Football

Tottenham must secure top four finish after Europa League exit

Down and out - but can Spurs rally for a top four league finish?  (©GettyImages)
Down and out - but can Spurs rally for a top four league finish? (©GettyImages).

Andre Villas-Boas described his Tottenham players as heroes for the effort and work rate they showed in a gutsy 2-2 draw with Basel to level the tie. 

However, the needless sending off of Jan Vertonghen meant that once the tie went to extra time the only thing Spurs were able to do was take the game to penalties. Unfortunately Spurs fans need long memories to remember the last time Spurs won a penalty shoot out. 

In the end Basel were clinical with their penalties while Huddlestone and Adebayor were anything but. So what now for Spurs with the end of the season looming large?

Firstly AVB has time to pick the troops up from this defeat and get them ready for a huge test against Manchester City. Fans will be hoping to have Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon back in the side and these two will be the key for Spurs should they be available. 

Lennon has often gone under the media radar this season but Tottenham almost seem more affected by his absence than that of any other player including Bale. 

Lennon offers sheer pace which is key to Tottenham's counter attacking style but on top of that the biggest improvement in his game under the leadership of AVB is his defensive ability. He works just as hard to track his man and help out Kyle Walker as he does to attack and help out the strikers. 

If Gareth Bale is back then obviously that will be a big bonus as well as he will be crucial in the run in as he can conjure up match winning moments out of nothing.

Tottenham may also be boosted by the long awaited return of key centre half Younes Kaboul. If they can get him fit then a pairing of Kaboul and Dawson will leave fans purring, with Walker at right back and Jan Vertonghen at left back then Tottenham will be looking at their strongest line of defence.

It will be interesting to see how the crowd reacts to Adebayor after his appalling penalty miss - as that was just the cherry on the cake after a less than impressive season. He will either react well and be determined to make up for his error or he will just carry on being a passenger throughout games. If the crowd boo him (an understandable reaction) in the long term it may not be the greatest idea particularly as Defoe is out injured. 

However, on a positive note the hopeful return to form of Clint Dempsey will be a welcome sight for fans and AVB alike as he offers a physical presence and as demonstrated in Switzerland he can find the back of the net.

If Tottenham are to save their season from total capitulation (as has become the norm at this time of the season) then AVB needs to make sure that the morale in the camp stays high and that the players fight until the final minute of the final game to achieve a top four finish. 

They need to get some key players back to full fitness and show a hunger and determination to right the wrongs of last year and bring back Champions League football to the Lane.

 

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeFootball.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeFootball.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Football
Premier League

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