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We're In The Mix

We're In The Mix

We all know about the many records our lads have broken this season. They seem to be endless. With two games to go we will continue breaking records with every point we put in the bank. It has been an absolutely brilliant season and anyone on Vital Spurs who thinks otherwise should transfer to VA (I make no apologies for that).

One of the biggest worries for us Spurs supporters over the PL years is our record against the top six teams. We have been extremely good, albeit inconsistently, in most areas of the game but our matches against the top clubs have not provided the points required to be title contenders. That seems to have changed. Our points record against the top six teams around us this season head-to-head is...

Spurs 1 v 4 Pool 0 1 Draw/Loss Spurs 4 v 1 United 1 3 Draw/Win Spurs 4 v 1 City 3 1 Win/Draw Spurs 4 v 1 Arsenal 1 3 Win/Draw Spurs 3 v 3 Chelsea 3 0 Win/Loss Spurs 4 v 1 Everton 1 3 Draw/Win.

Our points total against the six closest teams to us is twenty out of a possible thirty-six. Only Pool has out-pointed us over two legs. Throughout the season we have also kept in touch with the two-points-per-game average which usually achieves CL or EL football. Towards the end of the season we have blown this average out of the water. I don't think we have come anywhere close to that in the PL era. What this does, effectively, is result in a squad full of confidence and high on team spirit. The other thing it does, after finishing third last season and second this season, is establish us as a club which is well and truly in the mix as title contenders.

We don't know where this will lead but one thing is certain...every other PL team will treat us with some serious respect on the park next season. Of course our immediate future is dependent on a number of factors, the most important being the imminent Transfer Window activity. But ... what a season this has been! And doesn't it feel great to be in the mix?



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Geofspurs
Date:Tuesday May 16 2017
Time: 6:50AM

Comments

0
the 20 points has been a reasonable return, I think Bournmouth, Sunderland and the Spammers away undone us more then the top 6 points tally.
WestStandEnclosure
16/05/2017 07:25:00
0
You need to separate out the home and away records, they are completely different. As WestStandEnclosure has pointed out you can't focus on the top six if you are dropping points against lesser teams, which everyone has this season.
jod
16/05/2017 07:34:00
0
jod ... Yes, that would tell something else but, overall, we are doing much better, don't you think? It's a comparison, not a focus.
Geofspurs
16/05/2017 07:47:00
0
Geoff, we lost away against Man Utd, so it's 19 not 20 points.

