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2019 was a one-year roller coaster for Tottenham Hotspur. The sheer joy of reaching the Champions League final, followed by the miserable set of results that eventually saw Mauricio Pochettino replaced by José Mourinho.
2020 has not been that exciting. Another year without trophies, and they currently reside in seventh place. However, the signs suggest that better days may be just around the corner.
Here’s a summary of Tottenham Hotspur 2020.
Best Player: Harry Kane
It was a fight between the Englishman and Heung-min Son, but Harry Kane almost got over it.
Having started the year with a long-lasting injury at Southampton, Kane has returned to produce some of his best stuff. He scored seven goals after the lockout in the 2019/20 season, and continued this form with nine in his first 15 in the new campaign.
But what has really caught the attention of the forward is the development of his versatile game. He currently has the most assists in all of Europe’s five major leagues with ten: three from Bruno Fernandes, Kevin De Bruyne, Thomas Muller and Kingsley Coman in second set. It also makes it to the list of the 10 best scorers in Europe for 2020.
Best match – Tottenham 2-0 Arsenal
The Spurs were in good shape entering the first North London Derby of the season, unbeaten in their previous nine league games.
It was a masterclass by José Mourinho, really. Heung-min Son scored a beauty in the early stages, and Harry Kane made it 2-0 just before halftime. The second half saw the Lilywhites frustrate Arsenal with a rock-solid defensive display, hoping for a clean sheet.
During this game, Kane became the North London Derby’s all-time top scorer with 11.
Worst game – Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham
Tottenham were at the top of the league when they traveled to Anfield to face the champions, in a match that would be a true test of their title credentials.
Mohamed Salah opened the scoring with a very deflected effort that passed over Hugo Lloris. However, Heung-min Son responded quickly with a shot at the first post from Alisson.
It was an eventful second half on both ends. Steven Bergwijn blew two big chances to give Spurs the lead, while Harry Kane got ahead of an opportunity one would expect him to convert. Then, in the 90th minute, Roberto Firmino placed a header in the upper corner, causing wild celebrations among the 2,000 spectators.
It was a missed opportunity for North Londoners, who could have made a great statement with three points.
It has been an unusually busy business year for Tottenham Hotspur, which is generally a bit more reluctant to open its wallet.
Christian Eriksen left in January and has since struggled to regain his best form at Inter Milan. Steven Bergwijn was hired as a replacement. The Dutchman has shown flashes of quality, but has yet to consistently reproduce it.
However, the summer transfer window was very busy. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was the first to walk through the gate, arriving from Southampton for approximately £ 15 million. The Dane has been very impressive so far, keeping several skeptics quiet.
Sergio Reguilón is another of those who has impressed at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, establishing himself as one of the best left-backs in the league since he arrived from Real Madrid.
However, not everything has been good. Matt Doherty finds himself trapped behind Serge Aurier in the pecking order, while Gareth Bale’s fairytale return has not gone as expected. A replacement for the long-standing Jan Vertonghen may also have come in handy.
How has the manager been?
Hiring José Mourinho is a bit like selling your soul to the devil.
Replacing the popular Mauricio Pochettino was always going to be a tough task, but Mourinho brought in a man who knows how to get results.
Spurs fans knew what they were getting when the Special One arrived in North London. Soccer wouldn’t be pretty, but they’d be more likely to eventually win that elusive trophy.
And … yes, it was. While Pochettino’s beautiful style of play is long gone, the Lilywhites are beginning to compete for honors. Mourinho has guided Tottenham to a Carabao Cup semi-final this season, while a title charge has not yet been ruled out.
Tottenham fans will have strongly mixed feelings about the last 12 months.
On the one hand, they no longer play the beautiful football they got used to with Mauricio Pochettino. On the other hand, the results are improving and they are closer to winning their first piece of silver since 2008.
Harry Kane is back to his best and Heung-min Son is playing better than ever. However, there is a worrying over-reliance on these two to attack production.
However, if these two can continue to play at their current level, then something big could be on the horizon for the Spurs.