As we do at the end of every season (or at least I seem to recall writing some of these posts in the past) it's time for us to assess the performances of the players in the Tottenham Hotspur squad. On the whole the squad's sixth place finish was a bit disappointing, but that doesn't mean there weren't some excellent performers. I'll be breaking down the players by position and then give them grades based on how they played. In the end end, I'll ask what you think of the grades I gave. First up, the goalkeepers.
Hugo Lloris: What can you say about Hugo that hasn't already been said? The man saved Spurs and their high line on more occasions than I can count. However, he also made his fair share of mistakes at the back. In that way, it was a bit of a mixed bag for Lloris. He recorded 14 clean sheets, good enough to tie for fourth in the league, but also had a the fourth highest goals against average among the 20 keepers with the most minutes. Only Tim Krul, Brad Guzan, John Ruddy, and David Marshall allowed more goals on average then Lloris.
Now, that's not all down to Hugo, as the backline was, for the 500th consecutive season, a total shambles and he often had a left back that didn't know much about defending. At the beginning of the season, under the more defensive coaching of Andre Villas-Boas, Lloris looked set to record his best season ever, but then a head injury and the firing of AVB conspired to create a downturn in his form. Lloris should be commended for keeping Spurs in as many games as he did, but his positioning and decision making were questionable at times and more often than not his distribution was pretty awful too. The passing from Lloris was perhaps my biggest problem with him. On the season he completed only 45% of his passes (for reference Mignolet, Vorm, and Szczesny had completion percentages in the 60's). For a team that builds out of defense, having a goalkeeper that distributes safely and responsibly is key and Lloris struggles with that this year, all to often his teammates under pressure with his passes. B.
Brad Friedel: In what is probably his last season as a professional, Brad Friedel proved an adequate backup. He's still not capable of helping Spurs' defense out by playing as a sweeper keeper like Lloris, but when he was called on Friedel performed well enough. I'm going to miss having Brad around, if only because I think he's a great leader and a good team guy. You always knew what you were going to get with him and that's all that you can ask from your backup. Steady, but unspectacular. B+.
Heurelho Gomes and Jordan Archer: Quick! Guess which of these two players was named to the 18-man squad more often. Did you guess Archer? Then give yourself a pat on the back. Archer was an unused substitute five times, Gomes only twice. Gomes is done at Spurs. I loved Gomes and he was instrumental in getting us to the Champions League a few seasons ago, but his error-proneness isn't something you want in a backup. Hopefully, he gets a move somewhere good this summer and he can return to starting. Archer on the other hand is a bit of a mystery. Young keepers either have it or don't. He's a Scottish U-21 international, but he's never played above League Two. Archer is under contract until 2015, so he needs a strong loan season next year to show he's worth keeping around. Incomplete.
Now comes the fun part. You guys get to give us your grades and any comments you might have. You're not required to leave comments, but if you do, fill in your username so that, in the unlikely event that you say something funny or interesting, I can give you appropriate credit when we publish the commentariat report cards.