It was a bit like an end of year Primary school sports day. If the other kid dropped his egg, you’d go back to help him pick it up. The game was littered with mistakes but by the end was full of drama and passion – enjoyable, not frustrating and certainly not dull.
By getting injured in the warm up, Super Jan (rightfully Player of the Season) frustrated Pochettino’s attempt to play a (farewell) tribute to the finest defence in the Premiership (2017/18). Of course, he had to rely on the bastard love child of Kyle Walker and Martin Peters to complete the proposed line-up.
Of course, Spurs are Spursy. An unfortunate condition best summed up by Gary Neville’s reference to a Man U half time comment: ‘Come on, lads, it’s Tottenham’.
But those of us, up in the stands, we have our own kind of Spursy. This is a club that’s won the top division twice in its entire history, sixty or seventy odd years ago. We’ve not won the FA Cup for all but thirty years. We’re sustained by a couple of League Cups in the last twenty years. And yet, we seem to assume it’s our God-given expectation to win something every year. It’s a very Spursy thing.
I’m happy we came third and we’re in the Champions’ League next year. For the state of our collective mental health, let’s enjoy our achievements!
I don’t subscribe to the notion that Pochettino doesn’t have a winner’s mentality or desire. Look at double training. Cross him if you dare. It is a journey. I hope, in addition to the two or three we might lose reluctantly, that we move on at least a half dozen more. Those that remain will be fixed on being winners, I have no doubt.
So, let’s celebrate what we have achieved this year and come back next determined to do even better.
Lloris – 8
We end the season confident that we have a class keeper, something up until he wasn’t played in that fateful semi final we had begun to doubt. Sweeper keeper and shot stopper once again. Excellent.
Walker-Peters – 6
Finally given a chance to play on his right side, he acquitted himself well. He is neat and quick and commits himself to the tackle in a tenacious manner. Didn’t look out of place. The answer for the future? Him on one flank, Sessegnon on the other? Not so sure…
Rose – 7
How beloved he is when he’s right and today there were signs of it. Signs include putting his body on the line and marauding down the flank. Should have had at least one penalty. (One of these was part of a pair committed within seconds that we were still suffering apoplexy over when they scored their final goal.) So, confidence to a future purchaser or setting up pre-season before a stormer for us next year?
Dier – 6
The defence had that makeshift (after you, Claude) look that comes from none of the back four being regular. Like everyone, Dier made mistakes but he also filled in effectively in the main. We’ll never score from a corner but he provided his usual near thing. Was in the box awaiting a tap in from a simple pass that never came when, unfortunately, he wasn’t therefore present when they broke away for the last goal.
Alderweireld – 6
Good to see him (one last time?). He is going to be a great buy for someone.
Wanyama – 4
Won goal of the season, natch, and was looking good by the end but I have this problem with him. It’s like someone’s told him great players stroll the middle acres in effortless control. He relies on his control and physique to get him out of trouble. But he’s not Dembele, someone tell him. Guilty doing so for the second and third goals. Surely it wasn’t him that let Vardy go for the first?
Sissoko – 5
Because there wasn’t enough goalmouth action(!), I found myself idly willing for something to come off for the man. In vain, for the most part, I have to admit. By the end, the whole crowd was involved and he got a genuinely warm send off when substituted. I’m not 100% sure he would be happy with this – predicated as it was on his general hopelessness – but I kind of hope he is. After all, he has turned out for the team pretty much every week for practically nothing … joking!
Lamela – 8
It amuses me to think of all the Lamela haters choking on this hat-trick! Not that they will. They’ll swallow it down with all the general bile regardless. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily answer any questions – all three goals were delivered on a plate – and the reasons for doubt remain. But let’s celebrate, when we can, a good performance from the man.
Moura – 6
Well, we got our wish, those of us who have been calling for his full inclusion, ‘Moura less since January’. Of course, it didn’t prove a revelation, some nice touches and some clumsy ones. There’s no new Messiah (though there was an old one when Gazza charmed us all in the half time interview).
Eriksen – 8
As he always should have been, he was the Young Supporters’ Player of the Season. He was the only real provider of chances in the first half and is one of those sublime creative players of the kind Spurs have been blessed with over the years – another very Spursy thing!
Kane – 8
Like Lloris, we’ve wondered a bit where the real Harry has been. OK, he was quiet for periods of the game but it’s outrageous to make a complaint like that when he scored two goals and took them beautifully – as well as ever. I think it might mean he’s achieved his personal target for goals this season. If so, well done, Harry. Great demonstration of the art of goal scoring.
It was nice to be reassured by the arrival of Sanchez. Dele and Sonny put in appearances as quite rightly they should have, given their contribution to the season.
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