Tottenham Hotspur's Troubles Show No Sign of Stopping

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Tottenham Hotspur's Troubles Show No Sign of Stopping
Tony Marshall/Getty Images
Tottenham is in deep trouble without star keeper Hugo Lloris

With all due respect to B/R's Sam Tighe, it is indeed time to panic.

Tottenham Hotspur find themselves seventh in the table, five points behind rivals Arsenal, having scored just nine goals in 11 matches. They've scored more goals than only bottom and second-bottom sides Crystal Palace and Sunderland. Spurs have been blanked twice, and only superior defense has kept them out of the bottom half of the table.

Julian Finney/Getty Images
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has plenty to worry about

If it weren't for Hugo Lloris, the Lilywhites would be in the relegation zone. Literally. Give each Premier League opponent that Tottenham blanked just a single goal, and Spurs drop 11 points and find themselves third from bottom on just nine.

It's a terrifying thought, especially considering Lloris' recent head injury—not to mention boss Andre Villas-Boas' unhinged response to media questions surrounding it.

The next six League matches present significant challenges for Tottenham.

Date Fixture Opponent's Goals-per-Match
24 Nov Away to Manchester City 2.55
1 Dec Home to Manchester United 1.64
4 Dec Away to Fulham 0.91
7 Dec Away to Sunderland 0.73
15 Dec Home to Liverpool 1.91
22 Dec Away to Southampton 1.36

Tottenham, of course, have scored at just a 0.82 goals-per-match rate so far this campaign. Given the offensive output of the three best clubs on this list, Spurs fans can expect losses to Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool. Perhaps a draw to Southampton and victories over hapless Fulham and Sunderland and Tottenham will be lucky to take seven points from these six matches.

That simply won't be good enough.

A club that finds itself on 27 points at Christmas isn't shaping up for Champions League qualification. It's essentially the total that Stoke City had collected by the last three Christmases. They finished 13th last year, 14th the year before and 13th before that.

Tottenham supporters expect better than a 13th-place finish.

And they deserve it, after the club sold talisman Gareth Bale for a world-record £85.2 million transfer fee and brought in seven new players, the "Baldini Seven," in a supposed effort to ensure Champions League qualification.

But many of the new players aren't exactly working out.

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Striker Roberto Soldado has just one goal from the run of play, while attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen has just one total; midfielders Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue have spent time injured; wunderkind winger Erik Lamela struggled mightily upon his arrival in England (although he has come alive in recent matches).

Defender Vlad Chiriches and box-to-box center man Paulinho have impressed for Spurs, but they remain the exception among Franco Baldini's summer signings.

If the new players cannot gel with the rest of the squad, a turnaround may not be in sight for the club. Are Tottenham fans really going to accept a "transition year," another season of missing out on Champions League football?

They may not have a choice.

It is time to panic, Tottenham supporters. It is time to panic, indeed.

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