If worrying about the next technical director or why we haven’t replaced Sven yet, knock yourselves out. Any new appointment isn’t likely to happen before the end of June unless like Monchi, they get the elbow. By which time, you’d hope we’d certainly identified and prioritised summer signings. A helping hand in negotiations wouldn’t go amiss but losing your sh*t over it now is not contributing in a positive manner.
Chelsea’s defeat yesterday was far more relevant to our season. That result left a top four finish in our hands. It seems almost inexplicable given where we were a couple of months ago but even St Totteringham is stirring in his slumber.
Not that the Premier League wants anything to do with usurpers claiming the Champions League placings. They are willing to roll back regulations to suit the money men, despite being adamant four years ago that the rules were the rules. Tottenham, Richard Scudamore, said would play entire seasons in the same home ground:
They’d have to play in the same stadium for the entire year,” he said in July 2015. “For the integrity of the competition. You can’t have 19 home games with 10 at Milton Keynes and nine at Wembley – completely, completely unfair. That won’t be allowed in our competition.”
Sporting integrity or money? Anyone who believed the Premier League carried any sporting integrity just saw it washed away in money. Most likely government money as well since Tottenham sponged a name-change off TfL for the nearest station. Nearly a century on from Gillespie Road changing to Arsenal, White Hart Lane will become Tottenham Hotspur. We’ll still ask for tickets to the Swamp, however, and no-one will notice.
The remaining fixtures seem fairly straightforward for all clubs. On paper, we have some tough games at Everton, Wolves and Leicester. Any hopes that Burnley will be safe by the final day are scuppered by their run-in and their match at home to Cardiff next month is going to be decisive.
The run-ins are subject to minor tweaks of televisual comfort and the Europa League. Palace, for ourselves, moves to the 21st anyway but Leicester will move to 28th if we reach the semi-finals. I suspect that week is the one identified for the re-arranged Wolves fixture with the club waiting to see if we play on Wednesday or Thursday night?
Playing their remaining home games at the London Toilet is a double-edged sword for Tottenham. If they found it hard at Wembley, in front of a half-full stadium for Huddersfield, West Ham and Everton is going to be more bewildering. From memory, we had a mixed eight-game start to life at the Emirates where it was either 1 – 1 or 3 – 0. In the race for the top four, Spurs don’t have that luxury. And I do genuinely believe they will miss out on a top-four finish.
Ultimately, I think we will finish third, above United on goal difference, on 78 points. The next post will tell how we’ll get those totals on a match-by-match basis. Exciting stuff. Spurs, new ground and all, one below in what is an amusing footnote that their new ground drags them down into the Europa League.