On the final day of this Premier League season, Spurs find themselves in a very familiar position. And with the last game of their campaign against an Everton side in good form, the Tottenham faithful had very little to get excited about. The struggle to reach the fifth spot ahead of Liverpool came down to the last game, and with the winner avoiding extra games to reach the Europa League group stages, Mauricio Pochettino would’ve hoped to keep his team playing as little games as possible.
This in mind, the Spurs fans were surprised to find that the Argentine manager had chosen a completely different tactic for today’s game, the 3-5-2 formation. This sparked debate about whether this would work or not, and whether or not Spurs had already conceded defeat by playing a completely new style.
Rather surprisingly, Pochettino’s gamble paid off, massively. Tottenham looked a completely rejuvenated team; it may have been the stress relieved from the now over top-four chase, but something clicked in the team. Whilst Everton did have the majority of chances (though most of them through pure luck) Tottenham played a quick passing, stylish game, the sort of style that Pochettino has been pursuing all season. Spurs looked uncharacteristically strong at the back, even without star performer Danny Rose, and their attacking football was a joy to behold. This was reflected twenty four minutes in when Erik Dier made a Beckham-like cross into Harry Kane, who ploughed through the Toffees’ defence and slammed the ball pass Tim Howard to put Spurs ahead. The remainder of the first half was equally as exciting, with Tottenham’s football really giving the crowd something to cheer, but no goals came from their efforts.
Half time gave some much needed thinking time to Roberto Martinez, but it paid off as Everton came out a much better looking side. They seemed to have figured out Tottenham and combated their attempts with their own, and gave Spurs a much better fight in the opening minutes of the second half. This rapid turnaround from the Toffees did not dishearten Tottenham however, and they quickly adapted with a smart substitution by Mauricio Pochettino to introduce defensive midfielder Benjamin Stambouli. Spur’s quick adjustment meant that they rapidly regained their foothold in the game, and managed to hold off any of Everton’s efforts on goal for the remainder of the game, despite the introduction of the immensely disruptive Steven Naismith. His introduction broke the flow of the game, and caused a number of rows and tackles in what was a relatively peaceful game. This caused the remaining twenty minutes to be slightly less entertaining for both sets of fans, chances still came for both sides, but there were no more goals for Tottenham in the last game of the season.
The second half ended as it started, but no one can deny the amazing performance Tottenham put in, an extremely positive send off to the fans at the end of this rollercoaster of a season. Mauricio Pochettino can be proud of the work that he and his team have managed to do in their first season with the club. The introduction of a number of young talents becoming fan favourites, the capital one cup final, and the enigmatic arrival of star man Harry Kane can give the Tottenham faithful something to smile about until next season. But Pochettino’s work is far from over, and the upcoming transfer window could define where his team finishes this time next season. All in all, Tottenham are moving in the right direction, and the Spurs fans can be extremely hopeful of what the future will hold. With the prospect of the new season, new players, and new challenges in the Premier League, the Tottenham faithful should be itching to see what the future holds for their club. And if their last game of the 2014/15 season is anything to go off, the future is bright.