So it is that time of the year again where the usual easily answered question gets asked, who has been the best play this season? And for once, where in previous years we’ve either a dilemma in terms of too many impressive, consistent performers, we have a dilemma in terms of a lack there of. Therefore I have taken it upon myself to assess those in the squad who haven’t quite been as bad as the others. I can already smell the controversy.
So before I suggest a couple of players who I may get lynched for suggesting, I thought I would start with a couple of clear candidates. Now surely for a side who has conceded 48 goals in only 34 premier league games, include conceding at least three goals on seven different occasions, the goalkeeper would be the last person who’d you’d expect to have been a top performer, however if it wasn’t for Hugo Lloris’ heroics this season, the figure of 48 would probably have an extra figure on the end.
The Frenchman has been phenomenal this season, leading to speculation arising concerning his future at White Hart Lane, with top European clubs such as Paris St. Germain and Barcelona being touted as possible destinations for the French captain. His acrobatic style of play and agility to come off his line and command his area is rivalled by none in the premier league and across the top European leagues.
Poor performances from a rotating defence however has led to question marks being placed over Hugo by certain pundits, however the White Hart Lane faithful understand the importance of keeping the Frenchman between the sticks past the Summer transfer window as rarely a game goes by without a world class save being produced by the 27 year old.
When we signed Christian Eriksen from Ajax in August for £12 Million, many suggested it would take time for the Dane to settle at the Lane, whilst others speculated whether or not he has the athletic ability to make it in the premier league following a string of uninspiring performances during the October to November period, where he appeared to drift through games.
However, in the second half of the season Christian has flown, showcasing his creative and lethal talents from which he made his name from his times in the Netherlands. With 7 goals and 6 assists in just 21 Premier league games this season, his productivity is impressive and many a times the Dane has inspired those around him when heads have dropped. Naturally comparisons have began to be placed, with many suggesting that we have found a replacement for still fans favourite, Rafael Van Der Vaart.
Now, with speculation ripe concerning the future of Tim Sherwood and many, many sources suggesting that Louis Van Gaal will be appointed as Tottenham manager for next season, suggestions are ripe that Eriksen could be pivotal in the way we could potentially line up under the Holland legend, many fans suggesting that he is the man we would should build our side around, and compared against others in our squad, you’d be foolish to disagree.
A slightly outside choice this season, as injuries and lack of form have hampered the self-proclaimed ‘Beast’ from being a constant feature in our first 11, however nobody can argue that whenever Sandro features for Spurs, we’re a different side to be reckoned with.
The Brazilian hasn’t quite regained his form from the first half of last season, potentially mainly down to not being able to form a partnership with anybody in our midfield, as he was able to do last season with Moussa Dembele.
The Brazilians strength, leadership and passion has shone at times this season, ever growing his reputation with the fans, whilst also gaining a certain athleticism since his time rehabilitating in Brazil. I for one would be shocked if he were to be named player of the year for this season, however the ‘Beast’s reputation with the fans will undoubtedly provide him with at least a couple of votes.
Another unlikely candidate due to his half a season exile, however if Emmanuel Adebayor’s form since his return to the Tottenham first team under Tim Sherwood is anything to go by, the Togolese striker still has the ability to lead the line.
With 10 goals in 17 premier league games, he is Tottenham’s leading scorer in the competition this season, despite only playing half of the available games. A lack of form from summer signing, Robert Soldado and Jermaine Defoe’s sale to Toronto in January pretty much left Tim Sherwood with no choice but to place faith back into Adebayor, yet this faith has been repaid, with Adebayor demonstrating his best hold up play and ability to link up with the players around him. He has allowed us to be interchangeable in terms of formation and approach to matches, as we have been able to adopt a two striker system, where we could only field one previously.
I already know this is going to come back to bite me. I believe Nabil Bentaleb deserves recognition for his performances this season. Despite only being 18, the recently capped Algerian has played a part in 14 premier league games this season for Tottenham, and in many of these hasn’t looked out of place.
The Midfielder has performed well, in terms of dictating the play and being the more creative of two deeper players. However, I believe one thing will hold Nabil back and has been the reason for the criticism which has come his way from many supports as far this season. Poor management. Tim Sherwood has decided to play Bentaleb in the middle of the pitch in matches where it is obvious to all that our opposition was going to dominate in the midfield. Putting him up against Yaya Toure away at Manchester City? Stevie Gerrard against Liverpool? Flamini against Arsenal? This is far too much responsibility to place on an 18 year old.
All in all, I believe few will have the bravery to vote for anybody other than the first two, however my personal vote will be going to Hugo Lloris, purely because of the fact that he has been consistently brilliant throughout the season, as compared to Christian Eriksen of who had a first half of the season to forget. I wonder if other clubs have this much trouble thinking of five.