Spurs still good value at 2/1 to finish in the top four this term
Tottenham gaffer Andre Villas-Boas could not hide his disappointment after his side’s 1-0 loss at home to Newcastle in the Premier League.
The north Londoners enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and had an incredible 31 attempts at goal, hitting the target 14 times only to be thwarted by inspired Toon keeper Tim Krul on each occasion.
Spurs are now out to 2/1 for a top-four finish this year, but Villas-Boas and co should take comfort from their performance against Alan Pardew’s men.
There were clear signs of improvement since their last loss – the embarrassing 3-0 reverse at home to West Ham which saw the Lilywhites dominate possession without creating enough chances.
Tottenham had more than twice as many efforts on goal against the Magpies than they did against Sam Allardyce’s side and will not come up against a stopper in the kind of impenetrable form Dutchman Krul showed on too many occasions this term.
Villas-Boas will welcome back goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after the international break, as the French number one was ruled out of the last two matches with concussion.
Spurs are a different team with the 26-year-old between the sticks and Lloris’s increasingly frequent dashes from his goal line to support the defence cannot be replicated by 42-year-old reserve Brad Friedel.
Danny Rose – who is the only recognised left-back still at the club after the departure of Benoit Assou-Ekotto over the summer – should also be back for the visit to Man City after missing the last 12 games through injury.
The return of 23-year-old former winger Rose – who is an interesting outsider at 12/1 to make England’s 2014 World Cup squad – would allow Jan Vertonghen to return to his favoured centre-half role while also providing an attacking outlet down the left flank.
Spurs are just a single point behind fourth-placed Chelsea and are just five off Premier League-leaders Arsenal with almost a third of the season gone.
With their cadre of new talent beginning to find some attacking rhythm after a summer of upheaval, now is not the time to lose faith in Villas-Boas’ men.