Tottenham Hotspur’s incredible season has come to an end. Just like last season, their title charge came up short, but unlike last time, it was the relegated North East side facing Spurs on the end of a drubbing on the final day of the season.
Like last year, too, there are plenty of positives for Mauricio Pochettino’s young side to take into next season – when they’ll have another season’s experience under their belts, and racked up another year of progress as one team.
For the last two years in a row, they have gained more points than all but one team in the league (Liverpool this season), showing their youth doesn’t mean a lack of character.
Indeed, their youth is perhaps a positive: Spurs side finished the season with the youngest average age in the Premier League.
And just like some of the other young and exciting sides around Europe, they have also proved themselves to be exciting in attack: this year, they have had more shots than any other team in Europe’s top five leagues, taking more shots from outside the box than anyone else in England, too.
Importantly, these aren’t wasted, wayward efforts – more shots found their way to the target than any other team managed this year, and has meant that Spurs finish the season with more goals than any other Premier League side.
There are negatives to that, however.
For the last three seasons, much of the goalscoring burden has been left to Harry Kane, and although this year he’s been helped out by Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min pitching in more than they ever have before, Kane has still scored 34% of his team’s goals. In the Premier League’s top seven, only Romelu Lukaku at Everton has a higher proportion than this.
On the other hand, last season, Leicester City won the league by fielding the fewest players in the division. This year, Tottenham have fielded the third fewest: even though they have played in Europe, Pochettino clearly knows his best side, and they continue to do their jobs properly.
There really is only one stat that Tottenham will hope to change next season: the Premier League table itself. Other than their league position, they seem to have everything in place to win the league.
It will be harder next year because you’d expect the Manchester clubs to be much better, whilst Champions League football will require Liverpool and Chelsea to strengthen. Spurs, however, have a team of players who will get better as a collective, rather than as a group of individual parts. And that will stand them in great stead.