END OF SEASON AWARDS
We all know that modern football is prone to short-termism. To the point where looking reflectively on a Premier League season just gone, feels like studying the English Civil War or excavating an Iron Age bog. Spurs and Leicester’s frenetic ding-dong at Wembley might have only been last weekend but already it feels like ancient history.
Yes, life moves pretty fast in Soccerland. Seven days after Man City became centurions and Michael Carrick bid adieu to his trophy-plump career, are we all looking ahead to the Champions League final and the World Cup next month. The Premier League is already dead to us.
So, before we forget entirely the events of the last nine months, let’s look back at some of the good, great and not-so-good of Spurs’ season.
Player of the season
It would seem unreasonable not to give it to Harry Kane. Not since Clive Allen in 1986-87 has a Spurs player contributed more than 40 goals in a season. To put things into perspective, exactly twenty years ago, Tottenham’s top scorer was David Ginola with nine. Steffen Iversen shook things up the following year with a princely haul of 13. How far we’ve come.
And how far Harry Kane has come. It’s perhaps the alarming regularity in which the England striker scores, and how often the records keep tumbling, that he isn’t the automatic choice for POTY in some fans’ eyes.
I can see the argument for Jan Vertonghen, who’s been near-faultless at the heart of Spurs’ backline, even without his Belgian compadre alongside him for the most part.
And Christian Eriksen, too, has elevated himself worryingly into the bracket of superstar with his displays since August. But Harry Kane scored 41 goals and for me, he can’t be overlooked.
Young player of the season
In an alternate universe, namely last season, missing Toby Alderweireld for ¾ of the campaign, through injury and reasons as yet unknown, might have been a huge cause for concern. Thank heavens for Davinson Sánchez, then, who’s been a minor revelation.
I’m sure even Mauricio Pochettino couldn’t have predicted how easily the 21-year-old Colombian would take to life in the Premier League. Guided through the storms by the unshakable Vertonghen, Sanchez has shown an unnatural amount of poise and level-headedness for someone so young. The reward for such an impressive debut season? A new and improved six-year contract.
There was something in the air that night. The stars were bright, Fernando.
Oh how we congratulated ourselves on the shrewd signing of Fernando Llorente back in late-August. Indeed, the first instincts of the deal was that it was a smart one. The fact that Chelsea were beaten to the punch for the Spaniard’s signature made it all the more sweet.
Perhaps we Spurs fans have just become so used to Daniel Levy’s creative, alternative purchases— and by creative I of course mean cheap —that we fooled ourselves into thinking this was another stroke of genius. Or maybe we were simply hypnotized by the former Bilbao striker’s twinkly eyes. Whatever the case, it hasn’t worked.
Goals against Swansea and APOEL— plus a hat-trick at a snow-filled Wembley against Rochdale. That’s been about the height of it for Llorente. In the main, we’ve witnessed a fading force, struggling to get to grips with a Spurs system he’s wholly unsuited to.
Goal of the season
I’m afraid I have to agree with this. Dele Alli’s had the touch, Christian Eriksen made the ball dip like a penny floater caught in downdraft against Chelsea. But Victor Wanyama has to win because he kicked the living sh*t out of it.