Tottenham Loan Watch – Season Review 2014/15.

Another season has passed, with many players being loaned out for various different reasons; some to showcase their talents for a permanent move, some to improve while gaining experience and some to show that they are ready for a place in the Tottenham first team. There have been a lot of impressive loan stars, but on the flip side there have been that look destined for an exit from Tottenham permanently, and I’m going to give my verdict on whether they are ready for Tottenham, need another loan spell or should be sent packing on a new adventure.

Grant Hall – Championship – Birmingham & Blackpool. The 23-year-old central defender played a part in two struggling Championship sides, and didn’t really establish himself in either as a key player. Under Lee Clark at both Blackpool and Birmingham it looked as though Clark liked Hall, as after being sacked from his managerial role at Birmingham he made sure he took the defender in his new role at the Tangerines but it didn’t really help them defensively, as Birmingham improved after the departure of Clark and Hall, and Blackpool continued to concede a shed load. He only made nine appearances for Birmingham before moving to Blackpool where he made 12 appearances, getting on the score sheet once. After moving to Spurs from Brighton Hall hasn’t made an appearance for Tottenham and at 23 I don’t see him getting to that level after three unsuccessful loan spells at Swindon, Birmingham & Blackpool. It’d be best for Grant Hall to find another club on a permanent basis in my view, possibly at a Championship club.
Kenneth McEvoy – Peterborough & Colchester – League One. The 20-year-old winger was unfortunate to only gain nine appearances across his two loan spells this season, netting once for Peterborough but not scoring for Colchester as he was unluckily on the bench and wasn’t given a run of games in either the Peterborough or Colchester sides. After being called back early because of a lack of game time at Peterborough, and being given the opportunity at Colchester for more games, it didn’t happen for the youngster and was therefore called back to Spurs where he featured for the U21 side, in which he had more success – scoring two and assisting two, including a great goal at Old Trafford against a strong Manchester United youth side. Tottenham need to find the right club for McEvoy in which he can gain experience, as he does have talent, but needs to find a League One side in which he can have a full season as a key part of a side, which is important for him. Hopefully, with another loan spell he can show his quality – as he is still young.
Shaq Coulthirst – Southend & York – League Two. The 21-year-old striker’s loan deal included being available for our U21 side. Coulthirst made a respectable 36 appearances for both Colchester and York combined, which is a very respectable total and I’m sure Shaq earned a lot of experience and leaned a lot in what is a very tough League to play in and get any consistency in your performances. Shaq managed to strike six goals in League Two this season, which I’m sure he will be a little disappointed with, but coming off the bench often and not having a prolonged time in either side I’m sure it would have been difficult for him. Southend was fairly successful loan for Coulthirst and I hope he can learn from the experience, and hopefully gain himself a loan to a better League next season, most likely in League One. Hopefully he can improve further and become a more clinical striker – more goals is what he needs to bring to next season, and if he can do that then maybe he can have a future in the first team at Spurs, having already made his debut for the senior side.
Ryan Fredericks – Middlesbrough – Championship. At 22 years old, Fredericks has been a very promising player coming up from the youth ranks, the right back has already made his senior debut for Tottenham, and looked very impressive. But as the competition at right back has increased the chances for Ryan Fredericks have seemingly decreased and the loan spell at Boro looked like an opportunity for him to showcase the talent that he definitely possesses. Unfortunately Fredericks made only 19 appearances in all competitions for Middlesbrough, being in and out of the side that got to the play off final, although unfortunately Ryan did not take part in the final. I think the loan was beneficial for Fredericks but he has a battle on his hands to compete with Kyle Walker, DeAndre Yedlin and now Eric Dier who has played at right back a lot this season – and his time at Spurs could come to an end. But, I think if he can secure another loan deal for next season to further show his talents, which would be best for him, in the Championship most probably.
Jordan Archer – Northampton & Millwall – League Two & Championship. Two very interesting loan deals for the 22-year-old Scottish U21 international goalkeeper. First, a loan deal, which would seemingly get him a good amount of experience in a competitive League, but Jordan Archer only amassed 16 appearances, being unfortunately behind their first choice ‘keeper, so not really getting a look in unless he was injured – so I think it was poor of Tottenham to loan him to a side that couldn’t guarantee him first team football, which for a young goalkeeper is crucial. Due to that lack of action, Archer was recalled, but wasn’t back at Spurs for long as he was then loaned quite surprisingly to Championship side Millwall, which is a big step up from Northampton, and it didn’t look as though he would get much game time and we were right – he didn’t appear in a single game at the Den, so the only reason for the loan you would expect is to experience that feeling in a dressing room and on the training ground of a Championship side. I think it’s unlikely that Archer becomes a first team goalkeeper for us, with Luke McGee looking promising and also with the strength we have in-between the sticks. Possibly another loan deal to a League One side next season, but if not it could be time for Archer to find a new club permanently this time, with chances at Spurs looking limited and not really impressing out on loan this season. (Now Released)
Grant Ward – Coventry – League One. The versatile 20-year-old midfielder joined Coventry in mid March, and was a key part of the side during that time, making 11 outings for the Sky Blues during the short loan spell. After a loan to the MLS with Chicago Fire which I’m sure was quite the experience for young Ward, it’s crucial to his development that he gets time to play in England in the lower leagues, so that he can gain the knowledge of competitive English football. As helpful as the loan to Chicago might have been on a personal level, moving out to the US for a season at a young age, the level of football is not the same as England and I hope that next season Ward is able to get a good loan deal to a Championship club. We have seen his quality in our post-season tour against Malaysia and Sydney, where he has looked lively – but I don’t think he is quite ready for the first team, so needs to experience a full, good, season as part of a Championship side – that would be very beneficial for Grant Ward. He helped the Coventry side escape relegation from League One with his performances, which according to the Coventry fan base were of a very good level, gaining one assist as well.
Tom Carroll – Swansea – Premier League. 23-year-old Tom Carroll has been one of our most promising young players for quite a while now, and after a loan spell to QPR in the Championship which was quite unsuccessful, it looked like his spark as the next first team player was evaporating – but this loan move to a Premier League club was fantastic. Carroll needed a club that could nurture him as the technical, petite central midfielder that he is – and if you could pick any Premier League side to do that it is Swansea. It was the perfect loan deal for him and very good for all three parties, Tottenham, Swansea and Carroll himself. Although it was always unlikely that Carroll would be a constant in the Swans side, he was still being developed by a great manager in Garry Monk and fighting for a spot in a solid Premier League side. At 23 it is make or break time for Carroll, and making 18 appearances in all competitions for Swansea is a good tally, netting once in the FA Cup and also notching an assist. I’m pleased with how the loan went for Carroll, and now, with the break of Mason and Bentaleb into the first team he has to be aiming to be a part of the first team for next season – another loan would only demoralise what is a good talent in Tom Carroll in my view. He has performed well in our post-season tour, and needs to impress in our pre-season as well, just like Mason did last pre-season. I really hope Tom can impress Pochettino and be a part of next season’s squad.
Milos Veljkovic – Championship – Middlesbrough & Charlton. At just 19, getting two loan deals to Championship level is very good. Milos is one of our most promising and versatile players, able to play in central defence or central midfield. Unfortunately, after not establishing himself in the Middlesbrough team, which was very fiercely contested for a central midfield and centre defence, Milos was recalled having made just three appearances for Boro. But, yet again it is another experience for a very young and encouraging young player – but after not getting the chances at a high flying Middlesbrough, he was sent out to Charlton in the lower half of the Championship, fighting for survival – but Milos was unfortunate, and after three outings for Charlton he suffered a dislocated shoulder and was forced back to Tottenham with his season over. Now, after only six appearances on loan in the Championship, but decent experience, it’s time for Spurs to find Veljkovic a good loan move to a Championship club, where he can be a regular and master his craft in either central midfield or defence. I have high hopes for Milos and after making his first team debut under Tim Sherwood and then a Europa League appearance under Pochettino, I hope he can get a good season out on loan next term and then work his way into the first team for the 2016/17 season.
Aaron Lennon – Everton – Premier League. A different sort of loan move for Lennon, who has already had a very good career with Tottenham and is an England international – so a loan move is surely only a way of trialling Lennon before eventually signing him. Everyone at Spurs is very thankful for what Lennon has done in his time with the club, but it looks as though that time is coming to an end. He deserves first team football at a Premier League side and Everton seems perfect for Aaron; whether he will go to Everton or not is still to be seen but after some good performances on Merseyside I think it’s likely Roberto Martinez will aim to bring Lennon in on a permanent basis. We’ll be sad to see him go, but it’s time for Lennon to have a different experience in the Premier League – I hope he can get a move that is beneficial for all three parties involved. Lennon made 14 appearances for the Toffees, scoring twice – and in his short time with them that is a solid return – and after Lennon saying that he enjoyed it at Everton; I think it’s likely he will make a permanent move.
