Monday, 22 November 2010
In a refreshingly honest and positive post match press conference (perhaps helped by the feel good factor a first away win over Arsenal in 17 years brings) Harry Redknapp declared his Spurs side as genuine
title contenders and capable of ‘beating anybody’.
On the evidence of Saturday it is hard to argue. As poor as they were in the first half Spurs roared back after the break with a dynamic and positive display that saw them comeback from 2-0 goals down to win
Redknapp will also point to their win over Inter earlier this month as evidence of their progress. The Italian and European Champions were outplayed at White Hart Lane with Gareth Bale in particular
outstanding in a 3-1 victory for the home side.
They now look set to qualify from their Champions League group and lie just six points off the top of the Premier League, with the likes of Chelsea and Saturday’s opponents Arsenal stumbling just above them.
But in a season that is proving open and unpredictable, do Spurs have what it takes to lift their first title since 1961?
The key could be how their squad copes with the extra European games. The Champions League is a new adventure for Tottenham players and supporters this season and they will be keen to keep it going as long
as possible. But the effort and desire poured into those midweek matches could have an effect on their league displays.
They have won three, drawn one and lost two of their games immediately following a European match this season - not the severest of European hangovers - which is evidence enough to suggest they can indeed juggle
their squad enough to cope with the extra games.
The crucial period could be the weeks over Christmas, where a rapid run of fixtures can define your goals heading into the New Year.
It is easy to make those predictions now of course, but it does need to be pointed out that despite losing three of their last four Chelsea are still top. A few weeks ago the title was all but sewn up so to suggest they have now lost it is a little bit presumtious. But at least Redknapp is being positive and honest, a nice change from the usual 'take each game as it comes' type press conferences we usually see.
I'm sure Spurs fans will welcome his positivity and ambition, even if they do eventually fall just short.