The Second Half Beckons
We are now a little over halfway through the season and currently we sit in the same place we were this time last year - third, albeit a little further behind second and with no 10 point lead over fourth.
Same position, but with a different manager and a very different squad. The second half of last season could be described as a disaster. What does the future hold for us now? The squad is different and we are playing very different football. The first half of last season we played some breathtaking stuff. Went on a run of 11 wins in 12. The first 11 was a match for any in the Prem. We were on such a run of form we were realistically described as title contenders. I don't think that's happened any other time in my time as a Spurs fan. Then it all went horribly wrong.
It could've been the England speculation. That certainly won't have helped and once it was clear 'Arry wasn't going to get that job there was a significant improvement in our form. It could also have been a lack of rotation. Incredible first 11 but where was the plan b? We had players like Sandro, Kranjcar and Defoe withering away on the bench while Scott Parker ran himself to death and VDV couldn't finish a match. The problems with the lack of rotation were twofold; the first team were exhausted, the squad players lacking sharpness when called upon. We were a finely tuned engine, to the point that taking out one component meant the whole thing ground to a halt. A house of cards, if you like.
This season it feels somehow different. More solid. A slow start, for sure, and we have not at any point shown the same marauding form of the first half of last season, but have quietly gone about it, picking up results, which have so far been good enough to leave us in third. We have enough about the squad to be able to lose key players for a match and still pick up results. We seem to be able to play with different players, different systems.
The squad is not complete, obviously. We are in need of a striker and possibly another midfielder. Losing Ade to the ACON (must they really hold that every 2 years? Really?) is a blow, though JD has been in fine fettle, with Demps finding his feet as well. Lose Dembele and there may be an issue, though with Demps and Siggy finding form and Parker back we may still be ok. Lose Bale or Lennon for a match or two, we will get by. Defensively, no problem. When have we ever been able to say that before?
It is fitting that we should face our old boss now. Fitting, but a dangerous match. They will be up for it, big time. It is a big game. We win, we put pressure on those around us, all of which have tough games. There is a strange symmetry in that both this season and last saw our fortunes change following a 5-2 hiding at the Emirates. I am aware that I am tempting fate and the wheels could fall off again, but I have faith that we have learned and we are building something stronger.
Written by Yorkspur