Category Archives: General Thoughts

Spurs put Everton to the sword – talking points


Expected Goals view of the game over time. Spurs were well on top from the 20th minute.

  • A game that looked a potential banana skin on paper – a Sam Allardyce team come to Wembley to defend – turned into one of Spurs best performances of the season. The biggest win against Everton since Bill Nicholson’s first game, a 10-4 victory back in 1958. The early goal certainly helped open the game up and Spurs dominated the scoring opportunities, 20 shots to 7 and 2.9 expected goals to 0.5.

Continue reading


Harry Kane – Anatomy of a goal scorer

What is there left to say about Harry Kane? The Spurs striker has dramatically exceeded all expectations with his meteoric rise from clumsy looking youth prospect, to one of the most feared strikers in world football. Continue reading

What is wrong with Tottenham?

Life seemed good back in early November. Spurs had just beaten Real Madrid 3-1 in a pulsating Champions League clash and sat a healthy third in the Premier League table.

A scrappy 1-0 win over Crystal Palace followed. Mauricio Pochettino’s side didn’t play well in that encounter but they found a way to get the three points. A hangover from such an emotional Champions League victory was only to be expected. Continue reading

Premier League performance – Expected Goals versus Points

The Premier League is seven games old, just enough to start looking at how teams are performing statistically.

Expected Points vs Actual Points

I have created an Expected Goals measure to analyse games (see here for an explanation). This can be used to make an estimate of how many points you would expect a team to have earned based on the shots they have taken. Continue reading

Was Harry Kane’s August that bad (through numbers)?

As we all know, Harry Kane doesn’t score in August. This year he kept his poor run going and, as if to emphasise the point, come the first day of September the goals arrived.

But leaving media narratives aside, has he really played badly in his three Premier League starts so far? Or has he just been a bit unlucky? Continue reading

Spurs Newcastle roundup – slow starters, fullbacks and Eriksen

Spurs put a tough summer break – with no signings and Danny Rose’s dalliance with the media – behind them as they cruised to victory against 10 man Newcastle.

Slow Starters

Under Mauricio Pochettino, fans have got used to slow starts to the season full of draws. His teams have tended to look lethargic and lacking in ideas in August, which has cost them dear. Not so here, although the sending off definitely made life easier.

Spurs created plenty of chances – 18 shots, 6 of which were on target.

Full Backs

With Walker gone, and Rose and Trippier injured, fullback looks like the squad’s weakness. The biggest surprise of the transfer window has been the failure to bring in a right back.

Step forward Kyle Walker-Peters – whose similarity in name to his predecessor created only slightly fewer derivative twitter jokes than Danny Rose’s google comments. The young right back had a very accomplished debut and was named Sky’s man of the match. Davies also played well, with a nice finish to seal the three points.

Newcastle clearly targeted Walker-Peters, attacking down Spurs’ right 49% of the time versus 15% down the centre and 36% down Spurs’ left. He coped admirably.

Spurs’ defence allowed only 6 shots, equal second best for the opening weekend.


Last season Eriksen’s form in the early part of the campaign was a real worry. He came good around Christmas to finish as one of our best performers. It was great to see him continuing his good form here. Along with Kane, he is probably the player we have the least cover for in our squad.

With the most shots (6, level with Kane), shots on target (3) and key passes (3), along with assists for both goals, Eriksen should probably have been named man of the match.

Other games

  • Most curious stat of the weekend must go to Southampton vs Swansea. Despite Southampton having a league high 29 shots and Swansea a league low 4, the game finished 0-0. The south coast sides inability to hit the target (2 on target out of 29) may help explain things.
  • Tony Pulis pulled off his usual trick, winning 1-0 against Bournemouth despite only 29% possession.
  • Despite losing, Chelsea out-shot Burnley 19-10. Perhaps rumours of their demise are a little premature.
  • In the battle of two interesting managers new to the Premier League, Huddersfield and Crystal Palace were 1st and 2nd for tackle numbers for the whole division (28 and 24 respectively). Sounds intense.

Follow me on Twitter at @ABPSpurs