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Inside Lane: ‘Retro’ Spurs have gone back to the 90s

Hugo Lloris is left on his knees after last week's Europa League defeat against Benfica at White Hart Lane Hugo Lloris is left on his knees after last week's Europa League defeat against Benfica at White Hart Lane

By Ben Bloom
Thursday, March 20, 2014
7:40 AM

Tottenham blogger Ben Bloom says Spurs’ lack of creativity has been horribly exposed without Gareth Bale, and that Lilywhites fans can consequently start their summers early.

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West Brom away (67th minute), Newcastle at home (78), West Ham away (90), Southampton at home (86) and Sunderland at home (89).

On no fewer than five occasions between January and May 2013 did Gareth Bale live up to his name and bail Spurs out of trouble with late winners.

A team lacking finishing, attacking flair and on numerous occasions coherent ideas was indebted to the brilliance of the man who would become the most expensive footballer ever.

It was almost solely down to the Welshman that the battle for fourth went down to the final game last season – where, despite yet another last-minute Bale strike to defeat Sunderland, the quest finally ended with Arsenal gaining the three points needed.

Players and managers have come and gone but there is one cog missing. The genius is no longer among the ranks to mask everyone else’s inadequacies.

There was no-one on hand to keep Spurs’ sinking heads above water and provide a late winner at Hull last month. No-one could prevent a dismal defeat at Norwich. And, although we finally saw something resembling fight on Sunday, sacrificing the three points to Arsenal seemed a foregone conclusion with half an hour left.

Fortune (or more accurately Damien Comolli) gave Spurs the joy of having Bale at the club last season. Without him the chances are we would have been in an identical position to the one we are currently in.

Instead, delayed for a year, it is time for Spurs fans to bring forward their off-season plans and revert to whatever we did from March onwards during the 1990s. Remember the days when Europe wasn’t even on our radar?

There are still eight league matches to play, yet the stakes could barely be lower. Taking games in hand into account, we are theoretically 12 points off the top four and left fighting to be in a competition – the Europa League – that would almost certainly be more detrimental next season than beneficial.

Victory in every remaining match – and seven of the eight seem very winnable – will not be enough. So the season is over. Let transfer speculation begin. Start the drawn-out process of not sacking, then not backing and finally ditching Tim Sherwood. And let’s start summer early.

This is how it used to be for Spurs fans 10 or 20 years ago. Just pretend we’re being retro.

Follow me on Twitter @benbloomsport

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