By Sir Hardly Anyone
If you read our recent pieces about predicting results you will know we have been raging against the concept of Super Computers giving a prediction for their results. Super computers are never used in this way. See Supercomputer vs human predicting Arsenal next season. Both lose.for more.
Thus any article that begins by predicting where clubs will be next season because of a supercomputer, is in fact written by a fantasist who needs help.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t look and see what is likely to happen next season, using something far more effective than a fantasy supercomputer. It’s called a brain.
In the last article, we contemplated the mighty Leicester City. Now let’s try Tottenham.
One Tottenham site gives the top four next season as being the same as last season, so leaving Tottenham in fourth. Arsenal however are pushed down to seventh… below a resurgent Manchester sans Renaldo and Newcastle Arabic.
Football.London bringing in a man from ESports find however that Tottenham push upward
(Image: Football Manager 2022)
If we compare this to the situation last season that set of results gives three of the top four much the same as before, with Liverpool making the extra improvement, Chelsea losing one point, but Tottenham gaining a massive extra ten points – making them the big winners.
The reason given for this surge is the manager – Conte is rated highly by just about everyone writing about football. But there is something of an oddity in Conte’s work. Three of his Juventus league titles were consecutive league titles after the years in the wilderness following their match-fixing escapades. At Chelsea, he won the league but was then sacked in 2018 at a cost to the club said to be around £27m.
Back in Italy with Inter he left after winning the league following arguments with the board over transfers for the coming season. He also got to be runner-up in the Europa League.
And maybe the club do have something going for themselves as they only lost once in the last 11 league games last season. However, earlier in the part of the season Tottenham did have a very soft spell and found themselves in seventh, three points behind Arsenal who had two games in hand. In fact it was Arsenal’s drop in form that then rescued Tottenham and allowed them to creep into fourth.
Also in that season, Tottenham were playing in the almighty Conference League, which they got themselves thrown out of by failing to complete a fixture. This season the fixtures will be tougher being part of the Champions League.
The reality is that having dropped out of Europe, between 5 January and 12 March Tottenham played 14 games of which they won six – one of which was against Morecambe and another against Middlesbrough. The other eight games were lost. That run suggests there is a weakness.
Of course, we know that Arsenal went through several such patches although nothing quite as disastrous as this, and Tottenham as the great winning machine were only that in the last two months of the season. Their record then was good; the question is, will that continue where they left off, and just keep winning and winning?
So far Conte’s record at Tottenham at 1.89 points per league match (and we may note, that is without the distraction of the Champions League) and has been far worse than anything he managed with Inter, Chelsea, Italy or Juventus. In fact to see a set of Conte results as poor overall as he achieved thus far with Tottenham, one has to go back to his one season with Sienna in 2010/11. Or indeed all his managerial jobs before that, most of which an extraordinarily short amount of time before he was moved on.
There is also the point to note that although all the journalists who comment upon Tottenham have been suckered into the PR about how wonderful the new stadium is, Tottenham’s home record last season in the league was worse than Arsenal’s. In fact their five home defeats was the worst of any of the top six.
Maybe now they will be used to the new ground and all its razzamatazz, and beer that enters from the bottom of the plastic cup, and certainly the run from 16 March to the end of the season suggests that is so. But… one can’t help thinking that someone doing the fixture list was givinig them a helping hand.
Those last 11 games which actually saved their season ended with games against Burnley and Norwich, and only included one top four game – against Liverpool. Now they have to contemplate a whole season.
- Arsenal v Lens: the team, the home/away form and the strange coincidences
- Arsenal v Lens: they had a poor start but are now flying
- Where there is power, money and greed there is corruption
- Why do Tottenham players get fouled more than those of any other club?
- The media, the League and PGMO. An insidious agreement rears its ugly head