By Bulldog Drummond
In the last article we looked at the historic differences between the clubs. But now let’s see what the clubs have been doing this season.
We know that Tottenham have one point less than Arsenal but are one goal better than Arsenal in terms of goal difference. But can we learn any more from the games they have played. For example, it is widely reported in the media that Arsenal are only top of the league because they have had an easy run with fixtures thus far. But what about Tottenham?
Tottenham’s one defeat came away to Sporting Clube Portugal which in itself is interesting since Sporting are currently eighth in the Portuguese league.
Three wins, one draw, three defeats in what is a much lighter league than the Premier League does not suggest Sporting are on top form this season, and yet they beat Tottenham.
Indeed the defeat to Sporting Portugal (also known in some quarters as Sporting Lisbon) in the Champions League was a bit of a surprise. Both the goals came in stoppage time, which suggests Arsenal’s ability these days to keep going right up to the very end could come in handy. No leaving before the final whistle!
Reports also suggest Tottenham created very few opportunities and managed to allow Sporting to win their first two Champions League games in a season, for the first time ever, despite almost always qualifying for the competition.
Which makes it worth looking in a little more detail at Tottenham’s record so far. Clearly in the league they are doing better, and indeed are unbeaten as the league tables shows
|06 Aug||Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton||W||4-1||Premier League|
|14 Aug||Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur||D||2-2||Premier League|
|20 Aug||Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers||W||1-0||Premier League|
|28 Aug||Nottingham Forest v Tottenham Hotspur||W||0-2||Premier League|
|31 Aug||West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur||D||1-1||Premier League|
|03 Sep||Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham||W||2-1||Premier League|
|07 Sep||Tottenham Hotspur v Olympique Marseille||W||2-0||Champions League|
|13 Sep||Sporting Clube Portugal v Tottenham Hotspur||L||2-0||Champions League|
|17 Sep||Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City||W||6-2||Premier League|
So yes, Tottenham are doing well. But let’s just look at that table of results again for the Premier League and this time put into the final column where the club Tottenham has played is, in the League at the moment.
|06 Aug 2022||Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton||W||4-1||14th|
|14 Aug 2022||Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur||D||2-2||7th|
|20 Aug 2022||Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers||W||1-0||17th|
|28 Aug 2022||Nottingham Forest v Tottenham Hotspur||W||0-2||19th|
|31 Aug 2022||West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur||D||1-1||18th|
|03 Sep 2022||Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham||W||2-1||6th|
|17 Sep 2022||Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City||W||6-2||20th|
There is some talk doing the rounds that Arsenal are flattering to deceive by only playing lower level clubs, but just look at Tottenham’s opposition. The clubs they have played include teams who are currently 14th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th. And people say Arsenal have had an easy run!
Of course such a statistic does not mean that Arsenal are going to walk through this one because Tottenham only beat clubs from the lower reaches. But the fact is that the two clubs Tottenham have comprehensively beaten, are the teams with the 16th and 20th worst defences, in a league of 20 clubs, suggests that maybe the results are not completely as they seem.
But the fact is Leicester have been getting progressively worse as the season moves along, and with their tactics of multiple tackling without getting fouls against them, and getting more penalties than any one else, have been highlighted, so they seem to have run out of ways of beating the system. We beat them 4-2 in August, Brighton beat them 5-2 at the start of September and then Tottenham beat them 6-2 in their last match.
Yes, the league table does show Tottenham as a high-scoring team, but whether that is just because they have the ability to knock goals past anyone, or because Leicester having had their trickery regarding FFP found out, are now terminally doomed, we shall soon find out.
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