Cartilage Free Captain is reviewing each of Spurs' first team players and evaluating their season. The series continues today with Tottenham Hotspur striker Roberto Soldado.
Minutes played: 1,821
What went right?
It depends on the level of your expectations. If your heart aches watching him play and you just want to see him do well so you can see him smile, or if you would like nothing better than to walk up to Roberto and give him a big hug, well, maybe it wasn't so bad. By any reasonable metric, though, this season was probably Soldado's last chance to make it at Spurs, and he came up way, way short.
Soldado was the epitome of the try-hard player. It's ironic: arguably the worst signing in Tottenham Hotspur history, Soldado is nevertheless loved by wide swaths of the Spurs fan base due to his attitude, his work rate, and his willingness to bring others into play. He had a few decent games, a few moments of magic. But once again, despite five goals in all competitions, he's probably still known more for his misses than for anything else.
What went wrong?
Just about everything if you were expecting him to lead the line. And to be honest, most people were. Roberto entered the season as arguably Tottenham's #1 striker, competing with Emmanuel Adebayor. Now imagine what might have happened if Harry Kane hadn't sprung fully-formed from the skull of Tim Sherwood. Disaster! Chaos! Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria. Well, maybe not, but I bet we wouldn't have finished fifth. Soldado tried and tried and tried, but once again not much went according to plan for him.
Remember how excited we were when we signed Roberto? I miss those days.
It's not your fault. That's what I keep wanting to say. It's like that scene from Good Will Hunting: It's not your fault. All I want is to continually repeat that to him so that he has that cathartic moment where he cries and hugs me and then he'll get back to his old 30-goal scoring Spanish self. But I'm afraid it's not going to happen; in the movie Will Hunting gives up the good job to go chase after Minnie Driver, and maybe Roberto needs to leave and go after his (metaphorical) girl too. And in the end it is kind of his fault: he just didn't do enough to make it in England with Tottenham. I don't know if Roberto will be sold this summer; I think it's as likely that he stays as he goes. But either way, his role is now effectively a role player and a Europa/Cup starter, and he's way, way, way behind Harry Kane. I never, ever expected that when we signed him, I'm sad that it happened, I'm sad that he might never be great again, and oh god I'm crying now.
Grade: 2 Chirpys