Nathan Oduwa – Luton – League Two. A good loan move for young Oduwa; the 19-year-old forward appeared 11 times for Luton in League Two, failing to score but gaining valuable experience in competitive League football. Joining in February, he did well to amass the amount of appearances that he did, with his loan finishing in early May. It’s unfortunate that he couldn’t find the net as he has looked quite a natural finisher in the youth ranks, but he will be better for the experience in a trying League. The future for Oduwa should include a few more loan spells, hopefully working his way up the Leagues, becoming more effective with his goals and assists – then we can judge whether he is one for the first team or not. At just 19 we cannot really judge him properly. So hopefully he can get a good loan spell for next season, and improve further. We’ve seen Oduwa perform really well for the U21s, this season netting four times and notching four assists in just 11 outings, so I really hope he can progress further next term.
Bongani Khumalo – Colchester – League One. At 28, Khumalo does not have a future at Tottenham. Having been a part of out side for four years and not making a single outing for the first team, it’s quite obvious that his future does not lie at White Hart Lane. He has been very open to the fact he is looking for a new, permanent club, and the club has also been open in saying that it is trying to find him one. At Colchester, he did perform well, helping them escape relegation with his performances at the back, and the South African international will be happy with that, having come back from a very serious knee injury recently. Hopefully the club is able to find Khumalo a club that he can be a key part of, because he is not a bad player – which is evident with almost 50 caps for South Africa, but it hasn’t worked for him at Tottenham and Khumalo will want to find a new adventure, whether that is in England or not we will have to see. The bizarre Tottenham career of Bongani Khumalo is at its climax, folks. He made 10 appearances for Colchester in League One. (Now Released)
Emmanuel Sonupe – St Mirren – Scottish Championship. Quite the experience for 19-year-old Emmanuel Sonupe; sent on loan to Scotland in February. The winger/forward made only four appearances for St Mirren, mostly on the bench for the Saints it was never going to be a place where he would get a lot of action in the starting XI, but I’m sure the experiences was eye opening for young Sonupe, who could see how the difficult and gritty Scottish Championship compares to the relaxed and comfortable Tottenham U21s. He wouldn’t have been nurtured as much and treated as well, but it would have been good for him and I’m sure competitive League football was the aim and he got a taste of it, and now at 19 he will be looking to push on and secure another loan move for next term in the English divisions, with League Two the most likely destination for Sonupe, unless it is decided that he should stay in the U21s and be developed in a more comfortable scenario. Another promising young player along with Nathan Oduwa.
Lewis Holtby – Hamburg – Bundesliga. Lewis Holtby has been a fan favourite at Spurs since his arrival from Schalke; his passion and desire being an instant hit with the fans – but unfortunately that hasn’t been enough to see him become a first team player at the Lane. After an underwhelming first season, and then a loan deal to Fulham which was okay, he simply didn’t get the opportunity to show his quality at Spurs, and despite looking the sort of player that Pochettino would like, with his work rate and energy plus having a good pre-season, it wasn’t to be and a loan deal to Hamburg was arranged with an option to buy clause which Hamburg have activated. A move back to the Bundesliga wasn’t what Holtby had hoped so early in his Premier League career, but it seems best for a player that for all the passion and determination, sadly doesn’t look to have the talent that as a number 10, and a supposedly creative player should have. He doesn’t get enough goals or assists to really cement a place in Tottenham’s first team. At Hamburg, he has made 24 appearances in a struggling side, only getting two assists and no goals, which is disappointing for an attacking player such as Holtby. It’s best that he moves on, back to Hamburg and I’m sure he can have a good career, and you never know, one day he could be back in the Premier League as he is a just 24. (Now Sold)
Dele Alli – MK Dons – League One. Our new signing this January, who was then loaned pack to MK Dons for the remainder of their season – and in the end, secured automatic promotion to the Championship – and our 19-year-old central midfielder played a massive part in that, scoring a very impressive 16 goals and assisting 11 times for the Dons in all competitions in 44 appearances. He has had a stellar season and earned himself the Young Player of the Year award throughout the Football League, as well as Player of the Year at MK Dons. They will miss him at stadium Mk, but their loss will be our gain as we take on one of the most promising players in the football league. His goal scoring knack and ability on the ball has been very good this season and I look forward to seeing him at Tottenham – as I think he will fit straight into the first team squad, pushing Ryan Mason, Tom Carroll and Nabil Bentaleb for the central midfield spot – but it will be tough. He needs a good pre-season under his belt and show Pochettino what he can do in the Tottenham side, as of course it’s a different level to that of MK Dons.
Alex Pritchard – Brentford – Championship. Probably our most impressive loan star; in the Championship he was brilliant – and arguably their best player. His creativity, agility and quality in the final third made him a menace to all the defences in the Championship. He made 47 appearances for Brentford, scoring an impressive 12 goals and 7 assists. This season he was voted Brentford’s player of the season, included in the Championship team of the season and voted the eight best player in the Championship. He had a phenomenal season, and now his place in the Tottenham first team is inevitable. Mauricio Pochettino has already confirmed that Pritchard is part of his plans for next season and that is brilliant, he has the talent and the ability to be a crucial and key player for us next season, and we do need another creative and talented attacking player to rival Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela – especially Christian Eriksen who needs competition for the number 10 role that he has been virtually unchallenged for. At 22 years of age, it’s time for Pritchard to make the step up to the Premier League with Tottenham – after loan spells to League One, and then the Championship – he looks ready and hopefully he can be just as effective for Spurs as he was for Brentford. He is also a set piece specialist, from corners and free kicks, which is a good asset to have. I’m really looking forward to seeing the exciting Pritchard in action at the Lane next season.
Dominic Ball – Cambridge United – League Two. The 19-year-old centre back and England U20 international has a promising future ahead of him and he started his senior career with a loan to Cambridge in League Two, which is good for young Ball. He made 11 appearances in the League for Cambridge, and as he was only there from January that is a fairly respectable total, and from central defence he also managed to get two assists to his name. I have seen Dominic Ball in action for the U21s and he looks a strong but also technical defender, and hopefully he can continue to improve next season. He is very young for a defender, and he needs the experience to progress further – so another loan deal next season would do him good, possibly back in League Two, or even League One. He is a decent player but needs to gain that crucial experience and knowhow. I think he is a good prospect.
DeAndre Yedlin – Seattle Sounders – MLS. Our summer signing was kept at Seattle Sounders before making the move to Tottenham in January, and his performances were very good for Seattle, helping them win the US Open Cup, the Supporter’s shield and being named the U.S Young Athlete of the year. He had a great season with Seattle, but unfortunately couldn’t top it off with the MLS Cup via the play offs. He’s now made his Tottenham debut and he also played really well in the post-season tour in Malaysia and Sydney, and DeAndre after settling in London after being here since January, he can now push on and challenge Kyle Walker for the right back slot next season. I really think Yedlin can be a big player for us next season, after seeing him perform so well in the World Cup in Brazil, I think he has all the qualities to be a great player for Tottenham – and at just 21 years of age he does have a lot to learn in English football, and defensively he can be a little suspect but obviously under guidance, of which he looks very willing to take on and learn from. He’s a very ambitious young player and that shows in his bravery in taking on a massive step up from MLS football to the Premier League and I hope that he can be a big player for us, but also help Kyle Walker to improve by putting pressure on the English international. Yedlin made 30 appearances for Seattle last season and notched a solid four assists from right back, he has also cemented himself as a regular in the USA national side under the guidance of Jurgen Klinsmann.
It’s been a very eventful season for our loanees, and you would expect that next season it would be just as hectic with young players going out on loan. I would expect loan deals for some of our most promising players, but I would not be surprised to see Mauricio Pochettino be even braver with putting youngsters into the cup competitions next season such as Joshua Onomah, Harry Winks and Kyle Walker-Peters. Hopefully we can see some of last season’s loan players in our first team, especially Dele Alli, Tom Carroll and Alex Pritchard. Young, exciting English players, and they can join the likes of Danny Rose, Harry Kane and Ryan Mason in becoming key players of our first team. The loan system has been very beneficial for Tottenham in recent years and you have to expect us to continue to use it to our advantage and help develop some very good players that we have within our ranks. Thank you for following the #LoanWatch on twitter this season, and follow me on twitter for more next season here @AddictedToSpurs! COYS!!
You can also read my full Tottenham Season Review for the 2014/15 season HERE.

