· May 2015 figures
· Last Year's figures
Expectations fulfilled, but hopes not met.
I wrote at the start of the season that I was feeling somewhat underwhelmed about our prospects for the season. Most Spurs fans would have hoped we could finish in the top four, but realistic expectations would have been to finish just outside the elite bracket of the Premier league. That is just how it turned out, with a last day win for Spurs and emphatic defeat for Liverpool giving us fifth place, and Europa League Group stage qualification.
I should have put money on my predicted top three, and correctly predicted that Louis Van Gaal's Manchester United would be in the mix for the top four. I was wrong about Everton's chances, and nobody expected Southampton to be chasing a top four place for much of the season.
The young man who turned out to be the darling of most Spurs fans - Harry Kane - didn't even get a mention in my preview of this season. At that time, Harry had just 6 Premier League starts to his name and three goals late in the 2013-14 season. Harry did get plenty of Europa League exposure for Mauricio Pochettino, but didn't make his first league start of the season until 9th November. That was our tenth league game of the season, but after a hat-trick in our home win against Asteras Tripolis, and a total of 13 goals for club and country (under-21 at that stage) the fans had been clamouring for Kane to start for Spurs.
Harry had scored a dramatic late winner the previous week at Villa Park (there were a few of those as the season progressed), and although he didn't score in the home defeat by Stoke, Harry never looked back, starting every Premier League game thereafter, and almost every other game too.
Harry's heroics over the course of the season include 21 Premier League goals, equalling the records of Teddy Sheringham and Gareth Bale before him. Harry also joined an elite group of five other post-war players who have scored 30 or more Spurs goals in one season. He got his first Premier League hat-trick against Leicester, and scored on his full England debut, less than two minutes after coming off the bench against Lithuania. Harry was voted the PFA young player of the season, and won the Spurs members' and junior members' player of the season votes. Kane will be playing in this summer's England Under-21 tournament, and will need careful management when the new season comes, to prevent burn-out.
Having a back-up striker or two that we could rely upon to score would be a help. Last year's Spurs Odyssey runner-up in our player of the season vote - Emmanuel Adebayor - was apparently one of a group of players who fell out of favour with the new head coach over his training methods. Adebayor also fell out with Spurs fans big-style, when a press quote attributed to him seemed to criticise the fans' support having an effect upon poor results at home. Adebayor also had what seems like his usual share of family strife to face, and made very few appearances once Kane had established himself as first choice striker.
Roberto Soldado has had limited opportunities, but his goal-scoring ratio, particularly from open play, has been pathetic for Spurs over the course of two seasons now. Etienne Capoue and club captain Younes Kaboul also virtually disappeared from the scene. Both made their last appearances in an FA Cup home defeat to Leicester.
I also wrote at the start of the season that a trophy was imperative for Spurs. Ultimately, we were all to be disappointed. We did reach the Capital One Cup Final (after a semi-final struggle against Sheffield United), but lost to this season's Premier League Champions Chelsea. Losing at home to Leicester in the FA Cup was awful to experience, together with the knowledge that it will now be at least 25 years between FA Cup Final appearances for Spurs. That's if we do make it to Wembley next May. We were once the leading FA Cup winners, but now our near neighbours have successfully defended the trophy, and now hold the record number of wins - 12. Sorry to remind you of that.
Apathy set in for most Spurs fans after Europa League defeat to Fiorentina was swiftly followed by that Wembley defeat. Then, within two weeks, master strategist Van Gaal, destroyed us with a 3-0 win at Old Trafford. That defeat didn't make it mathematically impossible to finish in the top four, but it did feel inevitable. In truth, our form towards the end of the season was poor, with only three wins in our last 8 games, but clearly, Liverpool's form was poorer!
Major highlights have been few and far between this season. The home wins against Chelsea (5-3) and Arsenal (2-1) clearly stand out above all else.
We have seen the emergence of Eric Dier, Ryan Mason and particularly Nabil Bentaleb as important team members. Dier was also originally selected for that England under-21 squad, but was dropped from the final 23, and Mason has been selected for England duties for the second time.
Hugo Lloris convincingly won the Spurs Odyssey player of the season vote over Kane. There were too many occasions when Hugo was perceived as "the least worst player" in what were too many below par performances for team and coach.
Already there have been press stories leading us to worry whether Lloris will be a Spurs player next term, and we already knew that Vertonghen (third in our season vote) might not remain committed should Champions League football emerge as a possibility for the Belgian.
Despite the emergence of players such as Dier, Mason, Bentaleb and left back Danny Rose, I can't help feeling that ideally Spurs need to upgrade in several positions to have a chance of improving upon fifth place. Already, the club has confirmed the signing of 22 year old Austrian centre-back Kevin Wimmer, who has had a good season for FC Koln in the Bundesliga, but it is early days yet, before the transfer window even officially opens.
Another young player, DeAndre Yedlin, was signed from Seattle Sounders, but used very sparingly by Spurs after his arrival in England in January. However, Yedlin did show promise in our post-season tour of Malaysia and Australia (specifically Sydney), and will give Kyle Walker much needed competition for the right back berth. Harry Kane scored all three of our (winning) goals in those games, of course!
Remember, there are 21 years of archives at Spurs Odyssey, where you can find reports on our games at all levels, including our under-21 and under-18 teams.
Don't forget to check out the players' current figures re. appearances, cards, goals scored and accumulated ratings to date below.
...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 14 years!