What If: Adebayor's Goal In Spurs' 1-1 Draw With Wolves Had Stood

The two points dropped at White Hart Lane saw Spurs miss out on a place in the Champions League, but it could have been so much different had Adebayor's supposed offside goal counted.
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The two points dropped at White Hart Lane saw Spurs miss out on a place in the Champions League, but it could have been so much different had Adebayor's supposed offside goal counted.


As I was watching Premiership Years last week, Sky Sports began showing the 2011/12 season. It will be forever remembered by Sergio “Agueroooooooooooo's!” winner with the final kick of the campaign to hand Manchester City their first Premier League title in their history, not to mention Chelsea's Champions League win in Munich and Tottenham Hotspur's absolute capitulation between February and May, allowing Arsenal to sneak into third place.

Some were even suggesting that Spurs should be considered title challengers, with then manager Harry Redknapp overseeing his side continuously impress at the time. However, an almighty f**k up surrounding England, Fabio Capello and the veteran boss, not to mention Chelsea's famous victory in Germany, saw the club fail to land a place in the Champions League for the second successive campaign.

Yet, it could've been so much different. February last year, Spurs were 13 points ahead of rivals Arsenal in the quest for a top four finish, before ultimately falling at the final hurdle and being forced to settle for a place in the Europa League.

In the aftermath of Chelsea's Champions League exploits, Redknapp was sacked, Andre Villas-Boas was drafted in, Ledley King retired and Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric left. There is still the chance to secure a top four place this season, but a place amongst Europe's elite could've easily been secured last year had one result gone Spurs' way.

Yes, a 1-1 draw away at Aston Villa wasn't ideal and the stalemate with Stoke City could've been worse had Van der Vaart not headed a last minute equaliser at White Hart Lane, but there is one result that stands in the memory and one that a number of supporters had a sixth sense that it may eventually affect the final placing.

I'm referring to, of course, the 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers back in January. A win would've seen Spurs move level on points then league leaders Manchester City, albeit with a vastly inferior goal difference and having played a game more, but equal nevertheless.


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Following the full time whistle, fans were disappointed, but none could've imagined how much that one draw on the 21st game of the season would have left the club come May. It was a game Spurs dominated, mustering 32 shots against Wolves, 10 of which had been on target, and finishing the 90 minutes with 57% possession.

Yet, having eventually finished one point behind Arsenal in fourth, the two points dropped against Wolves turned to be that much more detrimental than many had initially expected. Finishing in third not only would've seen Spurs finish ahead of the Gunners for the first time since 1995, but, and perhaps more importantly, secured Champions League football for the upcoming season, with none of the poxy qualifying bo**ocks that the club were put through in 2010.

The financial windfall would've been plentiful to match, but the lure of the football on offer meant the quality of players that wanted to ply their trade at White Hart Lane would've increased considerably and, perhaps, could well have convinced Modric to remain in north London.

The Croatia international had been linked with a move away from the club in the 12 months leading to his big money switch to Real Madrid and, regardless of the placing in the Premier League, had been expected to depart for the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu last summer.

After a stuttering start to life in Spain, the 27-year-old is finally becoming the £30m player that Real were hoping for, with his input during the controversial win over Manchester United at Old Trafford imperative to victory having netted from the edge of the area prior to Cristiano Ronaldo's winner minutes after Nani's red card.

There is the argument that Mousa Dembele wouldn't have been signed had the midfielder stayed, but the possibility of seeing a midfield trio of the Belgian, Modric and Sandro in Andre Villas-Boas' system would comfortably have been one of the best in the Premier League, not to mention the possibility of lining up with Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon.

Unfortunately, the dream team in the middle of the park remains just that after Adebayor's goal was incorrectly ruled out for offside in the stalemate over 12 months ago and the rest, as they say, is history. Football is full of ifs and buts, but if that one seemingly insignificant event hadn't occurred, the repercussions to Spurs wouldn't have been so significant.