TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2013/14 Half-Season Review

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While I am a huge fan of football; I tend to refrain from writing about it in this blog for various reasons. This is probably a one-off. We’ll see how it goes.

Never a dull moment at Tottenham; that’s for sure. We are exact half-way through of the season now, having played 19 games meaning we have played every team once, and things have changed a lot from the start of the season. The biggest change being change of manager. We’ve gone from AVB to Tim Sherwood. While, I’m still unsure about whether that was the right decision of not, 7 goals in 3 games under Sherwood has been a good return and I have enjoyed watching Tottenham more in these recent games. But can we say it’s been a good start to the season?

I’m sure most of our fans would say no. We are 7th in the table with a negative goal difference. Being disappointed with that position alone shows how far we’ve come in the past decade. At the start of the season, us Spurs were aiming for a Top 4 place, which would mean qualifying for the champions league, and we are currently 3 places off 4th. Personally, at the start of the season, I predicted us finishing, 5th again, behind Chelsea, City, Woolwich and United in that order. There was a better opportunity to finish 4th last year in my opinion. While we’ve had a couple of thrashings, the media on our back and a manger’s sacking, statistics suggest this season hasn’t been as bad as we think.

P W D L GF GA GD Pts
Spurs 2013/2014 Half-Season 19 10 4 5 22 24 -2 34
Spurs 2012/2013 Half-Season 19 10 3 6 31 26 +5 33
Spurs 2012/2013 Half-Season (Based on this season’s played fixtures thus far) 19 9 6 4 30 23 +7 33

So what does this tell us? Well firstly, we are one point better off this season then last and that we’ve got one more point out of the games we’ve played compared to the exact same games last season. Despite losing to Liverpool and West Ham; people forget last year we drew to the likes of Stoke and Norwich at home, Wigan and QPR away and lost to Chelsea at home. We’ve improved on all those results this season. It’s only the fact that Everton, Liverpool and Newcastle and Woolwich are all having much better seasons this time around; making us look worse than what we actually are.

The one glaring stat is our lack of goals this time around and that has been the biggest problem this season. Even last season under AVB we won a lot of “winnable” games by a 1-goal margin. A Gareth Bale wonder-strike would perhaps cover the cracks of the Tottenham strike force. This season we seemed to have swapped that with Roberto Soldado penalties. Admittedly a less-glamorous decider. Under AVB’s system we struggled to score goals but we seem to be getting better at that now. Alot has been made of our summer signings; seven of them in total costing a total of £100 million. While I understand the logic behind replacing Bale with multiple players to fill the void; I didn’t think that we needed to buy all these players. A striker (Soldado) was needed, another CB (Chriches) was needed, a left winger replacing Gareth Bale’s natural position (Chadli) was a sensible acquisition. Paulinho and  Eriksen are quality midfielders who are welcomed additions to the team. Capoue may end up being an replacement for Sandro if the latter decides to leave us. To be honest, Lamela’s the only player I didn’t want to sign. Not because I think he’s a bad player but because he is not worth that price tag if you ask me. Since when do we splash 30 million on a single player? It isn’t big or clever. We’ve hardly used him while Ozil is clearly showing his money’s worth.

The January Transfer Window is coming up but we already bought 7 players in the summer. We don’t need anymore to be honest. I think I’ll main priority will be getting back Assou-Ettoko from QPR. I’m sure we are allowed to do that. That’s arguably the silliest thing AVB did. We need a better back-up option than Zeki Fryers and Vertonghen shouldn’t be forced to play out of position. BAE must be recalled immediately.

Half-Season Player Ratings

Lloris – Arguably the best keeper in the league and he’s had to put on with a lot of crap this season. Where would we be without Hugo? I’d make him captain personally. Hope he’s with us for many, many years.

Freidel – I’m always worried when he plays. To be fair, he’s done a decent job so far. Don’t play him in any big matches though! Too old and too slow.

Walker – Ever-present in our defense. By far our most consistent defender (despite the odd high-profile mistake). Shows more leadership quality than Dawson for me. A Future captain perhaps.

Rose – It was very obvious that he has been missed. If he continues the same way if would be a good season for him.

Kaboul – I’m started to think that the injury that kept in out for a season has really messed him up. He hasn’t fully recovered since. He can’t get a decent run in the team, he’s not the same player, I hope I’m wrong but we may have to rid him in the summer.

