End of Season match report and what next for Ange and Spurs?

End of Season match report and what next for Ange and Spurs?

Because of my partner’s ongoing cancer treatment, I haven’t been reviewing/ reporting as much as I should. However, I have been attending all the matches thanks to JJ, Janette’s son, for stepping in so I could go football (taking her to the hospital, etc).

My last match report was for our game against the Bin-Dippers. Even though we were defeated, I am pleased to say that they eventually scuttled away near the end of the fight for the Premier League title and finished third (a nice sending-off for KlipKlop and his boys, and no League title to show for his endeavours).

Here is a quick summary of our game against Burnley, who were finally relegated (sorry for spoiler alert).

Spurs 2 Burnley 1

Burnley were relegated from the Premier League after they could not secure a win against us, which would have kept their hopes alive. They knew a draw or defeat meant they would no longer be able to catch fourth-bottom Nottingham Forest, and they took a predictable lead when Jacob Bruun Larsen slid in a 25th-minute opener. However, the joy among the travelling fans was alleviated seven minutes later when Pedro Porro hammered in an equaliser.

After dominating the second half without finding a way through, we were finally rewarded when Micky van de Ven burst forward and expertly slotted the winner into the bottom corner. End of story… they were relegated, and we were – at that time – still in contention for a top-four spot.

At that point in time, we were four points behind Villa, with each side having two games remaining.

Deep joy, the next stop was an easy contest against City… a game that saw some, but not all our supporters, wanting a City victory, thus stopping Arsenic and Old Lace from winning anything, again.

 And we didn’t let the City fans and some of our own fans down…

Spurs 0 City 2

Manchester City moved within one win of a historic fourth successive Premier League title with victory over us.

Erling Haaland’s second-half double settled a tight encounter in which our hopes of a top-four finish ended and sent Aston Villa into the Champions League for the first-time. And City went on to win the Premier League with the Gooners second and the Bin-Dippers third, while Villa finished fourth.

Sometime after, I met a Villa supporter in my gym who asked if I had been avoiding him because of Villa’s fourth spot. Of course not; I am a Spurs fan, and, especially while Levy has been running the club, I am used to facing disappointments head-on and not trying to sidestep them.

We performed with great credit, despite knowing our bitter rival, the shitheads, would be the beneficiaries of a good result for us, and it took a superb display from City’s deputy goalkeeper Stefan Ortega to keep us at bay after he replaced Ederson, who took a heavy knock in a collision with Cristian Romero. Oh, well… no surprises there… however, there was still a matter of 5th spot and a place in the Europa League. But first, we had to beat the Blades to secure that spot. But with Spurs being Spursy under Levy, we have learned to never take anything for granted.

The last game of the season: Sheffield United 0 Spurs 3

My prediction for this match was 1-4, with fingers crossed. It was a beautiful sunny day when Mel and I finally got to Sheffield, meeting Janet and then going for a meal before a leisurely walk to the ground.

Our fans were in a buoyant mood. And for the last time that season, we were meeting old friends before, during, and after the game.

Ange Postecoglou said he “loved every minute” of his first season in charge; no shit… a start where we were undefeated for the first ten games until tragedy struck at our game against Pochettino’s Chelsea.

We ended our inconsistent campaign on a high by thumping the Premier League’s bottom club, Sheffield United, to clinch a Europa League place. Yes, bottom club and cheered such an achievement as if we took on a top Premier League team and just qualified for UEFA Champions League place. At least we finished better than last season, where we could only manage eight without European football…. But in Ange, we believe, as the song goes. Even though he said he wasn’t happy with the fifth, only First would be acceptable (and so say we all!).

Could we have done this without Ange? We’ll never know… but a prolonged search for Antonio Conte’s replacement saw Postecoglou, who left Celtic to take over last summer, as Levy’s choice (but not at the top of his list).

Typical Spurs, we were shaken early on at Bramall Lane as Ben Brereton Diaz fired over for the Blades in the opening two minutes and struck the post with an effort on the stretch. But we scored the opener with our first attack as Son picked out Dejan Kulusevski’s run into the box, and the midfielder drilled a cool finish into the far corner. We celebrated as if we had just won the league or avoided relegation. Dejan should have added to his tally shortly after but was denied by Wes Foderingham’s sharp save low down, while centre-back Cristian Romero struck a post.

Pedro Porro smashed in a scorching first-time finish to double our lead in the second half before Kulusevski slid home his second of the game to condemn Sheffield United to their 28th defeat of an abysmal campaign.

Yes, we celebrated like possessed monkeys… clutching our neighbours like there was no tomorrow (Mel being my neighbour), with those behind and in front joining in. It was like an orgy of joy, only with our clothes on and no tongues. At least we went home happy and contented, knowing we had beaten the worst team in the Premier League and managed to book our place in the Europa League… hopefully, next season, we will set our sights higher and actually win a trophy rather than fumble in the dust for titbits. But we’ve got Ange, so maybe a Champions League spot (fourth spot… let us not overestimate our hopes where Levy stalks with an iron fist). Ange will have two options: either stand tall against Levy or leave for riper pastures, and plenty of teams out there are waiting to bounce.

On the subject of fourth place… Palace managed to beat Villa 5-0, and if we had beaten just one other team, we would have had that fourth spot, not Villa.

Follow the Spurs coach part of the way home after the game against Sheffield United

On the way home, we saw the Spurs coach – we followed it for a few miles until it turned off. We thought it was going to the Services, so Mel said, “Let’s follow it…” but ultimately, we decided not to. Luckily, we didn’t, as we later learned they weren’t going to the Services but to the airport to fly to Australia for their game on Wednesday against Newcastle. What a couple of doughnuts we would have been.

