COMMENTARY | Regardless of what takes place on Survival Sunday (Come On You Spurs & Newcastle), it's been one tremendous season for Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs entered the campaign after having exchanged Harry Redknapp for former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas, and the offseason losses of Ledley King (retirement) and Luka Modric (sold to Real Madrid) were made worse by the departure of Rafael van der Vaart to Hamburg. Despite all of the hurdles set in front of them, Tottenham surged forward and ultimately guaranteed themselves European football once again.
2012-13 Tottenham Hotspur season awards: Player of the Year
Gareth Bale began last summer as Tottenham's lone striker, featuring in that role throughout the team's US tour. Little did we know that we were getting a preview of the player's immediate future. Bale transformed from an elite winger to an elite goalscorer this season, finding a home in that slot directly underneath front men Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe. The Welsh wonder will end the campaign having swept all Player of the Year honors, and also as Europe's most coveted property.
No matter what happens this summer, my feelings on Bale as a player will not change. It was a true joy and pleasure to watch him, and I'd go so far to say that nobody in the world was better in a single month of play than was Bale in February. It will again be a nervous transfer window for Tottenham fans.
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Winner: Gareth Bale
2012-13 Tottenham Hotspur season awards: Best signing
This was a hard one because of what certain players were for Spurs this season, and what they may mean for the club down the road. Hugo Lloris is undeniably among the very top goalkeepers in all the league, and, at just 26 years of age, his best seasons may be ahead of him. Mousa Dembele has exceeded all expectations. It's a bit too early to judge either Gylfi Sigurdsson or Lewis Holtby.
That leaves Jan Vertonghen. Vertonghen announced his arrival at Spurs early in the season with a goal at Old Trafford and a tackle that likely made the previously mentioned King very proud, and things only got better from there. As versatile a defender as there is in the league, Vertonghen excelled at CB, out on the left and as an attacking presence who burned multiple opponents. Don't be at all shocked if Super Jan is Tottenham captain sooner than later.
Winner: Jan Vertonghen
2012-13 Tottenham Hotspur season awards: Top result
My immediate thought was to go with the 3-1 victory over Manchester City on April 21, a result that kept Tottenham's Champions League dreams alive. After looking back, though, I'm actually choosing that heart-stopping 3-2 win at West Ham. That victory capped off what was a magical month of February for Spurs, and it also provided us with a spectacular wonder goal that I won't soon forget.
Most importantly for Spurs, that win also gave the squad a boost heading into their home contest against rivals Arsenal. Just how important was that particular match for Tottenham? They wouldn't even have a chance of earning Champions League on Judgment Sunday had they dropped points to the Gunners on that day.
2012-13 Tottenham Hotspur season awards: Worst result
The losses to Newcastle and Norwich City in the opening third of the season stung, as did the 5-2 defeat at the Emirates. Spurs failing to win at now relegated Wigan on April 27 could, when all is said and done, prove to be fatal for Tottenham's Champions League aspirations. That Wigan were fighting for their EPL lives at the time and also on a FA Cup high means little. A true Champions League team has to win that game. Instead, Spurs needed a late goal to earn a single point, and they now require help if they are to avoid having to settle for Europa League for the third straight season.
2012-13 Tottenham Hotspur season awards: Biggest disappointment
Adebayor is the easy answer here, but I decided to give the Togo international a break. Losing Sandro to injury back in January was a massive blow for Spurs, and there's an argument to be had that he and not Bale is currently Tottenham's most VALUABLE player. Scott Parker, as hard as he works, has not been able to repeat his achievements of last season after returning from an Achilles injury, and the gap in talent between the two midfielders is unmistakeable. I have no doubt that Spurs would have at least three additional points heading into May 19 had Sandro remained healthy.
The hope is that Spurs fans will be able to enter Memorial Day weekend without having to ask such "what if?" questions.
Zac has been covering Tottenham Hotspur, Major League Soccer, New York Red Bulls, the USMNT and other soccer leagues for Yahoo! Sports since 2010.
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