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Everton.

Match date & time: Sunday 30th November 2014. 4pm GMT KO.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1. Worldwide TV listings, HERE.

A few seasons ago, when we saw a home game on our fixture list, confidence would flow through our veins. ‘We’re always good at home’, would be the cry pre-game, and most of the time we would deliver, especially under Harry Redknapp and possibly Martin Jol. But, at this moment in time, our home crowd has become a curse to the players, struggling to find any sort of form at home and wins coming at a premium. As a fan, you always want to win at home, that’s where your team should feel more comfortable, having the backing of the fans, and being able to make the pitch suit your style. But, it seems the fans support can sometimes, or most of the time at White Hart Lane, turn sour very quickly if things don’t go Tottenham’s way, but that’s no excuse for lacklustre performances the fans have had to endure at White Hart Lane this season. Now, we need the players to give us something to cheer about in the Premier League at White Hart Lane, go out onto the pitch and play with intensity, drive and show the flair that runs through our team. The players prior to the game have been speaking about the need to win at home, and how driven they are to win for the fans – but now, it’s time for them to put words into action and perform like they want it more than the opposition. Everton are a very tough team in prospect, with top players and a talented manager who has imprinted his philosophy in his team very well. We will need to find our form very quickly this Sunday to combat a well directed side in Everton.

Everton have had a difficult season so far, and sit in 9th, level on points with ourselves in 10th. Everything points to this being a very tight and tactical game, but hopefully with attacking style that Everton have, there will be space for Tottenham to imprint our style onto the game. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of teams coming to White Hart Lane, sitting back, and grabbing a goal on the counter attack. With Everton, although I don’t expect them to be silly and leave heaps of space for our attacking players, it should be easier for us to find spaces, and create chances. But, it will mean defensively we will have to be more aware of the Evertonian outfit. Despite only winning 4 games in 12 so far this Premier League season, in all competitions, the Toffees are unbeaten in 8 games including the Europa League, and come into this game off the back of a good 2-0 win away at Wolfsburg. Whether the Europa League will affect their form more than us is another question, as they had to travel to Germany, and we had a nice Home game. In games after a Europa League fixture, Everton have lost twice, drawn once and won only once, and that came against a struggling Burnley side. Our record isn’t much better! Having lost four times, drawn none and winning twice. So it’s the battle of who can deal with Europa League commitments more! Last time we faced Everton, we came out victorious at White Hart Lane last season, a 1-0 win, Emmanuel Adebayor scoring the winner in a tight and tactical game. I’d expect a similar match this time around. Hopefully we get a similar scoreline!

The team news for Everton is that Steven Naismith (hamstring), Leighton Baines (hamstring), Gareth Barry (ankle), Steven Pienaar (knee), and Arouna Kone (knee) will all be looking to be part of the squad for this one after injuries, but still face late fitness tests. But, John Stones (ankle), Brian Oviedo (leg), Antolin Alcaraz (shoulder), Darren Gibson (knee) and James McCarthy (hamstring) are all expected to miss the game at White Hart Lane, which is the bad news for the blues! Everton have many threatening, offensive players that can cause problems for defences and score goals. The attack is lead by big Romelu Lukaku, the young Belgian has proved himself in the Premier League as one of the best strikers in the League, and Everton did well to sign him this season, although only getting 6 goals this season in all competitions, he looks like he’s finding his feet lately and is coming into this game 2 goals in 2 games. Jan Vertonghen, his Belgian team mate, will be well aware of what Romelu Lukaku can do and will have to be at his best to control him! After returning from injury, Kevin Mirallas is back and back in form, he’s a really threatening player and whether played on the left, right, or through the middle can be a thorn in any defence with his pace and skill, another Belgian as well! It’s well documented about how important Everton’s full backs are to their style of play; offensive, hard working and with final product as well. Seamus Coleman at right back and Leighton Baines at left back will create chances, and have chances themselves, it’s important we can keep tabs on them otherwise they will cause us problems.

