Tottenham Hotspur had a very indifferent season. With Pochettino coming in to replace Tim Sherwood, they looked to be heading in the right direction while playing an attractive brand of football, however their league position hasn’t progressed. One progression they did make however was reaching the final of the Capital One Cup; despite losing to London rivals Chelsea, their young squad showed real quality and maturity in getting to Wembley in the first place. Tottenham began their season by doing seemingly very well in the transfer market, shifting on players like Livermore, Falque, Dawson and Sandro for substantial money and replacing them with more youthful players.
The acquisitions of Ben Davies, Eric Dier and DeAndre Yedlin show that Tottenham are looking to the future as well as the now, and also wanted to allow the signings from the previous summer to settle in at White Hart Lane. However it wasn’t any of their summer signings that sprung onto the scene during the season.
Harry Kane. Late winning goals from both Kane and Eriksen summed up a third of Tottenham’s season and together were the main reason why Spurs achieved a fifth-place finish, but still one position below where their fans dream of being once again. If Daniel Levy can fund manager Pochettino’s summer ambitions then Tottenham could put themselves back into the top four question, but we’ve been saying that for years and it hasn’t got them too far.
Key Player – Harry Kane
It couldn’t really be anyone else. Given a few minutes here and there at the start of the season, Kane performed remarkably in Tottenham’s Europa League group stage, and by mid-November, Pochettino was willing to give him a chance as a striker in the Premier League with Soldado and Adebayor proving inadequate.
Kane made an immediate impact on the Spurs side and quickly went on an incredible run of goalscoring form. Big goals in games against Arsenal, Chelsea, QPR and a hat-trick against Leicester summed up Kane’s season, and by notching over 30 goals in all competitions, Kane became the first Tottenham player to register a tally like this since Gary Lineker in 1992. For a 21-year-old to be scoring 30 goals shows incredible talent, and I dismiss anyone saying he’ll be a “one season wonder”.
Kane then went on to take this Spurs form into an England cap, where he scored just seconds into his England debut against Lithuania at Wembley. An incredible six months for the forward.
Most Improved Player – Ryan Mason
I really like Ryan Mason. The story of his season is very similar to that of Harry Kane’s in that he went from not being in the team at all at the start of the season to playing regularly in the starting line-up and then earning an England cap at the end of it all.
In the last two summers, Spurs have spent a lot of money on central midfielders in the shape of Paulinho and Stambouli, but they didn’t need to look much further than their own academy set-up for success. Nabil Bentaleb was introduced much more under Sherwood and has continued to play a part this season, improving significantly as a player.
But for me, the man alongside him in the Spurs’ heart, Mason, has been their most improved player. I could’ve gone with Kane for both awards down to his successes, but Mason has also improved massively. Since scoring in the Capital One Cup against Nottingham Forest, Mason was given first team opportunities by Pochettino, and hasn’t let his manager down.
Mason seems to be a complete midfielder. He can keep the ball well, similar to Michael Carrick in that he doesn’t always look forward for the best pass, and combining that with bags of energy and work rate, he works tirelessly in the Spurs midfield to allow for their attacking players to attack and not rely too much on their defensive duties.
Fans’ View – Nikhil Saglani (Third Place in the 2014 FBA’s and Owner of NikhilSaglani.com)
2014/15 was a season of progress for Tottenham Hotspur, under the newly appointed Mauricio Pochettino. An unsteady start led to widespread changes in the line-up at White Hart Lane, with many big names dropped for academy products.
This was when it began to shine. The upturn in fortunes was led by Danny Rose, Nabil Bentaleb, Ryan Mason, Andros Townsend and of course – Harry Kane, who scored 31 goals in all competitions this season. An eventual 5th-placed finish was an improvement on a turbulent, unsteady 6th the season before, and most Spurs fans are confident that a wisely planned overhaul this summer will allow for further progress.
By no means is 4th place an active expectation due to the quality of the four sides that make up the Champions League spots, but Spurs fans will be hoping for further improvements in style, more wins and continued improvement at home. The season may not seem memorable from the outside but 5th-place and a Cup final is just part of the reason as to why this season may live long in the memory.