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by Tony Attwood
Watching the Tottenham game against Aston Villa on TV it was quite clear that a number of Tottenham supporters were fairly irate concerning the performance of their club.
And a debate broke out as to what impact the booing of their team by some Tottenham fans had on the players. Would it spur (sorry!) them on to greater effort, help them prepare for the next game, make them ever more determined to take Tottenham to the top?
Or would it be more likely to make players who have been linked with transfers to Tottenham to think “bugger this for a lark, I’m not going there.”
The point is of course that top players invariably have a choice of which club they go to when the transfer talk starts, and they will take into account a variety of factors such as the league position of the club, the salary they are offered, the progress of the club (or otherwise), whether they get on with the manager, and (and this is the one that is generally forgotten) the reputation of the fans.
Tottenham fans turning on their team today can only have helped alienate some of the potential transfer candidates for January – along with their recent performances and league position. (And of course I am well aware of how some Arsenal supporters turned against Arteta in his first season and a half. I am not saying some Tottenham fans are stupid – there are idiots everywhere).
In the league the Big Seven as we are calling them this year, all fit in the top eight places of the league table with Tottenham in fifth, but they are 13 points behind the league leaders, who happen to have a ground just under four and a half miles away from them.
Worse, they will also be aware that the club has been completely unable to find a sponsor for the stadium – something that again will have been made even worse by the booing of the team. Sponsors do not want to be associated with a club the is involved in a civil war. And there is said to be a billion pound debt involved as well.
Tottenham need to start winning to get themselves back into the top four and look seriously like a top club. Of course it can be argued that Arsenal sank further than this two seasons ago, when they were as low as 15th, but they developed a clear tactic that then made them the second most effective team in the last two thirds of the league.
Here’s the league table of the last six games.
The problem with Tottenham appears to be that the two clubs Tottenham have beaten in the last six games are lower clubs – Leeds and Bournemouth. But they have lost to the two big seven clubs they have met in these six games. That’s not good for a club looking for a place in the top four, or indeed even the top six or seven.
The bigger problem for Tottenham is that their problems began on 1 October when they played Arsenal, and have continued from there. That is ten league games, so let’s have a look at the last ten games table…
And the point about the last ten games is that clubs that are in the lower reaches in the last ten really are having a tough time. This can’t be put down to a couple of difficult fixtures, this is a real trend. Here’s the bottom of the table across the last ten games. Tottenham have only got five points more in these ten games than Everton who are in a relegation position in the context of the last ten games.
This is not a case of Tottenham being 12th in the last ten games table are heading for relegation, but Tottenham, the team that virtually every pundit had finishing at least fourth in the league this season, are seriously slipping down and down the league. It is still not relegation form. But…
But across the last ten games they have played they have gained merely five more points that relegation candidates Everton.
And that’s something to think about especially when in the summer they spent 170 million euros to improve the team that came fourth last season.
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