Tottenham Focus – Champions League lost but hope for future remains

Fans may have lost count of the number of wonder strikes Gareth Bale has scored this season, – he could arguably have his own goal of the season competition – but yet another in the 89th minute took all three points against a stubborn and lucky Sunderland team. However, the victory wasn’t enough and Tottenham end their season in fifth with 72 points, the highest ever points total achieved without qualifying for Champions League football, but unfortunately for Spurs, a point behind rivals Arsenal.

Such is Tottenham’s continued final day misfortune, one could wonder if Bela Guttman ever cursed the Lilywhites as he did Benfica. No one will know if the Newcastle vs. Arsenal match would have played out differently under the knowledge or pressure of an early Spurs goal, but Spurs were the victim of arguably some of the most questionable penalty decisions seen, especially the call in the 19th minute which saw Bale booked.

Nevertheless the final positions are decided over a season, not a day. This season saw Manchester United seemingly grind out the title through experience and guile whilst the riches of their neighbours City saw them take second with their expensive and deep squad. Chelsea invested heavily and were strong under Rafael Benitez, and Arsenal ended their season on an impressive run of results.

Some fans may look at points dropped to the likes of Wigan, Fulham and Norwich but for any of those points dropped, Spurs took so many points late in the game. The match against the Black Cats was no exception with Bale’s late, late winner perhaps highlighting what has been a strength for Spurs this season; the character and mentality to keep pushing until the final whistle. This match will have meant Spurs have taken 26 points with goals after the 75th minute since December. Unlike previous season’s there was no choke: Spurs’ form was good, perhaps just not as good as others.

This was supposedly a transitional season; a new coach in Andr

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