[RATINGS] Tottenham Hotspur: Season Player Ratings

By on May 26, 2011

As a final ode to the season I thought I’d look at two aspects of what’s been and what’s to come. The first part is a look back on how the players have done, a sort of rating for the season as a whole. The second part which will follow at a later date will be my view on what I hope happens in the summer and what I think will happen, probably two very different things.

So, let’s start with the goalkeeper:

Gomes – or as some will forever call him, “The Clown”. In my ever so humble opinion he over performed at the tail end of last season which made it look like he’d got over his initial clumsy, mistake laden performances. We all hoped that wasn’t the case but this season’s cock-ups have proven otherwise. He seem’s like a genuinely nice guy who has a good rapport with the fans, but to be a really good team you need a really good keeper. Just ask that lot down the road. I have to laugh when people say, “but he’s a great shot stopper”. While that’s true in some sense, aren’t the shots where he lets the ball through his hands, arms and legs also shots? What’s the point in tipping a shot over the bar that everyone inside the ground thought was going in, only to let one slip under your body 10 minutes later?

His distribution is poor as is his positioning and any confidence the defenders around him had at the beginning of the season quickly disappeared when they remembered his inability to come for crosses or command his box. The sight of Corluka and Gallas looking up at the sky in a “not again” kind of way after one of his blunders will last with me as long as he’s at the club. It’s unfortunate because I like him but if we want to compete at the highest level it’s time he was at least benched and told to improve if he wants the No.1 jersey back.

Season Rating: 5

Defenders

Gallas – Was a big talking point of our season when he joined. Split opinion 3 ways if I recall correctly. There were those who thought he would be a good free transfer, those who didn’t want an ex Arsenal and Chelsea player at Spurs and those like me who didn’t really care where he used to play but didn’t think he was good enough for us.

There was only one set of fans who were right and I wasn’t in that group. Gallas has been excellent for the majority of the season. He didn’t start particularly well, making a few mistakes that led to goals but since his fitness levels returned he led the defence the best he could. We weren’t as solid as last season but considering the lack of goals we were scoring it’s fair to say the defence has come under more pressure this season and at times it’s shown, but Gallas has marshaled the side and been the captain, even when others have worn the armband.

Season Rating: 8

Dawson – Far from one of his better seasons. Like Defoe, his form prior to getting injured on England duty was a lot better than after it. His return to the side coincided with a string of clean sheets which was possibly down to him but he’s lacked in confidence and concentration for large parts of the season which have led to mistakes. His lack of pace and inability to turn has left him exposed on quite a few occasions and his sending off against Fulham in the FA Cup was probably his lowest point of the season.

A player who was excellent alongside King or Bassong last season, whether it was a constant changing of partner or just not gelling with Gallas work needs to be done this summer to get him back to his best. Always gives 100% which is why he’s a fan favourite and will hopefully improve over the next couple of seasons or he’ll find his place under pressure from the likes of Caulker or new signings.

If he plays like he did against AC Milan more often he’ll become a legend and fulfill his potential but if his inconsistency continues he could run the risk of wondering where it all went wrong. This may seem harsh but it’s only because I think he has so much potential but just isn’t showing it at the moment.

Season Rating: 7

Corluka – What a shocking start to the season he had. Mistake after mistake after mistake. One of the worse performances I’ve seen from any player away at Bremen and eventually lose his place to Alan Hutton which just shows how bad he was. Rumours at the time were he was having personal problems which might explain it. Whatever it was he showed great character to fight back into the team and play well, although his lack of pace and creative ability is so frustrating at times.

Another who has so much potential but is just missing the odd component that could make them superb. Maybe that’s why he’s playing at Spurs and not City any more? Has some serious competition coming in the form of Kyle Walker although there’s no doubt who the better defender of those two is, so I guess whether he plays next season will depend on what Redknapp wants from his full backs.

Season Rating: 6.5

Ekotto – One of my favourite players. Unlike some, I actually like the fact he’s honest and says he’s not interested in football and it’s just his job. I don’t see the problem with that. I don’t like what I do but it pays the bills so I do it and I do it well (ish).

The one draw back Benny has is his seemingly laid back persona. It’s fine to twist one way and then the other to lose the attacker and simply walk the ball out of defence and most of the time it comes off and we all cheer but some times there’s nothing wrong with smacking it into touch. The few times it goes wrong are the times people remember and that’s unfortunate because without him Bale wouldn’t be half as good as he is.

A lot of people moan at the fact he doesn’t get forward that much but with Bale in front of him it’s not what’s needed. He’d only get in his way. Remember how badly Glen Johnson and Lennon worked for England? It’s the same theory, when you’ve got an out and out winger you need a full back who will simply give them the ball but not run past them too often. Benny does that excellently and he’s missed when injured. However, we do need some cover in his position and whether Danny Rose’s recent performances are enough to think he’ll be able to do that job I’m not so sure. His time at Bristol City wasn’t exactly breathtaking and would he be able to work with Bale? Time will tell but at the moment I’m happy we’ve got Benny. Probably our best regularly fit defender and the only one I can imagine one of the teams above us inquiring about.

