An A-Z of Tottenham Hotspur's 2013

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Let's take a look back at what has been an eventful year on and off the pitch for Tottenham Hotspur

2013 promised much for Tottenham Hotspur, with an in-form Gareth Bale taking a lot of the headlines throughout the year. There has been much change at the club, and it could have been looked back as a good year for the club, until the events of the last month or so. Here is an A-Z of the club's year. At the time of writing Spurs have yet to appoint AVB's successor. 

A - Adebayor

An indifferent year in Emmanuel Adebayor's career. His first season at the club (2011-2012) was superb, but last season was not as successful. It was the intention to offload him this year, but his big wages have proved a stumbling block. He was barely given a chance under AVB this season, but was thrown straight in under Sherwood and scored. He could be given more of a chance next year, and he may turn his Spurs career around.

B - Bale

Perhaps the most talked about footballer this summer. Will he? Won't he? I think it's fair to say Bale had made his own mind up quickly, that he will. He wanted the move to Real Madrid and he eventually got it. In return Spurs received a world record transfer fee of £85 million. Unfortunately for Spurs, the players they reinvested that cash in have yet to show their value. Bale has settled in superbly at Madrid however.

C - Capello

Fabio Capello was understood to be a favourite to replace Andre Villas-Boas. A name that not many would welcome with a return to England. His time with England ended on a sour note, and there were a few sour notes in the middle of his spell as well. His links with Franco Baldini provided the speculation.

D - Defoe

Jermain Defoe continued his superb goalscoring record in the Europa League. Preferred to Roberto Soldado in Europe he has scored seven goals in five games this season. Now the club's top goalscorer in Europe. Spurs have struggled for goals all season though, and Defoe could be heading off to Toronto FC in the new year.

E - Europa League

AVB always said he wanted to take the competition seriously. They came through tough ties against Lyon and Inter to reach the quarter finals of the competition in April before surprisingly losing to FC Basel on penalties. This season they have sailed through to the knockout stages and will face Juande Ramos' Dnipro in the next round.

F - FA Cup

Another competition where Tottenham were beaten by the underdogs. After overcoming Coventry City in the third round, they faced an away tie against Leeds United. The Championship outfit beat them 2-1 despite a strong team being put out by AVB.

G - Goals

The departure of Gareth Bale in 2013 had a bigger impact on Tottenham scoring goals than many thought it would. Bale was such a creative player and now that was all gone. They had only managed 15 goals from the first 16 league games. Soldado has scored four goals in the league but three of them have come from the penalty spot.

H - Hoddle

Another manager linked with the job after Villas-Boas was sacked was former Spurs boss, Glenn Hoddle. Someone who came to prominence again this year after joining the FA panel. He has said he wants to get back into the game and it could happen sooner or later.

I - Inept performances

Inept displays against Manchester City and Liverpool were the games that cost Andre Villas-Boas his job. They lost 6-0 and 5-0 respectively and you simply cannot get away with those results against two of your title rivals. The team looked clueless in these games and simply couldn't contain the attacking prowess of both sides.

J - Jose Mourinho

Having been Mourinho's number two previously, great things were always expected of AVB. It hasn't worked out for him at Chelsea or Tottenham and it may be due to comparisons with Mourinho and being in his limelight put him under pressure.

K - King

2013 was the first year since 1999 that club legend Ledley King did not appear in a game for the club. The former club captain retired at the end of the 2012 season, but now continues to represent the club at an ambassadorial level. He also released his autobiography this year; KING: My Autobiography.

L - Lamela

Erik Lamela was the third man to break Tottenham Hotspur's transfer record this summer when he joined for Roma for £30 million.  He has yet to settle in and adapt to the English game though, but fans are remaining patient with him, and there have been glimpses of his talent.

M - Managerial record

Despite being sacked by the club, Andre Villas-Boas was actually the most successful Spurs manager since 1946 based on win percentages. AVB took charge of 80 games and led the side to wins in 44 of those games giving him a 55% win record. Bettered only by Arthur Turner (1942-1946, 55.1%) and Frank Bretell (1898-1899, 58.73%).

