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What Statistics Say About Tottenham Hotspur’s Season


white hart lane What Statistics Say About Tottenham Hotspurs Season

Photo by The Gaffer

There have been many reasons to cheer for Tottenham Hotspur this season. They have played competitive football in the Premier League and they made a deep run in the Champions League as well. But for all of the recognition Tottenham has received, there seems to be something amiss. For the last few months, they have not played that appealing brand of football that they are known for in some time.

Ever since Tottenham thumped defending UEFA Champion Inter Milan in November, Tottenham was looked upon as being one of the best clubs in Europe. The media used that win to proclaim that Spurs would soon disrupt Manchester United and Chelsea’s grip on the Premier League title. That win also made Gareth Bale a household name throughout the world as he terrorized Inter’s backline for a hat trick. No longer was Bale just a good player, but he was now the “Premier League Messi.”

While that win was massive, it was only one win. It just happened that it came in the Champions League against a very well known club. But all that praise they received appears to be unjustified because since the calendar turned to 2011, Spurs have a record of 7-6-5 in all competitions. During that time, they have been outscored 19-22. Those numbers do not point to Spurs being a dominating club.

Looking at the numbers more closely, Spurs has not performed at the same level as last season.

table 1 spurs What Statistics Say About Tottenham Hotspurs Season

As Table I. shows, not only have they not scored like the previous year, but also the defense has been considerably worse.  In 2009-2010, Spurs was one of the better teams defensively. This season, the backline has been a major weakness. Also, there has been a change in Tottenham’s play at White Hart Lane. During the 2009-2010 season, they averaged over two goals a game as the home side. That was sixth best in the league. That number has fallen to 1.47 this season, which ranks as thirteenth place.

table 2 spurs What Statistics Say About Tottenham Hotspurs Season

So what has led to these drastic changes? A big part of that answer deals with injuries. Defensively, players like Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate and Younes Kaboul have all missed time this season. As for the offensive decline, Bale missed a significant amount of time after his explosion against Inter. Because of these injuries, Spurs faced a problem of depth when the fixtures began to pile up. Another aspect to consider is that opposing teams had an entire off-season to prepare for Spurs and rethink what tactics to use against the North London club.

The win against Inter Milan was great, but media certainly overreacted to it. Spurs shouldn’t be blamed because the media is overzealous when reporting a story. More importantly, that match made Bale so popular, so fast, that opposing sides were forced to commit more attention to him. Even with the struggles of the season, Tottenham are still competing for a top for spot in the league.  They also gained valuable experience playing in Europe this season, but Spurs appear to be a year away from being one of the dominant teams in the continent.

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22 Responses to What Statistics Say About Tottenham Hotspur’s Season

  1. Brandon says:

    Why you gotta point out stats and hurt people?

  2. Ryne says:

    I was quite worried about the direction Spurs were headed over the past two months or so, but seeing the way they played against Stoke and even Madrid makes me much more optimistic. The defense will sort itself out with a bit of consistency now, and offensively I think they are looking threatening again. I wouldn’t bet against another fourth place finish in any case…

  3. Hoe says:

    There is one player who is seriously underated who last played in that Inter game you refer too, his name is The Thudd and returned for Stoke & Madrid, suddenly we look a lot more threatening.

    Long live the Thudd!

  4. MennoDaddy says:

    So you’re saying we need better strikers, huh? GET IN LINE. We Spurs fans been saying that since August.

    *beats head against wall*

    • MennoDaddy says:

      To put a finer point on it, the lack of offensive efficaciousness this season compared to last can be directly attributed to

      1) the injuries to the back four (thank GOD for the amount of depth we have back there), and

      2) the sheer fact that Defoe, Crouch, and Pavlyuchenko can’t find the back of the net with binoculars.

      Last season about this time, when Spurs made that final push that got them to fourth, Super Pav went on a bit of a purple streak and was making a real case for not only inclusion, but a starting role. And of course, Defoe had banged in about 20 by that point, too. This season, the goals from the front line just aren’t coming in league play.

