English Premiership: 5 Reasons Tottenham Will Qualify for the Champions League
Being a London resident I've heard a lot about Tottenham's recent success so decided to write an article on how successful I believe this team could be.
Gareth Bale has recently come out and said he believes Tottenham can challenge both Manchester teams for the title. Whilst I think this may be slightly exaggerated. The level of confidence in this team could see a real fight for third place, and I fully expect Tottenham to come out well.
I cannot see either Manchester side tailing off anytime soon, given that one is managed by Alex Ferguson, and the other just has so much talent both in its starting 11 and starting 22 for that matter!
So looking further down the table I think that realistically there are five other teams who could possibly contend for those two remaining Champions League places: Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle and Tottenham.
Here is why I think Tottenham will be one of those two...
They've Kept Their Best Players
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Financially, Tottenham are secure, so they don't need to sell their big-time players to the top three. Case in point was their determination to keep Luca Modric away from the clutches of Roman Abramovich.
Not being bullied by the financial juggernauts of Manchester or Chelsea is key to establishing themselves as a consistent contender for Champions League football and makes a great statement to the rest of the league.
Keeping, not only Modric, but Bale, Van Der Vaart and others has been invaluable this season, as the Tottenham midfield has sparkled.
Smart Buys & Loans
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Two men have made the Tottenham attack flourish.
The first is Emmanuel Adebayor who's been a sensational loan signing and, thus far, hasn't caused the off the field issues everybody thought he would. His stats might not sparkle, but his impact on the game is still monumental as teams work out a game plan to deal with him.
The second is Scott Parker, who this writer believes is right up there for signing of the year. Premiership Player of the Year whilst at West Ham is an accolade not easily achieved, and his impact has been even more profound this year. Parker's work rate all over the pitch lets Modric, Bale, Lennon and Van Der Vaart flourish. Parker is a piece they were sorely missing last year.
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There's a reason Harry is being touted as the next England manager to replace Capello after the European Championships next year. He's been fantastic wherever he's been. At Portsmouth he took them to heights they won't see again for a long time. Even when he left for Southampton and came back they still didn't seem too fussed, considering the normal ramifications of a move to a bitter rival.
He seems to be loved by all of his players wherever he goes, and his players want to work hard for him. If the players didn't like him they wouldn't sign in the first place. Given the talent on Tottenham's squad, he's done a fine job in assembling a group of loyal players that want to play together and challenge for Champions League.
Young and Healthy
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Tottenham's youth system has done wonders this year in providing quality depth. Walker and Livermore are just a couple that have contributed greatly to the team. Walker could even be a constant in the England squad if he keeps this up.
Injuries have been the curse of Tottenham centre backs in recent years, but this year they seem more durable than in the past, and that could come up trumps for them in the Champions League race. These next two months is when they will be truly tested, going into the Christmas mayhem, and the injury to Dawson might cast some doubt.
Weakness of Those Around Them
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Chelsea seem to be stuttering under new management this year, and while they will always be challenging, I don't believe that challenge will come for some time. Torres still isn't quite the same yet, Terry is still getting into trouble and Drogba just hasn't reappeared into the scary figure he once was.
Liverpool are too inconsistent—sometimes they look like world beaters and at other times they look distinctly average. Since Meireles went, their midfield has struggled to be as dominant as it could have been, and the injury to Gerrard left them playing catch-up.
Arsenal started off terribly although seem to be on the rise again and are playing very well. However, if Van Persie goes down, or even leaves in January, I don't think Arsenal are strong enough to put up a good enough challenge, unless Wenger is able to find a suitable replacement fast!
Newcastle are the surprise team of 2011. Demba Ba has been an inspired signing and Alan Pardew, to his credit, has done an incredible job in getting them to where they are. The question is whether they can keep it up. If they get into a bad run of games then I can see this team dropping, perhaps so much so they won't recover.
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Tottenham are on a great run at the moment, and if they can win their game in hand then that moves them onto 25 points and tied for third with Newcastle. They're playing with a smile on their face whilst a number of sides around them seem to be stuttering—Chelsea and Liverpool for example. If they can carry this form out of the Christmas period, I think more people will be getting on the Tottenham Champions League bandwagon.