Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: Tottenham Hotspur

By Steven Beacom

Tottenham Hotspur. The name conjures up excitement and entertainment with Glenn Hoddle, Ossie Ardiles and Paul Gascoigne to the fore. Tales of Danny Blanchflower's 1961 double winning team, the goals of Jimmy Greaves and the saves of Pat Jennings colour a rich history of the 'boys from White Hart Lane'.

I've always associated a sense of style with Spurs. Likewise their sizeable Northern Ireland fanbase.

Right now the Lilywhites are about as stylish as Wimbledon in the 80s, yet are proving to be pretty effective.

This season Spurs have become the forgotten team in the Premier League with so much focus on long time leaders Arsenal, the might of Manchester City and Chelsea, the Liverpool revolution and the contrasting fortunes of Everton and Manchester United.

In the meantime Tottenham have quietly moved into fifth ahead of Everton and just three points behind fourth placed Liverpool, both of whom have been hailed high and low for their form under Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers.

And this after sacking a manager mid-season! Andre Villas-Boas being replaced by the straight talking and clear thinking Tim Sherwood.

Spurs fans once mocked "boring, boring Arsenal". Now that mantle belongs to them. In 25 league games they have scored just 32 goals. Liverpool have hit 63 yet have still won only one more game than Tottenham.

In years gone by when they produced superb football, Spurs often snatched despair from the jaws of glory. How ironic it would be if somehow they achieved success and qualified for the Champions League by playing some of their dullest football ever.

Belfast Telegraph

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