Spurs have been this season’s surprise package. After last season’s impressive League
Finish many were left asking if the 2011-12 season will see Super Spurs continuing or will we get a Tumbling Tottenham?
They booked themselves place in the fourth round of the FA Cup proper with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Cheltenham.
Although they ended 2011 with a frustrating 1-1 draw away to Swansea they started 2012 better with a hard-fought 1-0 victory away to West Brom.
Harry Redknapp's boys have hit the dizzying heights of third in the table after 19 games. They have 42 points and are a mere three points behind defending champions Manchester United, and a comfortable five points ahead of fourth place Chelsea. It's worth mentioning that Spurs have a game in hand on everyone (except Everton).
Tottenham are still an outside bet to win the Premier league at 21/2 and you can pick up the decent odds of them recording a top four finish at 2/9, or 2/1 on a top two finish. A safer (but poorer bet) is Spurs finishing in the top six at 1/200.
It's worth noting that Spurs have only dropped points twice at home scoring 18 goals at White Hart Lane and conceding just eight. They have fared slightly less well away from home with six wins, two draws and two defeats but they have also managed to score 18 goals on the road, a feat only bettered by Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs. It’s also certainly worth having a punt on Harry Redknapp to be named manager of the year at 10/1.
If you like long odds or you just hate Tottenham you can get 200/1 on Tottenham to be relegated.
Tottenham are what used to be called a “Big
Club” having won the FA Cup seven times, the Football League twice and the
Football League Cup four times. Spurs also had European Success, back when it
wasn’t fashionable, they’ve won the UEFA Cup twice and the UEFA Cup Winners'
Cup. In fact Their Cup Winners' Cup victory back in 1963 made Tottenham the
first English team to win a UEFA competition.
That’s all well and good but quite simply,
that was then, this is something else. Ladbrokes have Spurs winning the 2011-12 league at 50/1, enough said
really. Don’t panic though, Spurs winning
the League is still more likely than relegation, that’s at 500/1 with Bodog.
Last season saw a 5th place finish that
qualified Tottenham Hotspur for the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League, however the
extra matches this competition brings will stretch their squad.
The 2010-11 season saw Tottenham
manage 62 points (with a +9 Goal
Difference) they were four points ahead of 6th place Liverpool and six points
behind 4th place Arsenal . Interestingly Spurs had the worst goal difference of
the top seven clubs and the odds have Spurs scoring the most goals of
the season at an unlikely 10/1.
Spurs should be worried about Liverpool as
they are poised for a serious push into the top four (and don’t have the
additional European Games to tend with). Spurs’ opening games will prove to be
a cool barometer of their season, they face (in quick succession) Everton (at
home) dare I say that’s already a MUST win, then Champions Manchester United
(at Old Trafford) and they then host Man City.
With those two heavy hitters on the menu,
Everton might well be Tottenham’s only chance of points in August. Curiously sportsbooks
offer Tottenham being the first team to beat Man Utd. at 13/2 (and they also
have Man Utd. remaining unbeaten at the end of October at 6/1), which speaks
volumes. The good news is that the bookies fancy Spurs to get off the mark with
a win, bet365 have a home win for Spurs at -125, Everton+300 and a draw at
Last Season the Everton match at White Hart
Lane ended 1-1, while the corresponding fixtures with the Manchester teams saw a 2-0 defeat (at Old
Trafford) and a 0-0 draw at home with City. Do the maths and you’ll see one goal and two points for Spurs. Hands up if you think
they’ll do better.
The biggest transfer news of the summer for
Tottenham is not a top name signed to the club to bring goals and points
aplenty, nor is it the news of a steady presence with experience in European
competitions, nor is there talk of numerous new signings to strengthen the
squad ahead of all the additional games Spurs face.
The biggest talk and the
greatest news buzzing around White Hart Lane is the talk of a brilliant and
game winning attacking midfielder…who wants to leave Spurs (for Chelsea). So
far Spurs have rejected bids of £22m and £27m for Croatian Luka Modric, (who’s
only 14 months into a six-year contract) who is believed to have handed in a
transfer request. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp recently reiterated his desire to
keep the midfielder, even if Chelsea up their bid to £35m. "He is worth an
awful lot more money than that," Redknapp said. "He's a great player
and we don't want to lose him."
Is there any good news?
Harry Redknapp is still there, and good old
‘arry ‘as proven that he can spin great results out on restricted funds, it
would be interesting to see what he could do with £35million (or more). The bad
news is Harry Redknapp is 6/5 to be the next England manager. If Spurs start a
slide and his country needs him Harry will have the best get out clause in the
manager’s book to jump ship. If you’re worried about Mr Redknapp leaving keep
an eye on England’s fortunes.
in a domestic Cup
If your heart tells you to ignore the
above, and bet on Spurs winning something please, please, please restrict
yourself to betting on one of the domestic cups. They are at 11/1 to take the
Carling Cup and 12/1 to lift the FA Cup. Neither odds excite me much, a bit
like Spurs I’m sorry to say.
Prediction: Modric will leave, Spurs will struggle, and they will win nothing
in Europe and slip a little further down the leagues. Tottenham will finish 7th
in the League (and cup less) next season.