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Can Harry’s wand avoid Tottenham’s fumbling?

It was a season that Tottenham was looking forward to, though the ending was not quite the fairytale one they anticipated.

Gareth Bale shocked the world with the explosiveness of Welsh, but the gap in quality was exposed in Bernabeu. The players were completely drained by the European campaign. Injuries and fatigues caused them to finish the season behind their North London rival, Arsenal, but the exclusion from Champions League was even harder to swollen.

Harry Redknapp knows his players are not mentally ready to challenge the top flight teams. He had made it no secret that all they are looking for this year is Champions League qualification. They have overcome the turbulent August and find themselves just behind the two teams that clobbered them in the early season.

While pundits credit their success to the addition of Adebayor and Scott Parker, it is the consistency of the line-up which retains the team chemistry and allows them to grow and flourish. The fluent and flowing game that Tottenham is playing is something even Manchester United is of no match.

They will also be thankful of the squad depth they enjoy, which enables them to keep their key players away from Europa games, a competition they are less interested in.

A coin always has two sides. While Harry insisted his team selection during Christmas/New Year period, Tottenham was hit by a growing injury list, adding Parker, Sandro and Gallas. Tired legs have dragged performance of Bale, Modric and Kyle Walker significantly. From time to time, they remind the fans of the shaky group last season that dropped points to the bottom half teams.

Holding a healthy lead over Chelsea and Arsenal, Tottenham cannot bear a moment of complacency at all. Still having to visit Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool in the 2nd half of the season, a group of 14 players will not be physically and mentally strong enough to secure their European ticket.

No matter how unwilling Harry is, he will have to start utilise the quality players on the bench. Pienaar and Kranjcar can provide strong backup to Modric and Bale, whereas Corluka (out of favour) and Danny Rose are reliable fullback reserves. Neither Defoe nor Pavlyuchenko is an ideal lone striker, but they have their own ability to be a goal-grabber; not to mention the young and talented dos Santos who always gave his best when played.

Having already crushed out of Europa, Tottenham deadly needs to maintain the fitness of the second string team. The 4-4-1-1 (or 4-3-2-1 recently) formation is the most effective with Van der Vaart, Bale and Modric accompanying Adebayor, but they would need to inject some tactical surprise now to mix in the reserve players with the starting XI.

Nobody would question the quality of Tottenham’s squad, but the fans will be absolutely devastated if the meltdown last March is repeated. Harry Redknapp has already been prompted an early alarm in the match against West Brom; at such a quick pace, one single wrong move in the Premier League could lead to unrecoverable results. Harry and his coaching crews will have a difficult task to accomplish in the following five months.

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