Sixty-nine points was good enough for fourth place last year and, as mentioned much earlier in another column, 76 points is the rough average for third place.
A win over the Cottagers gets the seven points the Spurs really need from this period.
But, where are they compared to last term’s point haul?
Compared to the same time last year, Tottenham are currently a whopping eight points off-pace.
This is easily accounted for in their home form. By this time last season, the Spurs had dropped only three points at home.
This season, Tottenham have lost, not claimed, 10 points at White Hart Lane, a swing of seven full points.
In the corresponding fixtures, however, Spurs are four points off the same pace as last term.
They could wipe that out if they reverse results against Everton and Sunderland in December—they lost to the Toffees and drew with the Black Cats on the road last season and where they will play in the final days of 2012.
Given the state of the clubs around them, however, if they can keep at the current pace they are on, they should be in a comfortable position heading into the second half of the season.
Against Fulham, their Dec. 1 opponents, Tottenham need to pick up the full points in order to keep putting pressure on both West Brom and Chelsea, who sit three points clear of third and fourth place.
Overtaking Chelsea now, while they are still in a state of flux, would be a major morale boost as the Blues try to acclimatize with Rafa Benitez’s methods.
Fulham, meanwhile, will provide a stiff test as the Cottagers look to unload some irritated energy against the club that took two of their key playmakers—Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey—off their hands this summer.
Should Tottenham pick up the win, the Spurs would likely finish the year playing clubs in the middle of the table for the rest of the holiday period, a time for the North London outfit to make a move and snag some breathing space.
Definitely Not the Maxim 2013 Calender
While scouring the web earlier, perhaps one of the funniest, if not disturbing, set of images flashed across the screen.
Several managers from around the world were given comedic appearances for a 2013 calender and, well, let’s just say not everything or everyone was portrayed in the most favorable light.
Fortunately, Tottenham head coach Andre Villas-Boas was given perhaps the most manly and modern look, parodying the Old Spice commercials from earlier last year and this year on his stallion.
Perhaps outside of Marin Jol’s appearance, many of the images on the calendar are either hysterical or horrifying—not to mention probably illegal in several countries—and thus you will need to find them yourself if you want to see them.
Let us be thankful the Tottenham coach was spared from a worse fate.
Argument No. 54823: Luka Modric
Seeing as we are talking about Villas-Boas, it is worth discussing his new current verbal spitting match opponent: former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric.
We used to talk and I know he wants to play Champions League football every season and has a big dream of winning the Champions League," Modric said.
"Of course Spurs want to keep Bale - he is loved by the fans and it is easy to see why," Modric added. "But they must make Champions League football this season if he is to stay.
"If he decides to leave Spurs then every top club in Europe will want him. He is an intelligent guy and is open to new experiences. I know he sees the value in playing abroad, so when the time comes he will have a big decision to make."
Villas-Boas replied in typical manager-speak (via The Telegraph):
We have to protect our assets regarding our objectives. We have to qualify for the Champions League so in order for that to happen we need players that can make the difference.
We are not looking to sell.
But Villas-Boas added a quick snipe for kicks:
He should focus more on his club than ours...He has to worry about [Madrid's game against] Atletico Madrid this weekend as they are on top of him...And he has to worry about getting into the quarter-finals of the Champions League as well.
While it’s not as fun as the Obligatory French Whine segments—possibly due to the fact that Hugo Lloris is in the starting XI at the moment—it does keep the wheel turning as Villas-Boas finds more people to argue with.
It also keeps him from having to argue with himself, which is possibly the only duel he cannot win.
A (Brazilian) Flair for the Dramatic
The Mail usually gets same hefty slack in many circles, but this little bit they did with Sandro is entertaining.
The Brazilian whips out a guitar and sings some pop ditties for the interviewers while also recounting his youth experiences at home and his new dog.
Aside from music, he also has a knack for darts apparently and has had some famous competition in his England days.
It is certainly worth a look, if nothing else to just hear the man strum some bars and belt out the Black Eyed Peas.