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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2010-2011 - Match 22
Everton setback leaves Spurs pondering title challenge
by our special correspondent

The cold, miserable Wednesday night at Goodison Park must have reflected the mood of Harry Redknapp on Thursday morning.

With those around him dropping points and a chance to capitalise and thrust forward into the heart of the title race, Spurs came undone against a well drilled Everton side.

Caught out early on by a Louis Saha goal, Spurs struggled throughout the game to establish a foothold, and while a Rafael Van der Vaart goal offered hope, a 75th minute effort from Seamus Coleman meant three points were lost.

Now, eight points adrift from league leaders Manchester United, they along with Manchester City and Arsenal look to have a made a decisive break away and cut Spurs and Chelsea adrift.

Although only four points behind third placed Arsenal, there is a symbolic gap between the top three in the forties, and Spurs and Chelsea in the thirty point region. Last night represented a crucial night in the battle to be crowned champions.

Spurs can take plenty away from this season already. After an eleven game unbeaten run, Harry Redknapp was correct to include his side as potential title challengers and they are still well positioned to make an impact.

Their Christmas form was outstanding, negated only by the winning streaks of the clubs around them, and moving forward out of the group stage of the Champions League represents a huge step forward for a club sometimes held back by its own history.

There is no doubt surrounding Spurs ability and their style of play. Amongst the most attractive sides to watch in the league, the problem holding Spurs back is games like last night.

Dropping points against “lesser” teams like West Ham this season, an effective display with a clinical 1-0 win for Spurs would have been enough to put any lingering doubts about the strength of this Spurs side.

Perhaps Harry Redknapp is aware of this more than most and offers a reason behind the attempt to get David Beckham in a Spurs Shirt . Beckham perhaps represents a side of this Tottenham team which is missing; a piece in the puzzle which, if remains unfilled would hold back a team with world class talent running through the heart of it.

Van der Vaart, not only with his talent but also with his experience has boosted the team more than even his biggest fan might have thought, and if the signing of Beckham could provide even half of the impact the Dutchman has, then it’s worth would far outweigh any negatives.

Wednesday night represented a crucial night in the title race – but not the defining one. This absorbing race has plenty more twists before it is decided, and Spurs find themselves on the edge of it.

If Wednesday night’s game was a setback, then Spurs still have the opportunity to get back up to speed – results around them ensured that no ground was neither lost nor gained. Now they must prove themselves worthy title contenders, and only a fool would put it past Harry and his young pretenders.


Results 04-12.01.11

Blackpool   1-2   B'mingham
Fulham      3-0   West Brom
Man Utd     2-1   Stoke
Arsenal     0-0   Man City
A. Villa    0-1   S'derland
Blackburn   3-1   Liverpool
Bolton      1-1   Wigan
Everton     2-1   Spurs
Newcastle   5-0   West Ham
Wolves      1-0   Chelsea
Blackpool   2-1   Liverpool

       Barclays Premier League
 
Pos Team      P  W  D  L   F  A  GD  Pts

1  Man Utd   20 12  8  0  43 19  24  44
2  Man City  22 12  6  4  33 16  17  42
3  Arsenal   21 12  4  5  42 22  20  40
4  Spurs     21 10  6  5  31 25   6  36
5  Chelsea   21 10  5  6  36 19  17  35
6  S'derland 22  8  9  5  25 22   3  33
7  Bolton    22  7  9  6  34 29   5  30
8  Newcastle 21  8  4  9  34 31   3  28
9  Blackpool 20  8  4  8  29 33  -4  28
10 Blackburn 22  8  4 10  29 35  -6  28
11 Stoke     21  8  3 10  26 26   0  27
12 Everton   21  5 10  6  23 25  -2  25
13 Liverpool 21  7  4 10  25 29  -4  25
14 Fulham    21  4 10  7  22 24  -2  22
15 B'mingham 20  4 10  6  20 25  -5  22
16 West Brom 21  6  4 11  26 39 -13  22
17 Wolves    21  6  3 12  21 34 -13  21
18 A. Villa  21  5  6 10  23 38 -15  21
19 Wigan     21  4  9  8  18 33 -15  21
20 West Ham  22  4  8 10  22 38 -16  20

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