Keeping Faith in Tottenham Hotspur.

It’s been a difficult season for so many reasons. Keeping faith in Tottenham Hotspur has become a hard task, but there are positives which we must look to, so we can get a clear idea of where this club is going in the future, under Daniel Levy and ENIC, along with the people closer to the footballing matters on the pitch, the manager and the players. This article will look at what Spurs fans have to look forward to after what has been a disappointing and stagnant year for the club.

1) New Stadium.

The talk of a new stadium has been long winded to say the least, since 2007 we have been promised a new stadium and the development of the Tottenham area, it’s now mid 2014 and little has been done in terms of the building of the new stadium; we have fussed over the Olympic Stadium which wasn’t what the fans wanted, as well as looking to just improve on White Hart Lane, but in recent months the Northumberland Development Project is starting to take off, we have opened the new Sainsbury’s supermarket, as well as the Tottenham UT College, and a date has been set in which Daniel Levy believes the new stadium will be ready by, Summer of 2017. It’s a massive project, which has had it’s hiccups (understatement), but it now looks as though, pending a decision from the CPO on the building of the new stadium, we have the go-ahead to build the next chapter in Tottenham’s illustrious history.

The Stadium was quoted by Chairman Daniel Levy as being ‘critical’ to the future of Tottenham, both on the pitch and off it. The development would mean the 47,000 people on the waiting list for a season ticket at White Hart Lane would be able to come in and fill the projected 58,000 seater arena, this is massive as it gives more revenue for the club and also means that the fan base across the world will increase, as well as increasing the support in England. With this increased revenue, it helps majorly on the pitch, we can become an ‘elite’ team in England, and along with the biggest and best in the Premier League, can go out and attract the best players to play for our team. This is Daniel Levy’s legacy at Tottenham, deliver the club a new stadium and he will be deemed a complete success at Spurs, fail and he will be adjudged an utter failure. Crucial doesn’t explain how much this means.

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2) Training Ground.

Daniel Levy and ENIC haven’t delivered the new stadium as of yet, but what they have given the club is an incredible training ground, opened in 2012, the £30 million training centre is undoubtedly seen as one of the best in world football, even the best players who have trained at some of the best training grounds are in awe of the training ground’s facilities and modern look, it really is beautifully designed. What this training centre was, was the first step in what is a long term project, and it shows the commitment Daniel Levy has for Tottenham, we have to give him credit for this. This project is brilliant as it helps youth players get the best facilities in order to succeed at Spurs, as well as giving first team Spurs players the feeling of being at a top club, and being treated well and once again given the facilities needed for success. What the training ground also brings, is the same factor the new Stadium will hopefully bring, it attracts players to the club; if the first thing they see is a top of the range training ground as they come to speak to the club, they will think of Spurs as a big club, with big ambition, if Hotspur Way is where they are based.

Hotspur Way not only gives off a good image to players, but also to other football teams, the media and fans. The image of the club is that it is a top club, that is willing to give the playing staff what they need. And it doesn’t stop there, a new 500 seater stand is set to be built at Hotspur Way, giving fans the opportunity to visit the training centre and watch youth teams play, and see how they are developing, when thinking about it, it really does make you feel good to know that Hotspur Way is the standard we have set ourselves, and gives a good indication the Stadium is going to be of similar calibre.

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3) Youth.

Another aspect that should excite fans about the future of the club is the young talent we have coming up through the club, and the players that are just starting to integrate into the first team. Our U21 and U18 teams have real talent within them, and they are showing it in these recent seasons, our U21 team has not had the best of years because lots of the players have gone on loan, or have been taken into the first team, for example Harry Kane, Nabil Bentaleb and Zeki Fryers have this season made the jump from under 21 football to first team football which is brilliant. However the form of the team has increased since Under 18 players have been merged into the Under 21s, so it shows the talent we have at both levels. The Under 21s sit 11th in the Under 21 Premier League, with Fulham at the top. The Under 18 team are a really exciting bunch and their season in the Under 18 Premier League South section has been formidable, they sit at the top having won 16 games out of 24, with only 4 losses. Now we need the coaching staff to continue to integrate players into the first team, whether that’s in training, or first team game time.

