· December 2016 figures
· Last Year's figures
Unbeaten, unbowed, but perhaps not unbending
Spurs' fine unbeaten run has continued throughout this January and now extends to 10 games in all competitions since losing to a solitary goal at Old Trafford on December 11th. In that context, Spurs are unbowed as well as being unbeaten, but bearing in mind that lowly Wycombe Wanderers scored half the goals against tally this month, perhaps we cannot be described as unbending.
Still, manager Mauricio Pochettino, who continues to attract plaudits, with an ever-improving profile in and beyond this country, selected teams for our two FA Cup games which he thought could win, and utimately he was proved correct, even if we did have that almighty shock in the fourth round. Two late goals saved the manager's bacon, and secured Spurs' place in the fifth round, when we will visit Craven Cottage.
The month started well with a 4-1 win on New Year's Day at Watford, with both Dele Alli and Harry Kane striking twice. Later in the month Watford would be mourning one of their favourite sons - Graham Taylor - whose funeral was attended by many of the great and good in football yesterday (February 1st). At the end of the month, former Spurs Younes Kaboul and Etienne Capoue played a full part in the two goals that secured a surprise win at The Emirates, thus doing their former club a favour.
Our second game of the month was that fantastic 2-0 win over Antonio Conte's Chelsea, ending their 13 match unbeaten run. Dele Alli scored another brace to become the first midfielder in Premier League history to score two goals in three consecutive games. Both Dele and Harry are in the top 8 premier League sccorers going into February, with Dele level with Sergio Aguero.
It was our next league game at home to West Brom, when we won 4-0, that put us up to second place for the first time since beating Middlesbrough away and Man City at home back in September/October. That West Brom performance was widely regarded as comprehensively our best football of the season, and Harry Kane scored his third Premier league hat-trick.
Since then we've had a couple of blips points-wise, but the 2-2 away to a resurgent Manchester City (still fifth at this time) was a fantastic result on a day when we had looked likely to lose, having been 2-0 down. The 0-0 at Sunderland was not a good result or overall performance, but the teams at the top also dropped points, so we have held onto that second place. Although we are 9 points behind, we are Chelsea's closest challengers.
With only three league games to come in February, the away match at Anfield is the most difficult and could signal our true title prospects. Winning at home to Middlesbrough and Stoke won't be easy but will be crucial, of course.
We said "Goodbye" to Tom Carroll this month. Tom went to Swansea where he had played on loan a couple of seasons ago, and where he has already had an impact with Swansea winning their last two games - one at Liverpool.
We lost Jan Vertonghen to an ankle injury in the West Brom game, and he is being missed, as we try to cope without him until late February at least. Danny Rose also suffered a nasty knee injury at The Stadium of Light and is still being assessed, but it also looks as if he will be absent for a few games at best. Players such as Kevin Wimmer and Ben Davies will be fully tested this month and beyond with 6 games to be played altogether.
Apart from the Fulham cup tie, those games include the return of European football and a Round of 32 tie in The Europa League against AA Gent from Belgium.
Despite the goal-scoring heroics of Dele (6), Harry (5) and Son (4) this month, the Spurs Odyssey player of the month is Victor Wanyama. Victor has been consistent all season and has certainly enhanced the Spurs side. He was man of the match against City, and had great, highly marked performances against Chelsea and West Brom. Victor is one of our top five players so far this season. the current front runner is Danny Rose, followed by Toby Alderweireld, Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen. We are currently equally the best defence in the league with Chelsea, and it is no wonder that our top five players are crucial to that record.
Let's hope we are still fighting on three fronts at the end of the month!
· Review the 2016-17 Premier League season here
Don't forget to check out the players' current figures re. appearances, cards, goals scored and accumulated ratings to date at the bottom of this page.
...if you want to read reports of the matches played during this season, then links are on the Spurs Odyssey Fixtures/Reports page here. By working your way back through the previous month's figures, you can review the performances over the last 16 years!