The dust has settled on the 2012/13 season, the new season is very much upon us, so now is a good time to have one last look back at the season just gone.
This was the season when Gareth Bale went from very good to world class. So many opposition fans said he only played well against Inter, that he only had one assist in the league in 2011/12, but they did not see him week in and week out.
To put it simply, Bale was superb last season, and while you can debate how much he (and indeed all football players) are really worth, the double award winning match winner is invaluable to us and if we keep him this season, and I expect us to do just that, then it will give us a great chance of finishing not just in the top 4 but higher. And it will shut up all those talking heads who reckon he is off.
Andre had to repair his reputation, both with the media and the general football public, and despite an indifferent start who won over all but the most bias/agenda consumed media muppet and the Spurs fans.
His rhetoric from the start, especially with regards the Europa League, was a refreshment from the previous regime and Villas-Boas has handled the media very well from a supporter point of view – little less me me me than old Harry.
Talk about dodging a bullet. I can understand why AVB might have thought that Daws was not quite his type of centre back (see Caulker, Steven) and the offer from QPR was a pretty good one but thank god Daws turned it down. Not only does he seem like a top chap and always puts in 100%, but his determination to convince his new manager he was worthy showed tremendous professionalism and attitude and fair play to the manager for giving Dawson a second chance.
Now there is no talk of him moving on, and while we all know he’s not perfect, he is a Tottenham player through and through.
It did not take long for me to realise that I was not alone in wondering why we signed Clint Dempsey. We needed a striker, but instead we signed an ‘attacker’ neither one thing nor the other, who while hard working and brave did not have any real skill or pace. £6million for a 29 year old on deadline day looked like a Levy act of desperation, with Levy enjoying screwing another club more than improving our side.
But I think it’s safe to say Clint convinced his doubters, combining the work rate and effort with an awareness to be in the right place at the right time. His goals against Manchester United are memories that will linger for a long time, and to get our money back for him means the transfer worked in the end.
He celebrates like a fan. Enough said.
I thought Townsend had been criminally under-used by Tottenham. Given we only had Bale and Lennon as wingers in the team over the last few seasons, it was alarming that Townsend was not getting an opportunity when either of the established men were absent, especially since whenever he has made an appearance he has produced something of note.
His spell at QPR should, hopefully, help establish Townsend into the first team squad at White Hart Lane. However, given recent goings on, it’s uncertain whether the young talent coming through our academy will make it at Spurs. Hopefully Townsend and Carroll can prove that theory wrong.
The fact is he sacked a manager who secured two top-four finishes and the new man could only lead us to fifth. While the managerial change was for the best, most would agree, the lack of striking options hampered AVB. To be fair, Levy seems to changed his attitude this summer, but last season he had to take his fair share of responsibility for us missing out on the Champions League.
What to say? Some may try to go easy on him, but to be quite frank he was horrendous. His attitude stunk, he insulted the club with his performances for the majority of the season. He simply did not care. He couldn’t even score when open goals presented themselves (Sunderland and West Ham away).
There were glimpses of his real ability towards the end of the season), against Arsenal (to a slight extent), Chelsea (once he had scored) and Everton (when he did play very well for the whole game) but that only served to add insult to injury.
With Soldado signed for big money I think it’s best we sell Adebayor. I don’t think he will be happy coming off the bench, he doesn’t have the attitude of a Dawson in terms of proving himself, and it is a coin toss as to whether we get Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde.
I’ve grouped these players together to represent some of the youngsters who went out on loan and did not get anything out of their temporary moves. Hopefully we improve this in the new term, and the Swindon link up will hopefully bear some fruit.
Lost the no.1 jersey with the signing of Hugo Lloris, his differing style of keeping was shown up most noticeably at Leeds in the cup, when Luke Varney ran with the ball from the halfway line and Friedel never left his six yard box. Still, he signed a new contract and has the cushiest job at a football club – reserve keeper – so maybe it’s not all bad.
Sandro’s injury meant he missed half the season and missed the good portion of this column, and after his own long term injury Parker came in but failed to show he was up to the task. Without Modric, and with Spurs showing more patience on the ball, Parker struggled.
The trademark 360 spins turned into trouble, we saw the super side parting bombing forward and missing from five yards with the goal gaping, attempting through balls that, sadly he cannot really play. The mind was willing but the body struggled and the loss of Sandro more than anything was what cost us the Champions League.
Parker struggled to build up a partnership with Moussa Dembele and his lack of positional discipline was exposed more this season than his debut Spurs campaign. With reinforcements coming into our central midfield it would be no surprise to see Parker off this summer.
Jebus, was Gallas a walking calamity or what? It was surprising/troubling to see him consistently making Europa League appearances ahead of Caulker, who despite AVB’s reservations was surely a better bet than an ageing Frenchman whose knees were shot.