Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 win against a tough Everton side last week outlined how serious their title challenge really is. Or did it? The disappointing 1-1 draw at home to relegation threatened Wolverhampton Wanderers demonstrates the penalties of dropping points here and there and how far one can fall behind the pacesetters. The league is over the halfway point and Harry Redknapp’s team are only two points off top spot so they are very much in the reckoning, but one or two defeats coupled with the two Manchester clubs above them winning can change fortunes dramatically. Although the same applies to United and City especially seeing that Spurs are the team in form and have played the best football for the past month at least. Not to mention the superior squad they have when compared to Alex Ferguson’s men (oops, I just did). This Sunday’s showdown with Roberto Mancini’s side could prove to be a catalyst for the outcome of the league title.

Positions at this stage of the season can give one a sense of what teams will be where in the latter part of the campaign, but clubs can go on losing streaks, winning streaks or be draw specialists, which affect everyone around them, so it’s difficult to predict exactly where they will finish. Wherever teams are in January, they may finish there or thereabouts, but as we have seen from many seasons past, teams can drop like a stone from this point forward.

Early season form can be the kind that wins championships, but only if it is consistent throughout will they actually get their hands on the prize. Once some sides have reached the summit or get near to it, they have often dropped down the table faster than Natasha Giggs’ knickers on a hot day thus providing their supporters with a false sense of security.

After 21 matches played in the 1998/1999 season, Aston Villa were riding high in the league, a point behind Manchester United, and three behind Chelsea with a game in hand. Villa had had a very consistent run up to this point and despite spending the most weeks out of all the Premier clubs on top of the pile, they ended up finishing in 6th place after picking up only 15 points from their last 17 games.

Leeds United were a point clear of their rivals across the Pennines, United, having played 21 games, but after 38, they were 22 points behind! One could even mention the case of Wimbledon in the 1996/1997 season who, having played 21 games, were only eight points off Liverpool in top spot with three games in hand, but ended up finishing in 8th place. Or Sunderland, who were sitting comfortably in 2nd place in mid-January 2001, but ended up in 7th.

You’d have to say that Tottenham’s current squad are stronger than the aforementioned teams and that they will not go quite the same way as those sides – surely they will finish in the top four at least – but it’s just a warning that nothing is guaranteed at this stage of the season. 

Click HERE to head to PAGE TWO…

Share this article


  • Ricky Murray says:

    A piece of idiocy on my part. I forgot to insert that Leeds were a point clear of United in the 1999/00 season in case people thought it was 1999.

Comments are closed.