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S 64.85%
P 66.4%
U 59.77%
R 62.94%
S 53.3%
= 61.45%


P   W   D   L   F-A   GD   Pts
38  20  9   9  66-41  25   69

Position:- 4th
 + 15 Cup Matches

May 2012 figures
Last Season's figures
2010-11 Season

The biggest "What if?" season ever

This is the Spurs Odyssey account of the 2011-12 season. It was a season in which we improved our position over last year (5th to 4th);in which we scored more and conceded less goals; thus improving our goal difference from +9 to +25, and in which manager Harry Redknapp became the first manager in 47 years to take Spurs to three consecutive top five positions (4th, 5th, 4th). It was also the season in which we played some of the most scintillating football seen by a Spurs side for years, at least between September and January. Sir Alex Ferguson even described us as the most attractive side in the Premier League.

Yet, it is the season, at the end of which Spurs fans have felt even more bitter and disappointed since "Lasagne-Gate", 6 years ago. Then we were deprived of a Champions League qualifying place by severe illness affecting so many of the squad on the last day of the season. Now, having finished fourth, in what would normally be a Champions League place, we were deprived of that place because of Chelsea's penalty shoot-out win against Bayern Munich on May 19th. Even the fact that Bayern were playing in their own stadium, and that "Germans never lose shoot-outs" could not stop Chelsea from winning. They used Mourinho's "team bus" against Barcelona in the semi-final, and won against the odds in Munich. Their name was indeed upon the Champions League trophy, and Spurs face the "disappointment" of another Europa League season.

The theme then of this end of season review is "What if?" They really are two of the biggest words in life, and at the end of the day, Spurs really do have only themselves to blame for not securing third place, where they looked secure in January, and until mid-February. After 23 games, we were 12 points ahead of Arsenal, who languished in seventh place. We were seven points ahead of Chelsea, who stayed below us in the final league table (for the first time since 1996). Arsenal however, went on a run of only two defeats in their last 15 games, whilst we lost five times in the same period. Some of those defeats were understandable. At least two surely, against Norwich and QPR, were unforgiveable, and Arsenal finished just one point above us in the final reckoning, despite having an end of season stumble themselves.

Here, in summary, is the story of our season, and our form, month by month:-

August - 55.3%
Player of the Month - Brad Friedel
Game of the Month - Hearts 0 Spurs 5

What if? ..........

.....Luka Modric had his heart in Tottenham from the start of the season? His possible transfer saga dragged on all summer, and with the window not closing till the last day of August, he was left out of the game against Man United at Old Trafford, because according to Harry, his heart was not in it. That still appeared to be the situation when he did play at home to Man City, but it didn't do us any good in a 5-1 defeat.

.....our season had not been delayed, due to the Tottenham riots? Our starter at home against Everton was not played until January, and a win would have given us some valuable early impetus in our season.

.....our transfer business had been completed before the start of the season? Ultimate player of the season Scott Parker, and top scorer Emmanuel Adebayor did not arrive till the end of August, and made their league debuts at Molineux in September. Neither player tasted league defeat until December.

September - 66.13%
Player of the Month - Emmanuel Adebayor
Game of the Month - Spurs 4 Liverpool 0

What if? ..........

......... Spurs had taken Cup competitions more seriously? After that initial game at Hearts in August, a trend started in September of playing weakened teams in both the Europa League and the Carling Cup. Seven of the players who started in the cauldron of the PAOK stadium in Greece did not make one Premier League start all season. Two more only made one start each. We fielded a stronger side at the Britannia stadium in the Carling Cup against Stoke, and were were unfortunate to lose only on penalties in that game. 19 year old Australian midfielder Massimo Luongo made his only appearance (off the bench) for Spurs, and had his shot saved in the shoot-out.

On the plus side, we did start a run of 11 matches unbeaten in the Premier League, and Adebayor made a great start to his Spurs career. It wasn't long before the notorious "Adebayor song" had new lyrics of "This is the best team, you've ever played for"

October - 64.84%
Player of the Month - Scott Parker
Game of the Month - Spurs 2 Arsenal 1

What if? ..........

......... the Spurs central defence had been more settled over the course of the season? Michael Dawson was injured in August, after only 4 games, and didn't play again until January. He only made 12 starts in all games over the whole season. We didn't see William Gallas (who got injured in pre-season) until November, and even then he wasn't tested in a Premier league game before December.

