What On Earth’s Going Wrong At Tottenham?

One of the reasons why we like league football is that it is relatively meritocratic. From only a few games in the season, the league table doesn’t lie. Setting aside aesthetic or moral arguments for a moment, few people argue that the Premier League leaders, Chelsea, have been the best team so far this season, or that Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur have been the worst. We have covered the various goings on at St James Park in considerable detail over the last few weeks, but what on earth is going on at White Hart Lane, where a club that is perenially picked as the club most likely to smash the hegemony of the top four has already been cast adrift at the foot of the table and appears set for a long, hard winter. Tottenham seem, on the face of things, to have come undone due to a mixture of their own poor decision making and undue pressure from other clubs. Last season, what was striking about them was that, whilst they leaked a lot of goals, they scored a lot as well. During the summer, though, they lost their first choice attacking partnership (having sold the third part of that particular axis, Jermaine Defoe, in January), and whilst other areas of the team have not been particularly strengthened, the one area of the pitch in which one...

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