Tottenham Hotspur 2017/18 Season Review: Spurs secure Champions League football again but fail to lift any silverware

Tottenham faced a season of highs and lows with a brave European campaign but falling short yet again in the fight for silverware. But for a team playing 38 league games away from their usual home, it was not all bad for the Lilywhites.

Tottenham Hotspur 2017/18 Season Review: Spurs secure Champions League football again but fail to lift any silverware
Tottenham Hotspur 2017/18 season review. (Photo: Getty Images/Warren Little)

After ending the 2016/17 season with an unbeaten home record in the final season played at White Hart LaneTottenham Hotspur faced a full season playing their home games at Wembley. 

The Lilywhites had secured second spot and a second consecutive season playing amongst Europe's elite in the Champions League

However, playing a season at a stadium which Spurs have struggled at over the years having only won two out of the 14 games played - Tottenham's mettle was to come under scrutiny. 

Mixed views on summer dealings

Losing their first-choice right-back in Kyle Walker to Manchester City, Spurs' summer of transfers could be viewed as their usual mixed bag of dealings. 

Walker had a turbulent end to his Tottenham career having been alienated from the squad following the rumours of his planned departure. 

Mauricio Pochettino replaced Walker with the established PSG right-back, Serge Aurier

Daniel Levy also broke Tottenham's transfer record fee through the £42m purchase of the young Colombian centre-back Davinson Sanchez who had enjoyed a successful season at Ajax

The Spurs camp was also rocked in mid-August when an exclusive interview from Danny Rose arose regarding his disapproval towards the wage structure of the club. 

 

Shaky start and group of death 

Tottenham began their season where they left off in the previous campaign. Pulling off a professional 2-0 victory on the opening game of the season against newly-promoted Newcastle United

One week later, Spurs hosted their first Premier League clash at their new temporary home. London rivals Chelsea visited the national stadium and a Marcos Alonso brace led the Blues to a 2-1 victory. 

Spurs ended their opening month of the season with a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Burnley. A 92nd-minute Chris Wood goal denied The Lilywhites of their first league win at Wembley. 

The Champions League draw provide Spurs with the 'group of death' as they added to Group H. Facing reigning the champions in Real MadridBorussia Dortmund and APOEL Nicosia - it did not look promising. 

Back on track

September brought a new lease of optimism for Spurs. Kicking off Harry Kane's goal-scoring form in 3-0 away victory over Everton the Spurs striker ended his 'usual' baron August spell. 

Tottenham faced their first Champions League game at home to Borussia Dortmund which saw them sail to a 3-1 victory thanks to a Heung-min Son opener and a Harry Kane brace. Unexpected by many, Spurs flexed their muscle against one of Europe's most established clubs. 

Spurs continued to build momentum with away victories to West Ham and Huddersfield Town

Pochettino's side ended September with a convincing 3-0 away victory to APOEL Nicosia as Harry Kane bagged his first ever Champions League hat-trick. 

European dream 

Tottenham continued their impressive European form with a 1-1 draw away to Real Madrid. Raphael Varane's first-half own-goal was cancelled out by a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty. However, Spurs hung on to clinch a deserved point against the current holders. 

Following the impressive point at the Bernabeu, Spurs put Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side to the sword in a 4-1 drubbing. Kane grabbed another brace, Dele Alli and Son also added their names to the scoresheet to put the Lilywhites third in the league. 

However, Tottenham were quickly brought back down to earth with an early knockout of the Carabo Cup by West Ham and then defeat to top-four rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford. 

November brought one of Tottenham's most memorable games in their history. An emphatic 3-1 victory at home to Real Madrid firmly put any doubters of their Champions League bottle to rest. Dele Alli bagged a brace and Christian Eriksen sealed the deal to silence the current champions. 

However, yet again Spurs were knocked off their perch, this time by arch-rivals Arsenal. The Gunners proved the more hungry in the north London derby as they eased to a comfortable 2-0 victory. 

There was no time for Spurs to dwell on their poor performance at the Emirates Stadium as days later they faced Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion. Spurs came from a goal behind to grab all three points in a 2-1 victory. 

 

Consistency is key

Over the period of the end of 2017 and the turn of the year saw Spurs grow in confidence and consistency. 

After a dispiriting 4-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium, Spurs went on a 14 game unbeaten league run. 

A 5-2 victory on Boxing Day against Southampton saw Harry Kane net another hat-trick but more importantly break Alan Shearer's record for the most Premier League goals in a calendar year - finishing on 39 goals. 

Spurs finished January by capping off a successful start to 2018 by beating the Red Devils 2-0 at Wembley. Eriksen opened the scoring after just 11-seconds and Phil Jones' own-goal secured Spurs the points.

