Football News: Tottenham Hotspur Season Review

 

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Tottenham Hotspur Season Review
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Tottenham Hotspur Season Review

You almost have to feel sorry for Spurs last season, they were absolutely relentless in their pursuit of Chelsea, but the Blues just kept grinding out the results they needed to hold them off. With chairman Daniel Levy keeping a tight control on the wage budget, the very fact they were still able to come second speaks volumes about how well run the club is as a whole. There is a genuine feeling of stability around the club during last season, though it has gone a little sour since the season ended.

There are issues, Levy is maybe a little too reticent to spend when the chance was there, but you look at the team and it is very difficult to see weak spots that could easily be solved by recruitment. His reticence to spend on back ups who are little more than mercenaries does leave the squad depth lacking at times, but it also allows the team to build up a togetherness and to keep a stable team that has a real understanding between the players.

On the plus side, Levy's tight control of the wages not only means the players are playing for the shirt not the money, but it also allowed the club the funds to compete in the transfer market and the ability to secure credit for a new stadium. While he may come across as being a hindrance to the club, and in the short term that may well be true, in the long term he is doing what he feels to be best to ensure that Spurs can maintain their place near the top of the table.



Mauricio Pochettino

There is not a lot you can say about Pochettino as his results speak for themselves. Not just the second place finish, but also the best attack and best defence in the Premier League with 86 goals scored and only 26 conceded. They keep things solid at the back without being negative and boring to watch. They have the most balanced team in English football, with a style of play that keeps the tempo high but always making sure to protect the defence.

Not just that, but he is not afraid to trust young kids, to give them chances from the start or to bring them on in an attempt to change games, unlike so many other managers. The only real issue I can see with Pochettino is his lack of trophies, once again ending the season empty handed despite being close. The way the team can implode when the pressure is on and discipline vanish has to be a major worry.

Marks out of 10: 8.5


Hugo Lloris

I have seen some pundits suggest Lloris is not that good and his clean sheets (17 last season) were more down to the defence in front of him than his own ability. That he makes too many gaffes to be top class. However, for me at any rate, I believe his greatest skill is how well he organises the defence in front of him to provide that protection. He is also very good at sweeping up behind them. However it is difficult to know just how good he really is while he plays for a team which is playing so well.

Marks out of 10: 7


Michel Vorm

The back up to Llloris and actually has an extremely impressive ratio of clean sheets, 7 in 11 appearances. Comfortable on the ball but does not inspire confidence or organise as well as Lloris.

Marks out of 10: 4



Toby Alderweireld

The big Belgian centre half was extremely impressive and imposing all season. I am struggling to think of a defender in the Premier League that was anywhere near as good as him last season. In fact, it is very easy to make a case for Spurs failure to progress from the group stages of the Champions League and to turn second place into first was due to his spell out injured. They failed to win a game in the Champions League while he was injured, losing 2 of the 3, and drew 3 and lost 1 of the 8 Premier League games he missed. In a league season of such fine margins, he could well have made the difference.

Marks out of 10: 8.5


Jan Vertonghen

The other half of the Belgian pairing at the heart of Spurs' defence has an excellent understanding with his compatriot. When the pair are together, it is, in my opinion at least, the best centre back duo in the Premier League. The issue comes when the two are not together, while Alderweireld is still outstanding, alongside pretty much anyone, Vertonghen seems to lose a little something when he plays next to someone other than Alderweireld. Still a very good defender, but just not quite as good when paired with A N Other player.

Marks out of 10: 7.5


Kevin Wimmer

Wimmer had one of the most difficult jobs in football, being the back up centre back at Spurs. Even the best pairings take time to build up an understanding and he was never going to get that, nor was he going to be able to just step in and play to his full potential in the rare outings he got.

Marks out of 10: 4


Anton Walkes

Before heading off to the MLS and a season long loan spell with Atlanta United, the young centre back made one substitute appearance in the EFL Cup 3rd Round match with Gillingham.

Marks out of 10: 2


Cameron Carter-Vickers

Another young centre back, the US international managed to get 4 starts in the cups and never looked out of place.

Marks out of 10: 4.5


Danny Rose

Despite his struggles to survive on the pittance Spurs play him and his frustration at being forced to look up any new signings for the club on a search engine, Rose was having the season of his life prior to an injury ending his season after 38 minutes of the 31st January match against Sunderland. With a claimed basic salary of just £30,000 a week to live on, the club must fear he will be struggling to feed himself properly while out injured and not getting appearance bonuses regularly.

Such a shame that things have turned sour after the years the Londoners persevered with him while he suffered constant injuries and underperformed consistently, when fit, failing to hold down a first team place. A few good performances under his belt and suddenly it is all forgotten amid the greed of potentially earning much more money.

Marks out of 10: 6.5



Ben Davies

Davies has always struggled being the back up to Rose, as being in and out of the side clearly damages his confidence and he struggles to perform. Due to Rose's season ending early, he was able to get a lengthy run of games to end the season and his performances improved gradually as the season went on. Still a clear step down from Rose, with a distinct lack of the athleticism and attacking verve of the English left back, the Welshman is a lot more solid on the defensive side of the game.

Marks out of 10: 6


Kyle Walker

Lightning quick, tall with a good leap, technically excellent and yet Walker always seemed to lack something which held him back from being a truly top class player. While the modern day fullback is prone to being caught upfield, so you can forgive him for his lapses, the lack of quality delivery he produced is surprising considering how good his technique is.

