x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Premier League: Tottenham's review of the 2012/13 season

A look back at the Spurs as they missed out on a berth in the Uefa Champions League.

Where Tottenham got it right

There will be frustration that Tottenham finished fifth, a position lower than last season, and so missed out on the Uefa Champions League, but manager Andre Villas-Boas has created a team that plays to a clear and coherent plan, pressing intelligently and passing the ball neatly.

When all else failed, there was always Gareth Bale, who thumped in 21 goals this season, most of them brilliant.

Hugo Lloris was a fine addition in goal, his comfort on the ball enabling Tottenham's high line.


Where Tottenham got it wrong

They may have generated more points than any other Tottenham team in Premier League history, but again allowed themselves to be overhauled on the run-in by Arsenal.

There was no greater collapse, but for all Villas-Boas's protestations, it was hard to argue that they did not tighten up on the final straight, often saved by Bale's brilliance.

What did them in, though, was a slow start, partly caused by conducting their transfer business late; a habit early in the season of conceding late goals; and a shortage of forwards.


Star man - Gareth Bale

Fast, direct, skilful and with the ability to score vital goals and vital times, Bale has been sensational.


Flop - Emmanuel Adebayor

He can be brilliant - witness his goal at Chelsea - but too often he wanders around sulking.


Prospective signings

Villas-Boas has urged the board to spend and he is probably right that, having built the platform, now is the time to invest. At least one high-class centre-forward is a must.


Prospects for 13/14

Spurs took 55 points from their final 26 games of the season, which is not far from title-winning form. With Villas-Boas's method now instilled and a couple of new signings, they have the potential to challenge for second or third.

Given the economic situation, though, another scrap for fourth with Arsenal seems more probable.