The season’s over, bar some tedious internationals, so how did it measure up now that the dust has settled?
Tottenham may have had their ups and downs and we only saw the exciting, attacking football Spurs’ supporters crave sporadically but it was certainly an improvement on last year.
- A cup final – a great day out even though we lost.
- Fifth place – one better than last season, although still one off the “promised land” of Champions League qualification.
- The emergence of youth – Kane, Mason, Bentelab.
- Player improvement – Danny Rose’s renaissance is the obvious example but others grew in strength as the season progressed.
- Some great performances against our rivals – the 2-1 victory over Arsenal is possibly the most fun I’ve had at White Hart Lane, while the Chelsea 5-3 shocked Mourinho into reverting to “boring Chelsea” for the rest of the campaign. We even beat West Ham!
- A more positive atmosphere – White Hart Lane was a negative, divided place last year, this was much better.
- Evaluating the squad – Pochettino clearly used the season to decide which players he wants to keep and who can leave.
- Some fantastic last minute wins – at one point it seemed that every game would finish 2-1 after a late comeback.
- A sometimes slow and predictable attack – the usual problems surfaced when the opposition came to White Hart Lane to defend. These were present under AVB and Sherwood, maybe even Redknapp.
- Chaotic defending – at times the Spurs defence looked incredibly porous, especially from counter attacks.
- Picking Kabul as captain then freezing him out.
- Some of last year’s disappointments, disappointing again – Soldado chief among them.
- No plan B when things were going wrong.
Most of these were pretty obvious this year:
- Player of the year – Harry Kane
- Most improved player – Danny Rose
- Goal of the season – Harry Kane’s winner against Arsenal. I don’t care about how pretty it was, this has to win. I was sitting in the upper tier just above where he slid in celebration – it was a moment of sheer uncontained joy.
- Best game – again, it has to be the 2-1 victory over Arsenal. How often do you come back from 1-0 down against your biggest rivals, through a last minute winner from a 21 year old youth prospect?
- Worst game – the 3-0 loss to Stoke was a low point, as was another home beating from Liverpool but the 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Leicester tops the list. To go out at home to such a limited team is one thing. To let a 1-0 lead slip with seven minutes to go only compounds the error.
- Biggest disappointment – Soldado. It’s common for strikers to have a tough first season in the Premier League, then they adapt and prosper. I thought this would be the case with Soldado but it very clearly wasn’t. He has to go, if only for his own sanity.
Out – Adebayor, Capoue, Kaboul, Paulinho, Soldado, Dembele?
In – A leader in central midfield, a legitimate wide threat with some pace and a striker to take the load off Kane. Some cover at right back wouldn’t go amiss either.
Do you agree with me? Was the season a success? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.