Players on loan are also making good progress, Alex Pritchard at Swindon in League 1 has had a great season scoring 8 goals and getting 9 assists from the left wing, earning himself a nomination for player of the year in League 1, plus young player of the year in the whole of the Football League, at just 20 I think he has a big future at Spurs and he’s one to get excited about. Now he’s back at Spurs he could definitely get game time. Another player who we’ve had a glimpse of at Spurs is Ryan Fredericks, the right back played in our 4-1 win over Anzhi while AVB was in charge and looks to have a real maturity in the way he plays, now on loan at Championship club Millwall and getting vital experience learning from Ian Holloway. Other players who have shown great promise at the club are 18 year old Serbian centre back/centre midfielder Milos Veljkovic, who is highly rated by Tim Sherwood and people within the club, 19 year old midfielder Nabil Bentaleb who has been integrated into the first team by Tim Sherwood and despite his flaws, is one of the most promising players at the club, as well as 20 year old striker Harry Kane, who is the U21’s top scorer and has shown he can deliver in the first team recently, and finally 21 year old left back/centre back Zeki Fryers who is now seen as our main left back cover and an option to have at centre back, his versatility, strength and pace make him a great player for the future, and it looks as if his future lies at centre back after an incredible performance against Benfica.

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4) Current Squad.

Even after what has been a desperately disappointing season after so much expectation that comes with signing 7 new players, who were all international quality, what we didn’t factor in was how long it would take for these players to gel into the team, adapt to living conditions in England, and also adapt to the pace and intensity of the Premier League. Mistakes were made in the summer transfer window, we know that, but we have signed good players, I believe that and I believe in the players we have at the club, now we need a manager who is going to take this team forward and we need to give these players everything they need to succeed at Spurs. It’s a young squad, with a lot of potential and room to improve, including 42 year old keeper Brad Friedel, our average squad age is 26.4, with arguably our best and most important player Christian Eriksen only 22 years of age. There is potential and it’s another thing that is exciting and gives me hope going into the future with Spurs. We need to keep this squad and give them the ability to succeed.

The players we have are all international quality, every first team player apart from Danny Rose and Kyle Naughton have played first team football for their countries. We have the players, and we have players who will become, if everything goes well, key players in the future. The two major talents being 22 year old midfielder Christian Eriksen and 22 year old winger Erik Lamela, that is where the future of this team lies, we need to make sure we build teams around them. However, even with all this talent, we have weak spots, and we need to clear deadwood and add a left back, centre back, left winger and at least one striker, that gives the manager the team to make the coveted Champions League. Even without Champions League, we will attract players, we have showed that in the last two seasons, signing Champions League quality such as Hugo Lloris, Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela without the competition, and I expect that the ambition the club shows in other areas is enough to persuade players Tottenham is a good step in their careers, but we need a manager who shares that ambition and I don’t think that’s Tim Sherwood.

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5) What’s needed now.

Obviously, as I’ve said and as Daniel Levy has said, the New Stadium is crucial to the future of Tottenham, but there are many other things that are in desperate need to get Tottenham to that ‘elite club’ stage. First of all, the appointment of a new manager, although I don’t have anything against Tim Sherwood, he is not of the calibre we need at Spurs to take us to that next level; I wouldn’t be opposed to Sherwood staying on at Spurs, either in the youth teams or with the first team, but he is not at the quality we need as a manager. Rumours are all over the shop, and with Louis Van Gaal’s ship almost fully sailed in the direction of Manchester United, it seems the two managers that are available are Frank De Boer of Ajax and Mauricio Pochettino of Southampton. For me, Frank De Boer has to be seen as the number 1 target, he has an incredible future as a manager and has managed Ajax to 4 Eredivisie titles in 4 consecutive years. What De Boer can bring to the table is his ability to work with youth and grow teams into a squad that can compete for trophies, he likes to work with young teams and that is exactly what we are. It may be a risk, but he knows Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen well and everything we have got from Ajax has turned out brilliantly so far, so what is one more! The crucial thing, if Frank De Boer is to be appointed is that he is given time, given time to build his team and ingrain his footballing philosophy onto the team and the club. He plays attacking football and that’s what we demand at Spurs.

