Who is Tottenham's Player of the Season?

Goal nominates the top three standout performers from season which saw the north Londoners finish sixth after a huge summer spend - have your say in the comments section below!
It is not often that a football club plays out the closing stages of its season with a fan having been plucked from the stands to occupy the manager's seat in the dugout but such has been the general dejection of Tottenham's campaign that many of White Hart Lane regular attendees probably appreciated the pure entertainment value in Tim Sherwood's final act. There has certainly been a shortage of it around the club in recent months.

Upon receiving a world-record fee for Gareth Bale last summer, many glanced at the onslaught of exotic arrivals and foresaw a Champions League place – even a title challenge! – looming for the north Londoners. Looking back, that splurge now looks like the behaviour of a club without a coherent plan. They stockpiled No.10s, left themselves desperately short in both full-back positions and spent big on a striker whose style was never equipped to flourish within Andre Villas-Boas's system. Erik Lamela, the club's showpiece €29 million signing, was named in the starting line-up just three times in the Premier League.

It has been a hugely underwhelming season for a club of high ambitions in the boardroom and on the terrace and it reached its logical, inevitable conclusion on Tuesday as Tim Sherwood became the second coach to be dismissed. Despite all its failings, though, Spurs' campaign was not without its pinpricks of light – reasons for hope that have shone stubbornly through despite the bleakness surrounding them - and solid grounds for optimism going into next season. Here, Goal picks the club's three best performers in the year that saw them finish the campaign in sixth place.


Given that Villas-Boas's sacking was prompted by two high-scoring defeats, it is strange to recall that Spurs' defence was actually nigh-on impenetrable throughout the season's early months. Over their opening 10 matches in all competitions, they conceded only twice.

Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson were the duo on guard duty at that point but it was Hugo Lloris whose authoritative presence kept his back four well-marshalled and impermeable. The form of the men ahead of him may have dropped significantly in the ensuing months (they end the season having conceded the most of any side in the top eight) but Lloris has remained the lone consistent figure within a defence that has undergone a turbulent term.

His enthusiasm to inhabit the role of 'sweeper-keeper', rushing off his line at every opportunity, inevitably results in the occasional error – in November his early mistake precipitated the battering at the hands of Manchester City – but such moments are only occasional, especially given the frequency of his forward darts. It is an inexact science but the regularity with which he stops chances clearly and vastly outweighs these rare slip-ups.

He prototypical of what many would term as the modern-day goalkeeper – adept with his feet and positionally savvy enough to function behind a high defensive line – and the Frenchman has a fine season despite the frequent chaos ahead of him.


While most of the cash splurged by Tottenham on last summer's influx now appears rather rash, few can argue that the €13m spent of Eriksen has not acquired the look of money well spent. Despite not enjoying a regular place in the side until relatively late in the season (he made it onto the field in less than two-thirds of his club's league games), the playmaker ends the term having hit double figures for both goals and assists.

Only Mesut Ozil and David Silva average more key passes per outing than Spurs' creator and the 22-year-old came into his own in the latter stages of the season – the three-goal second-half comeback against Dnipro chief among them. Ozil and Silva remain remain superior players as it stands but Eriksen certainly shares their appreciation of space, while his ability to show up unannounced in dangerous positions makes him more of a natural goal-getter than either.

As a player whose job is to knit together his team, it is no easy task to stand out within a largely dysfunctional side, and yet Eriksen has been the only midfielder to wield the threat of incision for sustained periods this term. While Paulinho, Erik Lamela, Nacer Chadli and Gylfi Sigurdsson have all coveted the role of the advanced central playmaker, Eriksen has truly made it his own across his debut season in England. Surely he is the player around which to construct the Tottenham side for next season and for the long-term future.


With the benefit of hindsight and well-rounded perspective, Tottenham's dismissal of Villas-Boas less than halfway into his second season in London could be seen as a rather knee-jerk reaction to an underwhelming, though hardly disastrous, couple of months. What is not a matter for debate is that the Portuguese's needless exile of his best striker was a debilitating flaw entirely of his own making.

Sherwood's first move was one of stark common sense - to revoke the Togolese's exile - and Adebayor's impact was immediate and transformative. He duly located the net five times in a six-game spell that garnered his side five wins. Fourteen goals in 25 games across all competitions since his reinstatement is more than respectable for a player who spent half the season training with the youth team.

Of course, Adebayor comes with his frustrations – best illustrated by his twin achievements of ending the season as both the league's most caught-offside player and its most frequently dispossessed. But, once these are accepted as part of a largely advantageous package, his worth should be appreciated. His ability to offer both a hold-up option and a goal threat is scarce even at the top level and his capacity to stretch play with his athleticism is hugely valuable to a side who are at their best when space between the opponent's defence and midfield is maximised.

Roberto Soldado's struggles may throw the accomplishments of his colleague into a more flattering light but the fact remains that Adebayor is his club's only dependable centre forward. The incoming manager, whoever he turns out to be, would do well to take note.