It’s fair to say that the 2013/2014 season hasn’t gone according to plan for Tottenham Hotspur. Last summer, Spurs fans (me included) were full of expectation, hope and excitement ahead of the upcoming season with a set of new exciting players, a young, hungry manager desperate for success and the prospect of reaching that illustrious Champions league spot. Some fans were even talking about the possibility of the Premier League heading down N17.
The season get off to a near perfect start with 4 wins from the first 5 games for Andre Villas-Boas’ new look Tottenham. However, on the 6 October 2013, Tottenham lost 3-0 to arch rivals West Ham at White Hart Lane. A shocking, bitter blow to Tottenham players and fans alike. For me, this was the beginning of the end for Andre Villas Boas. It was then that fans started questioning the new aquisitons such as Roberto Soldado, Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue and, perhaps, most of all: our record signing, Erik Lamela.
However, Spurs continued to grind out results via Soldado penalties and lucky goals for the next few games. This luck was brought to a staggering hault vs Manchester City at the Etihad. Tottenham lost 6-0 that day, a pitiful perfromance by the Lilywhites being outclassed in every department. It was on this day that fans began questioning AVB’s style of play and were we happy with what we were seeing? I certainly wasn’t. Not once all season had we shown “The Tottenham Way”; the flair, the style, the picking of the lock, none of it.
Fans began questioning AVB and Tottenham Hotspur as a club.
AVB clung to his job by the scruff of his neck for another month or so until yet another hammering was experineced, this time at the hands of Liverpool: 5-0 at home. This was considered an absolute outrage amongst Spurs fans. It was now universally thought that Andre Villas Boas had to be sacked by Tottenham, the man with the beautiful beard had to leave, and that he did.
The next day, Andre Villas-Boas was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur. Many thought this was the beginnig of the end for Tottenhams season, that this was a harsh decision (taking into consideration that players still had to settle), but irrelevant to what people thought, AVB had not produced the goods and the players he brought in were not showing any signs of proving their worth.
I personally thought it was a harsh decision and that AVB deserved more time to prove his worth. But this is Daniel Levy’s Tottenham Hotspur. “If you aren’t producing what I want to see, you’re not welcome here” seems to be the attitude Mr Levy adopts. But who is to question the man who signed Rafael Van Der Vaart for £8 million and Christian Eriksen for £11 million?
After much speculation about Louis Van Gaal, Frank De Boer, Glenn Hoddle and many others, Tottenham moved swiftly to appoint Youth Coach Tim Sherwood as our new manager on a one and a half year deal. Many were shocked to hear this news, as Sherwood had very little managerial experience, he didn’t even have his European managerial badge!
I felt as though this was a last resort decision by Tottenham Hotspur as their other managerial candidates did not want to move mid-season. Not many people gave Sherwood much hope of succeeding but the decision was made and all eyes were on young Sherwood as he vowed to bring back ‘the Tottenham Way’….
Sherwood’s first major decision as Tottenham boss was bringing back forgotten man, Emmanuel Adebayor and integrating Tottenham teenager Nabil Bentaleb into the first team squad. Tim Sherwood took on Southampton in his first game in charge where Spurs won 3-2 cortesy of a brace of one, Emmanuel Adebayor to give Timmy his dream start. This game also proved to be Erik Lamela’s last appearance for Tottenham this calendar year.
Tottenham then enjoyed a 6-game unbeaten run, our longest of the season to date which included a 2-1 win at Old Trafford, Jermain Defoe’s last goal for Tottenham, 5 Emmanuel Adebayor goals and Christian Eriksen beginning to show his outstanding talent.
“Daniel (Levy) keeps asking me: ‘Are you sure you don’t want to strengthen here?’ but I keep telling him that I’m happy with the squad” – Tim Sherwood, January, 2014 – a telling comment from Sherwood as most fans felt that Tottenham could do with a striker and a left back. Instead, it was announced that club legend, Jermain Defoe would be leaving for £8 million to ambitious Canadian side Toronto FC playing in the MLS.