As well as the new manager, what we need from Daniel Levy and ENIC is a clear indication of the direction of the club, and now, after hopefully landing Frank De Boer, being able to grow a stable coaching staff as well as a stable squad which we can grow and develop. That’s key, for on the pitch. I have no qualms about Daniel Levy’s dealings of the club off the pitch, he has landed us lucrative deals and if we take his word for the new stadium he is showing his ambition for Spurs, the club is very well run, but now Tottenham need success on the pitch, because that’s where it really matters, to the fans.

20140429-172640.jpg Thanks for reading! Tottenham will always be around, but these are crucial times in the future of our club in which decisions must be assessed with precision and care, it’s crucial that Tottenham succeed, and it’s Daniel Levy’s last few chances to make sure it’s him who takes us to glory once again.

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Leave a comment of your thoughts on the blog and Tottenham’s future.

It’s that time again, the Europa League returns.

The Europa League round of 32 is approaching, Tottenham face a double legged tie against Dnipro from the Ukraine, it’ll be a tough game, especially out in the Ukraine, but Spurs are certainly the favourites and are expected to continue to the round of 16, and therefore face either POAK or Benfica.

We’ve had quite a long break from the competition, our last game in mid December, a lot has happened since then, the big change being a different head coach, AVB departing for Tim Sherwood. AVB did an extremely good job in the Europa League, leading us to 6 wins out of 6 games in the group stages conceding only 2 goals and scoring 15, including some great performances, especially against Anzhi at White Hart Lane, winning 4-1. The question now is, how will Tim Sherwood take to the competition? AVB treated it with the utmost respect, fielding strong teams and aiming fully to win the title; he didn’t get the opportunity to finish the job he started in the Europa League, but after a great group stage we have a fantastic foundation to mount a challenge. Tim Sherwood, from what he said HERE about the Europa League, you can see that Tim Sherwood wants to win the trophy too.

Last season, we didn’t have the deepest squad in the world by a long way, we tried under AVB to win the Europa League, and failed in the quarter finals to Basel, on penalties. What that Europa League run did for our League form wasn’t great, 4 of our 8 losses last season came after Europa League fixtures in the week, so I think that shows the type of impact it has on players physically and mentally. The long trips, the hard fought games, and the lack of training for Premier League games in the end was a big factor in Spurs losing out on the Champions League places there’s no doubt about it. Last season is the past, and the squad we have now is extremely different to what we had back then, 7 new players have come in, Sandro and Younes Kaboul have returned from injury, and youth players Zeki Fryers, Nabil Bentaleb and Harry Kane have come through so the squad is very strong and this is why I think we’ve got a really big chance of going a long way in the Europa League, and that not having an effect on our League form, that has returned under Tim Sherwood.

Having this incredible squad is all well and good, but is it going to be used if we really want to go and win the Europa League? We will have to use the full squad. Players that won’t play in the Premier League will get opportunities in the games we have to play in Europe, and therefore coming up against teams like Benfica if we can get past Dnipro becomes very difficult, we have to find the right balance. That’s the job that Sherwood has to deal with, because there are a lot of expectations from the fans that we can win the Europa League, but even higher aspirations of getting in the top four. Sherwood has to adjust his team in accordance with the strength of the opposition, the scores in the first legs, and the game we have that weekend in the League. A lot of factors. Every Spurs fan wants to win every game, in every competition, I’d like to think it’s the same for every player and every manager, too. The will to win.

Winning a European trophy is something not every team can even have the chance to do, that’s what we have, a chance. We’ve won this competition twice already in 1972 and 1984, so it’s about time we put Tottenham on the European winners list once again, 30 years after last winning it. Yes, the dream is to play in the Champions League, up against the biggest and best teams in the world. Let’s not let that dream and aspiration effect our opportunity to win a brilliant trophy, with a lot of history. Football is about winning trophies, not just participating. Let’s hope we can put a run together in the Europa League, and you never know we could be in Turin on the 14th May 2014, fighting for a major trophy. That’s a dream, as well as playing in the Champions League next season.

