To win the league I think we will need to do something we have not done since the double winning side of 1960/61. That is the last time we won 9 league games on the bounce, it went on to be 11 league games on the trot that year so no chance of beating that this season but I think we really need the 9.
Winning the 9 would give us 82 points and assuming we still have a better goal difference than Leicester at that point, we would need them to lose one and draw one of their last 9. Only 6 times in premier league history has 82 or fewer points won the league and it has only happened once in the last 10 years (2010/11). The lowest winning points total was 75 (1996/97) and I would not be surprised if the winning total is close to that number this time around given the unpredictability of the season so far. If you extrapolate our current points per game over the remaining 9 then we end with 72 which only matches our best ever points total in the premier league (and we finished 5th that year).
Of course, all of that means very little as it is historical and definitely not related to Spurs in the Premier league (our average points haul in the Premier league is 56). So who is left for each and their positions:
|Villa 20th (a)||Newcastle 19th (h)||West Brom 13th (h)||Norwich 18th (a)|
|Bournemouth 14th (h)||Crystal Palace 15th (a)||Everton 11th (a)||United 6th (h)|
|Liverpool 9th (a)||Southampton 8th (h)||Watford 12th (h)||Bournemouth 14th (a)|
|United 6th (h)||Sunderland 17th (a)||West Ham 5th (a)||West Brom 13th (h)|
|Stoke 7th (a)||West Ham 5th (h)||Crystal Palace 15th (h)||Chelsea 10th (a)|
|West Brom 13th (h)||Swansea 16th (h)||Sunderland 17th (a)||Stoke 7th (h)|
|Chelsea 10th (a)||United 6th (a)||Norwich 18th (h)||Southampton 8th (a)|
|Southampton 8th (h)||Everton 11th (h)||City 4th (a)||Nomads 3rd (h)|
|Newcastle 19th (a)||Chelsea 10th (a)||Villa 20th (h)||Swansea 16th (a)|
|Newcastle 19th (a) – still to be rearranged|
Couple of points about our fixtures – the three games of Liverpool, United and Stoke will determine whether we are in a title battle or Champions League battle and Chelsea will clearly have the ability to derail whatever we are in with a few games to go. West Brom at home is also one of those where they will have 11 men behind the ball at all times and it will be up to us to break them down. That all sounds a little depressing!
But having said all that, I think that the run in for all the teams looks pretty even. Leicester’s first six games though all look winnable given their form – it is the last three games that will trip them up.
I thought before the last two games we needed 4 points from 6 to have a very good chance to win the league. We are still in it but with 5 points to make up it will be difficult.
This season has been fun so far, there is no reason why it couldn’t still be a great season.
Quick word on yesterday’s derby
I was worried before the game because everyone was making it out that we were overwhelming favourites. I hated that because it’s a derby, anything goes. Also they were a wounded animal, completely bashed about in the media and losing their best goalkeeper and defender. If there was ever a time they would be more up for it, it was then.
Did the team look a little tired – it’s hard to say. When the pressing game is broken through our players need to turn round and then accelerate, that is always going to look laboured against a fast moving team already moving forward. The lack of quality final ball could also be a sign of mental fatigue – not concentrating enough on what they were doing but this could be put down to the occasion and atmosphere. That also includes the amount of poor first touches we saw during the game.
I think the team perhaps let up a little after taking the lead, even time wasting a little. I didn’t like that – they had ten men. Waste time by playing the ball around them, there was always a man free. But that could just be my perception as I wanted another goal to put the tie to bed.
I understand why Lamela was replaced (on a yellow) but surely Son would have been replacement that would have kept the pressing going. Mason coming on meant he went central with Eriksen moving wide and I don’t think our pressing game copes without the intensity players like Lamela and Alli bring. I am not saying Mason and Eriksen do not press, simply saying it is not as dogged as the others.
Finally, I think Kane has reverted to beginning of season Kane for me. A few too many shots from positions that were unreasonable. Two that spring to mind were volleys from inside the box but quite wide and tight angled (less than 6 yards from the touchline). In those situations it would have been better to retain and recycle or at least put back into the danger zone. Now his goal did come from a tight angle but not as tight as the volleys and also far fewer players in path between ball and goal – also he was completely in control of the ball for the goal. But Kane, like most of the team, are young and still learning – they should only get better.
Again that sounds pretty negative (and it is) but that is because it is easier to pick on bits you consider bad. It is also because I want better and know that this team are capable of much better!
Nine massive games left in the league and a massive cup tie against Dortmund – win that and we will, rightly, be favourites for the Europa League.