Tottenham Hotspur’s title hopes have all but been extinguished after the devastating 6-0 defeat to Manchester City. After significant investment at the start of the season, hopes were high that along with a top four finish, perhaps they could challenge for the Premier League title.
Before today’s game with Manchester City, there wasn’t a massive amount of criticism aimed at the club’s league showing so far. Obviously goalscoring was proving to be a problem for them, but at least it was counter balanced with a solid defence who had only conceded six goals prior to today. Only one goal conceded away from home as well.
The fact that Spurs are only still four points away from second place shows that the league is very tight, and there is little between the top eight or so sides. But now their defence has been ripped apart by one of their rivals, it has erased the main positive from their season so far. It was always going to be a tough match at the Etihad Stadium, but to lose it in such disastrous fashion could have a detrimental impact on their season.
The £100m plus investment at the start of the season seemed to strengthen all the areas that required attention. Yet perhaps their star performer this season is someone who has been on their books a long time. Andros Townsend has looked phenomenal for both club and country this year, and it was a surprise not to see him in the starting lineup on Sunday. Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado, costing over £50 million between them, again failed to deliver what is expected from them.
Soldado has been particularly disappointing for Spurs. He was supposed to be the key player to turn them into a definite top four side, and potential title challengers. However, his goal return has been disappointing. It has led to Defoe and Adebayor receiving limited playing time. Both on their day are more than capable of putting a few goals past any side.
Whilst it is still early days in the season, and there isn’t much between the top sides in terms of points, Sunday’s game showed the disparity between Tottenham and Manchester City. It showed that Spurs have a long way to go before they can deliver the performances expected from a side worthy of challenging for the title. Perhaps a top four finish should be their focus in a season which has seen a great deal of change at the club.