Personally, I am really looking forward to the return of the competition on the 20th February, having games in the week and at the weekend is exciting, the European nights under the lights at White Hart Lane are special, and winning a trophy is something Spurs really need at the moment, so the pressure is on Tim Sherwood after being knocked out of both the Capital One Cup and the FA Cup under his tenure to perform in the Europa, and bring a win back from the Ukraine. COYS!!

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European Competitions are Something Unique.

My Spurs Blog, published by @SpursOfficial!

The Premier League is our main focus, there is no doubt about it. Champions League football is what Spurs fans around the world have been yearning for, for a while and I truly believe we have a great chance to get there this season, with the players and the depth of squad we have.

We are in the Europa League, which in all honesty is nowhere near the quality of the Champions League, but it is a European trophy. We’ve got a lot of history in the competition, winning it in 1972 and 1984 in emphatic style, a huge part of the clubs history. To do it again would be very special.

AVB takes the competition very seriously. He’s a man who has a special connection with the Europa League having won it with Porto in his first managerial season, he’ll be striving to win it again this season, like he tried to do last season. He took an approach that was maybe a shock to most last season, but we had a great ride, beating Inter at home, and the late Lyon goals were brilliant memories from last season, ones we want to repeat, and even top this season!

You can talk about how key getting into the Champions League is, but winning a trophy is something every club should strive for. I’m not saying Champions League shouldn’t be a priority, I’m saying winning something should be as important. After all, as the great man Sir Bill Nicholson said, ‘The Game is About Glory.’.

Is it too much for Spurs to go full out for the top four/title and a domestic trophy? Simple answer is no. Teams with a weaker squad have done it before us, so with the depth and quality we possess there is no doubt we can go for both. It’s like having two teams. It’s a tough ask to win a trophy and do very well in the league, so consistency will be key, hopefully the players can deliver.

Finding the balance of challenging for the FA Cup, Capital One Cup, Europa League and Premier League is one that will be difficult for AVB, but it’s something that comes with the job at a top team. I’d love us to win a trophy, feel the glory that has been few and far between, it goes without saying, but getting success in the Premier League and getting the top four is something we need. To do both would make this one of the best seasons ever for Spurs, so we have to go for it! It’s possible!

For our club, it is crucial to be challenging at the top, for the best prizes in the world. It’s what every club strives for. We’re due a bit of good luck, eh?

Match Preview, Crystal Palace vs Tottenham.

Football is back! We kick off the season at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace. A very difficult game to start off a very important campaign for Tottenham Hotspur. Crystal Palace have their first game since promotion from the Championship, and they’ll be desperate to get off to a good start, but so will Spurs. We missed out on Champions League last year, and we now have to get it this year, it’s a must. Palace will attack us and put us under pressure, Dwight Gayle, Yannick Bolasie and Kevin Phillips their main threats going forward. They haven’t strengthened that much, which is surprising for a promoted club, but they aren’t finished yet.

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Spurs have strengthened a lot this transfer window, and still aren’t finished getting players in, and shipping players out, so it’s an exciting time. A new style should be used for the new season, 4-3-3, and it changes us up, and makes us more dynamic, and this is going to be interesting to see in use! Roberto Soldado is the main signing this summer, a top class striker at last, and it’s very exciting to have him on board. Our main threat for this game I think, tipping him for a goal! Gareth Bale is missing for the first two Premier League games, which is a loss of course, but we look strong enough to get the better of Palace without him. Nacer Chadli, Paulinho and Capoue could all get their debuts as well. Sandro and Kaboul are back from injury. They were massive losses last season, and they’ll strengthen us just as much as new signings. The game is live on Sky Sports at 12:30pm, as we kick of our Premier League campaign. COYS!

