White Hart Lane is not a ground to get relegated at particularly if you are dressed as a banana. It is great to get into the party spirit but when some of the away fans look like items from Andy’s toy box in Toy Story it is hard to accept they took seriously that relegation was a real risk.
The team, however, were quite different with Curtis Davis playing a prominent role in central defence as another typical afternoon full of chances turned into victory with practically the last kick of the match. That shot from Pav was deflected into the net off the after an excellent opening goal from him and a resounding return in the form of a Craig Gardiner volley.
Pav had come on to replace the injured Crouch and in typical fashion produces one of his moments of brilliance to open the scoring. I doubt it will be enough to save him that opportunity exists if the Chairman sets his price too high.
Once again our stats show us to be significantly superior in attack 22 attempts against 7 but unable to convert chances. Birmingham had a lot of say in that with a strong rearguard performance but typically for the lowest scorer in the Division not a lot at the other end of the field.
This wasn’t a poor performance but it wasn’t a dynamic one either. Ledley King played back to back for the first time since the end of last season and kept Birmingham under control with the aid of Michael Dawson. Danny Rose continued and looked our best player from the start of the game and takes from my mind the need to buy another left back.
In midfield Sandro continued to shine pushing forward more with Huddlestone’s inclusion and making the keeper make two decent saves in the first half. Tommy’s return pushed Luka out left in the line up but he orchestrated things from a central position as he has all season keeping our play moving and deservedly picked up the player of the season award after the game.
Out right Lennon showed some pace and was twice tackled perfectly by Davies when he was likely to score or set up a goal had he beaten the challenge.
So at the final whistle we had secured fifth place and an automatice entry into the Europa League and as a result the players holiday plans remain in tact. In truth it allows the pre season tour to go ahead as planned and Management to get their heads together deciding upon player trading in an effort to build up the squad.
Sunday showed how close the league is at the foot of the table with Wigan and Wolves escaping at the death. Whilst these teams have stumbled through the season the points they have taken have also proved costly for those at the top.
As it stands today United and Chelsea look stronger than the rest and City, Arsenal, Liverpool and ourselves capable of beating everybody yet capable of a silly slip up here and there. With our new found belief against these opponents having won points at both Arsenal and Anfield I think we can challenge for third place next season as long as we add the real deal in terms of goal threat and maybe some consistency between the posts.
Having said this it remains to be seen what damage City’s riches will do in this the last year of outrageous spending and with Liverpool also maybe having deep pockets we may need to change more players than we expect as at today’s date.
Despite a disappointing 2011 this has been a satisfying season. Yes it has had moments to be rightly disappointed about but overall much more good moments than bad. There are times when Harry “bigs” it up too much but he has much to be pleased about.
Those of us Spurs fans who are getting longer in the tooth will recognise that traditionally we have been more about being a cup side than mounting a consistent run to mount a season long challenge. When we’ve been good this year by golly we’ve been good but on the road we’ve still excelled at being bad on occasions. I fancy next year Sandro might have a bit more to say about that!