Spurs season review – Goals and expected goals

Tottenham had another good season going forward, scoring a total of 74 goals – tied for third in the Premier League. However, this was down on 2016-2017 where we topped the league with 86.


We were more reliant on Harry Kane to score those goals, although the usual suspects chipped in and we still have multiple goal threats.


Spurs non-penalty goals by player

Comparing the two seasons, Dele Alli’s return was a little disappointing.

Expected Goals

How does the actual number of goals scored by each player compare to their shooting opportunities – i.e. their expected goals?


Expected Goals, Expected Goals per 90 minutes and Non-penalty goals

The most striking difference is how many more xG Harry Kane had this year. Last season he was outperforming expected goals by some distance. His goal tally improvement this time round appears to be explained by an increase in his volume of shots – 181 versus 104 (excluding penalties).

Alli and Son are both 5 goals down on 2016-2017 but their xG hasn’t varied as much. It looks like they had similar chances to last season but the proportion they put away has declined.

This could be put down to less proficient finishing, or perhaps just a regression to the mean?

Post Shot Expected Goals

One way of analysing a players shooting performance, is to look at post shot expected goals. This is broadly the same as expected goals but only considers goal attempts that are on target and includes the direction of the shot.


Expected goals pre and post shot per 90 minutes of play

Last season all four of Tottenham’s main goal threats were shooting above their expected goals level. While three of the four still outperformed the average this season, Dele Alli underperformed.

Maybe this explains the general feeling he has regressed? At 22 he is still very young and last season was a hard act to follow. The pleasing thing is that his xG numbers indicate he is still getting into positions to score.

Note: All models are my own, inspired by articles I have read on sites such asĀ StatsBomb

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Do you think our goal scorers have performed this season?


1 thought on “Spurs season review – Goals and expected goals

  1. Pingback: Spurs Season Review – Creating Chances | Anything But Penalties

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