Through-out our successes and failures so far this season there have definitely been stand-out performers pretty much week in week out. Quite simply some players have played better than others, and their have been some surprises to who our best performers have been this season, whether due to them being newcomers, (former) youth players, or simply dramatically improving from last season.
In order of formation as opposed to order of ‘importantness’ I will go through the players that consistently perform and have forced themselves to become the regular name on the team-sheet. Most of these are fan favourites, but there may be a few surprises.
The first choice is obvious, giving that I’m writing this in terms of formtation. Have you guessed yet? It’s Brad Friedel.
Obviously I’m joking, my first important player is the French heartthrob, Hugo Lloris.
Hugo Lloris –
Sir Hugo has made an impressive 8 clean sheets this season, averaging 3 saves per game and has a huge 100% claim success rate in the Europa league. Due to his magnificent form, Pochettino has even opted for him to be between the sticks for Cup games ahead of the ever reliable Michel Vorm, truly suggesting what faith the new boss has in our (arguably) biggest asset. Appearing in 28 of our 33 games proves that Vorm can’t even dislodge him from most cup games, despite being in (probably) the top 10 keepers in the league for the past 2-3 years.
Not only is his form pivitol to the team, but his leadership and presence is too. (The defenders obviously rate him, they allow enough shots through to his goal.) But the club vice-captain and Captain for the last few months has become a true leader on the pitch and somebody that everybody respects.
In 2013 Brad Friedel was questioned about Lloris and he said: “Can Hugo be one of the best ever for Tottenham? Time will tell, but he’s an outstanding goalkeeper. Hugo is a very good goalkeeper and very quick in his decision making off the line.”
This was at the start of the season after Lloris dislodged Brad as number 1 and made him quite obviously a second choice keeper.
For me it is quite obvious that Hugo Lloris is one of the best keepers not only in the Prem, but also the world and we simply would not be able to replace him if we left. With that being said, I wouldn’t be too upset if Vorm took the reigns but in truth he just doesn’t quite compare.
Second, I feel as though these two players should be put together due to their incredible form statistic –
Jan Vertonghen and Federicio Fazio –
Verts and Fazio have created and incredible partnership in not only the Cup competitions but also in the Premier League against all odds. Fazio had a dodgy start to life in England, getting a red card and proving his lack of pace, however the intelligent defender learnt from his mistakes very quickly along with that, Vertonghen was rumoured to leave left right and centre and his passion and love for the club was questioned (by me too) and I think them rumours have now been squashed, his passion is clear when celebrating (see pic) and his consistent performances and celebrations have made people believe in the Red Devil once again. Despite all of this, the partnership now have an incredible statistic.
When these two have started together they have lost just 2 games in 17 (Chelsea away and Palace away). As all Spurs fans will know, we have never had the best defence, and rarely have a positive goal difference (we are still struggling with that this year) and yet these two have become a formidable partnership.
Both of them have different skills: Vertonghen was quoted saying
“He [Fazio] is a beast in the air and I’m less strong in the air than him, but we compensate for each other in that way. I think we’re doing quite well at the moment.
“We talk a lot – he speaks English very well – and I think it’s good for centre-backs to play together for a while.”
He went onto admit that he fit in very well with Poch’s high pressing style of play, because of his pace and positioning, however Fazio struggles more with that, but his aerial presence and awareness makes up for it.
I hope these two continue their fine form and if they do continue, be our spine for years to come.
Now I’m not sure whether these two should go together during this or alone, but they have both been vital to our play so far this season.
Lets put them together but write about them separately perhaps?
Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb –
Tim Sherwoods love child has won over the hearts of the Spurs fans after being under scrutiny last year, with people using him as an escape goat for not liking Tim Sherwood. Shewood like Poch, didn’t quite select the correct games for Bentaleb to play in, however this year he has grown tremendously as a player, experiencing his first World Cup last in 2014 and lots of Premier League starts since then.
Bentaleb impressed Poch during the World Cup and he was soon preferred to Capoue, Dembele and Paulinho, all players that I’ve said wouldn’t be missed too much if they left the club.
