12 Things Tottenham Hotspur Fans Want for Christmas
It is December and the holiday season is upon us. As the Premier League, and English football as a whole, prepares for its traditional and chaotic festive fixture list Tottenham Hotspur head into the period on the back of one of the strongest opening halves to a season in their history.
Spurs supporters can't have asked for much more than they have got already with their team enjoying an 11-match unbeaten run (at the time of writing) that has included notable home victories against Liverpool FC and Arsenal, as well as impressive, battling wins at West Brom and Fulham.
Tottenham's form has led to talk of a potential title challenge, and while Santa Claus can't give that to them yet, there are a few things that Spurs fans will be wishing for to keep their club in the best shape possible on and off the pitch for the rest of 2011/12.
A Pre-Christmas Win over Chelsea
Three days before Christmas Day sees Chelsea visit Tottenham in what will be a big test of both teams' credentials this season.
With a couple of games still to go before the 22nd December meeting, the Premier League picture may have changed somewhat.
A victory for Spurs against one of their biggest rivals will fill White Hart Lane full of festive cheer and give supporters bragging rights for a few months. It would also go further in underlining what this Tottenham team might be capable of.
A Clean Bill of Health from the Christmas Period
The Christmas period means the games will soon be coming thick and fast, with five Premier League games in the space of a couple of weeks followed by an FA Cup third-round date.
So many games in such a short spell will mean some inevitable tiredness but the hope for Tottenham will be they come out of the run of fixtures with as few injury concerns as possible (and plenty of points on the board).
The Continued Good Fitness of Ledley King
Prior to the Bolton Wanderers game, Ledley King suffered a knock in training which saw him miss the 3-0 win. Spurs managed well without him but there is no denying the influential presence the central defender has been in Tottenham's good form this season.
King has been a near-virtual presence in this spell and while naturally he won't play every game, Tottenham fans, players and coaches alike will be wishing for him to remain as fit as possible in the second half of the season.
Emmanuel Adebayor on a Permanent Deal
Now this will be something of a belated Christmas gift if it comes Tottenham's way, but should he continue how he has started his Spurs career, there will be a lot of hope the club can find a way to sign Emmanuel Adebayor on a permanent deal.
Points that will have to be negotiated include a transfer fee with parent club Manchester City, who though keen to get their Togo forward off the wage bill, would like to recoup some of the fee spent on him.
Then there is, of course, Adebayor's wage demands. Spurs would be unlikely to break their strict wage structure and would need the current loan player to come down a few tens of thousands in pounds.
A strong season with Spurs might attract attention from elsewhere, but if it proves a successful campaign then surely Adebayor can live with "just" £70,000 a week while he sees just how much this Tottenham team might be capable of.
Manchester City To Slip Up
There has been plenty written and said on the legitimacy of a potential title challenge for Tottenham.
Harry Redknapp's side will have a lot of work to do to remain in contention, but undoubtedly what they and any other challengers will need is for Manchester City to slip up.
Even at this relatively early stage the title is City's to lose. Their strength in depth, especially on the attacking front, is arguably the strongest in English football history. Although they have some issues to contemplate defensively, the likes of Joe Hart more than provide the necessary talent to stop them from being overly damaging.
Roberto Mancini has done a superb job in putting his team together and just as admirably has kept them mentally sound in the face of so much media coverage, not to mention the impact of the Carlos Tevez affair.
With so much football to be played nothing is written in stone, but it looks like it might take something of a Christmas miracle to stop City this year.
Other Top-Four Rivals Dropping Points
Having already spoken about the need for Manchester City to drop points if Tottenham are to challenge for the title, other rivals such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United should not be forgotten in what is a very competitive battle for top-four places this season.
Chelsea and especially Arsenal have both picked up good wins after difficult spells, with the latter looking very strong as Robin van Persie continues to lead them out of their early season funk. With Man United looking generally solid, though not quite spectacular, Spurs' future meetings with them will go a long way in deciding their fate.
Still, it would be very helpful if the rest of the league can do Tottenham a favour and pick up some results like Fulham did against Liverpool this past Monday. Any advantages Spurs can gain in points now, even if it not of their own doing, will be extremely helpful in helping to fight off any advances from their fellow top-four competitors later on.
No Unsettling of Tottenham's Star Players in January
Chelsea's pursuit of Luka Modric this past summer looked for a time like it was going to be a major problem for Tottenham's stability.
It easy to forget now that after the 5-1 loss to Manchester City, Harry Redknapp was publicly concerned about the Croatian's mindset. As much as he admired his star midfielder, Modric has undoubtedly had his head turned by the money on offer at Stamford Bridge.
