Tottenham 2023/24 season review and player ratings: Van de Ven 9, Son 7, Royal 2

A look back at how the campaign played out for Ange Postecoglou's side

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Season synopsis

Premier League final position: Fifth

FA Cup: Fourth round; beaten 1-0 away to Manchester City

League Cup: Second round; drew 1-1 after 90 minutes away to Chelsea, lost 5-3 on penalties

A new manager and a team shorn of its highest-ever goalscorer was always going to make for a challenging campaign.

After the chaos of 2022/23, Ange Postecoglou was tasked with taking Tottenham back into top-four contention. The Australian enjoyed huge success in Scotland, winning two Premierships, two League Cups and the Scottish Cup during his two years at the helm of Celtic.

His arrival was greeted with a mix of optimism and skepticism, questioning whether he could recreate the success in Glasgow by restoring Spurs' place among England's best teams.

Postecoglou arrived knowing his time working with Harry Kane, club captain and team totem, would be short. The striker, whose 280 goals is likely to stand as a club record for decades to come, negotiated a move away to Bayern Munich last summer, leaving a giant hole to fill.

Son Heung-min was given the captain's armband and the South Korean initially thrived with the added responsibility. He would finish the season with 17 Premier League goals but his form along with the rest of his teammates tailed off worryingly following the 4-0 win over Aston Villa on March 10 that had put Spurs in prime position for a top-four finish.

Damaging defeats to Fulham, Newcastle, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City ultimately put paid to a Champions League return.

In retrospect, a new manager, no Harry Kane and a team that had lost its way the previous season, fifth place was probably as good as Spurs could have hoped to finish. Posteocoglou's philosophy of playmaking full-backs worked well when Destiny Udogie and Pedro Porro were fit, with Micky van de Ven's pace at centre-back the perfect foil for Cristian Romero's aggression and leadership.

Central midfield still feels a concern and whether Richarlison is the right man to fill Kane's boots is also up for question.

Best performance of season

Tottenham 4, Newcastle 1: The 3-3 draw against reigning champions Manchester City made for great drama, while the 5-2 thrashing of Burnley on the opening day - including a Son Heung-min hat-trick - was another highlight.

But the win over Newcastle on December 10, 2023 carried more significance. The last time Spurs faced the Magpies they were 3-0 down after nine minutes, and 5-0 down after 21. They would eventually lose 6-1 in what became a demoralising defeat in an abject 2022/23 campaign.

Fast forward eight months and it was a different story. Tottenham won for the first time in six matches as Richarlison's double inspired a 4-1 rout of dismal Newcastle.

Udogie put Tottenham ahead in the first half in North London and Brazil striker Richarlison doubled the lead before the break. Richarlison netted again in the second half and Son converted a late penalty as fifth-placed Tottenham moved within three points of fourth-placed Manchester City.

Joelinton's goal in the final seconds was no consolation for outclassed Newcastle as Spurs served up revenge in the coldest way possible.

Worst performance of season

Newcastle 4, Tottenham 0: Same opposition, completely different outcome. Micky van de Ven had proved an inspired signing for most of the season but he had a game to forget at St James' Park.

The Dutchman spent just as much time on his backside as he did on the ball as the defender failed to get to grips with the surface or the slippery customer that was Alexander Isak.

The Magpies’ £63 million record signing produced two sumptuous finishes either side of Anthony Gordon’s strike to take his tally for the campaign to 21 before Fabian Schar’s thunderous late header secured a 4-0 win at St James’ Park.

The scoreline flattered Tottenham and will go down as the worst so far of the Postecoglou era.

Thriller of season

Manchester City 3, Tottenham 3: Dejan Kulusevski scored a 90th-minute equaliser as Tottenham snatched a thrilling 3-3 draw at champions Manchester City.

Substitute Jack Grealish looked to have secured City's first Premier League win in three games when he struck nine minutes from time.

Pep Guardiola's side had led 2-1 at the break thanks to a Phil Foden goal after Son Heung-min had scored at both ends, but Giovani Lo Celso's superb strike made it 2-2.

With Spurs committing numerous errors, City had the chances to win convincingly but paid the price for their wastefulness.

The game ended in controversy, and with City striker Erling Haaland fuming, after play was initially allowed to go on after the forward was fouled as he played Grealish in on goal before it was then called back.

Player of season

Micky van de Ven: Guglielmo Vicario would have been in with a decent shout for best goalkeeper in the league before Arsenal horribly exposed his handling of corners.

Udogie was used as a hybrid attacking left-back that oftentimes involved him playing as Spurs' furthest forward player and Romero put in some superb performances but questions over his temperament remain.

His defensive partner, Van de Ven, was a revelation though, chipping in with vital goals, none more so than the late winner against Burnley that went some way to securing fifth place and a return to European football next season. There are few players quicker than the Dutchman, allowing the fullbacks to play advanced roles.

Goal of season

Richarlison v Everton: Pedro Porro's screamer to earn a 1-0 win over Burnley in the FA Cup was a beauty, as was Van de Ven's cracker in a 1-0 win over Luton Town, but Richarlison's sumptuous strike against former club Everton in February's 2-2 draw just edges it.

Updated: May 23, 2024, 2:39 AM