Tottenham: Ten reasons they won't make the Champions League

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After a £100m spending spree this summer, hopes are high at White Hart Lane that Portuguese manager Andre Villas-Boas can guide Tottenham to a top four spot with some even talking about them as title outsiders.

However, while Tottenham are certainly in contention for a top four spot, they won't necessarily make it due to a number of factors:

Players taking time to gel 

While Tottenham's massive spending spree following the sale of Gareth Bale has undoubtedly given them more depth, the sheer number of new signings coming into the club meant that against Arsenal, they played as individuals rather than a team.

The cohesion will take time to build and more poor results like the one at the Emirates on Sunday will give Spurs a huge deficit to make up later on in the season.

Pressure on Eriksen to perform

With Tottenham's lack of creativity evident during the defeat at Arsenal, the signing of Ajax schemer Christian Eriksen looks to be a good piece of business and will benefit the team greatly if the young Dane performs.

However, when given the chance to impress on the big stage at Euro 2012, the youngster crumbled under the pressure and similar expectations could lead him to go missing in the bigger games. 

Poor full-backs

While Spurs' full-backs Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are effective going forward, their defensive work shows a need for improvement. Arsenal's first goal last Sunday was a perfect example as the inexperienced Rose stepped up trying to play an offside trap that wasn't there, allowing Theo Walcott to slide in Olivier Giroud for the opener.

Kyle Walker is also highly-rated, but his defensive positioning is at times laughable and he regularly has to use his pace to try and counteract his lack of football knowledge.

Lack of a matchwinner

Last season, when Spurs were locked in tight encounters that looked set to finish all-square, Gareth Bale usually dug them out with a spectacular goal. This happened on numerous occasions and almost gave them 4th spot.

However now with Bale gone, there doesn't seem to be anyone that can turn a game on its head in an instant, and while Erik Lamela has been touted as that man, it remains to be seen whether he can deliver in his first season in the Premier League.

Striking problems

Even with the £26m signing of Spanish striker Roberto Soldado, Spurs look very one-dimensional in attack. 

While Soldado has been hailed for an impressive start to his Tottenham career, he hasn't actually done anything of note. Two penalties in the Premier League have been added to another couple against extremely weak opposition in the Europa League and an anonymous performance against Arsenal in the North London Derby.

Their back-up is also poor as Jermain Defoe is average at best and Emmanuel Adebayor seemingly frozen out after last season's dreadful showings.

Strength of teams around them

Another obstacle for AVB's side to overcome is the strength of their Champions League rivals Liverpool and Arsenal. 

While Liverpool have bolstered their squad significantly and already look impressive so far this season, Arsenal have the experience.

And even though their squad doesn't have as much depth, their first team is certainly better, especially with the addition of the world class Mesut Ozil.


In the past two seasons, Spurs have completely combusted when homing in on a Champions League place late in the campaign, having been expected to qualify.

This season there is even more expected of them after their well-documented spending spree and when the pressure is on, the men from White Hart Lane could crumble again.

Too many of the same player

Tottenham's midfield three against Arsenal looked extraordinarily similar as Paulinho, Mousa Dembele and Etienne Capoue are all ball-winning powerhouses who lack the technical guile to break down the stronger defences.

Spurs have these type of players in abundance, especially if you add Sandro into the mix and it seems that AVB has over-stocked himself in that category.

Front three not as good as last season

Last season, the often seen front three for Tottenham were Gareth Bale, Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon; a trio full of pace and athletic ability, as well as genuine world class in the case of Bale.

This season they have gone with Andros Townsend, Roberto Soldado and Nacer Chadli generally, a trio nowhere near as strong as the one that finished 5th last time out.

AVB sketchy record in England

Ok, so Villas-Boas' side looked very impressive in bursts last season, but they were only that close to the Champions League places due to the brilliance of Bale in tight matches. 

AVB's short time at Chelsea was an unmitigated disaster, culminating in him losing the faith of the experienced heads in the dressing room.

At Tottenham, he has them currently treading water after a large outlay on players since his arrival in North London and it remains to be seen whether he can take them forward long-term.

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