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Mid-season report: Tottenham Hotspur

Mid-season report: Tottenham Hotspur
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Sports Mole analyses Tottenham Hotspur's start to life under Andre Villas-Boas as they aim to bring back Champions League football to White Hart Lane.

A turbulent summer at White Hart Lane heralded a new dawn for Tottenham Hotspur, as Harry Redknapp, Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart all headed for the exit.

In came Andre Villas-Boas with a clutch of new ideas and a string of signings to match. Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey, Jan Vertonghen and Hugo Lloris all arrived to try to help Spurs back into the Champions League.

An impressive win at Old Trafford showcased Spurs' potential early on, alongside steady progress in the Europa League.

Here, Sports Mole looks at the first six months of Villas-Boas's reign in North London.

August

Spurs got off to difficult start, losing out to Newcastle United on the opening day thanks to late penalty from Hatem Ben Arfa.

The slow start continued a week later when James Morrison scored a last-minute equaliser to snatch a 1-1 draw for West Bromwich Albion.

September

A new month saw Villas-Boas suffer a repeat performance against Norwich City, with Dembele's debut goal cancelled out by Robert Snodgrass.

Spurs finally kick-started their campaign at Reading with a dominant display. Jermain Defoe bagged a brace in comprehensive 3-1 win at the Madejski Stadium.

Defoe was on hand it make it two wins on the spin a week later as two goals in 60 seconds did the damage against Queens Park Rangers.

Progress in the League Cup over Carlisle United was followed up by victory at Manchester United in the one of the season's most exciting matches to date. Vertonghen and Dempsey scored their first goals in a 3-2 success at Old Trafford to help Spurs surge up the table.

October

Aaron Lennon and Steven Caulker opened their accounts as Spurs began October with a comfortable win at home to Aston Villa.

A run of four league wins was halted by Chelsea in capital clash a week later. Spurs let a 2-1 lead slip against Villas-Boas's former club as the visitors ran out 4-2 winners.

Gareth Bale scored against his former club to get his side back on track to earn three points against Southampton.

A mixed bag in the cups saw Spurs come through two Europa League trips unbeaten before slipping out of the League Cup with a late defeat at Norwich City.

November

Early-season promise came crashing down around Spurs as November began with three successive league defeats.

Wigan earned a shock win at the Lane before Edin Dzeko edged City home at the Etihad despite a spirited away display.

The North London derby provided no respite as a bright start was quickly forgotten thanks to Emmanuel Adebayor's dismissal. Arsenal took full advantage to deliver a crushing 5-2 defeat.

Back at home things improved as Spurs recovered to record back-to-back wins. Defoe scored twice against his former club to secure a 3-1 win over West Ham United before Bale inspired his side to victory against Liverpool.

December

Sandro scored with a thunderous drive from distance to help Spurs start a busy month with a 3-0 win at Fulham. European progress soon followed as a 3-1 success against Panathinaikos booked a place in the final 32 of the Europa League.

A late collapse at Everton proved a setback as the visitors snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the final few minutes.

Vertonghen was the only scorer across two home matches against Swansea and Stoke City, before Bale claimed his second career hat-trick in a 4-0 demolition of Aston Villa.

A fruitful festive period helped Spurs climb to fourth on Boxing Day, with the race for Champions League places hotting up at the halfway mark.

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William Gallas
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United StatesUnited States24282173
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AustraliaAustralia1441533
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Wednesday's key events


SKATEBOARDING
· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

SAILING
· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

CYCLING
· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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