  5. tommysunshine says:

    Good point Hoe. The side lost its mojo more than we thought when Hudd was out.

    Hackenmiller’s thesis is this: “Spurs have struggled to score goals and haven’t had as good a season as they might have done.” Well done Mr Hackenmiller, most observant. What will be your next revelation? Life in Iraq changed as a result of military conflict in 2003? Or how about ‘The internet has had consequences for the music industry.’
    Hackenmiller, I am reminded of Charlie Sheen’s comment on his co-star Kristy Swanson: “If you had an original thought in your brain, it would die of loneliness.”
    My idols have found life tough this season for 4 reasons. 1. The standard of the league this year is much more evenly spread out. Everyone is beating everyone else.
    2. Striking probs: Defoe has been pretty woeful, Crouch has saved his best performances for Europe and ‘Super Pav’- the best of the bunch- has been inconsistent.
    3. Individual nature of opposition: Wigan’s goalkeeper in the match at White Hart Lane, West Ham’s Scott Parker and Robert Green in both league ties, Man City’s Joe Hart in the first game of the season.
    4.Injuries.

    Only 4 you have referred to, Hackenmiller. I wish you well but please refrain from commenting on goings-on at White Hart Lane unless you are prepared to not overly rely on google

    Thanks, Tommy Sunshine

    • MennoDaddy says:

      Harsh, man.

      Not untrue, but harsh. Take ‘er easy, there, Mr. Sunshine.

    • Dave C says:

      Tommy,
      I assume “Sunshine” is your middle name, and your last name is “Outofhisownbackside” (although if that were true, “Talks” would be a more appropriate middle name).

      I agree that this article isn’t exactly profound (Spurs haven’t scored as many as last year, and haven’t been as good as last year), but if you’re gonna call out the author on that front, you should make sure you’re not throwing stones in a glass house – your contributions aren’t exactly rocket science either.

      “The league is more open” – not sure if this is statisically true, but if it was, I’m not sureif whether this would logically be a reason why Spurs have underperformed compared to last year. Sure, if the league is more even, that may lead to Spurs experiencing more “shock” losses against underdogs, but then so would every other team in the league, and wouldn’t Spurs also benefit from experiencing more “shock” wins against tougher opponents. In short, I’m not sure if “the league is more evenly balanced” is necessarily a logical explanation as to why Spurs have done worse this year than last, although I’ll grant you that it’s probably a smarter point than your other three.

      “Striking probs” is essentially saying the same thing as Hackenmiller – Spurs haven’t scored enough goals.

      “Individual performances” – unless you’ve got some actual stats to back this up, I don’t know if it really holds up. Every fan thinks that a small handful of individual performances is all that stands between their team and some fantasy or other.

      “Injuries” – when you have Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King in the team (and to a lesser extent, Defoe), saying “we have had injury problems” is like saying “the grass is green” or “there are 24 hours in a day”. It’s basically a given, not some profound observation.

    • eddie torres says:

      Mr. Sunshine,
      What revelations and original poignant insight would you provide, or are you just looking to act like a petulent child?

  6. DeeRexBox says:

    I’m an Arsenal supporter. Though Spurs have declined since that beating of Milan, I think it’s important to point out that Italian football is down this year. It didn’t impress me much.

    That being said, NO WAY Arsenal will beat Spurs on Wednesday. MAYBE a draw if we’re lucky…

  7. Razspur says:

    Spurs have always been known for their free flowing style of football (from the 1961 days of Blanchflower, Mackay and Greaves under the guideance of Bill Nicholson,) we play best at 4-4-2 without doubt, our creative midfield is unbalanced with VDV playing too close to Modric/Sandro or Modric/Hudd. I would like to see Pav start with either Defoe or VDV up front, my team to play Ars____ would be
    Gomes
    Corluka Gallas Dawson BAE
    Lennon Modric Huddlestone Bale
    Pav Defoe

    Get back to the Spurs way of playing and we`ll beat them in style.

