For those Spurs fans who have been living under a 10000 tonne boulder allow me to remind you what's going on. Where we were once considered title contenders we are now part of a 4 way scrap for 3rd and 4th positions. This season it is Champions League or die for Spurs, too much is at stake. If we don't make top4 then Bale and Modric are both out the door, we won't keep Adebayor and who knows what else will happen. We can kiss Hazard, Vertonghen, Lloris and all the other stars we have been linked with goodbye. Scott Parker nailed it when he said that we have to refocus and pretty much suck it up despite all the crap that has been going on. Here I'm going to look at where our season actually went wrong - Not at the Emirates but at the Etihad.
Everyone I've spoken to has claimed that the 5-2 loss to the noisy neighbours was the turning point of our season. I disagree, this was the result that sent our decline into a complete freefall. What actually turned our season was the match against Manchester City at Eastlands. 1st vs 3rd. Champions elect vs the dark horse. Endless money v the infamous wage ceiling.
We conceded two, let's face it, soft goals. One admittedly was created by the magician that is David Silva and finished by ex-Gooner turned mercenary Samir Nasri. The second was, shock-horror, a poorly defended set piece that the ugly as sin Joleon Lescott bundled into the net. Spurs rallied as Defoe pounced on a Savic mistake (side note - he really is terrible) and Bale scored an absolute stunner to level the scores. Fast forward to the 89th minute or so. Defoe misses the chance to give us a 3-2 - most likely game winning - lead by literally a couple of centimetres. Then Balotelli (who shouldn't have been on the pitch) completed the heartbreak with a 94th minute penalty.
Defoe's face said it all after the match. Sheer heartbreak coupled with a good amount of frustration. That look said, for all our success we aren't quite good enough and I think that seeped into the rest of the team. We then put in a poor performance at Anfield before kicking the everloving sh*t out of Newcastle in a one-off freak performance that owed mainly to the team playing for Harry after he was cleared of his charges and wanted to show him why he should stay. We then all know what happened two weeks later...
The City match not only exposed what has been one of our biggest problems in the lack of a cutting edge but also reminded everyone how poorly we defend set pieces. It also exposed the frailties of Ledley King. While admittedly he is 32 (I think) and has no knees, CFC is woefully slow and when he is forced to make a tackle or chase someone down as opposed to his preferred move of position well and intercept or block off we get into serious trouble.
Now we have to rally and take maximum points from our next 5 games. They are all immensely winnable. Harry needs to line up in a 4-3-3 in every match from here on out. I don't know why the 4-4-2 has suddenly gone to the dogs but for whatever reason it has, we can't afford to use it.