So that’s it then. Another season over with a straightforward 3-0 victory and yet another Europa League place to finish it all off. Only three points off where we finished up last season but what an anti-climax.
Is it really only a year since Gareth Bale scored a last minute screamer against Sunderland to all too briefly give us hope of Champions League football, a hope immediately dashed by Arsenal beating Newcastle. Since then Bale has gone, will soon be playing in the Champions League final and we have spent shedloads of loot. Lamela and Soldado were brought in to lead from the front, backed up by Capoue, Chadli, Chiriches and Paulinho. Only Christian Eriksen has lived up to expectations. Should we be surprised? Lots of players struggle to settle at new clubs and all of these also had to settle in a new country. It’s not as if this is a new phenomenon. In the 1980’s Chris Waddle struggled in his first season after coming down from the North East. In the previous decade did Ralph Coates ever really settle after his move south? Go back another decade and Alan Mullery initially struggled at the Lane, AFTER MOVING ACROSS LONDON! This season we have thrown a load of strangers together from all over Europe and South America and expected them to produce performances to get us into the top four.
Since the beginning of the season we have gone from a Villas Boas side that could usually defend but never score to a Sherwood side that could always score but seldom defend. AVB has since turned around and stated that Baldini was responsible for signing all of the new players. If that is the case did AVB have any input? Surely he must have had some say! Sherwood comes in and holding midfield players are marginalised leaving Capoue and Sandro looking particularly frustrated. However, Adebayor comes back into the fold and finishes the season as top goalscorer. After the Villa game his season was summed up perfectly. He came onto the pitch a couple of minutes after the rest and completed his lap of honour at his own pace.
Then we had the large number of players out on loan. Holtby, having initially struggled to settle, was beginning to produce some excellent football and to my mind showing the sort of leadership qualities our side seems to lack. In comes Sherwood and Lewis Holtby is quickly despatched to Fulham. Benny was sent out to QPR for the season, Danny Rose gets injured and Kyle Naughton, a man who cannot use his left foot, was effectively hung out to dry by both Managers. I am hoping our loans policy proves an inadvertent success next weekend when Jake Livermore scores the winning goal in the FA Cup final. For Benny, Holtby, Livermore and Tom Carroll, their futures at Spurs all depend on Levy’s next appointment.
Finally, the biggest frustration of all is being soundly thrashed by those teams who we consider to be our rivals for the Champions League. Even worse have been the three performances against West Ham!
As for next season, where do we start? A new Manager will come in with his own ideas and the players he wants. There have been encouraging signs from Chiriches and Paulinho in particular. Hopefully Capoue and Lamela will spend less time on the treatment table and more time on the pitch. I do think we potentially have a very talented squad but like the rest of us I have no idea what to expect over the summer or next season.
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