5 Things Tottenham Must Do to Snap out of Their Funk
It's official: Tottenham is in a slump.
That could not have been made clearer than by their 1-0 loss to Everton on Saturday, a result that ran their recent Premier League form to three consecutive losses.
Suddenly, a season in which Spurs looked to have the potential to challenge for the title, they find themselves in a dog-fight: with 10 matches to play, their grasp on fourth place (and the subsequent position in the Champions League next season) is only four points.
Clearly, Tottenham cannot afford to continue with this form and must snap out of their funk as soon as possible.
Here is a list of five things that must happen for Spurs to rediscover their form and hold on to the Champions League spot that seemed all but wrapped up a few weeks ago.
Younes Kaboul Must Play Better in Defense
Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying Kaboul has played terribly the past few matches.
After all, he has posed a few offensive threats, especially in the United match.
However, he has made a few key mistakes in defense as of late.
For example, he enabled Everton to score the only goal of the match Saturday when he allowed Leon Osman to just dribble past him into the box and enabled the third United goal last weekend when he played off of Ashley Young and gave him the space to dispatch a beautiful shot into the top corner.
Mistakes like this are unacceptable for Spurs from here on out.
Kaboul needs to show focus for the entire match; otherwise, Tottenham may be better advised to let Ryan Nelsen get a look at more playing time.
The Striking Pair Must Be Set
Over the past month and half, Tottenham has used four strikers (Emmanuel Adebayor, Louis Saha, Jermain Defoe and Rafael van der Vaart) in two positions, rotating the players match to match.
Having a choice and the opportunity to rest players is fantastic, but the extent to which they have done it and the players with which they have done it has actually hurt Spurs.
There have been grumblings of Defoe wanting an exit from the Lane, while the usually temperamental van der Vaart has been injured.
It seemed like Redknapp was settled upon Saha and Adebayor, but played Adebayor and Defoe today.
Unsurprisingly, Ade played terribly and was substituted by Saha in the 55th minute after the pair displayed virtually no chemistry.
If there were injury, fatigue or a loss of form, then it's understandable; however, for this run-in, Tottenham must pick a striking duo and stick with them.
They Must Take Their Chances
This was not a problem for Tottenham 35 minutes into the Arsenal match, but their finishing has been poor since then.
In the past two matches, it has cost them dearly.
After all, they really did outplay both United and Everton, yet have no points to show for it.
Just look at the missed chances by Saha the bast two matches: facing an open net against United, he hit the ball straight into Adebayor's arm on the line, and firing from about six yards in stoppage time against Everton, he hit the post.
As it is such a small sample size in which they have been misfiring, this may just be down to bad luck.
No matter what the reasoning behind it, though, Spurs must rediscover their stroke in front of net in these last few matches if they hope of finishing off the season successfully.
Gareth Bale Needs to Stay on His Feet
Gareth Bale has been vital for Spurs for about a year and a half, destroying opponents with his pace and skillful left foot.
However, his tactics seem to have changed over the past few weeks: instead of dribbling at defenders and beating them, his go-to move has become to go at defenders and fall in order to win a foul.
Not only has he not been getting the calls, but Bale has been taking away the main threat of the Tottenham attack.
In order for Tottenham to reach their potential, the Welsh winger needs to go back to being the attacking force that he has been rather than the diving force he has become.
Perhaps he thinks he has already joined Barcelona.
Everyone Must Be Open About Their Decisions for Next Year
Is it a coincidence that Tottenham's slump has coincided with the rise in interest of manager Harry Redknapp and reports that Gareth Bale's possible move to Barcelona?
It would probably be helpful to Spurs if the pall of uncertainty was lifted and their decisions were made now rather than after the season.
Basically, they should take a page out of Modric's book.
Harry, do you want to manage England after the season?
Gareth, do you want to move to bigger and better things after the season?
If so, then just say so and let everyone know what's going on.
If not, vigorously deny it.
It's like the courtesy that should be shown in any tense relationship: just let us all know where we stand.
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