Its All Over Now

Tim Sherwood believed we should have won, that we deserved to win, while Le Arse Whinger praised his team’s resilience – Whinger speak for “we were lucky”.

The statistics showed that we had more possession, had more shots on and off target yet the most important statistic – that of goals for and against – went against us, exactly as it has done in all three games against Le Arse this season.

So North London bragging rights stay with the wanderers and the gap between us appears as large as ever. We had our chances, but the best ones fell to the wrong man – had Szczesny in the Le Arse goal dropped the ball at Adebayor’s feet instead of Chadli’s things may have been different but they weren’t and it is all over.

Not only did last Sunday mark the end of our annual encounters with the old enemy, Sunday 16th March will be remembered as the day the 2013/14 season ended for Spurs fans.

Baring an amazing miracle or two, there are just nine games to go with nothing left to play for except a bit of pride and a holiday in the sun to look forward to or if they are fortunate to be considered maybe a place on the plane to the World Cup for some of the players.

The defeat to Le Arse has left us seven points adrift of Citeh in the final Champions League spot but as they have three games in hand over us the reality is that we need to catch up nine points on either Liverpool or Le Arse and even they both have a game in hand. Even if – and here is miracle number one – we win all our remaining League fixtures, it will not be enough unless teams above us lose at least three of their’s.

Can any one of us see us going to Anfield in ten days time and coming away with a victory? A narrow defeat could be seen as a minor triumph based on recent performances.

Apart from that, and our next home fixture against Southampton, our run in to the end of the season seems, at first glance, relatively easy – every team is in the bottom half of the table, but that in itself creates its own problems.

Whilst we will have nothing to play for they are all playing for survival, the very right to be in the Premier League next season. We would normally expect to beat Sunderland, Fulham and Villa at home, but we also have to go to West Brom, Stoke and WetSpam – places where we have struggled over the years.

Yes, these are the games which we should win, the games we should be winning every year if we are to consider ourselves as contenders for any serious silverware, but these are exactly the games where we perennially slip up, where we drop points and drop out of contention.

Of course there is still the Europa League, we still have to go to Lisbon and attempt to overturn the 3-1 defeat suffered last week. Again does anyone give us any hope? Or are we looking for miracle number two?

Benfica have the best defensive record in Europe – not just European competition but in Europe – at the moment. The goal we scored against them last week was one of just two conceded in their previous 15 matches. They simply do not let goals in, yet they score for fun. 32 goals have been scored during that time, and they followed that up by an uncharacteristic 4-2 win at Nacional on Monday.

Again, the same situation may apply with the one we have with the Liverpool game – a narrow defeat could be seen as a minor triumph. There is, however, one small glimmer of hope, as their manager Jorge Jesus has insisted that his priority this season is to win the Portuguese League and he may, just may, put out a weakened team on Thursday evening. Even so, it is still likely to be too powerful and too fast for us.

And consider that we will be without Vertonghen who is suspended, Dawson and Chiriches who are injured while Kaboul faces a late fitness test – who will we play in central defence – Sandro and Capoue anyone? Or maybe Sherwood has some other masterplan like the one he fished out against Chelski and play someone totally out of position.

So what does lie ahead for us over the next two months – nine games and the chance to prove that the squad is together, that there are talented footballers within the group, maybe the chance to blood one or two more of the teenagers and let them show what they are capable of.

It will also give the management team – not just Sherwood and his immediate companions – but Levy and Baldini as well (assuming of course that Baldini is still in our plans) the opportunity to assess where we went wrong and where we need to strengthen.

There is no point plotting yet another series of massive raids in the transfer market unless we know precisely who will be retained for next season and who will be allowed to leave. No point whatsoever using the same scattergun approach, deciding that we would buy anyone and everyone just because they looked good and were available, but aim at an integrated transfer policy to build on the squad we currently have, build a team around one or two individuals, the one or two individuals that have actually shown the correct attitude and the right character over the past few weeks.

There may not be much to play for in terms of success as that is gone for another year, but much to play for if any of our players harbour any hope of wearing the Spurs shirt next season.

And of course no point in doing anything until we know who our new Manager will be – but then when was the last time our Manager was permitted to get involved in transfer policy.

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