The progress we have made this season under Mauricio Pochettino has caught the imagination and admiration of the entire football community. Many would agree that collectively as a unit, Spurs have looked very cohesive and purposeful. What has proved to be divisive however, is pundits and fans alike struggling to agree on which single player has been the most instrumental in Tottenham’s rise. This is the part where we run the scope to uncover who has been our most important player so far this campaign.
Harry Edward Kane
The prince of White Hart Lane was certainly the standout player last season and capped it off by winning the PFA Young Footballer of the year award. Despite his heroics, some critics slammed he was a one season wonder and thus intense pressure was greatly thrust on him to prove he was not another fake commodity. With that said, our Harry has shown incredible self belief to overcome a slow start to finding his scoring touch again, in what was always going to be a more difficult second season. He currently has 16 goals in all competitions so far. Kane deserves a shout for being our most important player because he does the business and has etched himself firmly into the starting XI by proving he is not a flash in the pan. The added pressure of carrying the striking duties of a big club like Spurs alone is admirable. His stoic mentality and superb natural fitness never gets a mention as he rarely ever gets injured thus making him indispensably reliable. Harry Kane will be the first or with the first wherever the most important player in the side is debated.
They say first impressions are very important and boy has he made an impression! It’s perplexing to consider Alli’s only genuine experience of the game is based on lower league football. Deli has scored 6 goals in his maiden season and 4 of those have been mesmerising volleys! I have seen this wonderkid play in the flesh at the lane and every time he’s on the ball, the anticipation of the unexpected reaches boiling point. He has a slender frame but the football brain of a seasoned footballing grandmaster. Nothing seems to faze him. It’s reported we bought him for a paltry £5 million pounds. The goal he scored against Crystal Palace alone is worth £28 million so if you add his cost price to that he is already worth more than 30 million quid. Such has been his rapid development that the talk of him possibly sneaking into the Euro’s has changed from ‘will he be on the plane’ to ‘He might as well be driving the plane to France 2016’. Spurs have a way of producing/developing wonderkids lately. This statement is backed up by the fact that in the past five years three of the previous PFA Young Player of the Year awards, have been Spurs players (K Walker, G Bale and last year H Kane). Deli Alli has been a revelation this term and he looks odds on to be awarded the young player of the year gong too. That in itself is a good enough shout for Alli to be considered without doubt, our most important player so far this term.
Eric’s arrival at the lane was not really met with any wild fanfare was it. Let’s be honest. He might as well have snuck in through the back door. On the flip side, its not like he was someone we had never heard of either. Dier was actually well known for his footballing education sourcing from the same institution that produced the likes of Luis Figo and Christiano Ronaldo at Sporting Lisbon. What we didn’t know was just how good that education really was. Dier’s translation from defender to midfielder can only be described as beautiful as watching a flower bud and bloom in time-lapse mode. In the Premier League, Dier has scored three goals, creating eight chances and registering one assist. He has also completed 992 passes with an impressive pass accuracy of 83%. Eric Dier has become such a titan in midfield that he is being strongly backed to represent England this summer. What’s also encouraging is, when he plays in midfield, he demonstrates all the qualities of an enforcer without losing his defensive qualities behind. Toby and Jan have earned rave reviews for their defensive solidity. Most of the reason why they have excelled is because Dier being a natural defender mops up a lot of the dirt and is an umbrella of protection for the back four. As a natural holding midfielder with a range of qualities that includes passing, scoring and playing in several roles, Dier has been a revelation in his own right and merits being talked about as our most important player. Attacking talent is always easier to notice than defensive ones but make no mistake Dier has talent and he displays it consistently to those that observe the game from a balanced perspective.
Mousa has always been talented. Yet, for large parts of his Spurs career, Dembele has been about as mythical as the Loch Ness monster. We know he is good. We know he could be a beast. But we just never saw the monster in him. He has everything. All the skills to be a monster of a player. Yet so many times we have been resigned to watch the lite version of Dembele that doesn’t really score goals or create them. We were forced to put up the Dembele that didn’t really…excel…in…anything. To be fair, all our managers before MoPo, did not really place him in positions where he could do damage or give him the injection of morale to go with it. He might have always had the skills to pay the bills but because of it he also became a jack of all trades and master of…until Pochettino arrived from the coast of Southampton. The Belgian has scored three goals this season, creating 18 chances along the way. Mousa Dembélé has completed 701 passes this season with a mammoth pass accuracy of 90%, of which 62% were forward passes. Now his career has revived and when he is in full flow, he combines the art of the graft and craft in ways like no one else can simply do. Steel in a fight is everything and he gives our physically lightweight midfield a lot muscle. The fact that we look ordinary without him and extraordinary with him in the team tells you how valued he is. In fact many fans have him as the most vital player in the team currently and have gone on record to say extending his contract is the best piece of business we will do this window. Is there anything I haven’t said about this midfield general? Does he need any other reason to not be considered our most important player?
When we first signed Verts, I was very surprised we didn’t snap up Toby at the time too. Everyone could see they worked in sync and complemented each other so well. It’s no surprise then that Jan Vertonghen looks like his old classy self now that his brother in arms is back with him in the firing line. We have the meanest defence in the league. One of the best goal difference on the table and up there with the least goals conceded in the league. All of that owes a large portion to the arrival of one man, who many pundits have talked up as the signing of the season. Toby Alderweireld. Think about it. In a climate where the Mangala’s, and Ortemendi’s of this world are costing you the likes of £31.8 million and £28.5 million respectively, Levy doing what he does best picked up Toby for a cool £11 million quid. Alderweireld is the definition of a modern day defender. His laser accurate passing range has earned him two assists. His defensive and offensive positioning sense makes him a threat and his 2 goals to date are a testament to that. If anyone deserves to be considered the most important player at the club, then based on the material difference he has made in such a short space of time, it would have to be Alderweireld. He gets my personal vote for keeping his hair slick and intact in the 90th minute the way it looked in the first, if for nothing else!
Listen. If I was a marketing officer at Hugo Boss, I would have snapped up Hugo Lloris to do some commercials for the brand a long time ago because of the name…Hugo…Boss/Lloris…get it?(Cue the awkward silence and long unimpressed stares). Okay moving on. Only our French captain knows the pain and trauma he went through during the days of the Kyle Naughton, Vlad Chiricheș and Fazios playing in front of him. Those days feel so long ago don’t they but they weren’t. Good luck being a goalie with defenders who do the the word defending an injustice. Yet even with a debilitated back line, Lloris shone many a time, with smart saves and cat-like reflexes. This season again, he has led from the back and saved us on uncountable occasions when our back four has been breached. I am not going to lie, Lloris has the odd mistake in him. Most goalies do in this regard. Yet the world class ones, will save you in the end a lot more points than they will cost you and in Hugo, that is exactly what we have…a world class operator. You could ask any random football fan to name their top five goalies in the world in no particular order chances are, Hugo’s name would crop up on that list and that’s all you need to know, about the man the fans chant HUGO! HUGO! HUGO!
Toby Alderweireld gets my vote. He is our most important player. With Vertonghen injured, he is our most established centre half and if you take him out the team, it becomes a lot weaker. Whereas, in almost any other position, if injuries were to happen there would be a ready replacement to stand in. In your opinion, who do you think is our most valued player so far?
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