Season Rating: 8

Hutton – I’ve never liked him and never thought he was good enough to play for Spurs. However, he did have a good spell when he came in for the out of form (and injured) Corluka. He’s the sort of full back Redknapp likes in that he prefers to go forward than back and is better at attacking than defending. I like my defenders to be able to defend first and any attacking ability is a distinct advantage. Hutton’s main problem is he can’t defend.

Positioning and decision making is at times terrible and Championship standard. The fact he’s a regular in the Scottish national side says more about the quality of players north of the border than anything else. Scored a couple of goals but reportedly blamed for the Fulham FA Cup disaster, although completely unfairly in my eyes. Hasn’t really had a sniff since then thanks to falling out with the manager and Corluka’s return to form.

Season Rating: 5.5

Kaboul – Another player I was wrong about when we signed him. In his first spell at the club he was shocking but like so many others, he needs regular football to gain consistency. Unfortunately this season has been blighted somewhat by injury but he’s filled in at right back when needed well. He’s probably the future alongside Dawson at centre back and will probably be better than Dawson once he cements his place.

Offers more in the attacking third and is far more comfortable bringing the ball out of defence which he showed on a number of occasions to great effect. Far from the finished product and needs work but has the potential to be good enough.

Season Rating: 6.5

Bassong – I’m not really too sure what Bassong did last summer to go from a regular alongside Dawson and a key member of the team that got us a record number of clean sheets and champions league football to sitting on the bench at best. Hardly played this season and when he has his confidence is clearly very low. A player Redknapp has ruined in my opinion and at his age he has so much potential. Will probably leave in the summer and go onto better things.

Season Rating: 4

King – Nice to see him back in the last couple of games. Unfortunately they were the first back to back games he’s managed since the end of last season and that’s the problem with our Ledley. Still a master of his art and when fit the best centre back in the country. We all know how good he is and how good he could’ve been, although I stand by what I’ve always said, if he’d not has his knee problem’s he wouldn’t have been at Spurs for as long as he has. He’s so good when fit and the improvement in Dawson’s performances when Ledley’s playing mean they’ll be a place for him in our 25 man squad next season.

Season Rating: 5

Midfielders

Huddlestone – Started the season well alongside Modric although started to show a petulant side which we don’t need. Unfortunately got injured and was out for a long time. When he returned he found a young Brazilian upstart in his position and suddenly had to fight for his place instead of being one of the first on the team sheet. When he has played he’s shown glimpses of his old self but they’ve been too few and far between with many of his passes missing their target. By his own admission he hasn’t been great since his return.

Will be very interesting next season to see how much he plays if we continue with a 4-4-2 formation. At the moment he’s the third choice central midfielder behind Modric and Sandro. If I was him I’d be praying Redknapp learns about 4-3-3 because a midfield trio of Huddlestone, Sandro and Modric is up there with the best.

Season Rating: 7

Modric – Simply put he’s our best player and has been for the past two seasons, possibly all three since he arrived. The touches of genius he can produce in compact areas on the pitch are a joy to watch. He may not have the explosive power of Bale or goal scoring ability of van der Vaart but he’s the heartbeat of the team. If we sold Bale he’d be hard to replace but if we lost the Croatian it’d be impossible.

The fact he wasn’t even shortlisted for the player of the year award just proved to me that footballers know nothing about the game and unfortunately it tainted Bale’s win somewhat. Thankfully we Spurs fans know plenty and voted him our player of the season. I just hope that doesn’t jinx him for next year when we should be doing everything to build the team around him. If he could just add more goals to his game he’d be nearly a 10.

Season Rating: 9

Bale – The mercurial Welshman. Where to start? How about with his fabulous volley against Stoke or his hat-trick against Inter? What about the other 90% of games where he was fairly quiet and didn’t offer much? Harsh? Yes, of course it is. He’s only young after all and has the world at his feet but there’s no way he’s ever worth over £60m as some have reported.

It’s been a breakout season for him and his performances in Europe in particular grabbed all the headlines and rightly so because he single handedly destroyed Inter Milan, although some thanks has to go to Rafa Benitez for not learning from the game at the San Siro and giving him all the time and space in the world. Unfortunately for Bale, not every manager is as bad as Benitez and most have worked out how to nullify him or at least keep him quieter. He’s going to have to learn how to create more space for himself and stop running straight at the defender, which I’m sure he will do and when he does he’ll be devastating. That is if he’s not severely injured first because our Gareth is a frail boy at times (although that Charlie Adam tackle was a disgrace) and needs to work on his strength, particularly his back which seemed to bother him for large periods in the second half of the season.

