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The race for the third place - Advantage Tottenham

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1.98K   //    17 Mar 2012, 18:58 IST

It’s been exactly 51 seasons since Tottenham achieved their resplendent feat of a double under the management of Bill Nicholson and though they are still miles away from repeating such a historic feat , this is the closest they have ever gotten.

After having finished just below the much coveted final Champions League spot in the fifth position last season and crashing out of the same by the hands of Real Madrid, they look much more promising this season ensconced in the third place below the Manchester clubs and could end this season on a high note that is if they play their cards right.

The threesome of “Spurs”, “Gunners” and “The Blues” have been battling out for the “third and fourth spot” in the League which is rather ironic. With spurs heading the attack , Chelsea and Arsenal are viciously looming behind. A mere four points separate the three teams with only ten games to go.

Tottenham has a comparatively easy run with only an away game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge being notably crucial, while arsenal still has to play Chelsea and second placed Manchester City whereas Chelsea is yet to be tested against Liverpool, Arsenal, City and Spurs.

The biggest concern for spurs has been their inconsistency at times and unfortunately their inability to grind out results from close games. To be added to their list of woes is their recent dip in form, with three defeats on the trot at the hands of Everton, Manchester United and Arsenal, they have made it more difficult for themselves and the sooner they snap out of this limbo the better. They have also abominably floundered when it comes to performing against the elite clubs in the league with wins coming only against Liverpool and Arsenal, both at White Hart Lane.

They are known for their creative attacking play which is both enticing and exhilarating to watch and has been garnering credit for a while now. They have been voted as the best team to watch according to a recent survey conducted by the Barclays involving all the managers of the Premier League.

They have arguably one of the best mid-fields in the premier league on paper studded with a number of star players. The superhuman speed of Welshman Gareth Bale convolved with the commanding pace and brilliance of Aaron Lennon and Luka Modric on the flanks, the tenacity and agility of Scott Parker infused with the ingenuity and finishing flair of Rafael Van Der Vaart make for an incendiary and intimidating Tottenham mid-field. With all the ingredients in the bag they are now a force to be reckoned with and are on the verge of breaking into upper tiers of the Premier League.

It is going to be a lot tougher for Chelsea with one leg still lodged in the Champions League after overturning an almost impossible 3-1 deficit from the first leg against Napoli which makes for extra stress along with the increased physical demands.

The ousting of Andre Villas Boas has certainly set the ball rolling at Stamford Bridge with three out of three wins under the new gaffer Roberto Di Mattio in three different competitions, but it is too soon to draw any conclusions and only time will tell us the tale of Chelsea’s glorious or ignominious future.

The Gunners after fizzling to a catastrophic start to the season with just one win in five games and having a comparatively subordinate season, have finally upped the ante and are back in contention for the third place and hence qualification for the Champions League.

With no trophies in seven years , they are in desperate need to at least stay in the creme de la creme of the premier league. It is even difficult to predict where they will end up given their mercurial season and the whims at which their players have been performing with Van Persie being their sole goal machine.

26 and counting

With just ten games left, every single point is of vital importance and even the slightest slip up can turn their season upside down , that said there is an insurmountable pressure reposing on the shoulders of not only the players but also the managers with their jobs on the line. Only true grit, perseverance and a cool head can get you across the line.

So who do you think is going to snatch the third place and which London Club will be deprived of Champions League glory next season? Do drop in your comments. (fingers crossed)

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