My predicted line-up for the game against Crystal Palace at Sehurst Park:
(4-3-3)
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Kaboul – Rose
Paulinho – Sandro – Dembele
Lennon – Soldado – Chadli

Season Preview 2013/14.

20130816-134009.jpgThe new season is upon us. Last season was great, with our record points total and a new era beginning with AVB, but we missed out on our main objective, Champions League, and it cast dark clouds over our stunning display last year. That’s all in the past now but the objective remains the same, break into the top four.

Premier League Aim.

The Champions League. The single thing we have been striving for to be a constant figure at the top. This season, the top four is even more important. We have the squad to do it, with the window open we can still add quality and improve even further. It will be difficult, as we all know from experience, and we’ll have to battle with some top teams, but we can come out on top, with consistency and good football. Personally, I think the minimum aim is top four, but I think we can go further. I don’t think we will win the Premier League, but we can be contenders. With the quality we’ve added so far, and with AVB settled and ready to push hard, I feel we can give it a real go to get top 3. With all the top teams having a lot of transition and change, this could be our chance to go for it.

Competitors.

The teams we will be competing with are Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United. These are the teams that will be up there, no doubt about it with the squads they have. Teams such as Everton and Swansea I think will also be on the fringes of challenging for the top four spots, and certainly the Europa League places.

The two strongest teams out of the lot, and most people’s favourites to challenge for the title are Chelsea and Manchester City. They have both added a lot of quality to their squads, and brought in top managers Jose Mourinho (Chelsea) and Manuel Pellegrini (Manchester City). I think these two teams have the strongest squads on paper and will go head to head for the title, leaving others in their wake.

With those two almost certainly securing top four, this leaves two spots left and four teams battling for them. Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Tottenham.

Manchester United wont be as strong, I feel. They have lost the one thing that made them better than everyone else, Sir Alex Ferguson. They will be weaker, and I think they could even struggle for top four, but experience could prevail!

Liverpool have strengthened, and continue to. With or without Suarez I think they’ll be a better team this year, but I still don’t think they have enough. Brendan Rogers is a coach I rate, and I think they’ll be a threat still.

Arsenal, our main rivals, have a strong squad, of that there is no doubt, but they haven’t signed anyone (yet) to make them stronger and I can’t see them getting top four this year. That’s trying to be as non-bias as possible, but they haven’t improved!

Cup Competitions.

It would be special to win a trophy this season and it should always be our aim to win at least one cup. Last season, we went for the Europa League, but failed in the Quarter Finals, which was disappointing. Hopefully we can go for a domestic trophy this season as well.

FA Cup – The most illustrious of domestic competitions, and it would be more than wonderful to win it, it’s all about the luck of the draw, and I’d love to go as far as we can.

Capital One Cup – To win anything is great, but again it’s all about the draw, and if we can have a good run, it’s always good.

Europa League – This is a competition that takes a lot more time, and commitment to win than the others, and we still have to qualify for it through the play offs, so I think this is the less popular out of the three competitions. But winning it would be special, and I think AVB will strive to do this.

Squad Analysis.

Strength in depth is always key and we do have this now, especially in midfield, the best teams have two players at least for every position and I think this is starting to take shape for us now. The window is still open, and I expect more to happen, but this is how it looks right now.

Lloris/Friedel/Archer

Walker/Naughton, Kaboul/Dawson, Vertonghen/Fryers, Rose/Assou Ekotto

Paulinho/Sigurdsson, Sandro/Capoue, Dembele/Holtby

Bale/Lennon, Soldado/Adebayor/Defoe, Chadli/Townsend

More will happen in the transfer window, but you can already see that a really talented SQUAD is coming to fruition, not just a team. We still lack in a couple of things, mainly the centre back position with the sale of Steven Caulker, but I’m sure we’ll bring someone in, my choice would be Toby Alderwiereld. Also at left back, I don’t rate Assou-Ekotto, and think he’ll be moved on, and therefore another to come in, Fabio Coentrao from Madrid, and Umtiti from Lyon would be my top choices. Another position is upfront, it is expected one of Defoe or Adebayor will be moved on, and this leaves a gap, and I think a younger striker would be very useful instead of one of them.