Potentially one of the games greats, but like all of the legends before him, he’ll need to work on his game to make it so.

Season Rating: 8.5

Lennon – Azza’s struggled for form a lot this season even though he started well. He wasn’t at any time his blistering self but he’s brought other things into his game, including his final ball. Doesn’t rush as much as he once did and actually looks up to try and find someone instead of just assuming they’ll be there.

Was wasted for large periods of the season, either on the bench or on the left of midfield. Cutting in is one thing but you’ve got to have the ability to get to the line and cross with your weaker foot too which Lennon doesn’t have so defenders can easily show him the line and his threat is distinguished. Could do with working on that in the summer so at least he can be more effective if he’s played from the left, even if it is the wrong position to play him in.

During the first half of last season Lennon was superb and Bale likewise in the second half. We were all hoping that this was the season we saw them both doing their thing at the same time. Unfortunately while Lennon was ok, he was never really on fire. Maybe next season? Let’s not forget he’s still only just 24.

Season Rating: 7.5

Sandro – What a player this kid is. When he first got into the team I’m sure I wasn’t the only one wondering what we saw in him that made his signing one of the longest, drawn out ones I can remember. The game seemed too quick for him, his passing wasn’t great and every time he went into a challenge he seemed to get booked.

Then it almost seemed to just click. He had AC Milan in his back pocket in the San Siro and has gone from strength to strength since. Alongside Modric he should be the first name on the team sheet and we need to be looking to build a team around them. His ability means we could play Bale at left back with the security of knowing there’s someone good enough to cover his forward runs. I’m not saying that’s the way to go but it’s another option. Without him in the side, none of our current midfielders are intelligent enough, quick enough and simply good enough to cover Bale.

After only 6 months in the team it looks like unless we improve and start competing in the champions league on a regular basis and more importantly winning trophies, he’ll be off to a better team that will. Let’s hope his form doesn’t drop like Palacios’s once did.

Season Rating: 8

van der Vaart – Last summer we needed a striker but we signed a midfielder who scores goals. Not Rafa’s fault and his early season performances were exceptional but he’s gone off the boil a bit since new year. He hasn’t looked completely fit since he joined so a good pre-season and playing alongside the striker we need to sign (fingers crossed) next season could be incredible. Even unfit and playing alongside some of the countries biggest under-performing strikers he’s managed 14 goals which is brilliant. Then there’s the assists he’s created and unbridled joy at some of his performances.

Worth the entrance fee alone at times but we’ve got to find a way to work with him. At times he’s drifted so deep he’s left our striker isolated and he’s got to learn he can’t do it by himself. We’ve got enough quality in the team, and some better than the Dutchman, that means he needs to concentrate on doing his job and not trying to do everyone else’s.

If we can find the right formation and the right players around him, 14 goals this season will pale in comparison with what he’ll bag next time around.

Season Rating: 8.5

There’s not really much point in discussing the other midfielders at the club because they haven’t really played. There was a spell when Jenas and Palacios got a run in the team and both did fairly and surprisingly well but with injuries and lack of rotation they’ve spent most of the season on the bench. Kranjcar scored a couple of important goals but has been left in the cold many times when he could’ve played, especially since suggesting he’d have to leave if he didn’t get more game time and then there’s Pienaar who has to be a commercial signing (just as Khumalo is) to help the club try and break the South African market. If he’s not then it’s one of the worse pieces of business I’ve seen in a long time. Signing a player we didn’t need just because he was relatively cheap but putting him on a £70k per week contract meaning over his 4 year contract he’ll actually cost the club over £15m and because of his high salary it’ll be near impossible to sell him if he becomes surplus to requirements (as he already has).

Strikers

Defoe – It’s easy to forget how sharp he looked in the early part of the season. He got into the England team and scored goals whilst playing as a lone striker with Rooney just behind him. Then he got injured and hasn’t looked the same since. I understand people’s frustrations with him because he just doesn’t seem to improve with age. He’s 28 now and should be coming into his best years but he doesn’t look any different to when he was 24. He still prefers to just whack the ball, not realising placing it often results in more goals and his inability to stay onside when he’s got more pace than most defenders in infuriating. When is someone going to tell him to stay a yard onside and beat them in the foot race?

Simply for the 100+ goals he’s scored for the club he’s the one I’d prefer us to keep this summer and hopefully with a pre-season under his belt and renewed confidence he’ll get back to scoring ways (although he’s never been prolific). Unfortunately for JD we need to buy a new striker to fit into our style of play which means there’s a good chance he’ll be seen as a first or second choice substitute which isn’t what he wants. He’s already moaned this season about not enough playing time which considering his form and the amount of games he’s played is a little strange but if he needs to play so badly it might be best he looks elsewhere.