Despite this, he was still performing to a high level until Manchester City made their interest in signing him clear. With his head turned by the thought of earning megabucks, Pochettino had little choice but to leave him out for the last couple of matches before selling him in the summer.

Marks out of 10: 5.5


Kieran Trippier

Trippier had battled hard to ensure he did not become the clear cut back up to Walker, in the way Davies did to Rose, but it was still clear last season that Trippier was second choice right back, as Walker eased ahead of him in the pecking order. However that all changed at the back end of the season as Walker's head was no longer at Tottenham and Trippier began to establish himself at right back. While never able to match Walker's sheer athleticism, Trippier's crossing is much better quality than his rival's.

Marks out of 10: 5.5


Eric Dier

The arrival of Wanyama has meant he is more often played in defence than previously, particularly when Pochettino wishes to use a back three system. If anything, his value to the team has grown over the last year and his performances have regularly been key to the result.

Marks out of 10: 7.5


Victor Waynama

Pochettino finally got his man last summer and secured the signing of the Kenyan international from Southampton. Slotting straight into the midfield, Wanyama added a physical edge to the side.

Marks out of 10: 6


Filip Lesniak

After returning from a loan with Slovan Liberec, the young midfielder got a very brief 4 minute substitute appearance at the end of the Premier League season.

Marks out of 10: 2



Mousa Dembele

Of all the players in the Spurs' squad, Dembele is the one who truly makes them tick and is the one whose absence is most notable. With him in the side they look a potent, smooth-running attacking force, but without him they look beatable as the attack lacks fluency without him to link up play from back to front.

Marks out of 10: 7.5


Moussa Sissoko

Sissoko was a surprising (some would say panic) buy late in the summer transfer window after a poor spell with Newcastle United. With the fans unconvinced that he deserved to wear the shirt, Sissoko has done little to change their minds, with a string of performances that could be likened to a headless chicken running around aimlessly. So far his time can be summed up with one word: flop.

Marks out of 10: -4


Tom Carroll

The young midfielder found his way into the team blocked last season, with just one extremely short Premier League sub appearance, along with a couple of starts in the EFL Cup his only Spurs games. He took the opportunity to join Swansea City in the January window in the search for more game time.

Marks out of 10: 1


Harry Winks

Winks took over the fringe player role that Carroll had previously occupied, with the odd league and cup start mixed in with regular sub appearances in matches.

Marks out of 10: 5


Christian Eriksen

Eriksen's influence on the pitch has been growing each season as his link up with Alli and Kane has become almost telepathic. While not as athletic or physically imposing as most of the side, Eriksen's setpiece delivery and creative work has kept him in the side.

Marks out of 10: 7


Dele Alli

Vital goals has seen his value to Tottenham rise massively despite him only turning 21 in April. The young England midfielder scored 22 goals last season to keep his team in the title push. There are major question marks surrounding his discipline and his tendency to go down a little easily, but not one around his ability to produce for the team. Now he just needs to add experience, to learn not to allow his opponents to rile him up when the pressure is on.

Marks out of 10: 8


Josh Onomah

The youngster was on the fringes of the first team, mainly limited to sitting on the bench, but he did manage a couple of starts in the EFL Cup and one in the FA Cup as well as a few sub appearances sprinkled through the season.

Marks out of 10: 3


Heung-Min Son

Putting aside the aberration of the choice to play him at left wing back for a game against Chelsea, Son had a decent season, though he was never quite able to hold down a starting spot on a consistent basis. Despite that, the South Korean forward still managed to contribute 21 goals over the course of the season, a total many regular starters in the Premier League would be delighted with!

Marks out of 10: 6.5


Georges-Kevin N'Koudou

A young French winger who arrived from Olympique Marseille with many viewing it as a cheap punt by Levy to pad out the squad. His first season has done little to dispel that viewpoint, as he struggled to impress or impose himself on games.

Marks out of 10: 2


Erik Lamela

After a run of games at the start of the season, the Argentine was ruled out for the rest of the season with a hip problem. While he had never quite been able to live up to his reputation since signing, Spurs still missed him in tight games.

Marks out of 10: 1


Marcus Edwards

A youngster who got a sub appearance in the EFL Cup.

Marks out of 10: 2


Harry Kane

What more could be said about Kane? A local boy, came through the ranks, struggled early on with loan spells showing little clue to suggest he would become quite so prolific. He also shows how much times have changed as he admits to one of his driving factors in working so hard in training being to improve his ratings in the Football Manager video game series! Whatever drives Kane on, it is certainly working as the England striker scored 29 goals in just 30 Premier League appearances last season.

Sadly he does seem to be susceptible to ankle injuries and, oddly, struggles to score goals early in the season, but that seems to be all that he struggles with. Kane is maturing into one of the best all-round centre forwards in the English league.

Marks out of 10: 8


Shayon Harrison

Made just one short sub appearance in the EFL Cup before spending the second half of the season on loan with Yeovil Town in League Two.

Marks out of 10: 1


Vincent Janssen

The Netherlands striker was brought to the club from AZ Alkmaar to be the back up to Kane. It was not a successful start to his Spurs' career but he has a role that is extremely difficult to perform, as well as big shoes to fill when he does get a start. Mainly limited to sub appearances, but he did manage to get 38 appearances across the whole season, just 12 of those starts. His lack of goals, just 6 in total, hampered him as he looked to establish himself.

Marks out of 10: 2.5

Written by Tris Burke



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