New Style.

One thing that has happened during pre season is a switch of formation. We have switched to AVB’s preferred formation and style of play, and look to have adapted well to it. We tried it out late on last season, and it worked very well, and now we will see the full transition into the new 4-3-3 formation, replacing the slightly outdated 4-2-3-1 formation we mainly used last year. I can see the new style being extremely effective in a very good way. The style suits the players we have very well, and the new signings adapt perfectly as well.

The midfield is our strongest asset at the moment. We have so much power in there that it is tipped as one of, if not the best, midfields in the league at the moment. Paulinho coming in will act as a player that pushes forward with the ball and helps out defensively. Our box to box midfielder. He’ll chip in with vital goals as well, which is always a help. Sandro coming back is like a new signing itself. In my opinion he’s the best ball recoverer in the league. His tackling, work rate and power give huge help to both the defence, and starting attacks. I rate Dembele very highly. His ability on the ball is top class, and he hardly ever gives it away, he can tackle, and attack and so is another box to box midfielder, him and Paulinho have their similarities for sure.

Our front three is also top class. We have a lot of options in all positions across the front three, with great wingers, and very good strikers. On the right, I would place our star man, Gareth Bale, this gives him the ability to come inside and use his stunning left foot a lot more, but he will also roam, and leave the right hand side to attack through the centre, and on the left. Giving Bale the licence to play freely makes him better in my opinion. Down the centre we have Soldado, a striker that will get you 20+ goals a season, and the player we were crying out for last year, he will score goals! On the left, I’d place Chadli. He brings you pace and power on the wing and he can score goals, making our attacking line very dangerous. This leaves out players like Lennon, Townsend and Adebayor, so you can see how strong our team is from the bench.

The new style mirrors what AVB did with Porto. Power, pace, and ruthless world class players. It changes the mentality of the team and will make us very strong, not easy to beat.

Things to Improve on from Last Season.

Set Pieces. – It seems like a minor blip in our game, but when you’re watching us play it is very obvious how poor we are at defending opposition set pieces and utilising our own. We need to be more solid and Kaboul back will help this I’m sure. Attacking wise, our corners were abysmal, we hardly clear the first man! Improvement needed there.

Home Form. – We dropped vital points, that we should never have dropped at White Hart Lane last season and teams make it hard for us, but we need to have a plan around this, I’m sure our more powerful and goal-filled squad will help this entirely. The atmosphere needs to improve as well!

Concentration. – Last minute goals, unnecessary goals conceded and late season form all are things that could be avoided. Complete concentration is needed this season. Hard thing to ask for, but possible!

One Man Team accusations. – The WHOLE team needs to contribute to goals, we relied on Gareth Bale way too much last year and we need to be good enough to win with or without him this season.

Gareth Bale.

I’ve tried not to mention the Gareth Bale saga as much as possible, but it will affect our season massively. The will he stay, will he go situation is one which we have all had a guess at and my presumption is that he will stay at Spurs. Daniel Levy is a master negotiator, and he wants £100 million and not a penny less, Real Madrid’s President has already stated that this is too much, so I just can’t see him leaving. Bale may want to go to Madrid, but he isn’t ‘unhappy’ at Spurs, he will pull his weight this year and be even more of a success I’m sure.

Predictions.

Top Scorer – My bet is on Roberto Soldado, born goalscorer.

Top Assists – I think Gareth Bale will get many more assists than last season.

Player Of The Year – Gareth Bale. World Class and our best player!

Final League Position – I’m going for 3rd. I think we’ll have a great year!

Summary.

I’m very excited for this coming season, more so than any before. Everything is set for us to improve further on last season. I predict us to be the dark horses. Nobody will really expect what we will bring I suspect and we could, just could, have a really, really special season. Ambition has been shown and now it’s time to put this ambition to the test.

We start our season away at Crystal Palace on the 18th August, live on Sky Sports from 12.30pm. Let the madness begin! COYS!

Anything you’d like to point out? Drop us a comment.

Season Review 2012/13.

