Tottenham have enjoyed an exciting season up to this point, but the next few weeks will dictate whether the campaign has been a successful campaign or not for Spurs and relative rookie boss Andre Villas-Boas.
The remaining games are all about securing a top four finish this season for Spurs.
The side from north London have been almost permanent residents in the top four positions for the majority of the season.
However, in the last few weeks things have started to get rather nervy for the occupants of White Hart Lane. The team now find themselves in fifth place and facing last season’s champions Manchester City on Sunday.
It will be a difficult clash, with some at City still believing that they have an outside chance of catching Manchester United in the title race.
Tottenham boss Andre-Villas Boas has made a very decent start to his managerial career at Spurs. I believe that most Tottenham fans are behind their young boss. However, I do not think the season will be considered a success if Spurs do not claim a top for spot.
When he arrived on these shores from Portugal Villas-Boas was declared the best thing since slice bread, ‘Mourinho mark two’ and various other clichés.
His six months at Chelsea were miserable ones, as he went from highly-rated young manager, to being labelled a ‘no hoper’ in some peoples words.
The Chelsea job has become something of a poisoned chalice in recent years. The egos and power of some of those players in the Chelsea dressing room was just too much for the rookie boss to take.
His Tottenham experience has been a far different and happier one. The players seem to have bought into his ideas and like their young boss. This has been vital this season in Tottenham being successful and AVB’s managerial career continuing in England.
I have no doubts that Andre Villas-Boas is a talented coach, but his ideology was not appreciated at Stamford Bridge. The majority of people connected with Spurs however seem to have taken to the Portuguese coaching prodigy.
If AVB had failed with Tottenham his reputation could have been in tatters and it could have taken the former-Porto boss a long time to recover from.
His short stint at Chelsea had damaged his reputation, but it was not fatal damage and was a good learning curve for the Premier League’s youngest boss.
Anyway, back to playing matters. Gareth Bale’s recovery from injury could have a big bearing on how Tottenham fare for the rest of the season. The Welshman will return from injury in the Manchester City game on Sunday.
Tottenham have become reliant on the Welsh star scoring them the goals and providing inspiration. Without him, Spurs seem to lack that extra slice of excitement and inspiration. He is the special ingredient in a very tasty Tottenham cake.
Any team would miss their star player, I mean look at Barcelona without Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi. I am not comparing Bale to Messi in any way, just the situations that both clubs find themselves in at present.
Bale is the sort of player that can win games on his own, score and create the goals that win games and points it is as simple as that. I would be worried if I was a Tottenham fan and Bale was not returning on Sunday.
Bale’s return will boost confidence ahead of Sunday’s crunch game with City. If Arsenal wins at London rivals Fulham then Spurs could find themselves five points behind the Gunners, albeit with two games in-hand.
The reigning champions are currently on a good of form and will offer a major test of Tottenham’s top four credentials. A defeat could prove a fatal blow to Spurs ambitions of a place in Europe’s elite competition next season.
I have always rated Andre Villas-Boas as coach ever since his days at Porto. I thought he would be successful at Chelsea, I was wrong. However, it seems that Andre Villas-Boas and Tottenham are a better fit and could have a bright future together.
Spurs have the formation of a very good team, but it is vital that they keep hold of Gareth Bale.
Should they keep hold of the Welshman and make some shrewd additions to their squad in the summer then they should be right up there again next season, regardless of what happens in the next month or so.
Will Tottenham secure a Champions League spot for next season?