Redknapp and chairman Daniel Levy's strength in maintaining he was not for sale meant that once the transfer window was shut they knew they had a player that was not liable to sulk at not getting a move. Modric has subsequently been in great form, once again at the heart of most things great about Spurs.
January will undoubtedly see further speculation and possibly genuine interest about Modric and possibly others like Gareth Bale. While Chelsea might not seem as attractive a proposition as they did in August, there are others who might make tempting advances.
Manchester United are certainly in need of a midfielder of Modric's calibre, while Barcelona have been reported as having serious interest in Bale. It can be pretty safe to assume that Spurs will sell neither in January, but the last thing the club needs is their players getting unsettled again.
Harry Redknapp To Stay After This Season
Now the relationship between Spurs supporters and Harry Redknapp hasn't always been perfect.
On the fans' side, they have at times had issues with his selection policy and tactics; on the manager's side, he has problems with their questioning of his decisions.
But both know that Tottenham have a good thing going right now, and unless there is a disastrous end to the season, the supporters will certainly not want to see Redknapp leaving for England when he has Spurs playing so well right now.
It will be a tough decision for Redknapp should it arise, but with Spurs maybe on the cusp of achieving something great, the White Hart Lane faithful will not want to see that possibly derailed even if it is for the good of the national team.
Concrete Plans for the Redevelopment of White Hart Lane
Not many Tottenham fans were crying at the club losing out on the Olympic Stadium site, with most preferring to remain in North London.
In pursuit of the Olympic Stadium, Daniel Levy had looked to have thrown away the plans to redevelop White Hart Lane, initially released in 2009. But with a redevelopment of the Olympic Stadium just months after being completed a no-go, the Tottenham chairman has had to return to the idea of building a new ground at the club's traditional home.
With Tottenham now seeking funding for help in redeveloping the area around White Hart Lane, Spurs fans are eagerly awaiting news on a date for work to begin on the prospective 56,250-capacity stadium.
International Recognition for Tottenham's England Boys
Scott Parker and Kyle Walker have been two of England's strongest performers in recent months. Parker in particular has highlighted his importance to the Three Lions' cause with an impeccably destructive performance in the 1-0 win at Spain.
Walker drew plaudits for a strong performance against Sweden in the next game and as of right now seems, along with Glenn Johnson, one of the preferred right-backs of manager Fabio Capello.
Now while Spurs fans are rightfully more concerned with what their players do at club level than country, it is certainly nice to see players representing the club in their respective nations.
Two who haven't been in the England squad recently are Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon. The former is especially surprising considering that he has been playing some of the best football of his career, a fact that should not be neglected despite him not starting every day.
Defoe has also been one of England's best strikers when given the chance, and was one of the few to return from the 2010 World Cup with any semblance of credit for his displays.
Lennon hasn't been as consistent for England, but that hasn't been helped by the absence of a decent run in the national side. While he has strong competitions on the wings with Theo Walcott, Ashley Young, Adam Johnson, James Milner and Stewart Downing all quality players, Lennon is at the very least the equal of these and probably better than most.
Aside from Milner none can perform as effectively in a 4-4-2 formation, should England revert to that. Lennon also has the added positive of his burgeoning relationship with Kyle Walker on the right side at Spurs. Not to mention his growing versatility in operating on the left and his increasing willingness to go looking for the ball.
A Stress-Free Remainder to the Season
Okay it is pretty much obvious, but the thing Tottenham Hotspur fans would most like for Christmas is a continuance of the great form their club is in and the excellent football that has contributed to that.
The previous Christmas wishes will all play their part in that of course, but above all it would be nice to enjoy a relatively stress-free remainder of the season that allows Spurs fans to enjoy their football without worrying about goal scorers not scoring, leaking defences or bewildering managerial decisions.
Well, one can dream at least. Speaking of dreaming, one last thing Spurs fans might like for Christmas...
On a snowy Christmas Eve, Lionel Messi suddenly decides he has had enough in Barcelona and demands a move to Tottenham.
It sets into motion a sequence of crazy, unbelievable events that lead to Daniel Levy releasing a statement on the club's website on Christmas morning that Spurs have signed Lionel Messi for £10 million and letting Harry Kane go on loan for six months at the Nou Camp.
Messi, who arrives on January 1st, says: "It has always been my dream to play for Tottenham Hotspur, ever since I watched the likes of Andy Sinton and Chris Armstrong growing up. I hope to bring much success to the fans."
At that point, Spurs fans everywhere wake up from their eggnog-induced stupor/daydreaming, return to their Christmas lunch and a discussion of whether or not they will beat Norwich away on 27th December...