The 20 year old has made 11 appearances for the club in the Premier League this season – and was absent for much of it because of injury – with Spurs winning 7 out of 11 of the games in which he has featured where as Spurs have won just 3 out of 10 in which he was absent. So that’s 64% of their Premier League matches with the midfielder in the side compared to just 30% without him.That statistic alone proves how necessary Bentaleb is to Spurs’ progression, with former Manager Sherwood believing he can become Tottenham’s Captain in the coming years,
“Not only does he have the technical ability but he has the attitude and well. He showed everyone else how to train – his mentality was top class.
“That attitude is why he is a future Tottenham captain and there are no doubts he will have a successful career.”
But then again who would listen to him?
Bentaleb’s hard work and passion were clearly missed in the defeat against Palace and it shone during our victory against Chelsea, his hard work, passion and skill level gets him on my ‘most important players’ list, further enhancing the spine which has come to fruition during the past 2 months.
Mason managed to squeeze into the first team early on in the season after Capoue and Dembele were proving that they weren’t quite up to the task. Everyone knew Poch would try and bring in some youth player, as it’s what he had done at Southampton and he created some truly wonderful players: Clynne, Ward-Prowse and Shaw among them. But in truth, nobody knew quite how early he would bring them into the fold. After a wonder-goal at Nottingham Forrest in the League Cup, Mason started against Arsenal and the Spurs fans fell in love. Nothing is better than a home grown player, doing well for his team against the Scum. Since then Mason hasn’t looked back and we dearly missed his passion and box to box play when we played against Palace less than a week ago.
Mason has been mostly used in the Premier League and his drive and forward passing from a Centre-Defensive Midfield position works perfectly for Poch’s style of play, and that is what we missed against Palace, that drive and commitment. 90% of Mason’s passes go forward.
The home-grown player simply deserves a place on this list because he works so hard for the team and it is so obvious when he isn’t there. Well done, Ryan.
Nacer Chadli –
The Dolphin has grown so much as a player since last season, and is now becoming a fan favourite. His league form is comparable to the likes of Hazard and he has made huge progress both physically and mentally in the Premier League. With 7 goals in 18 appearances Chadli has become the goal scoring midfielder that we needed, especially with 2/3 of our strikers miss-firing consistently. From Squawka he has received 4.5 stars out of 5, the most of any Spurs players this season and the 25 year-old shows no signs of letting up.
Chadli, unlike a lot of midfielders also performs exceptionally well in the big games, with far and away his best performance of the season coming against Chelsea where he got himself a goal and two assists. He along with Kane stole the show on the night and if it wasn’t for Harry Kane’s 10/10 performance he himself would have got all of the plaudits.
Christian Eriksen –
Another vertebrae to our spine Eriksen has continued his fine form of last season and has been easily one of best players. Even when he’s played out of position this season he has performed to the highest of his ability. The Danish player of the year for 2014 has scored 7 goals in 21 appearances including 3 last minute match winning goals, creating 45 chances and one assist. Eriksen has completed 850 passes this season with a pass accuracy of 84%, of which 70% were forward passes.
There isn’t too much to say about Eriksen but his free-kicks and attacking play are simply second to none. Who the fuck is Ozil?
Harry Kane –
Harry Kane has probably been our best player of the season so far, the England U21 international has discovered a truly world-class form, scoring against a variety of teams, including a brace against Chelsea who boast the 2nd best defence in the Premier League so far this season. Along with his goals however Kane completely changes the way in which we play. Kane manages to bring in all of the attacking midfielder’s into the play, leading to Eriksen and Chadli both scoring 7 goals in the league this season. His directness and ability shocked the world this season with him dribbling 40 yards past 4/5 players, winning free-kicks and taking 25 yard snap shots which simply shock goalkeepers and defenders.
“We have watched [Kane] for a while and I worked with him briefly in the Under-21s when I filled in for one game. Harry has come on in leaps and bounds and I’m not surprised because I know [the former coaches] Tim Sherwood and Les Ferdinand very well.”
Kane has been far and away the biggest revolation so far this season, and is on course to be in contention for PFA young player of year and an England starting place, if his form continues. Long may it continue! #COYS