Tottenham Are Stronger Without Gareth Bale Thanks to Christian Eriksen

Glenn HoddleFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2013

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I feared for Spurs at the start of the season, but I now believe they are a stronger squad, perhaps even a stronger team, without Gareth Bale.

Much of that is down to the signing of Christian Eriksen, a player who can unlock doors—the type of player Tottenham haven't had for a very long time.

I was asked this week whether Eriksen is the No. 10 that has been missing since the days of Ossie Ardiles and myself. Perhaps the question was posed because my old friend Ossie was standing next to me! We both avoided it, but I saw a smile break out on Ossie's face.

Ossie and I both agree Eriksen is making a huge difference to Spurs' style of play—notably in the creativity department.

I am really looking forward to the meeting of the two clubs I managed, Tottenham and Chelsea, as it has the makings of a fascinating encounter that could go either way. I'm expecting an exciting game.   

Spurs are progressing under Andre Villas-Boas, and I really do think they are going to make the top four this season. They might even be considered title contenders, who knows? Much depends on the next few results—and if they can keep their confidence levels going.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19:  Christian Eriksen of Spurs is marshalled by Thomas Drage of Trosmo during the UEFA Europa League Group K match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Tromso IL at White Hart Lane on September 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo
Clive Rose/Getty Images

With Eriksen playing well and Lewis Holtby coming back into the picture, they look as though they are strong in midfield. Eriksen really has taken them to the next level.

Chelsea are natural title contenders because they have so many good players, though it is a big surprise Jose Mourinho is not playing Juan Mata. Maybe there are political reasons for it. He's such a good player it seems certain he'll be back in the reckoning soon enough.

Perhaps with the Blues' early-season troubles, this is a good time for Spurs to be playing Chelsea.

I am not sitting on the fence just because I managed both teams, but I see it being a draw—a very entertaining draw, maybe even a high-scoring draw. Spurs would love to win as they are at home and Chelsea are not yet firing on all cylinders, but I see Chelsea getting a draw. 

Things are so open this season. We could be in for a classic title race.


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