by Jack Howes
What were your pre-season expectations and have they been met?
Pre-season expectations were probably to finish in the top six again. The top four seemed a distant possibility with Luka Modric looking like leaving and a lack of new signings compared to the flurry of activity at City, Liverpool and Chelsea. After our defeats to the Manchester clubs in our first two games by an aggregate of 8-1 even the top six seemed a mile off. Then in mid-January we were just off the top of the tale having our best season in 25 years and at one point 10 points clear of Arsenal in 4th. Finishing 4th beats pre-season expectations and fails on mid-season expectations.
If you’d been on the touchline what would you have done differently to your manager this term?
Rotated the team a lot more. Seven players made more than 30 league appearances and nine players 28 or more appearances. Given that before Christmas we could have put out a second XI of Cudicini-Corluka-Dawson-
Player of the season?
Brad Friedel. Hardly made a mistake all year and was superb in playing all 38 games. Kyle Walker was excellent and Scott Parker was magnificent for a spell before fading later in the season. Friedel was consistently good throughout.
I hate to say this – Ledley King. By the end of the season he was a liability with all the mobility of an asthmatic tortoise carrying some heavy shopping. He was his usual superb self until Christmas, but after the last minute loss to City he was poor. It was sad to see a Spurs legend hobbling around White Hart Lane being bullied by Grant Holt against Norwich. Ledley, I love you but please retire before your legacy is further tarnished.
Is there a player loved by your fans who other supporters may not rate particularly highly?
‘Benny’ Benoit Assou-Ekotto, a classy full back whose occasional errors attract the ire of pundits but his irreverence, don’t give a damn attitude, crazy hairstyles penchant for travelling on the tube and work in the community make him a fans favourite. I love him.
Beating Everton 2-0 in mid January. Benny scored a screamer, Spurs played well and we were level with Manchester United, only three points off City at the top of the table after 20 games. The title looked a genuine possibility. Finishing 3rd seemed almost certain.
Your head in hands moment?
Losing 5-1 to Chelsea. That and losing 5-2 to Arsenal were awful, awful days to be a Spurs fan. The Arsenal loss was a shock to the system. The Chelsea loss felt like a miscarriage of justice – their 2nd goal was never over the line and Chelsea fans jeering the minute’s silence for the victims of Hillsborough pre-match sullied the whole occasion.
Who are your realistic transfer targets for this summer?
Difficult to say without knowing if we’re in the Champions League yet or not. Jan Vertonghen has been linked with us, Junior Hoilett is available on a free transfer, Loic Remy from Marseille has apparently met Spurs representatives. A striker, defender and a replacement for Modric and/or Bale should they leave are sorely needed.