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Inside Lane: A Spurs fan’s view of the derby defeat against Arsenal

Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain attempts to block Andros Townsend's cross at White Hart Lane Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain attempts to block Andros Townsend's cross at White Hart Lane

By George Lacey
Monday, March 17, 2014
11:09 AM

Tottenham blogger George Lacey gives his verdict on yesterday’s 1-0 home defeat against Arsenal, and discusses where it leaves Spurs.

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There was a vast improvement in Spurs’ performance yesterday but, ultimately, we lost the biggest game of the season against our north London rivals Arsenal.

The fiasco at White Hart Lane recently has seemed to spiral out of control and, after three damaging defeats in a week - two of them against London rivals - Tottenham’s slump has continued and any hope of Champions League qualification is over.

We have taken just one point from a possible 21 against the current top four teams this season, which paints the picture. You simply can’t expect to achieve the dizzy heights of elite European football if you can’t beat your competitors.

The fact is that Spurs have failed to perform when it has mattered most this season and have frozen on the big stage.

I get the feeling that a win yesterday could have sparked something at the Lane and put to bed the media attention on our recent frailties and Tim Sherwood’s shenanigans.

We did play well yesterday and moved the ball better than Arsenal but, after our latest defeat, we have left ourselves with pretty much nothing to play for apart from Europa League qualification.

With it all to do against Benfica in Portugal on Thursday, we look like falling out of this season’s competition - but do we really want to qualify again next season if we are to just throw it away when it comes to balancing our priorities with domestic football?

Personally, I believe we are not equipped to challenge for the Europa League crown, and that has been proved in our displays in the latter rounds of the competition in recent seasons.

Therefore, if we are to qualify again by finishing in fifth or sixth position, then we should use the Europa League for nurturing younger talents, as Harry Redknapp did during his tenure at Spurs.

Redknapp’s philosophy of giving youngsters a stage to impress worked in our favour as we saved our more experienced players for vital Premier League games, and we secured two top-four finishes.

On the whole, after the influx of transfers last summer, it is now evident that we have been short-changed by the club after being promised so much.

With the money generated by the sale of Gareth Bale, we simply haven’t improved the squad and, as a result, we have failed to reach our objective for yet another season.

I feel the club’s identity has also been tarnished and that hurts the most. The moans and groans that have filled the subdued atmosphere at White Hart Lane this season has reflected the torment, endured over the course of a dismal season.

With eight games left to play in the Premier League, Player of the Year nominations and the like will soon be revealed as fans are forced to vote for their stars of the season.

However, I feel this campaign’s silver lining would be the rise to stardom of Andros Townsend, and he didn’t cost a penny. Andre Villas-Boas deserves credit for that one.

Follow me on Twitter @GeorgeLacey_

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