Dan Fitch from Tottenham Blog has taken some time out from celebrating fourth place to give Over The Blue Moon on the big game.
Dan, first of all well done to Spurs for an excellent season. That must be a relief to secure fourth with a game to go?
Definitely. Because even if we’d drawn with you last night, I could still envisage us mucking it all up at Burnley on the last day.
The Champions League is all well and good, but now we can concentrate on the more important business of trying to overtake Arsenal.
Do you think Spurs deserved to win the game?
Yes. There wasn’t a huge amount in it, but on the balance of the chances created, I think we deserved the three points. Tevez aside, I thought that your attackers were poor.
You’ve got some great players, but at this moment in time, I feel that we’ve got the more coherent team.
In 2006, Spurs were denied on the final day. Do you feel there is some sort of justice served now you’ve finally made it?
I wouldn’t say ‘justice’ because I always just thought of the lasagne-poisoning as just an incredibly unlucky occurrence and a typical thing to have happened to Spurs, rather than some sort of grand conspiracy.
That said, as in 2006, we’ve spent most of the season in fourth spot, so there’s relief that we’ve secured a place that we deserved.
I’ve read this week that teams like Liverpool and Arsenal would have preferred Spurs over City, claiming your stay in fourth will be short lived. What do make of that?
I think everyone feared City getting there, because having a Champions League place would essentially mean that you could recruit anyone. Now that you’ve missed out, there’s at least some limitations on who you can buy.
They know that although we’re now in the Champions League, we’re still not going to be making bids for Fabregas and Torres. What fourth place will hopefully mean for us, is that we can hold on to our best players and recruit a couple of very good ones.
After sending Liverpool packing out of their usual fourth spot, do you think Spurs and City’s performances this season has now changed the English game for good?
Well, it’s hard to see Liverpool bouncing back immediately. Both us and City are only going to get stronger over the summer, while they’ll almost certainly lose Torres and perhaps Gerrard also.
The Premier League had become very boring with the same sides finishing in the top four every season, so hopefully we’ll now see a more competitive league, with six or seven competitive teams.
Harry Redknapp has really transformed Spurs. How long before he’s rumoured to be replacing Benitez at Liverpool?
The good thing with Harry is that he’s still not taken that seriously as a manager, so I can’t imagine anyone wanting to poach him.
He turned down the Newcastle job when at Pompey, because he couldn’t face leaving his home at Sandbanks, so I think being at a London club suits him.
Then of course, there’s the fact that we actually have more money now than Liverpool and have a Champions League place…
Do you think Craig Bellamy will be at White Hart Lane next season?
Even though I do rate Bellamy (probably higher than Defoe) and think he’s had a great season, I hope not.
What we really need is a striker that can lead the line, hold up play and operate on his own up front. Like Berbatov did for us, but preferably without the attitude.
Spurs will no doubt be linked to countless players over the summer after this result. Who would you like to see arrive?
The one player of yours that we’ve been linked with, who I’d love at Spurs is Micah Richards. I know he’s failed to fulfil his early promise, but he’s still very young. Look at how Bale has progressed this season.
We’ve already signed a defensive midfielder in Sandro, so I don’t think we need too many more players. I expect us to try and sign a right back, maybe a flair player in midfield and a striker or two.
I expect Harry will try to lure Joe Cole, if he’s on a free and I wouldn’t be gobsmacked if Carrick and/or Berbatov returned.
And who would you like to see gone?
We should cash in on Pavlyuchenko and Keane and bring in that elusive Berbatov-replacement and Gudjohnsen on a permanent deal.
Jenas has had his time as well and though Bentley’s done OK when deputising for Lennon this season, I wouldn’t be particularly upset if we fetched a decent price for him.
Finally, Spurs at Burnley and Arsenal at home to Fulham. Can you finish third?
Logic has to say ‘no’. Fulham have got their cup final a couple of days later, so they’re not going to field a proper team, or probably try particularly hard.
Still, it’s a nice dream and it’s very positive that we’ve got so close to them. Next year maybe…
Thanks Dan and good luck for your European campaign next season.
Cheers, best of luck for City next season, when I hope that you’ll be joining us in the top four at Arsenal’s expense.
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