· May 2014 figures
· Last Year's figures
Looking for a highlight
What was your personal highlight of this Spurs season?
Was it the signing of no less than seven players to compensate for the sale of Gareth Bale for some £86 million to Real Madrid?
Hardly, I would suggest. Despite breaking our transfer fee record three times with the signings of Paulinho, Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado, none of these three players have set the world alight. Paulinho has without doubt been the best of those three signings, scoring 8 goals for us in all competitions, 6 of which were in the Premier League. One or two of those were crucial too, with the late, late winner at Cardiff, and the first goal at Sunderland coming to mind.
Erik Lamela made the assist for Paulinho's Cardiff winner, but we haven't even seen the Argentinean in this calendar year, and he only made 10 starts in all games. Only three of those starts were in the Premier League, and he managed one goal all season, scored at White Hart Lane in November in the Europa League against FC Sheriff. Lamela has been nursing a back injury apparently, and has returned to light training. he hasn't been selected for the Argentinean World Cup squad, and we must hope to see him at his best for us next season.
Roberto Soldado proved at an early stage that he was a clinical taker of penalty kicks, being responsible for our first six points of the season, when we beat Crystal Palace and Swansea 1-0. Soldado has scored only once this calendar year, and hasn't even been first choice, with Tim Sherwood preferring Harry Kane as Adebayor's strike partner as the season closed. Soldado took until 20th October to score his first Premier League goal in open play. Again, we hope to see better next season.
Of the other signings, Christian Eriksen has undoubtedly been the star, and was voted by Spurs official members as their player of the season, also getting the young player of the season vote. Christian wasn't the Spurs Odyssey player of the season, but he certainly made a dashing start to his Spurs career with man of the match performances against Norwich and then at home to Tromso, against whom he scored the first of 10 goals in total for the season. That's the highest figure of any of our midfielders.
Etienne Capoue looked as if he could be a monster player, before he was struck down with injury, and he too has not made enough appearances over the course of the season. That goes for Nacer Chadli, who has rarely been first choice, and has not managed to impress the majority of Spurs fans. He might have scored our goal of the season with a magnificent curler at Newcastle, but the chant from Spurs fans as we left the stadium was "4-0 and even Chadli scored"
Vlad Chiriches is another "marmite" player in the eyes of those hard to please Spurs fans. I think he is fleet of foot and potentially our best defender, but too many mis-placed passes have led to poor reviews by many observers. Chiriches even won a player of the month vote in November, but that was partly because he missed the 6-0 debacle at The Etihad stadium.
Okay then, was your highlight our performance against the teams that finished in the top four this season? Well, of course not, as our results in this area were simply disastrous. The 2013-14 Champions beat us 6-0 at home, and 5-1 at White Hart Lane. We lost 5-0 at home to Liverpool and 4-0 away. That home defeat was AVB's last game in charge. We lost 1-0 at home and away to Arsenal, against home we also lost in the FA Cup Third Round (2-0). Against Chelsea, we actually managed a draw at home, with a finely worked goal scored by Gylfi Sigurdsson exciting the home crowd for almost the first time this season. Then we had a comedy performance away (4-0), which gives us an overall record of Played 8, Won 0, drawn 1, lost 7. We scored 2 goals and conceded 27 against the top four. Surely no other team in the league did as badly? If you take those 27 goals out of the equation then we didn't defend too badly over the whole season, in which we did manage 21 clean sheets (14 to AVB. 7 to Tim Sherwood)
We can't even claim beating Manchester United away for the second consecutive season as a highlight, because so many other teams won there too. They were West Brom, Everton, Newcastle, Swansea (FA Cup), Man City, Liverpool and even Sunderland. Moyes lost at home and away to his old team and to United fans' hated rivals Liverpool. Oh, and he also lost at home and away to Man City, surrendering the League title and a place in Europe to boot. No wonder he lost his job!
The highlight was not our record in this season's London Derbies either. I've already mentioned the Arsenal and Chelsea games. Those teams finished above us in the 6 team table. Apart from losing three times to Arsenal, we also managed to lose three times (for the first time ever in a season) to West Ham, whose fans will still be gloating about that next season. They've got nothing else to cheer, after all, part from survival, which we almost gave to them with those 6 points.
So was the highlight winning 10 away league games for the second successive season (our best in the Premier League)? Was it that 4-0 away win against Newcastle; our early convincing and 100% record in the Europa League; or perhaps three wins (9-0 on aggregate) against Aston Villa. Was it the re-instatement of Emmanuel Adebayor by Tim Sherwood, after he had been snubbed by AVB? Was it Tim's open style which at last gave us three goals in a league game this season, and then in seven more league games?
No. It was none of these. For me, and for so many Spurs Odysseyreaders and voters, the highlight and saving grace of the season was the consistency of Hugo Lloris, who on so many occasions, either kept us in the game, or saved us from even further embarrassment. One of his best saves came in the defeat at Anfield, for which he was nominated as a contender in Match of the day's save of the season.
Hugo has won our player of the season vote. He was Man of the match 17 times, and player of the month 4 times. I'll admit to being rather upset when Eriksen was announced as the members' winner, much as I appreciate Christian's efforts over the course of thee season.
We've won a place in Europe, but lost two head coaches, as the club searches for another leader. The fact that we lost all those games that matter most to Spurs fans, and rarely entertained at home when it counted is the reason for so much despair and despondency about the season. Incidentally, according to our Spursometer figures, this has been our worse season since 2003-04 (10 years), and the first time in 5 years that we have failed to break the 60% barrier for overall performance.
Despite all those defeats and disappointments, the biggest losses that Spurs have suffered have been the passing of two of its biggest fans. Roger Lloyd-Pack (aka "Trigger" of Only Fools and Horses) who voiced the "We are Spurs" video presentation a couple of years ago, and Darren Alexander have sadly departed this world for a higher plane. Roger Lloyd-Pack was famous for his humourous faux-pas. Darren Alexander (who was joint Chairman of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust) was known as a ready provider of witty repartee on social media and at games, and as such a great supporter and driver regarding issues of the day. I am proud to have known Darren, and to have counted him as a personal friend, and I continue to feel his loss whenever I go to watch my beloved Spurs, or indeed whenever I am online. That's most of the time then.
Darren's name was given to the trophy presented to Ledley King at his end of season testimonial match. Now that was a highlight!
We've all got friends and family who have suffered greatly, or who continue to suffer or struggle with illness. Such things truly put football in perspective. I certainly count family and personal friends above all. Have a great summer, and I hope to see you in August!
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!