So, what next?

New purchases and old wilting wood rejected and moved on.

Almost all of our 26-man first-team squad were injured at some point in the season. Twenty-two of our players were out at some point, and 37 separate injuries were recorded overall.

Research conducted for more than 20 years by the Premier Injuries website externally suggests that the total number of individual injuries across the league, where a player missed at least one Premier League game, was the highest they had recorded. Some players suffered more than one injury.

Manor Solomon missed 229 days with a knee injury, but including all injuries, a total of 1,402 days were lost.

Postecoglou had nine players absent in our worst-hit week, which is higher than the club average of eight but lower than six other clubs.

So, was this to do with the training method or something else? It certainly wasn’t to do with too many games. Whoever is to blame or it needs sorting out. Things could have been a lot different if we hadn’t had such injuries. We also need to strengthen the bench as well as the main team for next season.

As it turned out, Micky van de Ven was one of the league’s outstanding defenders, the goalkeeper looked most at home, and Destiny Udogie was a star.

There were memorable wins over the failed part of Manchester, the Bin Dippers, and a very late one against Sheffield United at home. It felt like the players, manager, and staff were firmly united for a time.

This summer will require hard decisions concerning the centre of midfield and in attacking areas. And we need more depth in the full-back position.

Early on, our new manager made it look as though everything was possible, but it turned out it wasn’t.

Nevertheless, we have to look at the team’s potential. Faith and belief are the only options.

According to rumours, we are willing to offload Richarlison to make space for England and Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke, 26. But rumours are just that, rumours… we won’t believe anything until the Tottenham web page announces it. And, of course, rumours are not just focused on one or two players but most of the team.


A flat finish and some pointed comments from manager Ange Postecoglou meant a season that carried great hope in the early days of the season ended as a bit of an anti-climax, despite returning to Europe next season in the Europa League. Postecoglou brought some positive football and outstanding signings in defender Micky van de Ven and goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario. This has definitely been an upgrade, although his statement about his unhappiness with “frailties inside and outside the club” hints at much more work needing to be done. My theory is that some of the finger-pointing is aimed at Daniel Levy and the board… who seem to concentrate on building an empire rather than a football team. Tottenham are just one part of a multi-media money machine. I hope I am wrong… but everything points that way.

At least a handful of pundits predicted we would finish in the bottom half, or mid-table at best, without Harry Kane at the start of this season.

Ange Postecoglou has raised the bar back to where it was before Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte came to the club. We are not exactly jumping over it, but we have had enough moments of joy to make it all feel worthwhile again.

New arrivals…

James Maddison and Brennan Johnson have bought into what Postecoglou is trying to do, Guglielmo Vicario has proven a worthy successor to Hugo Lloris, and we were unbeaten for the first ten games of the season – and scored more goals overall than in any other league campaign since 2017-18.

Nevertheless, the squad proved too thin to compete on three fronts, but that has at least illuminated what needs to be done this summer regarding strengthening.

What went wrong…

The Postecoglou project will stand or fall on whether he can or is willing to revert to a Plan B. It came too late in the season when we finally hunkered down against Manchester City.

We can be fun and easy to beat, but the idea that fans will mindlessly enjoy it either way is starting to falter.

It is not only a matter of failing to defend set pieces – and giving away far too many in the first place. An exceptionally high line makes us inherently vulnerable and contributed to our collapse in the second half of the season, losing four games out of five in two separate spells.

How quickly those cracks smooth over depends partly on summer business, which will, in turn, come down to whether Daniel Levy is willing to go all in and support Postecoglou. Not replacing Kane left us reliant on Richarlison, who was hampered by injury and played in gusts. This had a detrimental effect on Son’s positioning.

It remains unclear who the most effective No. 6 is or which two of Pape Matar Sarr, Rodrigo Bentancur, and Yves Bissouma Postecoglou will be back as his partners going forward.

Whatever way you look at it, there is still a lot of work to do if we wish to compete with the likes of City, Arsenic, or the Bin Dippers… I have no doubt that United, Newcastle, and Chelsea (minus Pochettino) will be coming up the wings, so we got to be on the ball.

It has been a mixed season, and like every other season since Levy has ruled with an Iron fist, we look forward with clenched buttocks and hope…

I hope Daniel Levy does the right things and competes at the level of the other big beasts. Another season like we just had might see Ange looking for a club that wants what he wants… success, trophies, and a challenging regime behind him.

So, how did it end for others?

City won the League for the fourth time, Arsenic finished second, Bin Dippers third, and Villa took fourth.

United beat City for the FA Cup and are in the Europa League, along with us… nothing for Chelsea (who finished 6th) other than a lowly Europa Conference league placing and a sacked manager to boot! Yes, Pochettino tried his best for the wilting blues and was sacked for his troubles.

Relegated were Luton, Burnley and Sheffield United.

Promoted to the Premier League were Leicester City, Ipswich Town and Southampton.

Ange clapping the fans at an away match after the game

It has been an interesting season; hopefully, next season will be different and better. Ange made mistakes, such as not fielding a strong squad for the League Cup in our game against Fulham, a lesson I hope he has learned and will be stronger next time around. Set pieces need to be improved upon, and hopefully, he’ll have a plan B, as he did against City, and use it when necessary… and, of course, a much stronger squad. Amen!

Have a great summer…

All the best, Glenn

Up the Spurs!

Janet, me and Mel at an away game
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