Vertonghen – Oh we our certainly missing SuperJan right about now. The best center-back we have and a candidate for captaincy. I don’t think Dawson’s much of a leader personally. Hurry back Jan. Lastly, we need this guy in center back not left back. As great as Jan is; he’s not the fastest bloke so he struggles to get back. Valencia, for example, had a field day with him.

Chiricles – They say our new signings haven’t delivered? Chiricles has definitely delivered! A little too casual at times and sometimes he thinks he’s a striker but the man can actually defend; which is all one can ask for. Next season Vlad will be a guaranteed starter.

Dawson – (*sigh) While Dawson has been a loyal servant to the club I believe (and hope) that his days at WHL are numbered. Simply put, Spurs are striving for bigger and better things. We’re a club with a better squad than before and Dawson is just not good enough. He’s slow, he can barely tackle, he’s always out of position, struggles to pass under pressure and for a so-called leader he can’t f***ing lead. He’s okay defending against the like of Stoke but can’t defend against any quality player; many of which play in the Premier League. Due to our multiple injuries I’ll keep him for the rest of the season but we be looking to sell in the summer.

Naughton – I’m going to defend Naughton here. Yes, he had a shocker against Liverpool but he’s not a bad player. Firstly, he not a LB he’s a RB but because Kyle Walker dominates that position Naughton appearances in his actual position are always limited. He had a good game vs Stoke and is a good 2nd choice RB in my opinion. If he were playing more regularly, he’ll get much better.

Fryers –  I’m see few decent performances from him but shall we’ve save him for the minnow of the Europa league and see how he fares.

LennonDid you see his goal the last game? Lennon’s put in a some good performances this season. It will be good to see how the competition fares between him and Lamela: a very different winger.

Paulinho – Apparently, he’s out for a month. More injures :@. Other than Vlad, Paulinho has been the best of our new signings. Scores some vital goals too. Can’t complain about that. Lamela – “Needs more time.” I’m sick of hearing that but the truth is Lamela hasn’t nearly had enough game time. Rumors that we planning on loaning him in January is an absolute joke. He needs a run in the team. We’re in Europa League, we’ll need to rotate our squad. I hope Lamela comes good. He hasn’t been bad thus far.

Holtby – Holtby, I dunno what to make of him. I feel sorry for him. We have so many midfielders and I’d rather play Eriksen, Paulinho, Dembele and Siggs over Holtby. Holtby runs around a lot and seems like a nice guy but I’m looking for more than just that. I don’t think joining Spurs was the best career move for him.

Capoue – Has had a decent run in the team when available. Rotating him and Sandro will be key. An improvement over Parker.

Townsend – Another English talent over-hyped by British media. He’s good but not that good. He’s a very confident man which is not a bad thing. I would prefer him to be less selfish though. Glad to see him breaking through the first team though.

Dembele – Slightly frustrates me at times but overall is a good player who quite confident in possession. Keeper.

Chadli – He’s a good player but has been a bit quiet for my liking. He has a good shot on him though. We need that. Hope he has a greater run in the second half of the season.

Sigurdsson – I still don’t know what to do with this guy. Ever since he joined we’ve always struggled to find a place for him in the team but to be fair he’s always one of the more productive players with the odd goal here and there. He doesn’t make my first team though.

Eriksen – This guy just oozes quality. If he remains fit; he’s in the first team. If we are to do well; we’ll need Eriksen for that.

Sandro – The Beast! There’s not much to say. When he’s fit; he’s class.

Soldado – We haven’t seen the best Soldado of yet. He needs desperately need a goal, from open-play, and then he’ll go on a goal scoring run. He’s getting the service he needed now so it’s just a matter of time. He’s a classy player.

Adebayor – Came back to save our season you could say. It’s nice to have the Ade of old. Lets just hope this lasts! Him and Soldado seems to like playing together and that’s good for Spurs.

Defoe – Not good enough. Defoe is just an average striker if you ask me. He has a decent shot and that’s about it. No link-play, can’t hold up the ball, he’s just strikingly average. I’m done with Defoe. I’m rather have Harry Kane as our 3rd striker. Give him a chance. I’m sure he has more potential than Defoe does.

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