Ledley King was maintaining a 100% win record in Premier League games in which he played 90 minutes since Spurs had lost at home to Wigan in August 2010, but he had to come off ater half an hour at St. James' Park, where we still got a 2-2 draw.

Thank heavens then for Younes Kaboul, who was a mainstay for us all season, but crucially missed two games that we would lose in April. Younes has deservedly been voted runner-up in our cumulative Player of the Season poll, and was voted man of the match on four occasions. Only Walker, Bale and Modric played more minutes than Kaboul over the course of the season

The clear highlight came at the start of the month with a 2-1 win over Arsenal, and a cracker of a goal by Kyle Walker, who scored two goals in the season, both of which would be clear favourites for goal of the season.

November - 61.32%
Player of the Month - Brad Friedel
Game of the Month - Spurs 2 Aston Villa 0

What if? ..........

............ Spurs had not signed goalkeeper Brad Friedel? Friedel was signed at the age of 40, and maintained his run of consecutive Premier League games, by being ever present in the league, taking his run to over 300 games. Brad also became the oldest ever Spurs player when he played at The Reebock in May. Brad was our man of the match in a 3-1 win at Craven Cottage, where he kept Fulham at bay, and we somehow took away all three points. Brad was consistent, and rarely needed to be spectacular, with positioning being his greatest strength. It may come as a surprise to readers to discover that Friedel beat Gareth Bale over the course of the season, and has taken third spot in the Player of the season vote.

............ Spurs had managed to take just one point off Rubin Kazan or PAOK in our November Europa League games? They would have qualified for the knock out phase in which perhaps Harry Redknapp would have fielded a stronger side.

On the plus side this month were three Premier League wins. The win against Villa took us up to third place, which we held until 21st March 2012. Spurs really were playing fantastic stylish football, and looked capable of not just holding third, but going even further.

December - 65.6%
Player of the Month - Gareth Bale
Game of the Month - Norwich 0 Spurs 2

What if? ..........

........... Chris Foy (not Hoy) had not been the referee for our Premier League game at Stoke? Olympic triple medallist Sir Chris Hoy was the subject of much Twitter abuse on the back of Mr Foy's 1.6 out of 10 performance at The Britannie Stadium, due to the confusion of Spurs fans over the surnames. Counted amongst Mr. Foy's sins were not allowing a legitimate Adebayor goal, and sending off Younes Kaboul. Kaboul had been booked for dissent, which was spotted by the fourth official, and then suffered a harsh second yellow for a foul.

........... Ashley Cole had not been allowed to handle the ball when laying on the cross from which Sturridge scored Chelsea's equaliser at White Hart Lane? Referee Howard Webb didn't do Spurs many favours that day at all. Adebayor had given Spurs an early lead, but also had what looked a legitimate winner disallowed in the second half.

The star performance of the month came in the 2-0 win at Carrow Road, in which Gareth Bale and Rafa van der Vaart were given free roles in a Pyramid formation behind Adebayor. Bale scored both our goals, and was awarded one of the highest individual grades of the season (9/10). The freedom granted to him in this game though might have been the pre-cursor to a trend over the remainder of the season. That freedom to roam; move to the right and even vanish at will worked to our disadvantage at times in the second half of the season.

January - 64.28%
Player of the Month - Gareth Bale
Game of the Month - Man City 3 Spurs 2

What if? ..........

............ Jermain Defoe had got a better touch to that Gareth Bale cross in the closing stages of one of the games of the season at The Etihad? Spurs had gone into the game just 5 points behind City, and were being spoken of as genuine title contenders in what was a three horse race at this stage. Defoe had to start this game of course, as Adebayor was a loan player from City, and he had scored our first goal in a marvellous come-back from 2-0 down. Bale had scored the other Spurs goal with an un-stoppable shot that also has to be a goal of the season contender. The game ended in disaster for Spurs when, of all people, Ledley King committed a disastrous added time foul and Balotelli slotted home the kick. Balotelli shouldn't have been on the pitch, but referee Webb had failed to spot a kick (in the head)upon Scott Parker, for which the enigmatic Italian striker subsequently received a four match ban. The result ended Spurs participation in the title race.

