Tottenham Hotspur: Victory over Everton Encapsulates Improbable Run at Top 4

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Tottenham Hotspur: Victory over Everton Encapsulates Improbable Run at Top 4
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Through 25 matches in this Premier League season, Tottenham have conceded 11 goals to one team, lost 5-0 at home to another, scored an equal number of goals as they have conceded and scored fewer goals than the goal differential of the fourth-place club.

Incredibly, all of this amounts to Spurs being in fifth place in the league, just three points off of Liverpool in fourth.

To call Tottenham's season thus far a roller-coaster would be like calling Manchester United's a bit of a disappointment.

So how have Spurs fought their way to where they currently find themselves?

For one thing, the side has seemed to come together since manager Tim Sherwood took the reins in December.

In the first part of the season, when Tottenham were suffering through the final stages of the Andre Villas-Boas regime, the players seemed to be mentally fragile, always on the precipice of completely collapsing. For evidence of this, one only needs to look at the losses to Manchester City (6-0), Liverpool (5-0) or West Ham (3-0).

Since Sherwood took over, though, the players have come together, grinding out results and finding a way to get the ball in the back of the net.

Sure, there was that 5-1 loss to Manchester City last week, but the players even fought through that one, only letting the score get out of hand when they were down a man toat least what wasthe potent City attack.

Sunday's victory over Everton typified this newfound strength at White Hart Lane.

Through the first 45 minutes of the contest, Tottenham were the second-best side on their home pitch.

While Everton created gilt-edged opportunities, Spurs were barely able to muster a shot and didn't even have one on target. The home side only found themselves level going into the half thanks to a few fantastic saves from their goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris.

Instead of letting their heads drop as supporters grew restless, though, this Tottenham banded together, battened down the hatches at the back and used a bit of guile off a quick Kyle Walker free kick to nick the only goal of the match.

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While the Daily Telegraph reports that Everton boss Roberto Martinez used his post-match press conference to imply that Spurs merely got lucky, they did just what they set out to do: stifle a slick set of Toffees and effectively hit them on the counter-attack.

If Tottenham do that right, it can be an effective win by a small margin, like it was Sunday. If they don't, things can quickly fall apart, as they did under AVB.

So is Martinez correct? Were Spurs lucky to win Sunday? Moreover, does that win typify how lucky they are to be within sight of the top four?

Those questions will be answered in March, when they have matches with Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool within a three-week span.

Until then, supporters should relish the journey like they haven't over the past few seasons.

After all, the pressure's off. Spurs are the chasers this time around.

 

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