Having started the month of December by throwing away leads in the second half versus both Birmingham City and an out-of-form Chelsea side, Tottenham have taken advantage over Christmas with two impressive victories that have seen them fly into the top 4. On new year’s day, Tottenham host Fulham in a game they are widely expected to win.
Top 4 was the ultimate aim for Harry Redknapp and his Tottenham side heading into this season. The acqusition of Rafael van der Vaart, arguably the signing of the season to this point have boosted their chances dramatically. The former Real Madrid player has 8 goals and 5 assists in the league already this season as Tottenham have picked up 33 points from 19 games, sitting above Chelsea in the table.
Their attacking style has been refreshing, making them one of the most exciting teams in the Premier League once again, amongst the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United. But it has come with a price. Newcastle became only the second time to fail to score against Tottenham this season, in their 2-0 defeat yesterday despite Younes Kaboul’s red card. But as long as they continue to outscore their opposition, Redknapp and his side have nothing to worry about.
Tottenham provide a lot of goal threats, despite Jermain Defoe failing to register a single goal in the league this season and Peter Crouch registering just one. Crouch has been the creator of several this season, while Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko has 5 league goals without playing a full 90 minutes in a single game this season.
The vast majority of Tottenham’s goals have come from midfield. Their success comes from midfield. Gareth Bale registered his sixth of the season yesterday and is two behind top scorer van der Vaart. Aaron Lennon scored his second of the season, while both Luka Modric and Tom Huddlestone have 1 each.
With Tottenham now in a position not to be a selling club, they can keep hold of their prized assists. Whereas in previous seasons, they’ve had to sell the likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Carrick and Robbie Keane. Breaking into the top 4 was a big deal for the North London club, and maintaining that position again this season would be a huge step.
With Chelsea out-of-shape at the moment, Tottenham are taking full advantage of that. But for a home game with Manchester United in mid-January, Tottenham have a good run of fixtures to pick up maximum points from. When the Champions League starts up again, it will be a further test of how strong this Tottenham team is. Tottenham lost at home to Wigan, drew with Everton and lost at Bolton earlier this season directly after Champions League games. A signing or two in January wouldn’t go amiss.