............ Spurs had not dropped two points at home to relegated Wolves? Wolves lost 12 of the 17 games they played after gaining a precious point at White Hart Lane. Mick McCarthy's men took points off us in 4 of their 6 matches played in their recent three year spell in the Premier League. McCarthy would be sacked after a shambolic defeat at home to West Brom, but his replacement Terry Connor had a nightmare end to the season. Again, Adebayor seemed to have a legitimate goal disallowed, but Spurs' ability to take chances was absent. In my match report for this game, I first made the comment about Bale disappearing at times, as he took full advantage of his recently granted freedom, but not always to the benefit of the team. Gareth was voted Player of the month for the second month running though.

........... Spurs had not weakened their squad in the January transfer window? Manager Harry Redknapp eventually admitted this to be the case, as players who could have been very useful to the squad (Pienaar, Corluka, Townsend and Bassong) were allowed to spend the rest of the season out on loan, whilst the only arrivals were the un-spectacular Louis Saha and Ryan Nelsen.

It was during December and January when some began talking about a lack of a structured rotation policy at Tottenham. Rotation for Harry has generally meant fielding weak sides in Cup competitions, and responding to enforced changes required due to injuries or suspension.

February - 59.75%
Player of the Month - Brad Friedel
Game of the Month - Spurs 5 Newcastle 0

What if? ..........

............ Harry Redknapp had not been linked so positively for the England job which became vacant on the same dramatic day that Harry was acquitted in his highly publicised alleged tax evasion trial? The emphatic performance and result of the game which followed this news (the 5-0 win over Newcastle) suggests that in itself the link with England did not affect the players. However, there have since been references to players saying that they were indeed affected by the uncertainty regarding Harry's future. The season was nearly over before the FA finally announced that Roy Hodgson would be the new manager, and Spurs' form dipped greatly in February, March and April.

Spurs' FA Cup run progressed to March, but their displays had been less than convincing at Watford in January, and at Stevenage in February.

The least said about the 5-2 defeat at The Emirates, the better. This after we had been 2-0 up too. Spurs fans had to suffer yet another false dawn, as the gooners went on the rampage. Friedel got the least worst score in this game, and by keeping clean sheets in his other games won another Player of the Month award.

March - 57.76%
Player of the Month - Gareth Bale
Game of the Month - Spurs 3 Bolton 1

What if? ..........

.............. Bale played on the left? During the defeat at Goodison Park, the Spurs fans chanted tactical advice to manager Harry Redknapp for the first time - "He plays on the left, he plays on the left! Gareth Bale, he plays on the left!" That defeat at Everton was the third on the trot in the Premier League, and another first in Harry's time at Tottenham. I wrote in my report for the defeat at home to Man Utd, that Spurs needed to find "big team mentality". Sadly the evidence is still saying we are lacking the strength to deal with difficult situations in key games.

We actually went five league games without a win, surrendering our third place. We did match Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and we were the better of the two teams on that day.

That "What if?" question has to be applied to the abandoned FA Cup quarter final against Bolton, when Fabrice Muamba collapsed. In this case though, the question is a positive one - "What if Fabrice Muamba had not received the committed and expert medical attention he received on the night he collapsed during a game at White Hart Lane" ( An account of the night Fabrice Muamba collapsed). It was fantastic to see Muamba walk out on May 2nd in front of the fans at The Reebock before our away league game. Spurs did conquer Bolton convincingly in the re-arranged game to reach their sixth FA Cup semi-final since last lifting the trophy in 1991.

April - 52.26%
Player of the Month - Younes Kaboul
Game of the Month - Spurs 3 Swansea 1

What if? ..........

............ referee Martin Atkinson had not invented Chelsea's second goal in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley? The ball never even reached the Spurs goal-line, let alone cross it, but still Mr. Atkinson saw fit to award a goal. Spurs then collapsed mentally and it became an embarrassing Chelsea rout. Spurs conceded five goals in a game for the third time this season.

The month of April was sandwiched by victories over Swansea and Blackburn, but in between we suffered disaster and/or embarrassment at Sunderland, at home to Norwich and away to QPR. Now we were struggling even to hold onto fourth place, and by now we knew of the risk faced because of Chelsea's progress to the Champions League Final.

