According to their interim manager, who replaced a coach that was sacked after publicly calling out his players, who was hired by a sporting director that is now banned from worldwide football, Tottenham are “not a club in crisis”.
Whether you side with Cristian Stellini or not, there is, without a doubt, a great deal of flux surrounding Tottenham Hotspur Football Club at the moment.
They couldn’t get the job done on Monday night despite Everton giving them plenty of chances. Harry Kane’s goal from the penalty spot was cancelled out when Michael Keane banged one in from distance at Goodison Park.
Somehow, despite all of the unrest, Tottenham remain in the thick of the race for the top four, and amid an swirling vortex of uncertainty on and off the pitch, there is one constant; the fixture list.
Here’s what lies ahead for Spurs – whoever may be in charge by that point – in the coming weeks.
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium wasn’t always the happiest place during the final throws of Antonio Conte’s tortuous tenure, but Spurs rediscovered an ability to grind out victories on their own patch after a shaky spell at the turn of the year.
Tottenham have won four of their last five home games, conceding just one goal in this sequence since the disheartening north London derby defeat to Arsenal in January. Brighton, however, claimed a 1-0 win on their last visit to N17 – although, the Seagulls have never recorded consecutive away victories against Spurs in their history.
Bournemouth’s London-born manager Gary O’Neil travelled to Tottenham’s White Hart Lane seven times during his playing career, failing to record a single victory.
The former West Ham and Portsmouth midfielder had his Bournemouth side 2-0 ahead in the second half when Spurs were on the south coast in October. However, at a time when Conte’s wailing was still constructive – and Rodrigo Bentancur was fit – Tottenham mounted an unlikely comeback which left O’Neil philosophical. That’s “just the way a game of football goes” he reflected. Tune in on Saturday, 15 April to find out how the reverse fixture will play out.
Which one of these clubs – if not both – are in the top four by the time Tottenham make the trek up to the north east remains to be seen. However, both will be vying to finish in that lucrative quartet by the end of May.
After dismantling Spurs in London in October, Newcastle are aiming to complete the league double over Tottenham for the first time since the 2015/16 season – a campaign which ended with Spurs third from top and the Magpies third from bottom. They will surely be a lot closer this year.
Four days after their visit to Newcastle, Spurs are up against another direct rival for Champions League qualification.
Manchester United’s dominance in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford was not reflected in a 2-0 scoreline. United rattled off 28 shots – at the time, the most of any team in a Premier League game this season – forcing Hugo Lloris into eight saves, two of which were spectacular. The recently retired France international should be back between the sticks after a knee ligament injury sidelined him for two months.
Liverpool are also skirting around the fringes of the top-four race. A crippling inability to win on the road is undermining the challenge mounted by Jurgen Klopp’s side but Liverpool’s home form offers some hope – particularly against Tottenham.
Spurs have not recorded a victory at Anfield in more than a decade, last tasting success on the red half of Merseyside in 2011 thanks to goals from Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric.
Stellini will be the fourth different Spurs manager to welcome Crystal Palace to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in as many matches.
Conte, Jose Mourinho and Mauricio Pochettino all presided over comfortable victories but were not in place to back up their success. Even if Stellini is triumphant in Tottenham’s first game of May, it’s unlikely he will be at the helm the next time Palace travel across the River Thames.