The team news for Tottenham is that Younes Kaboul, Emmanuel Adebayor, Etienne Capoue, Nacer Chadli and Danny Rose are all in contention after returning to training. Andros Townsend (ankle), is a major doubt for the game. With Federico Fazio available after missing the Partizan game through suspension and Nabil Bentaleb fully recovered after his ankle problem. Although, Kyle Walker (groin) and Kyle Naughton (suspended) are out of the game. It’s unknown as of yet if the first 5 names will be fit enough to start, but Nacer Chadli is a big boost after his brilliant goalscoring form so far this season, and hopefully he can come back into the squad and make an impact once again, but I’d probably say it’s from the bench rather than starting.

After impressing against Hull City, and performing well against Partizan in his 400th career appearance, Aaron Lennon has put in a major shout to start against Everton in this game, and I would start him, not only for his pace, width and ability to beat a man, but his defensive qualities as well against Everton, who rely heavily on their attacking full backs. With Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker unavailable, we will have to rely on either Vlad Chiriches or Eric Dier at right back, so they will need support on that right flank and I think Aaron Lennon is the best man for that job. As we have lacked width and pace in our attack, he has to enter into the mind of Mauricio Pochettino to start this game. In that right back slot, I think it should be given to Vlad Chiriches, as I think he offers more agility and pace than Eric Dier, who suits the centre back role a lot more. Offensively, Harry Kane was rested in midweek, which heavily suggests he’ll be in the starting line up once again in the Premier League, and his goalscoring form is incredible at the moment, but hopefully Sunday is the day that he gets his first Premier League home goal of the season, especially in a game as important as this, his finishing of chances will be crucial, he needs to hit top form. Christian Eriksen was outstanding against Hull City, especially in that second half, because there was more space in key areas around the oppositions penalty area, so if we can get Eriksen into the key areas in-between the Everton midfield and defence, he will cause problems and be major threat to Everton, in my view, when he plays well, Tottenham play well, hopefully he can continue to improve as the season goes on. At left back, despite Danny Rose expected to be back from a chest injury, I would continue to play Ben Davies and give him his first Premier League start at White Hart Lane; he’s done very well against Partizan and Hull City and doesn’t deserve to be dropped in my eyes. He’s better defensively than Rose, so against possibly Mirallas and Coleman, I’d have more confidence in Davies than Rose.

Match stats & facts provided by Opta:

– Tottenham are unbeaten in their last five Premier League games against Everton at White Hart Lane (W3 D2 L0).

– Everton have made a league-high six errors leading to goals this season.

– Three of Tottenham’s five Premier League wins this season have come via 90th minute goals.

– This will be Tottenham’s 31st Premier League game on a Sunday since the start of last season.

– Spurs have conceded five goals in the opening 15 minutes of games this season (29% of their total).

– Two of Samuel Eto’o’s Premier League goals for Everton have come away from home (all nine of his PL goals for Chelsea came at Stamford Bridge).

– Leighton Baines has already assisted six goals in the Premier League this season, two more than he managed in the whole of 2013-14.

– Before this game, Everton’s last six Premier League games against London sides have all taken place at Goodison Park.

– Everton have kept just two clean sheets in their last 21 Premier League visits to London.

– Tottenham have conceded more goals from the penalty spot than any other side in the Premier League this season heading into matchday 13 (3).

A big game, with the Tottenham players having a lot to prove at White Hart Lane in the Premier League! A tough opposition, with a talented manager. I’m expecting a tight game, but hopefully we’ll get some excitement and quality throughout the game with some real talented players on both sides. I’m looking forward to this one! I’ll be attending the game, but I’ll update as much as I can from the stands at White Hart Lane! You can watch the game live on Sky Sports 1, but remember to follow me on Twitter, here: @AddictedToSpurs.! Let’s get three points!! COYS!

My predicted/preferred team to face Everton at the Lane:
Chiriches – Fazio – Vertonghen – Davies
Stambouli – Mason
Lennon – Eriksen – Lamela

Mauricio Pochettino targets focus on tough game vs Everton (3mins forward):

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Partizan Belgrade.

Match date & time: Thursday 27th November 2014. 8:05pm GMT KO.

Competition: Europa League Group C.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Live on ITV4 in the UK. Worldwide TV listings HERE.

Tottenham’s Europa League campaign continues with the visit of Partizan, with an opportunity to proceed to the knockout stages with a win. We are level on points with Besiktas, 4 points ahead of 3rd place Asteras Tripolis, and 7 points ahead of 4th placed Partizan. With a win, we will qualify, and then we go to Besiktas fighting for top spot in the group, whether we will need a win or draw is yet to be decided, but first of all, we need to be qualified so that game against Besiktas doesn’t become a ‘must win’. There are a lot of permutations, but in the penultimate game in Group C, a lot will be decided. Hopefully, it will all go in our favour. After our win late on away at Hull, we have to change our focus quickly onto the Europa League and winning at White Hart Lane. Our form is good in the competition; winning our last 2 games against Asteras Tripolis, and now, back at White Hart Lane, it’s important we get the win again. At home, we are more than expected to get a result, but we have to deliver against a side which we struggled against away from home, I’m sure they’ll look to make it as difficult as possible for us, but I’m sure we will have enough to break them down, and secure qualification to the knockout stages.

Partizan are top of the the Serbian Super Liga, winning 11 of their 13 games and losing only 1. They’re used to winning, they know how to win and they can cause problems to sides, but, their League form hasn’t transferred into their Europa League games, and they sit bottom of Group C, with only 1 point and scoring only 1 goal, but that point came against Spurs in our visit to Belgrade, a frustrating & disappointing 0-0 draw. What was the unknown has become known, though. We have played them, and seen them play both Besiktas and Asteras Tripolis, knowing what they are, their threats, weaknesses and tactics, and with the opposition scouting system in place at Tottenham, I’m sure that makes it much easier for us to deploy a team that can win this game, and win it well. In the last game – we did draw 0-0 – and Partizan managed to completely nullify our offensive threat, so we have to make sure we are able to get through this time and pose much more of a threat to their goal, and at home, I’m very confident that we will.

Partizan only have a couple of injury concerns, Darko Brašanac (illness) is out, while fellow midfielder Nikola Drinčić (back) is a doubt for the game, and hasn’t featured in the Europa League this season since the play off rounds. Despite only scoring once in the Europa League so far, they do have a goal scoring striker in the League in the form of Petar Škuletić, who has an impressive 12 goals in 13 league appearances. So, given chances, he will be a threat to our goal, but those chances will most likely and hopefully be hard to come by for the Serbian outfit. Chances will be at a premium, and I think if they do get any, it will be Škuletić that they will be heavily relying on. Last time out against Besiktas, it was Saša Marković who got the goal from midfield, but as a more holding midfielder, they can’t rely on him for goals. For creation, it’s in the hands of captain Saša Ilic, and secondary striker Danko Lazović who has 8 goals in the Super Liga so far this season, their second highest goalscorer. It’s our hope that their creative, goalscoring players continue not to click in the Europa League and we will be able to qualify in relative ease.