    COYS

  8. Dakota says:

    ouch, that is kinda brutal. true..but a hard truth to face. Not to say they are a bad team by any means, just simply struggling for a while now. Hmmm what to do about it?

  9. Jason says:

    Spurs have always been a hit or miss team. They win in bunches and lose or draw in bunches. They are too inconsistent to be classed a dominant team. Part of the problem for Harry is that with all the injuries they have it has been difficult to pick the same team most of the time. Unless they make the top 4 again this season they will have taken a step backwards which is not the mark of a dominant team. Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea are the only dominant teams in the EPL right now. Liverpool once were but no longer given that they have failed to make the CL for two years in a row. With the emergence of Manchester City and Liverpool who are beginning to show signs of improvement, I doubt very much whether Spurs will be a fixture in the top 4.

  10. Tony Butterworth says:

    As a Man City hater I want to see Spurs make the champions league but there recent run of 1 point against the 4 bottom teams was a disaster. Come on Spurs get into that top 4.

  11. Andrew Moore says:

    I agree with alot said here… yes the league being tighter means “our stats” will be weaker while still doing well in the league… if our stats were as good we’d be fighting United.

    Scoring goals has been our issue, and for that I agree that VDV messes our system up completely.

    But our main issue HAS been our injuries, and I don’t mean King and Woodgate, I mean Hutton, Defoe, VDV, Lennon…. and most importantly Huddlestone… the guy is the main man, just look at the young boys game away Harry knew he needed him to calm us down.

    Not forgetting we were playing our first ever Champs league season!!! I think that with those players fit and a world class striker we’ll equal our Champs league performance, if not better it, and unless Jose goes back to the blues fight them and the others for a top spot!!!

    COYS!!!

  12. Kyle says:

    For the record, Bale’s hat trick was in the loss to Inter. He did not score in the win.

  13. Gareth van der Lennon says:

    Harry has put too much emphasis on CL since the new year.
    Changing and chopping line ups, coupled with injuries and a poor strike force has made Spurs league form mediocre.
    We are in dire need of a top line striker and Harry has to play a more defensive line up away from the Lane.
    As for as challenging for the Premiership, forget it.
    Top 4 while unlikely this season still very doable next with a few key additions.

    • DaveG says:

      As a person who has discovered only this year the pleasures of watching BPL football on TV here in the US, I must tell you that Tottenham, good or bad, are very entertaining to watch. I watch every match I can get and cheer like hell whenever they score….Long live Spurs!

  14. Arry Redcap says:

    Harry has completely got it wrong this season, places all emphasis on the champions league when spurs should have been concentrating on getting back into the competition for next season. Luckily for them Liverpool got off to a horrendous start in the league.
    Is finishing 4th then the next season getting blasted out of all competitions and finishing 5th progression? I think not. New strike force needed, new centre backs, new GK, new full backs and they might have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League 2012-2013

  15. Phenoum says:

    “The win against Inter Milan was great, but media certainly overreacted to it. Spurs shouldn’t be blamed because the media is overzealous when reporting a story.”

    yes….the MEDIA… – including YOU!!! And now you’re acting like you’re ‘calling out’ those who over-hyped them? LMAO you guys are ridiculous.

  16. Hack says:

    Calling me apart of the media is like calling Scunthorpe part of the EPL.

  17. DAVSPURS says:

    Hoe you have hit the nail firmly on the head Huddlestone along with King and a goalkeeper on form was the backbone of our season being a success . This was proved when he returned we scored easier and he was not fully fit and has now broken down. Kings return against Liverpool and with Cudicini in goal we won for the first time since 1993 . So our seasons staats where dertermind by Horrendous injurys too many players and our kids on loan and Harry playing a system that failed and ruined our strikers sharpness. 451

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