The North London derby defeat, alongside the Arsenal’s deadline day antics may have taken the wind out of Spurs’ sails. But Andre Villas-Boas could yet have the last laugh.
It’s worth remembering that Spurs lost the same fixture 5-2 last year (and lost by the same score the year before that). A 1-0 defeat could be seen as a step-up, especially considering that Tottenham may feel to have left the Emirates without a draw.
By the end of the game, Spurs had Arsenal on the ropes. Arsenal Wenger bent the shape of his team into something unrecognisable, playing four full-backs alongside the club’s centre-back pairing. With no attacking outlet, Tottenham were able to pile on the pressure and create a number of good chances.
The fact that Tottenham were able to match Arsenal so closely is nothing to sniff at. Even without Gareth Bale, they still possess a massive threat and should be aiming for a top four finish this season.
What’s more, Andre Villas-Boas and Daniel Levy have taught Arsene Wenger a lesson in reacting to the loss of your best player.
A year or so, many would have believed that losing Gareth Bale would send Spurs plummeting down the table. Now there’s a very good chance that they’ll come back even stronger this season.
For a start, Spurs have one of the most physically imposing midfields in the Premier League. They won’t get bullied this season and will be able to compete with all comers. But that’s not to say that they can’t get the ball down and play as well. Players like Moussa Dembele and Paulinho have excellent technical ability and I’m excited to see them play together.
The addition of Roberto Soldado upfront is an important one. The Spaniard has excellent pedigree and will provide the club with the goal threat they lacked last year. If both Soldado and Defoe find some goal-scoring form, Spurs will be shoe-ins for a Champions League slot.
Over all, things look very good and I expect Tottenham to look even better once the team has gelled together.
Arsenal fans may feel chirpy at the moment, but should reserve judgement until the end of the season. Spurs still have the bite of an underdog, combined with a world-class squad. That’s a dangerous combination.
What’s your take? What can Spurs achieve this season?
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