Thoughts on Tottenham Hotspur’s Resurgence
The Carling Cup served as the best avenue to end Arsenal’s trophy drought last season but the events that took place in the final match against Birmingham City will remain in Arsenal hearts forever. This season, the competition has entered its semifinal stage and there have been wins for surprise package Crystal Palace and Liverpool.
With David Silva out injured and Yaya Toure on international duty, Samir Nasri couldn’t still make it into the first team for a Carling Cup match. It’s true that he’s earning all the greens at the Etihad Stadium but from a football perspective, what a shame.
Andriy Voronin in his Liverpool days had a dismal record of five goals in his first 27 games. Liverpool fans are hoping that their £35m outlay won’t fare like Voronin because Andy Carroll currently has four goals in 25 appearances.
Since Arsene Wenger’s introduction to management at Arsenal in 1996, Tottenham has never finished above Arsenal. Wenger changed the fortunes of Arsenal on and off the pitch since assuming the helm of affairs at the club 16 years ago. On the pitch, he has won three League titles, four FA Cups and four Community Shields while he has come close in Europe with final berths in the Europa League and Champions League in 2000 and 2006 respectively.
Off the pitch, he changed the discipline and diet of his players and he also had a hand in new training grounds and the move to the magnificent Emirates Stadium.
Twitchy Ol’ Harry Redknapp is a manager that has put his hands in many clubs and his exploits at Portsmouth can never be forgotten. After saving the club from relegation in a magical fashion, Harry Houdini led Pompey to FA Cup glory. The club was never the same after he left for greener pastures as Tony Adams and Paul Hart were sacked shortly afterwards before Avram Grant doomed the club to relegation.
Redknapp’s first game against Arsenal was an epic for the neutrals as both teams smashed in four goals past each other. It has been a roller-coaster ride for the English manager and he has gone on to produce some impressive performances for the club.
Unlike Arsene Wenger that’s always content with the current state of things, Redknapp is never afraid to milk the club off its transfer funds and he has signed a lot of players from every part of the globe with his shrewdest being the acquisition of Rafael van der Vaart from Real Madrid.
After playing the game in hand against Everton yesterday, Tottenham is currently nine points above Arsenal and the team is looking good to charge for Premier League honors.
Veteran Brad Friedel has steadied the ship in goal and we no longer witness calamitous goalkeeper blunders that were regular when Heurelho Gomes was the custodian between the sticks. They’ve been having defensive injuries of late but the squad’s depth has been pretty impressive.
The current PFA Player of the Year Gareth Bale has been consistent all season long. He and Aaron Lennon have been providing the gunpowder for the bullets Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermaine Defoe have been shooting with.
A few months back I gave 11 reasons why Tottenham can never finish above Arsenal but it’s become a cause for concern because some of the points I listed are exhibited by Arsenal at the moment.
Arsene Wenger still has a lot of issues to sort out in his team and with Thierry Henry not being a long-term solution for the club’s misfiring forwards (Theo Walcott, Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh), one can only hope that the African Cup of Nations will give these players a much needed lift to finish the season on a high with Arsenal.
With five months to go in the season and Arsenal being nine points off their fierce rivals, the Gunners will have to be within touching distance of the Manchester clubs if they want to end the season above Tottenham.
I still have a lot of belief for this present Arsenal squad and I know that the team is more than capable of qualifying for the Champions League next season.
One more thing…
I’ll celebrate St. Totteringham’s day before May.
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