Why Tottenham are better off under Andre Villas-Boas
Tottenham six points worse off at same stage as last season - but better placed to achieve Champions League finish
This time last season, Spurs were sitting pretty - third in the table, having amassed a sizeable 46 points from 22 matches, and five clear of Chelsea in fourth place.
A year on and Tottenham find themselves with six points fewer and a place further down the Premier League table, yet this Lilywhites fan argues that we may be in for a more pleasant time come the end of this season.
As we all know, Harry Redknapp's side suffered a monumental collapse in form during the second half of the previous campaign, leading them to collect only 23 points from the final 16 matches. This was compounded even further by the scintillating form that they had shown up until then. It is this point that I think is an important factor to draw upon.
No side in history has gone the duration of a season without some sort of dip in form, and similarly, very few sides will go without a stretch of promising results.
Even Arsenal's 'Invincibles' went through a patch of poor form during the season where they didn't even lose a game. Spain started their 2010 World Cup campaign with a loss at the hands of Switzerland yet went on to be crowned champions, whilst Manchester City and Manchester United both suffered uncharacteristically average periods last term. Spurs' form was so good during the first few months of 2011/12, that a come-down was inevitable, simply by the law of averages.
This season however, their form has been distinctly inconsistent thus far, with a respective home draw and loss to Norwich and Wigan, coupled with a first win at Old Trafford in 23 years, which still remains the only win, and three of a mere four points to come against the top seven teams in the Premier League under AVB. Yet there is plenty of encouragement to be found.
On pitch and paper, Spurs have had far from the greatest start to a season, where only Jermain Defoe and Sandro have really shown their best form week in, week out. By that reckoning, there's a lot of top-class players throughout the squad who are due a good run of form, and if the likes of Kyle Walker, Moussa Dembele, Aaron Lennon, Gareth Bale, Clint Dempsey, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Emmanuel Adebayor can start firing on all cylinders, a fourth-place finish and continental qualification is the least that the White Hart Lane faithful can hope for come May.
So long as Arsenal don't win the Champions League, of course.
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