Tough run

February continued the tough run of fixtures for Spurs, beginning with a dramatic 2-2 draw at Anfield. In what surely was the most controversial game of the season Harry Kane scored a 95th-minute penalty to snatch a point and seal his 100th Premier League goal. 

There was no stopping Harry Kane from scoring as his second-half header earned Spurs the bragging rights in what would prove to be Arsene Wenger's last ever north London derby - a 1-0 Spurs win. 

Days after, Spurs pulled off a dramatic comeback from two goals away to JuventusGonzalo Higuain scored twice in the first 10-minutes but a goal from Kane reduced the deficit before half-time. Eriksen sealed the draw with a low-driven free-kick to beat Gianluigi Buffon

Meanwhile, Spurs progressed to the FA Cup quarter-finals after seeing off League One strugglers Rochdale at their second attempt after the Dale earned a second-leg trip to Wembley. 

However, Tottenham's valiant Champions League run came to a crashing halt as two goals within five-minutes at Wembley saw Juventus advance to the quarter-finals on aggregate.

 

League and FA Cup still to play for  

Having been eliminated from the Champions League, Spurs still had the FA Cup and a top-four spot to play for. 

Spurs bounced back in style after the Juventus defeat with a 4-1 victory away to Bournemouth. However, the win was tarnished by the worrying injury to their main-man Harry Kane.

Kane had suffered from yet another ankle ligament strain on the same ankle he had injured twice before and was set to sit out for over a month

Without Kane, Spurs steamed through to the FA Cup semi-finals after a 3-0 thumping away to Swansea City. Manchester United awaited in the semi-final. 

Easter Sunday brought an ironic 'resurrection' of Harry Kane who returned much quicker than expected from injury. Tottenham smashed the 28-year record without a win at Stamford Bridge in the league. Dele Alli's brace and Eriksen's sumptuous strike saw Spurs silence Antonio Conte's men. 

With competition fierce in the race for a top-four spot, Spurs had all but confirmed a place in next season's Champions League as the victory at Stamford Bridge provided Spurs with a 10 point cushion on the Blues. 

Marathon not a sprint

Victory away to league strugglers Stoke City brought more controversy surrounding Harry Kane. Kane appealed Tottenham's second goal after he believed Eriksen's cross had brushed his shoulder before beating Jack Butland

Kane won the appeal but he would not hear the end of his decision as it caused a social media storm which would linger over the Englishman for the remainder of the season. 

Spurs were stopped in their tracks as they tasted their first league defeat since December 2017. Once again, it was Pep Guardiola's Manchester City side which saw Spurs come unstuck in a 3-1 defeat. 

This defeat began what would become a worrying run of performances from Pochettino's men. 

Serge Aurier was at fault when Spurs threw away a one-goal lead at the AMEX Stadium in May. The Ivorian gave away a penalty, moments after Kane provided Spurs with the lead and Pascal Groß converted to snatch a point for the Seagulls. 

10 years without silverware

Spurs were able to put their league form to one side as they faced an FA Cup semi-final clash against Manchester United.

However, despite Dele Alli giving Spurs the dream start by putting his side one goal ahead.

For the second year in a row, Spurs fell short at the semi-final of the FA Cup with goals from Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera completing the comeback for Jose Mourinho's men. 

The result brought a dark cloud over what had been a successful season to date considering the Lilywhites had played a season away from their usual home. 

 

Champions League football confirmed

With Conte's Blues now breathing down the necks of the Lilywhites, Spurs moved one step closer to securing a third season amongst Europe's elite through a 2-0 victory over Javi Gracia's Watford

The season was petering out for many sides, but West Brom somehow remained alive following some remarkable results under the management of interim boss Darren Moore

Moore's unbeaten run would continue as Jake Livermore's 92nd-minute goal snatched all three points from his former side who looked to be lacking ideas going forward. 

However, in Tottenham's penultimate game of the season Champions League football was confirmed for next season with a 1-0 win against Newcastle United.

Spurs closed their campaign with their final game at their temporary home. An action packed 5-4 victory over Leicester was a fitting finale to a season which had monumental highs but also some very harsh lows.

Tottenham Hotspur finished the 2017/18 season in third place, finishing in the top-four for a third consecutive year. 

 

The future is bright, the future is Lilywhite

Although the campaign ended without silverware once again, any Spurs fan would have been pleased with the prospect of finishing third in their season away from home.

Whether Tottenham's transfer policy will change over the summer and whether they can hold onto Toby Alderweireld is another question.

Spurs went into the campaign with a 'Wembley curse' and finished with victories over some of Europe's best at the national stadium. 

Now, Spurs will return home to their new state of the art stadium where they will christen the 62,000 seat stadium with Champions League football.