The 2019/20 Premier League campaign will certainly go down as one of the strangest ever for everyone involved in football. For Tottenham Hotspur specifically, this season has been a very mixed bag.
In what will surely be looked upon as a season of transitional change, Spurs have enjoyed plenty of high and lows but now look down the barrel of a finale that could see them finish outside a European spot for the first time in over a decade.
Finishing fourth in the Premier and runners-up in the UEFA Champions League, many tipped Tottenham to really challenge for the league title under Mauricio Pochettino at the start of the 2019/2020 season.
Betting fans and bookies, who set aside online poker for a flutter on the football, all expected the North London side to once again challenge the rest of the ‘big 6’ for a Champion’s League place.
An unprecedented slow start set the standard for the much of the season, however, as Spurs managed to win only 3 of the first 12 games and were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Colchester in the third round.
Because of this, Pochettino was sacked and José Mourinho was brought in to steady the ship.
The special one’s effect
Mourinho’s start to life at Tottenham was a welcome one, with the club winning four out of their next five games.
Mixed results began to plague Tottenham’s season after this though, as fantastic wins at home to Manchester City gave way to disappointing losses to relegation-battling sides like Southampton.
Being held to draws by the likes of Burnley and Watford didn’t help the cause, while Spurs helplessly watched clubs like Wolves and Sheffield United overtake them in the table.
Mourinho, one of the most decorated managers in the Premier League’s history, found himself managing a team unable to escape their mid-table form, with a squad constantly facing injuries and suspensions.
Spurs’ talisman and club captain Harry Kane, the club’s prime goal-getter, was once again out for an extended period with a thigh injury, missing key games against Liverpool and Chelsea which Spurs went on to lose.
New, big-money signings like Steven Bergwijn and Tanguy Ndombele have had their moments but haven’t made the lasting impact that was expected of them when they were brought in.
Heung-Min Son, a hugely creative force in the side, has missed a total of eight games this season due to either suspension or injury, meaning the side has often needed to be chopped and changed across the course of the campaign.
The lack of consistency, as well as the recent in-fighting amongst some players, has made it clear there are frustrations with the performances from those both outside and within the club.
With tough tests like in-form Arsenal and Champions League hopefuls Leicester to come, Spurs must get out of their mid-table rut to have any hope of coming close to a European spot next season. But after failing to beat hugely out-of-form Bournemouth, they’re currently on track for the lowest league finish since 2007-8, when they ended the season in the bottom half.