The team news for Tottenham is that captain Younes Kaboul (knock), Emmanuel Adebayor (back), Nacer Chadli (knee), Andros Townsend (ankle), Danny Rose (Chest), Etienne Capoue (knock), Kyle Walker (match fitness) and Federico Fazio (suspended) won’t feature, while Nabil Bentaleb makes an overdue return to the squad after an ankle injury, thankfully. It’s a good thing we have a big squad, because I think any other team in the Europa League would struggle to field a competitive team with 8 first team absentees. The absences represent a chance for the fringe players to come in and make an impact. Pochettino has hinted at Paulinho, Vlad Chiriches and Aaron Lennon getting a chance after their performances from the bench away at Hull, and I would agree, I think they deserve a chance, and if Pochettino doesn’t reward good performances from the bench with starts, then we would have a problem in the squad – hopefully the fringe players deliver.

Aaron Lennon performed really well against Hull coming in off of the bench, he was a different attacking force, bringing what he has done for years on end, which is using his pace, stretching opponents, getting to the byline and creating opportunities for his team mates. Our attacking force has lacked raw pace at times, and definitely lacked width – and if Aaron Lennon offers you anything at all, it’s width! Playing in the right wing I think Lennon does have something to offer us this season, in both the Premier League and the Cup competitions. In defence, as rotation is a common factor in the Europa League, it’s hard to really say who will get the nod, whether it’s Jan Vertonghen and Vlad Chiriches for a more experienced look, or giving confidence to Chiriches, and partnering him with the less experienced Eric Dier, while playing Kyle Naughton out at right back. I’d really like to see Eric Dier at centre back, he’s natural there and as a young player I would like to see him in his most comfortable position, especially before we judge him; at right back it is evident he lacks confidence and I think comfort, which makes it difficult for him to show people his talents – it’s time for his chance at centre back. Up top, with the absence of Emmanuel Adebayor, I would be inclined to continue the partnership of Roberto Soldado and Harry Kane, that’s our best chance for goals, I think, and building that partnership and understanding can only help in the long term. With Chadli, Townsend and Adebayor absent, I think it’s even more likely that Soldado and Kane will get the nod up front for this game, and possibly again on Sunday against Everton. Youth could also be introduced – with midfielder Harry Winks, attacking midfielder Cristian Ceballos and central defender Dominic Ball in the squad, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one get a run somewhere in the game, if not one actually start the game.

Qualification is just around the corner! At White Hart Lane, we have a big, big chance at putting in a really good display for the fans, and to get through in style would be really comforting. The game is live on ITV 4, and I’ll be attending the game so I will update as much as possible from the stands at the Lane! Follow me on Twitter for much more Spurs, here: @AddictedToSpurs. COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Partizan at the Lane:
Naughton – Dier – Chiriches – Davies
Paulinho – Stambouli
Lennon – Kane – Ceballos

Mauricio Pochettino speaks to the press ahead of Partizan (2 videos):

Christian Eriksen speaks to the press ahead of Partizan:

How would you line up the Tottenham side to face Partizan? Is it time to give the youth a chance?

Match Review, Tottenham vs Stoke City.

Match: Sunday 29th December 2013.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Competition: Premier League.

Result: Tottenham 3-0 Stoke City.

Tottenham goal scorers: Roberto Soldado (pen) 36′, Mousa Dembele 65′ and Aaron Lennon 69′.

What a win! We finally win a game at White Hart Lane by more than 2 goals. We were brilliant and it’s so good to say that after a very difficult period for us Spurs fans. To win 3-0 and put in such a convincing performance is so relieving, hopefully now we can put our goalscoring and performance troubles at the Lane behind us and move ahead to make the Lane a fortress once more. A lot of negativity from Spurs fans heading into the game, expecting once more a hard fought 1-0 win, or a disappointing drop of points, but we pleasantly surprised everyone. From the off, we dominated the game, our passing game in full flow and making chances very well, which we couldn’t seem to finish. Frustrating that we couldn’t finish our opportunities, same old Spurs. Finally, in the 36th minute Emmanuel Adebayor tried the spectacular with an overhead kick which didn’t find the net, but the second best thing is that it hit Ryan Shawcross’ arms and resulted in a penalty which Roberto Soldado calmly put away, same old Soldado. We continued to to play well and attack Stoke City really well, keeping Stoke at bay excellently, only having 2 shots in the whole game on Lloris’ goal. In the second half Mousa Dembele and Paulinho dominated the midfield and Mousa got his reward for such a brilliant performance, getting a brilliant goal, shifting onto his left foot in style and rifling the ball into the bottom corner. He’s capable of that! Soon after going 2-0 up, we went 3-0 up, as the ball fell to Aaron Lennon’s feet and he half-volleyed home to make it a comfortable win at such a crucial time.

My man of the match is definitely Mousa Dembele, he was phenomenal on the ball, creating attacks and showing his undoubted class, and his goal topped off a great day for the big Belgian. His midfield partner Paulinho returned from suspension and arguably had his best performance in a Spurs shirt to date, being open minded in attack, passing brilliantly and showing his skill with flicks and tricks that caught the eye, unfortunately he got a knock in the second half from a Charlie Adam tackle and we hope he’s okay for our trip to Manchester, a key player. The formation we played really allowed our players to express themselves, Adebayor and Soldado were impressive as a partnership but Ade peeled off and helped out the midfield really well, letting our wingers Aaron Lennon and Christian Eriksen get involved in the play a lot more, Eriksen coming in more central and Lennon working the wide spaces well in the absence of Kyle Walker. A 4-4-2 turned into a 4-3-3 and it worked really well, I hope this sort of offensive display can continue. Defensively, we were solid and it was a much improved display from our back four, and credit to Sherwood for tightening it up, Dawson and Chiriches were very good, and so were our full backs Naughton and Fryers, it’s clear Naughton is much better in his preferred position of right back, rather than left back. The nerves were there for Zeki Fryers on his Premier League debut (start), but he dealt with them well and put in a good performance.

Three points and three goals make me a happy man. We now need to push on and get a run together, starting with a tough match on New Year Day against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Got to put in a good display! COYS!!

My player ratings of the team that faced Stoke City at the Lane:
Lloris – 7
Naughton – 7
Dawson – 7.5
Chiriches – 7.5
Fryers – 7
Lennon – 8
Paulinho – 9
Dembele – 9 – Man of the match.
Eriksen – 8.5
Adebayor – 8
Soldado – 7

Capoue – 6
Chadli – N/A
Lamela – 7

Match highlights from our 3-0 win over Stoke:

Tim Sherwood’s post match reaction:

Match Preview, Fulham vs Tottenham.

