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Sully 'honoured' with award

Posted on 4 June 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Neil Sullivan insists he is ‘honoured’ to be voted by fans as the Official Spurs Website’s Player of the Season.

Our outstanding goalkeeper ran away with the vote — polling a massive 1,861 of the 2,237 votes cast. Gary Doherty was second with Stephen Carr third.

‘Sully’ declared: “It’s a great honour to win any Player of the Season award, but to come to a club as big as Tottenham and win one is fantastic.

“Obviously, you do your best every game but it’s nice to be appreciated by the fans. They are the ones who pay the money to come and watch you week in, week out and as I said, I’m honoured they have voted for me.”

It was Manchester United’s number one — Fabien Barthez — who was selected as the Premiership’s top goalkeeper in the PFA team of the season, but according to statistics provided by Opta Index, Sullivan ranks among the best.

Barthez was again ranked top by Opta with Leicester’s Tim Flowers second and Sully third.

He topped the charts for most saves made and most saves made from shots inside the penalty area, 142 and 84 respectively, while his catching success rate from crosses is 98 per cent, bettered only by David Seaman of Arsenal and Chelsea’s Carlo Cudicini, both of whom had far less crosses to deal with.

At the end of the day though, these facts and figures don’t always tell the whole story and our fans who have watched Neil this season know it’s his consistent and wholehearted performances during the campaign that stand him out as a top class goalkeeper.

He almost single-handedly restricted our neighbours Arsenal to a point here in December with a string of superb stops and kept them at bay for much of the FA Cup semi-final before being beaten by Robert Pires’ late winner. These kind of performances have been commonplace this season and Neil admits he’s been happy with his first year at the Lane.

“Personally I’ve been pleased, it’s worked out quite well for the first season,” he said. “There are still things to work and improve on, but overall I’m satisfied with the way it’s gone.

“I think what you look for when you come to a new club is to get consistency and if you can perform well over the course of the nine or 10 months, you’ll be more than happy. Fortunately, I feel I’ve managed to do that.

“On the team front, we’ve been in outstanding form at home but have let ourselves down a bit away from here.

“If we’d taken something out of half the away games we lost, we would be up there challenging for a European spot.

“The worst thing is we can’t put our finger on why we didn’t do well on our travels. Once it started to become an issue, we tried to work our what we were doing differently in away games but never really got to the bottom of it.”

While Neil has been in fine form on the pitch, it’s been a season of change behind the scenes and our Scottish international number one is looking forward to seeing how the new-look Spurs gets on next season.

“It’s not just Glenn’s arrival that’s brought about the changes, it’s everywhere, behind the scenes as well. We’ve now got new owners, new management and new ideas. Obviously, we didn’t have that long this season for Glenn to put all his ideas across but that will happen next year, starting in pre-season and we’ll see the difference next season. I’m sure it will be a positive one.”

For now though, Sully can look back on a successful season which has culminated for him in our website’s Player of the Season trophy…the first of many trophies he wins with us, we hope.

By Jon Rayner