Friday, April 03, 2020
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It is officially Tottenham’s worst start to a season in their 100 year history. Yesterday’s defeat at Stoke left them with 2 points from a possible 24 – 5 points adrift of safety.

There’s a wide held belief that with the players at their disposal they are too good to go down, but given their abysmal performances so far is that really the case?

 

Player for player Tottenham’s squad is better than at least two thirds of the other teams in the league. When looked at under greater scrutiny, though, the players don't quite add up to the formidable unit it they were hailed as at the beginning of the season.

They have a strong defense when everyone is injury free, but with club captian, and their best centre-back, Ledley King, perennially injured they have struggled. Jonathan Woodgate is not showing the form he did last season, and all too frequent rushes of blood to the head from Heurelho Gomes have meant the ship has been far from steady so far.

Jermaine Jenas has been the one bright spot, but despite spending £40 million on midfielders over the summer there is no one who can adequately partner him in the middle. Tom Huddlestone has been disappointing, Didier Zokora is all to often anonymous and Jamie O’Hara shouldn’t be in any side with European pretensions.

It’s in attacking midfield where Spurs quite literally have a wealth of talent. The only problem being that so far all their new acquisitions have failed to find any semblance of form. David Bentley has been entirely inconspicuous, and new boys Giovanni Dos Santos and Luca Modric seem too lightweight for the Premier League.

Up front is the most obvious area of concern with only 5 goals in their opening 8 fixtures. Assistant manger Gus Poyet admitted that Darren Bent and Roman Pavulychenko are too similar to play together, begging the question as to why they are the only two recognized strikers the club owns. The only other attacking option is loanee Frazier Campbell, putting a greater goal burden on the as yet floundering midfield.

Are Tottenham too good to go down? Probably. But not if the players themselves think so. There are fundamental problems in the way the team is playing, and Juande Ramos’s stock as one of Europe’s leading coaches has quickly ebbed away at White Heart Lane.

With the newly promoted clubs all making a strong start to the season, the door has been left open for one or two more established clubs to be dragged into the relegation dogfight. With Bolton, Arsenal and Liverpool up next, serious doubts will start to be raised in the not too unlikely situation of Spurs failing to pick up 3 point in any of their next 3 games.

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