December was a mixed month for Tottenham. They took early steps to recovery under Andre Villas-Boas in the opening games against Manchester United, Fulham and Sunderland but it all fell apart against Liverpool which culminated in a parting of the ways. The future looked uncertain but with the internal appointment of Tim Sherwood as Head Coach, he has managed to turn things around, taking 10 points from his first four Premier League matches. Which of the players came through the difficult month with their head held high in the eyes of the HotspurHQ readers?
December is always a busy month with 9 matches. With the change of manager, and the Cup games plus an increasing injury list, more players have had the opportunity to prove their worth over the past month. In total 14 players got a mention in the Polls held after every game to find which three players deserve credit for their performance.
Two points of note –
- following the Liverpool defeat, the highest vote went to ‘no-one’, fans believing that none of the players came out of the heavy loss with any credit and
- having been sidelined by AVB, Emmanuel Adebayor polled strongly in the final 4 games of the month after being recalled by Tim Sherwood.
The HotspurHQ ‘Spurs’ awards take in the 9 matches this month, 7 in the League plus 1 Europa League game and the Capital One Cup tie. After each match the readers of our blog have the opportunity to vote for the player who has been deserving of his ‘Spurs’. Fourteen players have been placed in the top three on at least one occasion – the player with the highest % votes cast in each match receives 3 points, second gets two and 3rd claims 1 point.
Hugo Lloris – 1st
In spite of conceding 5 goals at home to Liverpool, Hugo Lloris topped the poll for December. He finished top in the game against Fulham were his performance kept Spurs in the game which they then went on to win. He was also top in the home game against West Brom where he was again called upon to make a number of important saves. He finished second in the two defeats during the month, against Liverpool and West Ham, showing that the fans didn’t hold him responsible for the losses. The season started well for Lloris but after having concussion in the game at Everton in early November, Lloris’ displays had been a little uncertain but he appears to be returning to his best.
Emmanuel Adebayor – 2nd
Emmanuel Adebayor made his first start of the season in the sixth match of the month in the Cup defeat to West Ham. He scored the Spurs goal that night and showed total commitment and was very influential for 78 minutes until being taken off due to lack of match fitness. Two minutes after he was substituted West Ham equalised. He topped the poll in the Cup tie and at Southampton where he scored twice and was a constant problem to the home defenders. He had a quieter game against WBA but was again an important player in the win over Stoke, finishing second in the poll. With Adebayor in the team we’re seeing a greater prominence from Roberto Soldado as the two strikers link up well.
Lewis Holtby – 3rd
Lewis Holtby’s greatest influence seems to be as a substitute coming on late to have a big bearing on the game. He came on against Fulham at half-time and with Spurs a goal down late in the second half, he brought greater energy to the game and scored the winning goal after 82 minutes with a stunning shot. He was second in the poll in that game and against Anzhi and was third in the win at Sunderland and in the Liverpool match. He hasn’t made an appearance since Tim Sherwood’s first game in charge.
Topping the Poll:
- Sandro was the ‘star’ turn in the draw with United when he scored a cracking goal to put Spurs 2 – 1 ahead but has been missing in recent games through injury.
- Kyle Walker topped the poll for his all-round performance in the win at Sunderland when he was very involved and a constant danger with his forward runs. He received an honourable mention in the games against West Ham and WBA.
- Roberto Soldado scored a hat-trick against Anzhi to deservedly finish top but his goal scoring touch continues to desert him in the Premier League.
- Paulinho made a great contribution to the game against Stoke for an hour before having to go off through injury which is too keep him out for at least a month. He had just returned from a three match suspension and we saw his Brazilian class for almost the first time as he made space for others with delicate touches and flicks.
An Honourable Mention:
Mousa Dembele showed a return to form in the game against Stoke and scored in the 3 – 0 win to finish second behind Paulinho. He was also second to his midfield partner in the Manchester United game and third for his contribution against Sunderland.
Etienne Capoue had to play out of position against Sunderland with so many injuries among the central defenders. That day he played well and was second in the poll.
Christian Eriksen has also returned to the team in recent weeks and finished second against Albion when he scored the opening goal direct from a free-kick and was third against Southampton.
Aaron Lennon had two third place mentions during the month – for his play against United and Sunderland where he linked well with Walker.
Nabil Bentaleb came on to make his debut against Southampton and his very composed display meant that the young French midfield player finished second in the poll for that match.
Full backs, Danny Rose and young Ryan Fredericks and Vlad Chiriches received an honourable for their part in the games against Albion, Anzhi and Fulham respectively.
January has started well and with more big games to come, which players will stand out this month in the HotspurHQ Polls?