In our season-end player evaluation series, which we're titling "That's a Wrap," we examine all Tottenham Hotspur players who played significant minutes in Tottenham's 2014-15 season.
Saves: 122 (all comps)
Goals conceded: 55
Clean sheets: 13
Minutes played: 3,870
What went right?
Last season, Hugo Lloris was very good. This season, he was amazing. Under the auspices of new manager Mauricio Pochettino, Lloris altered his playing style significantly compared to under Andre Villas-Boas. Hugo was known as one of the best sweeper-keepers in world football prior to this season, and it was not at all uncommon to see him come charging up the pitch to collect stray balls as the defenders played AVB's suicidal high line. Under Pochettino, Hugo stuck to his line much more often, the back line didn't press as high, and Lloris turned from a fantastic sweeper-keeper to an incredible shot stopper. There were a few writers who wanted to name Hugo Lloris our Player of the Year, and in a season that didn't feature Harry Kane, he'd be hands-down the winner. His statistics are incredible. It's no wonder Real Madrid and Manchester United are looking at him.
What went wrong?
Much like with Harry Kane, not much went wrong for the Frenchman, unless you count not qualifying for the Champions League. He played out of his head this season, and though he let in a good number of goals he wasn't exactly helped by the porous midfield and defense playing in front of him. Think about that for a second: Spurs came in fifth with a dodgy defense and a world-class keeper. Hugo Lloris made a great deal of stand-on-your-head saves. Imagine what might have happened this season if Lloris weren't there, if someone merely competent, like Michel Vorm, were the primary goalkeeper. Scary, isn't it?
The only other minor quibble is that some have criticized Hugo's distribution on throws and kicks. But if you have a keeper that can save your ass on a regular basis and keep out goals, distribution is the least of your concerns.
Everything's up in the air for Hugo. The rumors are he's discontented with life at Tottenham as he desperately wants to play in the Champions League and at the highest levels of club football. And who can blame him? He's legitimately one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and no matter how much he may like life in north London, it has to be frustrating for him to be stuck at a club that just can't seem break through into the top four. He's recognized as one of the best players in his position and he's now seemingly in demand for his services.
The bad news is that he's also at a club that is known for playing hard-ball with its prized possessions. It'll take a big, perhaps ludicrous, bid to get Daniel Levy to part ways with his goalkeeper, but the signing of Michel Vorm last summer indicated that it was at least in the realm of possibility that Hugo could be playing in different colors next season. For what it's worth, even if he does stay another year Spurs fans should probably not get used to seeing him in a Spurs shirt unless Tottenham are able to break into the top four next season. In the mean time, let's enjoy what we have.