Match: Wednesday 4th December 2013. Kick off 8:00pm.

Premier League

Time to get back to winning ways, after our 2-2 draw against Manchester United at White Hart Lane the feeling is good amongst the fans, as the performance showed a lot of promise, with attacking flair and two goals to show for it. Now, in a game against lesser opposition, we must be ready and translate that United performance into the game against Fulham. A big problem for Spurs that has been bugging us since I can remember, is the ability to win the games we are expected to; against Fulham, we are more than expected to win the game, but do it in a convincing style. As we sit in 9th position, we need to get three points on the board coming into the busy Christmas period, we need a run of results to but us back on track for the Champions League places after our ‘blip’ in November picking up only one point. We are only three points off Liverpool in fourth, and six points off Chelsea in second, so with a few wins under our belt the whole outlook on our position changes, it’s very tight in there, I couldn’t call the outcome when all 38 games are played.

It’s been a torrid old season for Fulham so far, sitting in the relegation places in 18th, with 10 points from 13 games. What that horrendous form has brought is the sacking of former Spurs boss, Martin Jol, and the appointment of a talented coach in Rene Muelensteen, but he is unproven as a manager, being an assistant to Sir Alex at Manchester United. I’m sure he’ll be a success at Fulham. The problem that I’ve picked up for Fulham is the player’s commitment and desire to win under Jol, and the fact they have too many players of the same ilk, who certainly aren’t known for being, let’s say, hard working. Players such as Dimitar Berbatov, Brian Ruiz, and Adel Taarabt albeit being very talented footballers, won’t give you that hard nit and grit that sometimes you need from a player. That’s why Scott Parker is arguably their most important player at the moment, warrior! It’ll be interesting to see how they change in style now Muelensteen is in charge, hopefully it doesn’t take immediate affect!

The team news for the game is that Danny Rose (foot), Christian Eriksen (ankle), Harry Kane (back) and Emmanuel Adebayor (knee) are ruled out of the game in West London, but the rest of the squad is fully fit and available for selection. Offensive and exciting is what we got against Manchester United from Spurs, and more of the same is what we want against Fulham! Aaron Lennon had a great game against United, giving us the width we had certainly missed in previous games, and his partnership with Walker looks like it’s going to be a great asset to the team, so I’d like to see them paired together on the right again at Craven Cottage. With Emmanuel Adebayor ruled out, Roberto Soldado is expected to continue up front on his own, it’s a good chance for him to get some goals and get his confidence up, against a somewhat leaky Fulham defence. Nacer Chadli has been a subject for debate recently, does he deserve to keep his spot and leave the likes of Townsend, Lamela and Sigurdsson out of the team? I like Chadli, and I think he will become a big player for us once he settles into Premier League life and starts to be more direct, but I think we have more of a threat and get more width if Townsend was to play, so I’d put him in the team for Wednesday.

Match Stats and Facts provided by FourFourTwo

– Fulham’s win at White Hart Lane in March 2013 ended a run of six straight defeats for the west Londoners against Spurs.

– This will be Tottenham’s 100th London derby played away from home and so far they have won just 25 of the previous 99.

– Fulham have scored just three goals in their last nine Premier League meetings with Tottenham.

– Fulham have won just one of their last 10 Premier League games at Craven Cottage (W1 D1 L8).

– Rene Muelensteen’s side have scored exactly one goal in each of their last seven Premier League games on home soil.

– Tottenham have kept four clean sheets in their last six Premier League away games, although they conceded six last time on the road when they lost 0-6 to Man City.

– Fulham have mustered fewer shots (inc. blocked) than any other team in the top flight this season (106) – 25 fewer than any other side.

– The West Londoners have also allowed their opponents more shots on target against them than any other team in the top flight (83).

– Spurs have gone four Premier League games without a win (W0 D2 L2) – they haven’t gone five without a victory since March 2012 (under Harry Redknapp).

– Tottenham have scored with a lower percentage of their shots than any other team in the top flight this season (6.3%).

Our game against Fulham at Craven Cottage isn’t televised, but I’ll be sure to find you all a stream, as well as live updates, pictures and videos on twitter at @AddictedtoSpurs. Follow!

My preferred team to face Fulham at Craven Cottage:
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Vertonghen
Sandro – Dembele
Lennon – Soldado – Townsend

My predicted team to face Fulham at Craven Cottage:
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Vertonghen
Sandro – Dembele
Lennon – Soldado – Chadli

Match Review, Tottenham vs Manchester United.

Match: Sunday 1st December 2013.

Premier League

Tottenham 2-2 Manchester United.

Tottenham goals: Kyle Walker 18′, Sandro 54′.

Manchester United goals: Wayne Rooney 32′, 57′ (pen).

We’re back in the goals! A great performance and just what we needed. It’s a shame we couldn’t get more from the game, because I thought we deserved the win, although a point and two goals against the Champions is a good result to have after the abysmal performances and results against Newcastle and Manchester City. We started the game brightly, with some good passing, creating good chances through the pace of Aaron Lennon and midfield power of Mousa Dembele and Paulinho. I was really pleased with the speed of our game and the way we were looking to attack and hurt Manchester United, we as fans want more of that from the team, very positive signs for the rest of the season. We got the breakthrough, a brilliant free kick from Kyle Walker underneath the wall with power made it 1-0, that’s his first goal of the season and what a great time to get it! Exactly 1 year after his last goal. We continued to play well, but United got back into the game more and more, then got level after a lucky deflection off Kyle Walker fell to Wayne Rooney who finished it well, disappointing! We came back really well in the second half, with more good passing and a few more chances before the beast, Sandro, let fly from 30 yards and the ball rippled the net, our goal of the season so far, stunning goal from a magnificent player. The lead was short-lived as Danny Welbeck was fouled in the box by Hugo Lloris to earn United a penalty and Rooney was never going to miss. We continued to push and push, and came close a few times, but couldn’t get the win that we arguably deserved.

Great performances all over the park, most notably coming from Kyle Walker; he has had a very good season so far, showing his defensive solidity and his offensive guile as well, was his best performance of the season, with a goal and some fantastic crosses into the box, while keeping United as quiet as possible on his right hand side. Aaron Lennon and Walker’s partnership on the right was one massive positive from the game, they caused multiple problems and it seems Lennon is back to his best, giving us that natural width we have so badly lacked this season. Sandro has been getting better and better as the season goes on, and he was brilliant again, not just his unbelievable strike to put us 2-1 ahead, but his work rate and desire to win the game. Everyone dreams of a team of Sandro’s. The passion and will-to-win that the players showed on the pitch was exactly what I wanted, it makes me very encouraged about the future, as doubt had creeped into my mind about how much the players were up for the rigours of the Premier League and if they actually wanted to play for Spurs, my prayers were answered and they showed that hunger, long may that hunger and desire continue to run through the Spurs team, and AVB. Vlad Chiriches is settling in very well at Spurs; his composure and ability on the ball for a centre back in the Premier League is outstanding, I am very happy we have him in our team, as time goes on he will certainly get better and better. The pressure on AVB that the press speculated has been lifted after the result, but the big games are the ones against Fulham, Sunderland and Southampton that are coming up; 9 points are needed from those three to put us back in the hunt for Champions League places.

