“It will be difficult to do worse”. That’s the words of Hugo Lloris on Tottenham Hotspur’s season with the club missing out once again on Champions League football.
The French goalkeeper has launched a scathing assessment on his sides Premier League campaign and stated that this season hasn’t been good enough for them.
With a new manager being sought at White Hart Lane ahead of the 2014-2015 season there have been calls for Lloris to be handed the captaincy in North London, as the club looks to build for a renewed assault next season on the top-four.
The France number one is a popular figure at Spurs and is currently captain of Les Bleus heading into the 2014 World Cup this summer. Now the Tottenham faithful want to see him take control of the club armband and could be a major factor in keeping hold of Lloris this summer.
Rumours are rife that Paris St Germain are courting the former Lyon man and Lloris is apparently ready to listen to the French champions, however offering the 27-year old the captains armband could convince him to stay for at least one more season.
Watching Spurs this season has been very painful to watch, with many heavy defeats putting paid to a season which had so much promise back in August. It has been clear for a while that Tottenham lack a leader but they have a perfect candidate in the shape of Lloris.
According to the Frenchman his side have threw in the white flag too many times this season with only one point taken off the top four, a poor return for a side chasing Champions League football.
We’ve had a lot of bad defeats. This season there has sometimes been the feeling that we have given up. Especially against the top four or five teams.
We have had a lot of bad defeats. This season there has sometimes been the feeling that we have given up. We can’t allow this kind of behaviour.
We have to show more character. We did it in other games but we have to keep our mentality in every game at the best level.”
Lloris’ words will be a breath of fresh air to the Tottenham faithful who have grown frustrated in recent months with their side’s performances and lack of desire.
Tim Sherwood’s comments in recent weeks about the playing squad, certain individuals and his team’s performances has raised an eyebrow or two, with the fans now wanting the season to be over.
A comment which sums up Lloris as a person was the one he made when asked about his Man of the Match award he won following Tottenham’s 3-1 win over Fulham last weekend.
Most goalkeepers would be grinning from ear-to-ear but not the Frenchman. Instead the shot-stopper even stated that he had only been awarded it because his team-mates weren’t pulling their own weight!
It is always a pleasure to receive that kind of thing but if the goalkeeper is Man of the Match then it means the team didn’t do the job properly.
I’m a competitor and I always try to do my best for the team. I want to see my team-mates do the same.”
Strong words yes but words which will be music to the ears of Spurs fans. All season they have been waiting for someone to stand up and be counted, and normally that would be from the manager. However with the relationship between the fans and manager at an all-time low – even lower than it was under Andre Villas Boas – the words from Lloris will adhere him to their hearts even more.
If Tottenham fans were worried about losing their goalkeeper in the summer than his comments regarding the Europa League will put them at ease – for now. Spurs have now missed out on qualifying for Europe’s premier competition for the third season in succession and look destined for Europa League football next season.
Lloris though would rather play in Europe than not at all and claims he is looking forward to next season’s Europa League campaign. He said: “The Europa League is a European competition. Of course the first group stage there is not famous teams but when you start to play the last-32, last-16 it starts to be a great competition.
When you are a competitor, it is always a pleasure to play a European competition. Last year we were close, losing in the quarter-finals to a good team, Basel, and this season we had some regrets after the defeat at home to Benfica. But we were close in the second leg to going through. That is football and, as I said, we have to learn about that and try to be stronger next season.”
It is unclear who will be installed as Spurs third manager in under a year however one of the first jobs on hand will be to sort out the captaincy issue. Arguably being Spurs’ player of the season, and a leader on and off the field, Lloris has firmly rubber stamped his case to be given the captains armband.
Spurs fans would like nothing more than to see the Frenchman lead out his side each week, and with his damning assessment of their season, has further helped his cause.