N - New players

Tottenham brought in a lot of players in 201, and it seems as if it was too many now. They went all out, trying to bring in some of the world's best talent, and at first it seemed they had bought well. It may eventually turn out they have, but all those new players at once have so far taken a long time to gel.

O - Outgoings

There was lots of upheaval at the club in 2013, aside from Bale, many other first team squad players left. Steven Caulker, Tom Huddlestone, William Gallas, Scott Parker and Clint Dempsey all departed the club. Dempsey left for Seattle Sounders but looks set to return to Fulham on loan in January. Caulker and Huddlestone have both become key players for Cardiff City, and Hull City respectively.

P - Pressure

Due to transfer spending exceeding £100m there was a lot of pressure on the club, and they are expected to compete for a top four place this year. That is still a potential achievement as they are only five points away from that spot, but it has clearly had an effect on the squad. The new signings have been expected to deliver straight away, when in truth they need a good few months to gel when there is so many of them.

Q - Quite Interesting

Tottenham have only won 38% of their home league games so far this season, but have won 63% of their away ones. They have also kept clean sheets in 38% of their home games, and 50% of their away games.

R - Real Madrid

Real Madrid have had a big impact on Tottenham's year. It is unlikely that any other club would have forked out £85 million for Gareth Bale, and things could have been oh so different if he stayed. Spurs were also chasing Fabio Coentrao either on a loan or permanent deal but never materialised, which has since left them short at left-back.

S - Sherwood

Tim Sherwood finally got a chance at management this year. He has been on the backroom staff at Spurs since 2008 and is a highly rated coach. Blackburn Rovers had an approach rejected for him last year, and after AVB left he was left in charge on a temporary basis. Now made manager on an 18 month contract, the win over Southampton tells us it could be an exciting spell ahead.

T - Townsend

What a year it has been for this man. He linked up with Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers at the start of the year in a loan deal and it worked wonders for him. He began this season on fire for Spurs with some match winning performances. He was handed an England call-up which was a surprise to some, but he instantly showed he deserved it with some mature, exciting performances. Looks a sure bet to be travelling to Brazil now.

U - Unconscious debate

On the 3rd November this year, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was involved in an unfortunate collision with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, which knocked Lloris unconscious. He was out for a long time, and despite this he said he was prepared to play on. He was assessed and allowed to carry on. He caused a huge debate after the game though, and some insisted that he should have to leave the field after being knocked out. I still don't know why the club even took the risk when they had a great keeper in Brad Friedel on the bench.

V - Villas-Boas

Tottenham had a promising first season under AVB and a there was a lot of hope for this season. Where did it all go wrong for him? Rightly or wrongly after the 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool it wasn't a surprise to see Daniel Levy take action. That defeat and the Man City one ultimately showed that Tottenham were still inferior to their rivals despite the heavy investment. Only time will tell though, whether his replacement can do any better, and whether it actually was AVB's fault.

W - Walker

Kyle Walker established himself in the Tottenham Hotpsur team even further in 2013 and now looks like he will be in the starting eleven for England in next summer's World Cup. Glen Johnson has had a few injury problems this year, and Walker has taken his chance. Himself and Townsend look could well line up on the right hand side of the pitch together.

X - X Factor

No not the programme, but rather Gareth Bale again. He had the X factor for Spurs and could win games by himself for them. There doesn't seem to be a player at the club currently who has that bit of magic under the belt that could change a game. Perhaps Lamela will become that player in time, but for now it is something Spurs are missing.

Y - The Y word

I won't type it, but I'm sure you all know what I mean. It's a word Tottenham fans have been warned not to use. The club has an historical association with the Jewish community and the word has been adopted by the Spurs faithful. The word itself is not rude or offensive, but can be said to have negative connotations. It caused great debate amongst many in 2013 even David Cameron.

Z - Zeki Fryers

With Benoit Assou-Ekotto out on loan at QPR this season, it has been an opportunity for Fryers to get some games under his belt. He has played five times in Europe and 2013 has been a year of slow progression for him. Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Naughton have also occupied the left-back slot on other occasions. A predict a loan move for the 21-year-old in 2014. 

image: © firepower23

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