Kyle Walker scored a thundering free kick goal in our 2-0 win over Blackburn.

Younes Kaboul was voted player of the month. Crucially, he missed the FA Cup semi-final and the game at QPR. Younes had to be withdrawn just before half-time in the Norwich game too.

May - 66.6%
Player of the Month - Sandro
Game of the Month - Bolton 1 Spurs 4

What if? ..........

............ Spurs could have beaten Aston Villa by creating and converting just one more chance? Danny Rose made it difficult for Spurs when he got sent off early in the second half, but Spurs played even better with the ten men, perhaps because now Bale did have to play non the left (at full-back). When we started this game, we knew that Arsenal had failed to beat Norwich, and that victory would put us in command on the last day of the season.

............. former Spurs' reserve keeper Marton Fulop had not been called upon just before kick-off to play for West Brom against Arsenal West Brom were 2-1 up, but Fulop made two elementary errors to give Arsenal the lead in the first place, and then to allow them to score a second half winner.

Just one more point and one more goal somewhere in the season would have been enough for us to have finished above Arsenal, who did scrape home in third place. It hurts a lot, doesn't it?

.... and finally

Despite all the above factors, it really is no use crying over spilt milk. Every squad has to deal with injuries, and during the season, Spurs did have to deal with the absences of Huddlestone (50 games), Dawson (37 games), Gallas (27 games), Sandro (21 games), Ledley King (20 games) and Aaron Lennon (18 games).

The rub of the green may not have evened up over the course of this season for Spurs, but we did have enough opportunities to have seized third place at least. Why, if you take into account all the "What if?" questions, we could have been Champions!

Honourable mentions are deserved by several players:-

Firstly, Jermain Defoe, who scored 17 goals for us in all competitions. 11 of these goals were scored in league games from just 11 starts and 14 substitute appearances. Unsurprisingly, Jermain has the best goals per minutes played ratio amongst the strikers.

Secondly, I'd like to mention Jake Livermore, who at his level, and stage of development, has had a fantastic season. Jake made a substitute debut for us last season, but started our first game of the season at Hearts, when he scored one of our five goals. He's made just seven league starts, but has started 20 games in all competitions, and has made another 18 substitute appearances. Jake was voted our best player in the home defeat against Manchester City, and came a close second to Benoit Assout-Ekotto in the home win against Everton

Thirdly, I'll mention a player who has not played one game for us this season - Steven Caulker. Steven has made steady progress up the leagues over the last three seasons. In each of those seasons, at Yeovil, Bristol City and now in the Premier League with Swansea, Steven has won admiration and plaudits consistently. He is now an England under-21 International, and there has to be a strong chance that he will form part of Spurs squad next season. He has played a total of 26 Premier League games this season, and kept the club captain out of the side. In those games, Caulker has been part of a defence that has kept 9 clean sheets, including those against Man City and Liverpool. I'll have an article by a Swansea fan about Caulker on thee web site in the next few days.

Finally, Scott Parker headed the vote for Player of the Season throughout. His 110% effort, determination, leadership qualities, and tigerish tackling has won the hearst of all Spurs fans, and had everything to do with the success we did have over the season. Scott has now captained his country, but he is battling to be fit for the Euro 2012 tournament, in which Jermain Defoe will also represent tthe club for England.

Regarding Spurs' future, we all hope that Adebayor can stay at Spurs, but of course the Spurs wage structure, and Adebayor's current massive weekly pay are major obstructions to his permanent transfer. Spurs are already being strongly linked with French striker Loic Remy, of Marseilles, and Ajax's Belgian central defender Jan Vertonghen. Spurs need to get their transfer business done early, in my opinion. Bale says he is happy at Spurs, but Defoe could be on the move. We'll also have another summer of Modric speculation.

"Getting over" the loss of Champions League exclusion is too strong a phrase, but I do want to see Spurs succeed in a Cup next season. Why not at Amsterdam next year against Athletico Madrid in the Europa League Final against the team we beat 5-1 in 1963 in that famous European Cup Winners' Cup Final?

Don't forget to check out the cumulative appearances and grades for the players below. The grades are based upon a mark out of ten.

...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 more than 11 years!

Key:
S Skill levels
P Pluck (ie effort)
U Unforced errors*
R Resolve (defensive ability)
S Score ratio (goals to shots)
= Overall mark Total Percentage
Percentages given for each category.