Season Rating: 5

Crouch – Terrible in the league, great in Europe. I’ve tried in the past to stick up for Crouch but it’s been impossible this season. The “decent touch for a big lad” argument has been blown out of the water with the ball constantly rebounding off him at every opportunity. An inability to score goals or even kick the ball harder than a 3 year old girl has frustrated, but not as much as the style of play we resort to when he’s in the team. Something that isn’t his fault but it’s what happens. His goals got us into the Champions League last May, then through the qualifier and helped us win our group but he also had a hand in our exit with his red card against Madrid and his season was completed by scoring an unfortunate own goal at Eastlands.

On the plus side his partnership with vdV caused all opponents problems and was one of the reason’s for Rafa’s great start to the season.

Season Rating: 5.5

Pavlyuchenko – I have a theory that no Russian played is ever good in English football. There’s only really been one and that was Andrei Kanchelskis and ever since the mid-90′s teams have been signing Russian players hoping they’ll live up the legacy he left. To name just three, Rebrov, Arshavin and Pav. All three have shown glimpses of brilliance and runs of games where it looks like they’ve worked it out, only to then drift back into their normal routine of nothingness.

Pav is an enigma. His two goals on the final day of the season showed why. Having once again started on the bench he came on and smacked in two fantastic goals. The rest of his game wasn’t up to much though with little movement, bad control and poor passing but with our strikers lack of goals this season they’re the last thing we care about.

He can’t show much in training because Redknapp just doesn’t trust him to perform and who can blame him. For the most part he’s rubbish. There’s no other way to put it. If he doesn’t score he offers little or nothing to the overall team but then does Defoe offer more? Arguably not, so the Russian should’ve been given more starts considering he seemed to be the only striker who knew where the goal was. Could be on his way out though if we sign 1 or 2 new strikers.

Season Rating: 6.5

I should add Robbie Keane into the mix here just for his terrible performances and picking up injuries during his loan move to West Ham. Congratulations should go out to him for helping them go down but I’d like to think he’ll take a massive pay cut so we can get rid of the guy once and for all this summer. They say you should never go back and I think now we all know why.

Redknapp – Finally the manager. As this is already a longer than usual update I won’t dwell on him too long. Suffice to say this has been the best season for us in Premier League history and if you think differently you’re an idiot who should support another team. There’s no arguing how well Redknapp’s done since arriving at the club but looking at this season as a whole I’d say he’s failed in the transfer market and the domestic cup competitions. He did fantastically well in the Champions League which will have done his CV the world of good and almost got us to the promised land in the league. Had the transfer markets been navigated a little better and squad rotation implemented maybe we would’ve got into the top 4 again. Maybe we wouldn’t have. Who knows.

The one thing that’s let him down is the constant negativity towards the fans. We’re the people who matter most, not him. We’re the one’s that keep the club going, not him. We’re the one’s that’ll be with the club forever, not him. These are things he needs to remember before he goes into one of his rants. They’ve got so bad I’ve resorted to not listening to any of his interviews which is a shame because the manager is the face of the club to the fans, the one who you hear most from and the one you need to feel like you trust. If he gets things right this summer he could and probably should add another trophy to his solitary win so far in his career.

Season Rating: 7.5

Submitted by THFC1882

 

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3 Comments

  1. Tom

    May 26, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Your opinion that this has been our best season is a farce!! Last year we got champions league and this year we didnt. Enough said. Since theblackpool defeat near the turn of the year our league form was dreadful and but for our ok start it was relegation form. We were sitting clear of chelsea who went onto make a title challenge and i ask myself shouldnt that have been us?

  2. BigCockrerel

    May 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Not too much to disagree with here, though I like Corluka – even though he’s slower than a one-legged man. The early season blip aside, he’s very solid defensively, and works well with the speedy Lennon.

    Gomez, capable of astonishing saves but ultimately a liability, should be out the door.

    I find it very puzzling that Niko saw so little game-time this season. He’ll do very well wherever he goes.

    The big concern for Spurs should be the ludicrous system of playing on a Thursday in the Europa, rather than mid-week, to pander to TV. It could really hurt us in the league.

    But we just need to replenish the forward line with Ronaldo, Pato and Edin Hazard (son of Micky?) and we’ll be fine. And maybe Schneider, over Scott Parker in midfield.

  3. Greg

    May 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Totally agree with Tom. and the fact that redknapp humiliates the Spurs fans’opinion is also very insulting. Last year he should have gone out and bought a striker, then we wouldn’t be in this position! and i like the fact that hes saying city spent 150 million and now they r better than us!

    well thats not an excuse, we should have spend 20-30 million on 1 striker to improve as well, seen as we reached the UCL

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