Tottenham, oh Tottenham. This season has been a roller coaster to say the least. Sublimely taken goals, historic wins and a record points total all speak to heady heights and some truly sublime moments. Losses at home to lesser sides, a lack of firepower up front and that same dreadful feeling of falling short, remind us of just how far we have to go. After it was all done and dusted, no favors were given and the luck that we so surely deserved continued to evade our grasp.
As the 2011/2012 season concluded, there was an overall sense of dread, of not knowing what the future held and not knowing who would pick up the pieces. Modric wanted out and ‘Arry seemed to be on the outs. Ledley’s knee was finally getting the better of him and Bayern Munich did us no favors. By mid-June we were without a manager and seemingly rudderless.
Enter Luís André de Pina Cabral e Villas-Boas. The man had won the treble during an undefeated season with Porto, but the man had also gotten the sack at Chelsea after being run out of town by his own players.
There was a strong divide amongst supporters as to whether or not this appointment was a masterstroke by Daniel Levy or another deluded mistake that would take us further into the wilderness.
Over some rocky moments and after some misguided criticism, AVB and his modern approach turned Spurs from a team overly reliant on finesse and scoring the first goal into a team with steel in it’s spine and a never say die attitude. New signings Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Dembele proved to be inspired. New addition Clint Dempsey became the slayer of Manchester.
AVB re-imagined Spurs in his image, with a new core of resilience and spirit that simply had not been part of the side. AVB did something else too, something that would make the world take notice.
Gareth Bale. He was born to play for Spurs. And this season Bale transformed from a very good left winger to a world beater, and one of the top five players in the world. Under AVB, Bale became the star he was born to be at Tottenham Hotspur, capable of winning games with just a kick of his magical left foot.
Soon enough Tottenham weren’t just in games with clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City, Spurs were taking the game to them and getting wins that had often eluded them in years past. We stormed into Old Trafford, stormed back against Manchester City and reasserted ourselves in the North London conversation. We did the double over lesser rivals at West Ham, with Bale scoring a stunning 90th minute strike that was only a glimpse of things to come.
Yet with all the highs, there were some horror show moments as well. Losses at home to Fulham and Wigan, coupled with another 5-2 drubbing by Arsenal showed that work was still left to be done. Our strikers seeming complete inability to ever find the back of the net in 2013. And then there was the early season tendency to drop points, registering draws against Norwich and West Brom before outright losing against Everton after having taken a lead into 91st minute.
And, ultimately, those were the points that cost us the most in the end. After the final seconds ticked off the clock, as we ran out winners 1-0 against Sunderland, news trickled in that Newcastle had done us no favors and that yet again, we’d finish 1 point behind Arsenal and 1 point outside of Champions League.
Close, but just not enough. Yet, this off season feels different and there are reasons to be excited going forward. Luís André de Pina Cabral e Villas-Boas is the first of those, a genius manager who truly understands his players and how to approach the game. Gareth Bale is a superstar and reports are that he has just recommitted his future to Spurs.
The building blocks are in place as well, with Lloris establishing himself as one of the best keepers in the Premier League, while Vertonghen will pair with Kaboul to become one of the best center back pairings in the league. Few of our players are 30 years old and we possess one of the best U21 sides in England. With a couple new strikers, another creative midfielder and some cover on the wings, Tottenham will be ready to complete their jobs next season and take their rightful place in the Champions League.
The season might have just ended, but August can’t come soon enough.
Player of the Season: Gareth Bale. Does this really need any explanation?
Best Off-season Signing: Hugo Lloris. The perfect man between the sticks and easily one of the best keepers in the world right now.
Moment of the Season: Walking out of Old Trafford 3-2 winners. I must have felt like I was drunk for two weeks after that.
Nightmare of the Season: Losing to Everton in the final 2 minutes of injury time when we should’ve walked out of there 1-0 winners.
Have something to tell us about this article?