The dust has settled and the football supporter's innate ability to forget about last season and look forward to next has kicked in. So how do Spurs ensure they don't miss out on the Champions League next season? One advantage that Tottenham can make their own next season is stability. Three of the four teams that finished above Spurs last season will have new managers. You would expect Chelsea to be stronger if it's Jose Mourinho at the helm, but Manchester United are likely to be weaker and Manchester City are anyone's guess.
Due to the importance of Sunday's games, my editor at ESPNFC suggested that I bash out the match report on the road, rather than waiting til I got home to put finger to keyboard. As I begin writing pre-match, I'm anticipating the day will prove to be a topsy-turvy, rollercoaster ride that at various times will have me in states of wild jubilation, nausea-inducing nervousness and deep depression. - Randall: Last stand not enough for Sunderland - Delaney: Reflections on Spurs' narrow miss - Dawson: We thought that we had done enough - Villas-Boas: Bale will stay at Spurs As such I've decided to document the day in broken-down diary form to fully capture the events leading to Spurs' 1-0 victory and the resulting emotions.
If my last column was a sign of a man accepting his fate, this one is where he desperately clutches at some straws, so that he can go into Sunday with a small iota of hope in his heart. Here are my five reasons for Tottenham fans to be cheerful, as we go into battle with Arsenal, fate and lady luck once again. - Vaughan: Bale has no off-days Tottenham always beat Sunderland at home The first part of the equation that needs to click into place is for Spurs to actually win their game against Sunderland.
When I'm not writing about Spurs for ESPN, I can often be found offering football betting advice to any gambling company that is willing to pay me. One of the golden rules of football betting is not to put your money on a team that have nothing to play for. This is especially true when their opponents have everything to play for. So forgive me if I don't remortgage the house tonight and put the proceeds on Newcastle getting a result against Arsenal. Just like last season, I fully envisage an anti-climatic afternoon at White Hart Lane on Sunday, with both North London clubs gaining wins.
Tottenham Hotspur continue to be frighteningly bad at defending set pieces. Some things never change. One thing that certainly has been transformed of late is the form of Spurs' match winner at the Britannia Stadium, Emmanuel Adebayor. - Adebayor, Dempsey deliver in Spurs win The Togolese striker bagged the winner against 10-man Stoke City when it looked like Andre Villas-Boas' men were going to end up recording a frustrating draw. The 2-1 victory puts the pressure back on Arsenal, who face FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic at the Emirates on Tuesday night.
We should not forget that it says a lot for Tottenham Hotspur's progress that Wednesday's 2-2 draw at Chelsea will leave most Spurs fans feeling somewhat deflated. - Lythell: Chelsea hit panic button in Spurs draw - Carr: Spurs have work to do We should also not forget in all of this that Chelsea's starting XI cost in the region of 200 million pounds (it may be more, it may be less, I have no real interest in working it out). Tottenham's most expensive player on the pitch was goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Let me take you to 1990. Football was a very different place indeed and almost unrecognisable compared to the landscape we know today. It was a time when Manchester United had gone more than 20 years without winning a league title. A time when Arsenal could boast of having 18 Englishmen on their first-team squad. A time when Chelsea had yet to buy their first GBP;1m player. It also was the last time that Tottenham won a game at Stamford Bridge. Gary Lineker scored the winning goal for Spurs in a game notable for Paul Gascoigne lashing out at Chelsea's John Bumstead.
My friend, who sits in the seat next to me at White Hart Lane, couldn't make Tottenham's 1-0 win against Southampton on Saturday, thanks to a badly planned stag weekend that he was duty bound to attend. In his place I brought along my nephew for his first Spurs game. Anyone who thinks that this was a kindly gesture clearly didn't watch the game. I might as well have given the lad a job down the mine. The majority of the match was enough to suggest to him that watching Spurs was a grubby business destined to end in misery.
One of the perks of writing for a global behemoth like ESPN is that you get randomly requested to be interviewed by radio stations across the globe. So I'll often get to boast, "I was on national radio today" to friends, before throwing in the punchline, "in Iceland". - AVB: This is a defining week for Spurs I'm pretty certain that I'd never be asked to appear on Icelandic radio again if Gylfi Sigurdsson was transferred, but it's nonetheless nice to take these opportunities while they're there.
Monday night, Tottenham's on-loan left-back Danny Rose scored a great goal for Sunderland, who were eventually thrashed 6-1 by Aston Villa. There's talk that Sunderland want to sign Rose on a permanent deal, but Andre Villas-Boas has spoken out to confirm that he wants the England U-21 international to remain at Spurs. -AVB keen for Rose to return To my mind, that's good news. I have rated Rose since he was switched to a defensive position. A lot of Tottenham fans felt differently about him, but having been given an opportunity at Sunderland, I think he's proved he's worth a chance.
So it's official. Gareth Bale is both the PFA Player of the Year and the PFA Young Player of the Year. Talk about greedy. It's a well deserved accolade. Liverpool's Luis Suarez was a worthy contender, but for him to win an award of this substance after what he did last Sunday, would have left a Branislav Ivanovic-flavoured, bitter taste in the mouth. Robin van Persie's form fell away just at the time when votes were being taken, only to recover in the past couple of weeks. However, I still think that Bale is a worthier winner.
After watching the game at home Saturday I went out for dinner with my wife and child. My wife doesn't know anything about football, nor does she care to, but occasionally she'll ask me the odd question about it. Her interest, I guess, had been piqued by the fact that I was shouting and hollering like some kind of lunatic for the last 10 minutes of the game. "So who did you play today?" "Wigan. We drew." My wife took this in. As I've said, she doesn't know anything about football, but she does know that she's never heard anyone mentioning Wigan in conjunction with winning the Champions League.