And there we have it. The season is finally over. Tottenham claim 5th spot and the poisoned chalice of Europa League, with the extra special bonus of not having to start our campaign early. Straight into the group stages we go for yet another half hearted attempt at progression with Thursday nights stagnating our Sunday afternoon kick-offs. It's not been all doom and gloom. Has it? That might depend on your disposition and perspective and whether your expectancy levels are higher than average. All things considered we've got exactly what we've deserved.
A slightly better home record would probably have got us Champions League qualification. There is something to be said about how the very top tier of the Premier League remains in constant flux. Teams that should be miles ahead of us remain a steady sprint apart. We've had an untidy season for sure, but the gap remains reachable if we seek to quickly make up that lost ground. Those below us have either failed dramatically (Liverpool obviously requiring another £100M to win the title) whilst others have excelled beyond predictions (dismantled Southampton).
Mauricio Pochettino has received his THFC baptism, avoiding drowning, although at times has required a float to remain above water. He came to Spurs, like so many, with a philosophy and worked out very quickly that he lacked the ilk of players required to sustain discipline. So much so that Ryan Mason pushed himself ahead of more experienced and expensive players. The whole debate about being able to work with the squad at his disposal proved to be erratic mostly because of the lack of genuine quality in key areas and our collection of underachieving misfits incapable of galvanising form. Add to it Pochettino's somewhat frustrating lack of acceptance for more regular rotation, we exhausted all fuel towards the end, running on empty. It was still enough for that fifth spot. It might have turned out differently had we won the League Cup. Momentum was all but lost in the post-match misery of that day.
I knew this season would be a slog. My hopes concerned the form of certain players like Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela. The former has failed to ignite in two seasons at the Lane. The latter was meant to provide fireworks but there's hardly been any spark. Danny Rose has performed admirably well. A rouge inclusion in our 'best bits' from the 2015 season. Much maligned, was mocked when we gave him a five year contract. Rose isn't perfect but is testament to hard graft and coaching. But it's okay if you still don't like him because I don't think he likes us that much either. The scapegoat factor often tarnishes our volatile relationships with players. Harry Kane remains our saviour whilst Hugo Lloris has been our saver. As the summer kicks on, we have to wait and see if our keeper remains at the club or if the patient Michel Vorm finally gets a promotion.
Untidy season it has been. We now wait for a more tidy rebuild as we look ahead to 2016. For Spurs, it's always about 'next season'.
More depthy season review on its way.