* less errors equals a higher mark

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Player Played Sub Used Sub Not Used Booked Sent Off Goals Grades
 1. Heurelho GOMES 4 - 9 - - - 5.95
 2. - - - - - - -
 3. Gareth BALE 41 1 1 3 - 12 6.76
 4. Younes KABOUL 39 2 3 3 1 1 6.85
 5. - - - - - - -
 6. Tom HUDDLESTONE 1 3 - - - - 5.65
 7. Aaron LENNON 26 6 1 1 - 4 6.42
 8. Jermaine JENAS - - 1 - - - -
 8. Scott Parker 33 1 - 9 1 - 6.91
 9. Roman PAVLYUCHENKO 7 7 11 - - 4 5.28
10. Emmanuel ADEBAYOR 35 2 - 4 - 18 6.65
11. Rafael van der VAART 34 5 2 3 - 13 6.55
12. - - - - - - -
13. William GALLAS 18 - 4 2 - - 6.56
14. Luka MODRIC 40 1 2 2 - 5 6.66
15. Peter CROUCH 1 - - - - - 4.2
16. Louis SAHA 6 6 3 - - 4 5.8
17. Giovani Dos SANTOS 6 7 10 1 - 2 5.86
18. Jermain DEFOE 21 17 7 3 - 17 6.21
19. Sebastien BASSONG 9 4 17 1 - - 5.95
20. Michael DAWSON 12 1 4 2 - - 6.28
21. Niko KRANJCAR 13 5 10 1 - 1 6.05
22. Vedran CORLUKA 6 2 6 1 - - 5.86
23. Carlo CUDICINI 11 - 37 1 - - 6.76
24. Brad FRIEDEL 38 - 7 - - - 6.78
25. Danny ROSE 11 9 13 1 1 - 5.82
26. Ledley KING 23 - 3 - - - 6.53
27. Yago FALQUE 2 4 3 - - - 6.16
28. Kyle WALKER 45 2 1 4 - 2 6.70
29. Jake LIVERMORE 20 18 11 2 - 1 6.34
30. Cordeiro SANDRO 20 7 4 6 - - 6.65
31. Andros TOWNSEND 4 3 7 1 - 1 6.61
32. Benoit Assou-Ekotto 39 1 2 6 - 2 6.64
33. Ryan NELSEN 3 5 8 - - 1 6.11
34. - - - - - - -
35. David BUTTON - - - - - - -
36. Bongani KHUMALO - - 4 - - - -
37. Harry KANE 3 3 4 1 - 1 5.8
38. David BENTLEY - - - - - - -
39. - - - - - - -
40. Steven PIENAAR 4 3 9 1 - 1 5.6
41. John BOSTOCK - 1 - - - - 5.8
43. Ryan FREDERICKS 2 1 2 - - - 5.83
44. Cristian CEBALLOS - - 1 - - - -
45. Massimo LUONGO - 1 2 - - - 5.6
46. Tom CARROLL 6 1 3 1 - - 6.61
47. Jake NICHOLSON - 1 2 - - - 5.8
51. Adam SMITH - 1 - - - - 6.4
53. Cameron LANCASTER - 1 2 - - - 6.6
54. Alex PRITCHARD - - 2 - - - -
58. Dean PARRETT - 2 1 - - - 5.25
59. Kevin STEWART - - 2 - - - -
60. Jack BARTHRAM - - 1 - - - -
Own Goals - - - - - 1 -
TOTAL MATCHES PLAYED Goals Scored Goals Against         -
53 91 53         -

Spurs Odyssey Player of the Season:-

Scott Parker

Runner-up:-

Younes Kaboul

Player of the Month awards:-


Friedel  (3)
Bale     (3)
Adebayor (1)
Parker   (1)
Kaboul   (1)
Sandro   (1)

Top scorers (all competitions)


Adebayor       18
Defoe          17
Bale           13
Van der Vaart  13  

Minutes played per goal:-


Defoe        - 133
Adebayor     - 175
Van der Vaart- 216
Bale         - 286

Minutes Played:-


Walker       - 4,068
Bale         - 3,716
Modric       - 3,588
Kaboul       - 3,535
Assou-Ekotto - 3,501
Friedel      - 3,420

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