August/September

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.

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October/November

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.

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December/January

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!

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February/March

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.

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April/May

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Match Review, Tottenham vs Sunderland.

Tottenham 1-0 Sunderland
Bale 90′

Even though we won, we can’t help but feel disappointed, Arsenal also won, and with that it takes them to the Champions League, and we miss out. It’s a very hard to take, but as I’ve said previously, it’s a season to be proud of, no matter what happened on Sunday. The Europa League awaits for us next season, and personally I’m looking forward to it, we have unfinished business in this competition, and it would be absolutely magnificent if we could lift the trophy next season. The last game of the season, and we went out with a win, we couldn’t have asked for anymore. We didn’t perform particularly well, it doesn’t matter how you win, as long as you get the three points. We have now broken our points record for a Premier League season with 72, something to be very proud of.

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Gareth Bale once again providing the magic, his 21st goal of the season in the Premier League, and what a goal it was, he didn’t have a great day at the office, he wasn’t given the time and space to create openings, but when he is given the slight chance, he takes it wonderfully. Scott Parker was good I thought, made some crunching tackles, and looked back to somewhere near his best, good to see. Jan Vertonghen also had a very solid game in defence, his tackling is some of the best I’ve ever seen at White Hart Lane, perfectly timed, every time, wonderful player. Kyle Walker had one of his better days, defensively he was decent, and he pushed us forward a lot and gave us a lot of pace in wide areas, hope he can start to push on and have a great 2013/14 season. Not what we wanted from the day, but we did our job, and that is all we could do on the day. Proud to be Spurs. Pre Season starts now, a tour of Bahamas is later this month, looking forward to it. COYS!!

My player ratings for the game against Sunderland at the Lane:
Lloris – 8
Walker – 8
Dawson – 7
Vertonghen – 8 Man of the Match
Assou-Ekotto – 4
Lennon – 7
Parker – 8
Huddlestone – 4
Dempsey – 6
Bale – 7
Adebayor – 5

Subs:
Sigurdsson – 7
Defoe – 6
Dembélé – 7

Match Review, Stoke vs Tottenham.

Stoke 1-2 Tottenham.
N’Zonzi 2′. Dempsey 20′
Adam S/O 47′. Adebayor 83′

What a win. A hard fought victory at the Britannia for an extremely important three points. We knew it would be difficult, and it really was in the first half, when they got the early goal it was feared that we wouldn’t come back, and Stoke would defend, but we got back into it through an amazing Clint Dempsey goal, and from then on, it was all Tottenham. We left it late, but we don’t care, three points thanks to Emmanuel Adebayor. Charlie Adam got sent off for a second bookable offence, and it was definitely deserved, played horribly all game. Not a good way for Stoke to celebrate their 150th anniversary.

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Clint Dempsey was exceptional, chased the ball down well, and when we needed him to produce, he came up with the goods, a goal and an assist, the perfect day for Clint. Adebayor was very good, he possibly should have been in the box more often as when he is, he can grab a goal, but that was the only criticism, link up play was superb, and right at the death, he got a really important, match winning goal, some could say, he’s back. Jan Vertonghen played at left back today, a position I don’t feel he has adapted to well, but he was great, his crossing was good, offensively played well when needed, and then amazing when needed at the back. Good performance. Hugo Lloris had a tough time, which was expected, but he seemed to deal with it better and better as the game went on, wasn’t particularly needed in the second half. An awesome three points, we deserved the win. It’s still possible, we’ve done our job. Keep the faith, and support Wigan on Tuesday! Our next game is the last game of the season, at White Hart Lane against Sunderland, lets go out with a bang. COYS!!

My player ratings for the team that faced Stoke at the Britannia:
Lloris – 6
Walker – 7
Dawson – 8
Caulker – 7
Vertonghen – 9
Lennon – 8
Huddlestone – 7
Parker – 7
Dempsey – 9 Man of the Match
Bale – 8
Adebayor – 9

Subs:
Dembélé – 8
Sigurdsson – 7
Defoe – 6

Match Preview, Stoke vs Tottenham.

