Football Expert & Columnist
Spur each other on
Tottenham must stand up collectively or risk their season petering out, says Jamie Redknapp.
Last Updated: 28/05/12 9:30am
It's time for Tottenham to stand up and show some real fighting qualities, otherwise their season will end in disappointment, despite all the hard work they've put in.
When they met Arsenal last month they were absolutely flying and it was Arsene Wenger's men that had all the problems, but it just shows you how vital confidence is in football.
When your confidence is high as a player you don't even have to look before you pass, you know exactly where everyone is, but when it's low it's like you're playing with blinkers on. You seem to lose your peripheral vision and it's difficult to explain why.
Since Tottenham's defeat to Arsenal four weeks ago they've picked up just one point in four matches and that is all down to confidence, as they haven't had too many injuries.
In contrast, Arsenal, who were supposedly in turmoil at that point, have gone on and won five games on the trot. In fact, I think Arsenal are a good model for Tottenham to look at because they couldn't buy a win before that match, but there is a real flow to their game now and they're playing with the kind of freedom that Tottenham had earlier in the season.
Totteham's bad run has coincided with my dad being linked with the England job, so people put two and two together and assume that's the reason, but it's simply not true.
There is no way he would have taken his eye off the ball, his focus is totally on Tottenham and you only have to see how devastated he is after a result like the draw against Stoke this week to know that. You can hardly talk to the man.
But it is difficult having something like that hanging over your head and for my dad, Roy Hodgson and any of the other managers linked with the job, every game must feel like an audition, which brings even more pressure.
But what do the FA do? Everyone is saying they should have made a decision by now with the Euro 2012 just around the corner, but if they go and publicly appoint someone and their team's performances start to suffer then everyone is going to blame them.
And obviously they can't start tapping up managers without going through the right channels and speaking to the chairmen of the clubs first, so they're damned if they do and they're damned if they don't.
As for the players, I can't see them giving any less than usual, despite the speculation, because there's still so much to play for this season. There's an FA Cup quarter final against Bolton on Tuesday and a place in next season's Champions League, which will help move the club on and bring new players in.
In any season you're going to have a poor spell and Tottenham's has occurred at a bad time. I go to most games and there's a few players whose form has dropped.
Scott Parker was like Iron Man earlier in the season, but all of a sudden he's looked a little bit tired and he perhaps he isn't having the influence in games that he was a few months ago, and something like that can make all the difference.
Next up for Spurs is a trip to Stamford Bridge, in what is a notoriously tight game. The last time Tottenham won there Gary Lineker scored, so that should tell you everything!
Chelsea have had a mini revival recently and are right back in the mix for a top-four finish, so this is a pivotal game in the season for both teams.
Fernando Torres came off with about 25 minutes to go against Manchester City on Wednesday night and I'm sure that substitution was made with one eye on Saturday.
I don't think we'll ever see the Torres from Liverpool, when he was unplayable at times, but he ended his goal drought last week and I think he's still got a lot to offer.
Often these games come down to individual battles and I think the key area on Saturday will be down Chelsea's right, between Gareth Bale and Jose Bosingwa, who looks like he will play right-back after Branislav Ivanovic went off injured against City.
If Bosingwa can get Bale running back towards his own goal, I think that could potentially win the game for Chelsea. However, if Bale can show his early season form - and he was sensational against Stoke - Tottenham could be walking away from Stamford Bridge for the first time in 22 years with three points.
As it is, I think it will finish all square and that would be a fantastic result for Tottenham, but it will require everyone sticking together and showing some real character.