Think we're in an odd position, and have been for years, of the top sides knowing that they can't take us easy and therefore won't be taken by surprise (like Chelsea vs Palace etc) and also being stuck in no man's land with our own tactics of knowing that we can't go head to head away from home while also knowing that we're better than just get everyone behind the ball and whack it clear while hoping something somewhere falls for you.
The closest team to us over the past 15 years is probably Spurs. Even now they're very good their away record at the other 5 teams in the top 6 is shocking in terms of wins. So I'm assuming that they've had similar issues.
They've thrown in better performances over the past two years but that's because they're a very good team.
The games they won at Old Trafford and Arsenal just before they upped their level had Bale scoring from breakaways from long balls deep into their own half. And they're still isolated wins.
True. Where they've moved ahead of us is their ability to turn tight games into narrow wins, primarily through not conceding cheap goals due to a quality centre back pairing and goalkeeper.
We've improved a hell of a lot this year at the back but they have taken it up another level and shown the value of a having top drawer players in that triangle back there.
I can think of half a dozen games this season where we've dropped silly points conceding cheap goals which, had we not, we'd be not far behind Spurs.
Getting back to being that miserly is a job for this summers rebuilding.