Points mean prizes

Assigning points to games is a trait shared by all football supporters. You know the scenario: sitting down with a pen and a list of your team’s forthcoming fixtures and coming up with a final points tally. If the accusation of unrealistic ambitions is a fair one, Spurs fans do this more than most.

Trying to be objective is not always easy (‘we’re due a draw at Old Trafford, so I’m putting a point for that one’) but a glance at Tottenham’s next few Premier League games does give cause for encouragement. A trip to Portsmouth is followed by home matches against Stoke City, Sunderland and Wigan Athletic, with the small matter of the north London derby coming in the middle.

Even if the point-counters set aside nothing for the Emirates – and I for one fancy another high-scoring draw – we should still be sitting pretty by the time we travel to Aston Villa and Everton, two teams with similar aspirations to our own.

This is obviously a recipe for getting your hopes shattered, as having your team in the top three at Christmas could well lead to some festive disappointment. But the question is, why not? We’re playing well enough and as long as we beat the teams we should do (see above) Spurs can continue to mix it with the Premiership title challengers.

Maybe the players have been doing the same thing, if the constant articulation of a top four finish is anything to go by. A lesson that should have been learned over the last two seasons: make the predictions when you are playing well, not before the season has even started.

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