We know that qualification for the Champions League is now out of our hands, Wigan or Newcastle have to take points away from Arsenal, but we have to do our job, beating Stoke is a necessity as is beating Sunderland, if we drop points in either game, the dream is over. We know what Stoke do, it’s not pretty but most of the time it’s effective, they lump balls into the box and defend very well, so it’s going to be very tough to get three points over at the Britannia. We have more of an incentive to win the match than Stoke, and this should help us, but it’s Stoke, they will want to win at all costs. The main threat for us, is set pieces, we are dreadful at defending them as we have seen many times this season, I’m sure we will work on that specifically for this game, but it’s going to be hard containing Stoke’s height in defence, and attack.

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The return of Emmanuel Adebayor, the performance at Stamford Bridge was outstanding, he seems to have finally found his form, and most importantly he has found his goal scoring form, hopefully he can put in another awesome performance at the Britannia. Gareth Bale was bullied out of the game against Chelsea, something that was expected, and I expect some of the same tactics against Stoke, except I think he will have more opportunities to break free into space, and affect the game a bit more, it’ll be difficult for him, but we know he’s capable of anything. Both our centre backs will need to be in top form for this game, aerial battles will be key to who comes out on top. Another big game, need three points to keep us in the race for top four. The game is televised on Sky Sports from 1pm. COYS!!

My preferred team to face Stoke at the Britannia:
Lloris
Walker – Dawson – Caulker – Vertonghen
Lennon – Huddlestone – Dembélé – Sigurdsson
Bale
Adebayor

Why AVB has done a wonderful job at the Lane.

André Villas Boas was given a new lease of life when we gave the Portuguese manager the job at White Hart Lane. AVB had big boots to fill, Harry Redknapp had done a wonderful job for us, getting us top four twice and having a wonderful run in the Champions League in 2010/11. The sacking came as a shock to most, and the appointment of AVB was maybe more of a shock, the bookies favourite being the now Manchester United manager David Moyes.

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André had a bad start, and the questions about his future were already being shouted around, ‘sacked by Christmas’ being the general feel. Draws at home to Norwich and West Brom being the worst moments in a hard month for AVB. We weren’t really clicking together as a team, and AVB’s tactics and methods didn’t seem to be taken upon by the players. A difficult start.

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Our form seemed to change a lot when we picked up our first win at Reading, and then what is now one of the moments of the season, the win at Old Trafford. Opinions on AVB were starting to change, the ‘wonder boy’ from Portugal was back. We hit a streak of wins, nobody was questioning AVB anymore. The tactics he had to beat teams were precise, and specific to the team we were playing, it was all about getting points, game by game, and as a fan, it was a joy to watch.

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Top four, the ultimate aim, we were dreaming of an awesome finish, but we got a little carried away, if you looked back to the start of the season, we lost some of our best players, Modric, Van Der Vaart and losing our captain Ledley King through retirement, was always going to be hard. The fact that we are still in with a shout with 2 games to go is extremely good, and it’s down to André, he has been superb.

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Injuries also hit us very hard, Kaboul who was my personal player of the season last year, has been out all season, and this is a massive blow, defensively he is our key player. Also, Sandro has been out for half of this season, the best CDM in the Premier League in the first half of the season, and a candidate for player of the season, out for the rest of the season. Scott Parker came in as a replacement, and he hasn’t been the same as last year, so it’s been a huge blow. I miss the beast. We missed Mousa Dembélé for 6 weeks, and Aaron Lennon has been missing in quite a few games, so the fact we are even close to top four is nothing short of a miracle.

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If we get into the top four, and I still believe we can, as a club we will go very very far, but if we fail to achieve that goal, I don’t think it would set us back too far with Bale staying no matter what, and according to AVB, funds are available for the transfer window. André has been at the heart of our success this season, and finishing above teams that are of a very good standard in Everton and Liverpool and we are looking likely to beat the amount of points we got last season, this season has been a success, no matter how it finishes now. Keep the faith in the lads, it’s still possible. COYS, and Believe in André Villas Boas.

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