· January 2016 figures
· Last Year's figures
February made me shiver - with excitement!
With a nod towards Don McLean's "American Pie", February made me shiver - with excitement!
Our beloved Spurs made progress on virtually all fronts this month, with four more successive Premier League wins, making six successive wins so far, a climb up to second place, and progress to the Europa League Round of 16.
The biggest win, and perhaps best moment came at The Etihad where we beat Man City away for the first time since May 2010, when Champions League qualification was the ultimate reward. Lamela's run and pass, then Eriksen's winner were sublime! The 3-0 home win over Fiorentina was thoroughly entertaining, and the nervous tension before we finally managed to overcome a determined Swansea defence was relieved by Danny Rose's winner and almighty cheers. In fact, such was the excitement of the Spurs crowd that I hardly recall any of the usual banal and negative chants about our enemies and a former player. The atmosphere was full of positivity!
Something had to give, and the one game we lost this month was a bit of a shock, at home to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup. Pardew's Palace can't buy a Premier League win yet this year, but they made it to the last 8. That game is the one Toby Alderweireld missed. Toby also sat out our League Cup exit to Arsenal in September. Bearing in mind we've only lost 6 of the 40 games we have played so far (3 defeats only in the league), it does give some indication of how much we miss Alderweireld when he isn't around.
No wonder that Toby was your player of the month this month with an average of almost 7.6 out of 10 in his 6 matches. Toby has also very marginally crept above Hugo Lloris in the player of the season ratings, which you can see below.
Our second place is not just on goal difference as I write either, as we are three clear points above Arsenal, and 10 points above Manchester United who are in fifth place.
Our excellent progress, and best challenge for the title in the living memory of most Spurs fans is being maintained despite several injuries to key players. Jan Vertonghen hasn't played this month, and now he knows he faces a fight to win back his place with the excellent Kevin Wimmer ever-present since Jan's injury, averaging over 7 out of 10 this month and 6.8 for the season - better than Vertonghen's 6.74. That's a very slim difference, I know, but Wimmer averages 7 out of 10 for the 10 games he has played since Vertonghen's injury.
Mousa Dembele, who has had such an inspired season, has also had to miss three of our last four games. Vertonghen's absence will go on for a few weeks yet, but both Dembele and Tom Carroll could be back for the Arsenal game.
The gradings of virtually all players have improved, and some of them considerably in this period. Mauricio Pochettino's ratings for team selection, tactics and substitutions average 7.5, the highest this season, and the best I can recall for a considerable time .
Pochettino's exhortations for us to "work hard and improve" still have validity, because our score ratio is not as good as it could be. 34 shots against Swansea, and only 2 goals is an indicator here, but of course we did see a great goalkeeping performance in this game.
I keep saying that "you are only as good as your next game", and for us that means a West Ham side who will be desperate to win the last meeting of these two sides at Upton Park, before Arsenal come along the Seven Sisters Road for the biggest North London Derby in years!
Why worry though? We are the top team in London, and also top of the "London Derby League" this season!
I can't wait for my next taste of "Tottenham Pie".
· Review the 2015-16 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 more than 15 years!