Spurs: Should Lloris, Eriksen Or Adebayor Win Player Of The Year?
Four goals, a missed penalty, a win for the home side and a spectacular display by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Loris. Saturday’s game with Fulham had all this yet was a strangely somniferous affair. The truth is the season is essentially over for Spurs and the fans are now waiting for the fresh start that next season offers. The idle chit chat in the stands was mostly about who’d be replacing Tim Sherwood at the helm but another recurring topic was the identity of Tottenham’s player of the season.
There are three - and only three - outstanding candidates.
Despite the overall feeling of disappointment and unfulfilled expectations, this trio has performed well enough to have got into most Tottenham line ups down the years or at least made the bench. First candidate is Hugo Loris, regarded by many as a nominee for best keeper on earth never mind THFC player of the season. While the team line up has been chopped and changed with dizzying regularity his presence has been more or less constant and superlative. He’s not perfect, there have been one or two notable rickets not least the early clearance at City that led to the first of six conceded goals. But generally speaking while others have flailed, Hugo has flourished. Perhaps more than any other player Spurs need to try anything and everything to prevent him from leaving this summer. If he has a blinder for France at the World Cup expect a massive, Levy-testing bid from Paris Saint Germain.
The second nominee looked like he’d never wear a Spurs shirt again as recently as December. Emmanuel Adebayor’s dispute with AVB meant he wasn't playing at all and it was thought to be a contributing factor to the Portuguese’s downfall. As soon as Sherwood took over, Adebayor was back and back to his best. The complete centre forward, Adebayor can lead the line, hold it up, drop back and dictate the play and score every kind of goal. His attitude has been faultless since his rehabilitation and his record in terms of goals and assists compares to any in the Premier League. Like Loris, Adebayor has an uncertain future because the agreement that has Manchester City paying a portion of his huge wages ends in the summer. But, even if there was another club willing to pay him similar money, Levy and co may conclude that the kind of transfer fee required to get an equivalent replacement makes selling him nonsensical.
And our third candidate is the only one to be found among the magnificent seven new signings that were brought in pre-season, Christian Eriksen. There haven’t been many consolations for the drag of this season but chief among them must surely be the Dane. Quite simply, he is a quintessential Tottenham player. Extremely classy with a silky touch, vision and wizardly dead ball skills, Eriksen fills the heavy heart of the Spurs fan with pride and joy and, despite being played almost exclusively out on the left when his talents surely demand centre stage, he has got better and better as the season has gone on. In recent weeks he has been the team’s most potent attacking weapon and when he and Adebayor are on song together it’s a beautiful thing.
Who wins? Hard to say. For me, Eriksen slightly shades it but you’d be tempted to give it to Loris in the hope it might persuade him to stay and Adebayor is by no means far behind. If they are all still here next season and playing as well as they have this, the new boss will have a formidable nucleus around which to build the team. Lucky man.