Spurs season cannot slump despite Europa exit and League Cup loss
Tottenham have now drifted out to 11/2 (from 4/1) with a Coral for a top four finish, after two costly defeats resulted in them crashing out of Europe and then missing out on a trophy.
Mauricio Pochettino had won plaudits for sealing a smooth progression from the Europa League group stage and then steering Spurs to the Capital One Cup final, but profligacy in front of goal against Fiorentina and lousy luck at Wembley mean there is a danger his side’s season could fizzle out.
In an ultra-competitive race for European places, Tottenham cannot afford to show the same complacency they did in Florence or suffer such slings and arrows of two deflected Chelsea goals.
Chairman Daniel Levy has an itchy trigger finger. Pochettino has had plenty of predecessors, and this so nearly story for Spurs is becoming a running theme of modern times.
Heavily reliant on Harry Kane’s goals, the north London outfit got to Wembley in spite of themselves. Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado, big money buys in the wake of Gareth Bale’s world record sale to Real Madrid, have flopped.
It’s a similar story in the engine room with French holding midfield pair Etienne Capoue and Benjamin Stambouli losing out to academy graduates Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason. Pochettino will have to continue putting his own stamp on Tottenham’s squad, provided he can still secure European football for next term.
There are tough tests ahead for Spurs still en route to achieving this. In mid-March they have a trip to Old Trafford before a run-in that contains matches against three of last term’s fellow top eight teams (Southampton and Everton away, plus Manchester City at home in between).
An odds-on 4/7 price for Tottenham to once again be a top six side suggest Pochettino shall lead some sort of recovery from their recent setbacks.