Not only did Chelsea knock Tottenham our of the FA Cup last weekend, the Spurs players know now that following the 5-1 semi final defeat, that a season in which they could have been so successful looks likely to end in them fighting to hang to the one prize they need most; a place in next season’s Champions League, which requires them finishing in the top four of the Premier League.
Spurs have only won twice in their last ten league games, dropping 20 points and falling to fourth place in the table with 59 points, the same number as Newcastle, who have won their last five and should their winning ways continue, then it is inevitable that they will overtake Spurs but whether it be good enough to fend off the challenge now being posed by a resurgent Chelsea who are just two points behind Spurs and Newcastle on 57, remains to be seen.
It could be that Spurs boss, Harry Redknapp, will look at the situation and adopt a more positive approach by urging his players to close the gap on Arsenal, who currently sit in third place on 64 points. The Gunners slipped up this week, losing 2-1 at home to Wigan and the Gunners know that the gap could close to two points should Spurs andNewcastlefor that matter win the game in hand each has over Arsene Wenger’s side.
Of the remaining fixtures,Newcastlelook to have the hardest run in, especially in their final three games. Alan Pardew’s men playChelseaatStamfordBridgein what is sure to be a crucial game, together withManCityat home before finishing the season away to Everton.Chelseaface tricky trips to both Arsenal and Liverpool as well as the small matter of the Champions League Semi Final withBarcelonaas well as the FA Cup final. The Blues face a congested run of fixtures that could well take its toll on interim manager, Roberto Di Matteo’s side and ultimately see them finish outside the top four but with the Champions League at stake, they will undoubtedly be all out to win the one trophy that eludes the club since Abramovich took over nine years ago.
Tottenham’s last four games come against QPR away, Blackburn at home, Bolton and Aston Villa away before finishing at home to Fulham. A sequence that most would say leaves Spurs hopes of playing Champions League football next season, firmly in their own destiny but if they are to do so, a return to winning way must happen soon!