Fan favourite, Lewis Holtby also departed the club on Transfer Deadline Day on loan to Fulham for the rest of the season. On 29 January, Sherwood’s streak of not losing a game came to an abrupt end at the hands of Manchester City yet again, 5-1 was the scoreline. Spurs were down to ten men with the score at 1-0 after a shocking refereeing decision to send off Danny Rose for a challenge on Edin Dzeko. City were rampant after that despite Etienne Capoue grabbing his first Tottenham goal.
Tottenham produced their best performance of the season vs. Newcastle away mid-February where the Spurs ran away with a 4-0 hammering of a decent team. An Adebayor brace, a Paulinho tap-in and Nacer Chadli’s first goal in the Premier League (and a belter too!) sealed a comprehensive win.
However, Tottenham then lost 1-0 to Norwich at Carrow Road the following week. Sherwood was interestingly quoted after the game:
“This isn’t my team. How can I be to blame? I didn’t sign these players. A lot of these guys have no passion, no desire.” Interesting he should say that after his previosuly mentioned!comment in January. Although Tim had a point about passion, his tactics were non-existent. An unacceptable defeat in my eyes, just as Champions League places were on the cards.
March was the month where the season would be defined for Tottenham Hotspur and the fate of Tim Sherwood’s future would probably be decided.
March fixtures for Tottenham Hotspur:
This month defined our season, and then some. I was expecting around the 10 point mark from March if we were to, realistically, get into the illusive Top 4. Spurs ended up with a dismal 6 points, 2 absoulte thrashings and a North London defeat at White Hart Lane (at which that c**t Woijcech Szcesny took the famous Arsenal selfie). The month started brightly with a 1-0 win over Cardiff, and Roberto Soldado ending his horrific goal drought by a grabbing himself a goal (FROM OPEN PLAY!) and some much-needed confidence. The next week, Spurs were comprehensively destroyed 4-0 by Chelsea at the Bridge. Demba Ba scored twice and Sigurdsson played defensive midfield…That’s all I’m going to say about that. At this stage, Tottenham had a minus goal difference and Spurs fans were beginning to get very impatient with Tim Sherwood and Daniel Levy. Some even suggested Sherwood was having a love affair with Nabil Bentaleb!
To make matters worse for Tottenham and Tim Sherwood, we lost the NLD 1-0 by a Rosicky screamer in the first minute. We actually played incredibly well that day but it’s a results game and Spurs know that as well as anyone.
I then attended my first game of the season vs. Southampton at the Lane and I couldn’t have chosen a better game to go to. Spurs were 2-0 down inside half an hour courtesy of the in-form Englishmen Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana and all I could think was “Spursy” and “just my luck”. But I was in for a treat, a Christian Eriksen double either side of half time brought the score back to 2-2 and in the dying stages a bit boot from Younes Kaboul was nodded down by Chadli, now Eriksen, SIGURDSSOON! 3-2 TOTTENHAM! White Hart Lane was rocking, an outstanding game to witness….and then the next week Liverpool tore us a new one and beat us 4-0 but ANYWAY..
Tottenham have started April quite decently with a comprehensive 5-1 win over Sunderland at the Lane amid earlier reports from Sky Sports that day that Tim Sherwood was to leave Tottenham this summer.
Last weekend Tottenham played out an enthralling 3-3 draw with West Brom at the Hawthorns. Spurs came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 in the 93rd minute from an Eriksen thump into the top corner. The introduction of the ‘HurriKane’ (Harry Kane) has been a pleasant surprise, he has impressed me a lot woth his hold up play and his aerial threat – one for the future.
This season has been a weird one, hasn’t it? It looks like this summer will be vital for Tottenham with talks about Louis Van Gaal, Romelu Lukaku and Yehven Konoplyanka all possibly coming to Tottenham. But the good thing about us Tottenham fans is that we’re used to the hardship (despite many Twitter breakdowns). It’s never boring supporting Tottenham Hotspur, whether we like it or not. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I’m Tottenham Till I Die!
Our Best XI 2013/2014:
Walker Kaboul Chiriches Vertonghen
Paulinho Sandro Dembele
Chadli Adebayor Eriksen
Player of the Season: Christian Eriksen/Hugo Lloris.
Thank you all for reading my first article! I hope you thoroughly enjoyed it.