So another season ends, and as we know, we finished with 60 points compared to 65 last season. But how did we compare on a match-by-match basis?
How It Works
Ignoring the old cliché of taking it one game at a time, I look at the season in two lots of 6, 6 and 7 games. At the end of each batch I compare this season's results with the same games last season. The promoted teams are paired with last season's relegated teams.
The Story So Far
After a pitiful start with 4 points from the opening six games compared to ten last season, we recovered well and by the halfway stage we had drawn level with last term's total of 28 points. It wasn't until our 9th game when we beat West Ham at home that we achieved a better result this season than last.
We then fell back with only 5 points from the next six games, but from that point on we pretty much matched last season's performance. We came into the final batch of 7 games on a run of five wins from the previous six games.
Now Read On...
We continued to equal last season's efforts by losing at Chelsea. Now there's a shock (*has Mido's infuriating missed header flashback*). We then dropped two points at Wigan, but JJ gave us a point at home to the Goons. Boro away got back those two lost points, and once again we beat Charlton at the Valley, our fifth away win compared to six last season.
Last season we beat Blackburn and Manchester City at home, and this time those results were a draw and a win. So another two points dropped, but places are more important and 5th is a great achievement with so many more cup games.
Holding our nerve
So how did we manage 5th place? By holding our nerve as the season’s end approached. In the last 6 games we were unbeaten and won 12 points, as did Blackburn. Reading got 11 points, and Portsmouth and Everton 8 each.
But the big bottlers were Bolton. Together with Newcastle, they only got three points from their last six games. That’s sub-relegation form!
My view is we had a good season and progressed. True, we didn't equal or surpass last season's points total, but we qualified for the UEFA Cup once again. Compare that to last season's performances by Everton, Bolton and Boro. None of them managed to qualify again in the same season that they were in Europe.
Add to that the huge increase in Cup games, from two to 21 this season, and the sense of achievement increases. And let's not forget we breached the magic 100-goal season mark either.
And how far did we finish from a CL spot? 9 points. Had we beaten Everton and Newcastle at home and drawn at Arsenal like we did last season, we would have made it.
No more games this season, so nothing to speculate over there. So here are some close-season wishes.
Firstly and most obviously, DO NOT SELL BERBATOV! A total no-brainer for every fan, that one. I was going to put together a video of his top moments backed by "If You Leave Me Now" by Chicago. But 30 seconds into the song I threw up on the keyboard.
And I would like Defoe to stay as well.
Second, increase the squad quality with some good signings. Left midfield (Martin Petrov?) and a fourth striker (Darren Bent?) would be good places to start. Squad quality can also be increased by clearing out some dead wood. No names, but the initials "DM" and "M" spring to mind.
Thirdly, some suggestions for the training pitch: set pieces - let's execute ours and defend theirs better. And work on using those left feet.
No international tournament this Summer, so we have three months of no football. How will we survive? Here are some dates for the diary:
May 14: Transfer window opens.
June 16: Next season's fixture list is published.
June: Spurs friendlies announced?
July 12 to 21 Peace Cup, South Korea (Spurs TBC)
August 11: Community Shield.
August 18: First day of the 2007/08 season.
August 31: Transfer window closes, Berbatov still a Spurs player, collective sigh of relief.
August 31, Draw for first round of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup
If you have enjoyed this assessment of the season but yearn for a more statty approach, be sure to check out the Rolling Form Guide - coming soon!