good form of Younes Kaboul has also been a big help to the team, everytime he has been called upon.
Adebayor and Van Der Vaart have been bagging crucial goals at crucial times in games and if they continue to do so, then there is no reason why Spurs' good form can't continue throughout the season. There are, however, set to be some testing times ahead for Harry Redknapp. The January transfer window may see big offers being put on the table for their big players such as Bale, Modric and maybe even Kyle Walker and I'm sure Redknapp will do his best to keep hold of every one of them. He may also see it as an opportunity to offload some of the out-of-favor players at the club such as the likes of Roman Pavluchenko, Heurelho Gomes, Niko Krancjar and Sebastien Bassong. Redknapp may also have to fight to keep the likes of Defoe, Huddlestone (despite currently being injured), Pienaar and Corluka happy.
The January transfer window does, however, give Redknapp an opportunity to bolster his squad. Spurs have been linked with the likes of out-of-control Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez, Juventus' 31-year old Brazilian striker Amauri and even 25-year old Lille striker Moussa Sow. David Beckham may be a slight possibility for Harry Redknapp although a move to Paris Saint-Germain for him looks imminent.
Younger Spurs fans may well be getting excited about the future prospects of their club however the more experienced of Tottenham fans have seen it all before. Keeping Redknapp after this season could be key to Tottenham's future success as The Football Association may come knocking on the door, of White Hart Lane, looking for a replacement for Fabio Capello after Euro 2012. If Redknapp goes, the likes of Bale, Modric, Defoe, Van Der Vaart and Adebayor may follow suit and all of Tottenham's recent success may eventually culminate to nothing, as opposed to another major trophy to add to their league cup win, under Redknapp, in 2008.
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