Good result, brilliant performance. But much more work to come in this busy December schedule, up next is Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday 4th December, with kick off at 7:45pm. After Fulham sack our former manager Martin Jol, they’ll be keen to make a response, but we need to get a run of wins together. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Manchester United at White Hart Lane:
Lloris – 7
Walker – 9 – Man of the Match.
Dawson – 7
Chiriches – 8
Vertonghen – 8
Paulinho – 7
Sandro – 9
Lennon – 9
Dembele – 8
Chadli – 6
Soldado – 5

Townsend – 6
Defoe – N/A
Sigurdsson – N/A

Match highlights of our 2-2 draw with Manchester United:

AVB’s post match reaction:

Match Preview, FC Sheriff Tiraspol vs Tottenham.

Match: Thursday 24th October 2013. Kick off 6pm, live on ITV 4.

Europa League

The games come thick and fast and so do the air miles when you’re in the Europe. We visit Moldova to face Sheriff at the Complexul Sheriff Stadium. We are in a great position in our group, winning our first two games against Tromsø and Anzhi convincing with five goals and two clean sheets; fairly straight forward games , and I expect our game against Sheriff to be no different. The team we have should be too much to handle for the Moldovan champions, even if they are on their home turf. We have had a good start to the season, with only two losses and a draw in thirteen games, so we need to keep winning to help the team gel even more, and keep that winning feeling around the dressing room. The Europa League is a trophy we want to win. We want to win every game we play, this is a game we need to keep focused and put in a professional performance to get the three points. We shouldn’t be troubled too much by the opposition.

FC Sheriff are a team who are used to winning games, so won’t be short of confidence, they sit at the top of the Moldovan League winning 9 games, drawing 2 and losing only 1 in 12 games. They failed in their Champions League play-off game, losing out to Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 on aggregate, which was an expected result. In their last game they drew 1-1 away from home in the Moldovan league to Zimbru, who sit sixth, this is a result that will undoubtedly disappoint them, not a great result coming into the game, whereas we are full of confidence after our 2-0 away win against Aston Villa. Sheriff’s goals tend to come from midfield, with 5 strikers only getting 4 goals between them. The players who they will look to utilise are Brazilian midfielders Jhuilliam, who has seven goals in nine appearances, and Cadû, who has six goals in nine apperances. These are players who given time on the ball, or a chance in the box, could hurt us.

The team we put out is hard to predict, as the squad we have is so deep, and AVB likes to change it up in the Europa League, although still playing a strong team. We have a host of players on the way back from injuries, two players returning to action are Aaron Lennon and Emmanuel Adebayor. These players could be big assets to the team, Adebayor offers something different to Soldado and Defoe with his ariel threat and ability to hold up the ball, which Defoe is unable to do, and he’s probably better at it than Soldado. I’d expect Adebayor to get some minutes in Moldova, but I’d expect Defoe to start. Aaron Lennon is a hugely important squad player, he’s direct and can get some great balls into the box of which Soldado, Defoe and Adebayor thrive off, he was great last season and it’s good to have him back. I expect him to start. It’s widely documented that Erik Lamela, our record signing, isn’t getting a lot of game time, but he is settling into life at Spurs, and for someone as young as him, he needs time. I’m very confident he’ll be amazing for us, a great player, with phenomenal ability, I think he could start in the number 10 role against Sheriff. Kyle Naughton at RB and Ezequiel Fryers at LB is who I would prefer at full-back, Kyle Walker being left in London and Danny Rose still not being fit.

My predicted/preferred team to face FC Sheriff at the Complexus Sheriff Stadium in the Europa League:
Naughton – Dawson – Chiriches – Fryers
Dembele – Sandro
Lennon – Lamela – Chadli

It should be a good game for Spurs fans to see players returning into the frame, expecting goals, and lots of them! Hopefully we continue our impressive run of clean sheets at the back too. It’s an early kick off at 6pm, so get back from work on time! Follow @AddictedtoSpurs on twitter for updates on the game, videos of the goals, and pictures from the game. COYS!!

International Round Up. 29th May, 2013.

We had four players involved in internationals last night, Clint Dempsey for the US, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele for Belgium and Jermain Defoe for England.

Belgium 4-2 USA

Clint Dempsey captained his USA team, and had a good game, grabbing an assist and a goal from the penalty spot. He played the full 90 minutes, but couldn’t prevent his team from losing 4-2 to a very good Belgium side.

Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele also featured in what turned out to be a very exciting game. Jan played the full 90 minutes and put in a solid defensive effort to help his team to victory. Mousa Dembele looked tired throughout the game, and was substituted at Half Time, he didn’t really make much of an impact on the game.

Here are a few pictures from the Game:




England 1-1 Republic of Ireland

Only Jermain Defoe featured for England in this game, our striker didn’t start, but came on for Daniel Sturridge in the 34th minute. Jermain only had a couple of half chances, but didn’t have the impact that he, or Roy Hodgson would have wanted. Unfortunate. England, on a whole were really poor, and I’d like to say I was really angered by Roy Hodgson’s decision to leave out Aaron Lennon and Michael Dawson from the squad. Poor decision. Poor result. Same old England.

Here are a few pictures from the game:




More internationals are coming up, including Lewis Holtby with the Germany U21s, and Steven Caulker for the England U21s in the U21 Euro 2013.

Lets hope all our players come back from their international duties with no injuries, and have a nice break to come back fresh in July for pre season. COYS!

Season Review 2012/13.


André Villas Boas joined Tottenham at the start of the season, with most fans not too happy about Harry Redknapp leaving. He was sacked by Chelsea early on in his career and this caused doubt in what the Portuguese manager could do with Tottenham, with some pundits saying he would be ‘Sacked by Christmas’.

We didn’t get off to a great start what so ever. We started the season with a loss to Newcastle at St James’ Park, and then we drew with both Norwich and West Brom at home. This caused a lot of unrest for Tottenham fans who quickly got on the back of AVB, and it was looking very unlikely we would be able to have a strong season. We then got our first win of the season at Reading, with Jermain Defoe bagging a brace and Gareth Bale getting his first of the season. We then went on a great run, with the highlight being our victory at Old Trafford being the highlight of September and possibly the season.



We continued our unbeaten run in the Europa League, with strong teams being put out, and it was looking likely that André wanted to have a run in the competition. Losses to Chelsea 4-2 at home, and Arsenal 5-2 away from home left a sour taste in the mouths of Spurs fans in October and November, a period in time we didn’t want to relive any time soon. Wins at home to Liverpool and away at Southampton brightened the mood though going into the Christmas period.



