I’ve not done one of these in a while so you will have to bare with me as I get rid of the ring rust but at the same time that is arguably a statement that could be laid at the feet of Tottenham as of late as they go into their final two Premier League matches with it all still to do.
The first of those fixtures takes place tonight as they play host to Newcastle with the stakes perhaps not being any higher as they have been all season. If they win they will leapfrog Liverpool and go third in the table, however defeat coupled with a win for Chelsea over Huddersfield and they go into the final game of the season lying 5th.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men go into this game having seen their 10 point lead over Chelsea cut to just two, the form that saw them go on a 14 match unbeaten run is something of a distant memory with April and May bringing very little cheer for the North London outfit.
That cheer would have undoubtedly have been misery last Saturday as they lost to West Brom by a last minute goal from former Spurs midfielder Jake Livermore. In the end it was a win that was all in vain for the Baggies as they suffered the ignominy of relegation last night after Southampton’s win over Swansea.
And Tottenham fans will be hoping that their win over Chelsea on Easter Sunday was not in vain either, you almost get the feeling that they have given so much in that game that they have hit the wall at the wrong time, they laboured to a win over a struggling side and the same must be said about their recent victory over Watford.
That win over the Hornets was far from a classic but a lot of fans will have been happy with just three points rather than the performance itself, tonight may bring around the same feelings as many will be hoping that Tottenham do not fall at the final couple of hurdles.
The only solace they have is the fact that both their matches are at home and in addition to that they are also playing sides that have nothing left to play for. Tonight’s opponents Newcastle have long since secured a second consecutive season in the top flight and if anything will be treating this game as nothing more than a dead rubber.
Well at least that is what Tottenham will be hoping, at the same time though the hosts cannot take their opposition too lightly as that is what happened on Saturday. Although the caveat there is that West Brom were fighting for their lives at the Hawthorns, so it was never going to be a walk in the park.
It was certainly not a walk in the park on Saturday for Tottenham’s back three, a trio that included Belgian international Toby Alderweireld. His inclusion did not result in victory but it does ask a very pertinent question for this evening.
That being whether not, he is included from the start in either a two or three. One school of thought is that with both Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier out injured then a Belgian back two would allow Tottenham to play an additional attacking player and allow for quicker transitions from back to front.
That might well be something that aides Harry Kane who has not only looked isolated as of late but sluggish also, there is no doubting that it is great that he has returned so early but at the same time he has been nowhere near his brilliant best.
Some will argue and perhaps correctly that Tottenham looked more fluid and dangerous with the interchangeable front four that made light work of both Bournemouth and Chelsea, but at the same time how can you advocate for the Kane to be sitting on the bench.
Tottenham could well do with him firing on all cylinders tonight, although that it something that could be said about a lot of the players at the moment. Should every go well then there is absolutely no reason why they won’t earn all three points, it’s just that things have not gone well as of late. It’s not going to be easy watching tonight.