We enjoyed a very good Christmas period, with wins away to Fulham, Aston Villa and Sunderland, our away form was absolutely phenomenal. A loss at Everton was heartbreaking, we were leading 1-0 at the 90′ minute mark, and ended the game with 0 points coming back to London, 2 late strikes which really hurt because 3 points turned to 0 in such a bad fashion, but we moved on and put in some great displays, especially to Aston Villa who we thrashed 4-0 at Villa Park, a Gareth Bale hat-trick helping us on our way! In January we continued our good form, and we got some very hard earned points, the best being a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at White Hart Lane, a last minute strike from Clint Dempsey!



We had an amazing run in February, unbeaten, with wins at West Brom, where a single Gareth Bale strike gave us a very important three points. Also wins at home to Newcastle in the Premier League and Lyon in the Europa League, four Gareth Bale goals in 2 games, he was in majestic form. We were looking very likely for a top four finish. We then went to West Ham, and a hard fought game was played out, it was 2-2 at 90′ until a Gareth Bale wonder goal bought us one of the best wins of the season, what a goal, what a win. We then went on to beat Arsenal in an amazing game and performance at White Hart Lane, once again Gareth Bale grappling a goal, we were cruising. Another win in the Europa League, one of the performances of the season, 3-0 against Inter Milan at White Hart Lane, awesome. Then came a run of a few poor results.



The run into the end of the season was upon us, we were dropping points too frequently, dropped points at home to Everton, and away to Wigan, but we beat the former Champions Manchester City 3-1 at White Hart Lane, and it was an absolutely brilliant win to put us back in the chase for Champions League football. In this time, we were knocked out in the Quarter finals of the Europa League to FC Basel on penalties, a hard loss to take. We had a great run in May only dropping 2 points in a draw to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, a win at home to Southampton, and away to Stoke we were hopeful of finishing in the top four, but Arsenal were on a magnificent run. We came into the final day of the season one point behind Arsenal in 5th, and we needed Arsenal to drop points away to Newcastle and win our game. It wasn’t to be, we beat Sunderland 1-0, but Arsenal did their job. We missed out.


We had a wonderful season, with it being AVB’s first season, and a transition period in our squad we weren’t expecting a push for Champions League and being only 1 point off Arsenal and 3 points off Chelsea who have spent millions and millions. We’ve done extremely well, but we were unfortunate. We deserved Champions League football, but as much as it pains me to say it, Arsenal did as well. It’s a game of luck and we didn’t have much all season, the fact we got no penalties in the Premier League is absolutely ridiculous, but we have to move on.


We also had a great run in the Europa League, unbeaten for so long, but beating Inter Milan, Lyon and Panathinaikos was brilliant, we probably deserved a bit more from the competition, but Basel were a very good squad, and when it comes down to penalties, it’s never a good time to be a Spurs fan.


I’m looking forward to a good summer, pre season tournaments, and the all important transfer window. We will come back stronger, and next season we will push again. I’d like a good run in the Europa League, it’s a very good tournament. We can do it. AVB is a wonderful manager, and a wonderful man, and he will take us places, he’s settled now, and he can push on even further next season, lets just hope he gets the support he deserves from the board.

My player of the season: Gareth Bale.

My signing of the season: Jan Vertonghen.

My goal of the season: Gareth Bale scoring the winner at West Ham.

My assist of the season: Gylfi Sigurdsson against Arsenal for Gareth Bale.

My win of the season: Manchester United 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur.

My most disappointing player of the season: Emmanuel Adebayor.

My player ratings for the 2012/13 season:

Lloris – 8 What a signing he has been, this man is world class, in my opinion the best goalkeeper in the Premier League. He has saved us in games, and he has been a worthy replacement for the veteran Brad Friedel.

Walker – 5 A disappointing season for young Kyle Walker, he never reached the heights he did last season, we were expecting a lot but sadly he never fulfilled expectation. Hopping that the young full back improves next season and his confidence increases.

Dawson – 7 Our captain, he’s had a very solid season, the fight he showed to get back in the team and stay there has been something to respect, he has put in some wonderful displays, his passion is second to none, he works and works. A role model for the young kids watching.

Caulker – 7 Steven has broken into the first team this season, and when he plays he is very solid, he is a no nonsense defender who does things properly, next season he could have an even bigger role to play. He can be as good as he wants to be.

Vertonghen – 9 My signing of the season, he has been outstanding all season showing why he is one of, if not the best centre halves in the Premier League, his tackling is some of the best I’ve ever seen at White Hart Lane, a future captain.

Assou-Ekotto – 5 I’ve been very disappointed with Benoit this season, even though he has had injuries, he just isn’t at the level we need him to be, too many silly mistakes, and after his injuries his pace has decreased a lot, not good at all, it’s a generous rating of 5.

Lennon – 9 Aaron has had arguably his best season in a Spurs shirt, he has been vital to the way we play, his pace and width he gives us is something we have desperately needed, and with Bale moving inside, he has been even more key to our successes.

Sandro – 8 I’m judging on what I saw before his injury, he was our best player early on, his ability to recap the ball and create attacks is something we have desperately missed, I can’t wait until the beast is back next season.

Parker – 5 Scott hasn’t been as good as we know he can be, and he has been compared to Sandro which is quite harsh as Sandro was so good, but he wasn’t the same, and he has been a disappointment to most Spurs fans, but you can’t doubt the guys passion and commitment to the team.

Carroll – 7 Tom didn’t maybe get a lot of minutes, but when he was on the pitch he impressed me a lot. For someone so young at 20 years old, he has the coolness and composure to pass, and he looks very good for the future, a future star at White Hart Lane. I’d say he’s my youth player of the season.

Dembélé – 7 Mousa has had a great season, without injuries I think he would have pushed into the team of the season, his passing and ability to glide past players has been key to our team, and there is much more that he hasn’t given us yet, and next season he will improve even further.

Bale – 10 What can I say? He has been majestic, no better player in the Premier League, he has scored goals for fun and won games single handedly, the way he plays is a joy to watch and he has been rightly noticed for it this season. He has picked up every award possible this season, but I think he’ll be most proud about me giving him player of the season. Haha!

Sigurdsson – 7 I think Gylfi has had a decent season, in the first half he didn’t get the games that he would have liked, but he has been an unsung hero in the second half. He has brought some vital goals and assists and his willingness to work hard for the team is something to be rewarded.

Dempsey – 7 Clint has had a very tough season, he has had a lot of stick from fans about his work rate, but you can’t doubt how important a player he has been for us this season. His goals have been vital, and all of them have come in the big moments, 12 goals in a season is something to be proud of for Clint.

Defoe – 6 It’s been difficult for Jermain this season, he had a very good start to the year, but his 2013 has been very poor, not enough goals at all with a lot of shots, I’m sure he will be very disappointed with his performances. He’s had an injury plagued season, but even so, he’s had a poor season.

Adebayor – 4 I think everyone will say that Adebayor has had a dreadful season, not enough goals, and not enough good performances, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him shipped away from our squad this summer.

Friedel – 5
Naughton – 4
Huddlestone – 5
Holtby – N/A
Livermore – 4
Carroll – 7

Have a watch of this!