The only blot on our league form this season for me, were our away performances against Man Utd, Man City and Liverpool, the latter being absolutely woeful. But then we did play really well away from home against said three teams the previous season, so this season's performances may be just a temporary aberration rather than a weakness.
Gary Onedaysoon
16/05/2017 07:57:00
0
Geofspurs - It depends on whether you are content with where you are or look on it as just another step along the way to being the best (which is the way Poch would view it). If you want to win the title you look at this season and ask yourself what did Chelsea do better than us ? The away record is the obvious answer so you ask yourself how can you improve it.
jod
16/05/2017 07:57:00
0
jod .... Imo, this is the time to be happy and look at all the positives and our progress during a fantastic season. I think we should enjoy the moment before thinking too far ahead. After all, we have not been in such a good EPL position before. Just try and chill and enjoy it for a while.
Geofspurs
16/05/2017 08:34:00
0
DA .... I dare say you are as delighted with the season as me. Relegation would have sucked! :-)
Geofspurs
16/05/2017 08:36:00
1
We were 'Spursy' last season, we were Spursy this season, and I hope we'll be Spursy next season. I love it when we're Spursy!
Geofspurs
16/05/2017 08:40:00
0
Here's a thought that will cheer some VS people up ... it's probably all downhill from here!
Geofspurs
16/05/2017 08:49:00
0
Homeless and nothing in the cabinet. How much worse can it get? Even the neighbours have a stadium and they nearly got relegated. Football is so unfair.
Geofspurs
16/05/2017 09:03:00
0
I have always believed that records against other top 6 teams are overrated. 3 points is 3 points, and a victory against Arsenal isn't worth any more than a victory against Burnley. Games between top 6 teams are often nervous, close affairs and draws are very likely, with neither team wanting to lose. I think that the difference in the table is made by how the big teams perform against the smaller teams. Historically, we could beat any of the big boys on any given day, but we often struggled against smaller teams. In those years, we had very little success in the league and we were more of a cup team. It's no surprise to me that our improving PL finishes coincide with the fact that we are beating smaller teams with much greater regularity. I think a table showing how the big teams perform against the smaller teams would be more telling.
BelgianSpur
16/05/2017 09:11:00
0
BS ... I disagree. Three points we take off of the top teams is three points they don't get. We've never even finished on a par with them before, let alone been in front. But I agree that all of the top teams have to do well against lesser opposition .... which is hard enough in itself. No easy games, etc.
Geofspurs
16/05/2017 09:36:00
0
First season I can remember (and I've been supporting since 1962), where I haven't felt nervous playing A***nal. Any other season, with the points tally we have, we'd be champions. Just a shame that everything came together this season for Chel$ki. Next season, they'll have Eurpean football to contend with. We just need to keep our manager, our best players and get used to the Wembley pitch. If we can do that next season, we have a realistic chance of the title. COYS
ParkLane67
16/05/2017 10:10:00
0
I just did the exercise for all top 6 teams, and that table exactly reflects the PL table as it stands, with the exception of Liverpool. Liverpool have dropped more points than any other top 6 team against the smaller teams (having only gained 53 points so far against the smaller teams, with 3 more in play on Sunday). Yet they have done better than anyone else against top 6 teams. For me, this just validates my point that beating the big boys counts for nothing if you can't systematically perform against smaller clubs. For the rest, Chelsea have taken 74 points from smaller teams (with 3 left in play), we've taken 65 with 6 left in play, City have taken 62 with 6 left in play, Arsenal 60 with 6 left in play, Man U 55 with 6 left in play. So we are there or thereabouts when it comes to our record vs top 6 teams, but assuming we win our remaining 2 games and Chelsea wins on Sunday, we'll finish 6 points behind Chelsea in the table against smaller teams, ie almost exactly the actual gap in the real table. If you want to see where we lost the title, look no further.
BelgianSpur
16/05/2017 10:20:00
0
Just need to turn some of those away draws into wins. The difference between us and chelsea, they have 29 wins, could end up with 30 wins in a season. And yet in my opinion, not the best chelsea team of the last decade. They found a way to win, we need to do the same.
vicspur
16/05/2017 10:44:00
0
As you pointed out, we weren't talking about what is more satisfying or what gets fans excited. It goes without saying that winning a NLD beats winning at home to Boro from an excitement perspective. The point was that records vs. top 6 teams may be good content for lazy media outlets, but the reality is that they aren't very reliable indicators of success in the league. I would much rather lose all games against top 6 opposition and win all the remaining games (which would put us on 84 points, definitely enough for top 4 most years) than the other way around (30 points, which would see us relegated). I just think that fans banging on about records vs. top 6 teams put too much emphasis on bragging rights, and don't think enough about what it means in the table and how it affects our position. I remember West Ham being proud of "doing the treble" against us a few years ago (beating us twice in the PL and once in a cup the same year. They made a T-shirt for it. That year, they finished about 10 places below us in the PL. For me, that's just an example of little things pleasing little minds.
BelgianSpur
16/05/2017 10:47:00
0
BS ... But that doesn't reflect OUR record against the top teams, which was my point. It does make a difference to US. The rest I agree with.
Geofspurs
16/05/2017 10:49:00
0
vicspur - that's saying the same as me. Wins are the important stat - it doesn't matter if the win comes against a top 6 team or a smaller team. It's still worth 3 points either way. The only difference is that we get far more opportunities to win against smaller teams than other top 6 teams - 28 games compared to 10.
BelgianSpur
16/05/2017 10:49:00
0
Dele-Arri is correct that Chelsea went that step further than us. Bemoaning dropped points is silly as Chelsea dropped points too. Chelsea had no Europe distraction, and it helped them focus more on title. We are on 80 points with 2 games to go.... That is more than second place got in 3 of the last 5 seasons. 3 seasons ago, second place got 84 points, and we could potentially beat that too. Last season, title winner Leicester got 81 points......
TonyRich
16/05/2017 10:57:00
0
To create a scenario, from this discussion, in which we could get relegated, is a little over the top, and where I drop out.
Geofspurs
16/05/2017 10:58:00
0
Geof - I was merely trying to prove a general point using an absurd scenario on purpose - to demonstrate a general principle. I was speaking hypothetically and nowhere did I write that such a scenario was likely, or that we would ever be threatened by relegation under the current form of the club. Making it sound as though I did is very far from reflecting the true nature of my comments.
BelgianSpur
16/05/2017 11:09:00
0
DA - beating Real Madrid in the CL would trump beating Real Betis in the EL, but you're not comparing apples and apples. The difference would reside in the competition, not the opponent. Beating Real, whether it was Madrid or Betis, in a CL semi-final would give me the same joy of reaching the CL final. I judge performance based on the progress we make in a given competition, not the opponent. Let me put things another way. Imagine we win the FA Cup next year, but play lower league teams all of the way. Would winning the FA Cup be less enjoyable because we didn't face any big teams? In a cup, you can only beat who is in front of you. the quality of the opponent is something you can't control, and it doesn't affect the merit of team one way or another.
BelgianSpur
16/05/2017 11:15:00
0
Some good posts DA and Geof!!
Ossie
16/05/2017 11:18:00
0
Belgian.."I have always believed that records against other top 6 teams are overrated"...C'mon they are 6 pointers donchya know it?! :0) Apt article Geof. COYS!
Critical_Spur
16/05/2017 11:23:00
0
Although as stupid as it is, even though it means nothing in the end, I did get a kick out of finishing above Arsenal. That should shut them up for a year -unless they win the FA Cup. Not that I particularly like Chelsea, and not that I really want to see them win the double, but Arsenal winning the FA Cup would just make them arrogant again. Let them learn humility in the EL group stages.
BelgianSpur
16/05/2017 12:11:00
0
Ghana - as much as I agree with you that this represented a great chance, we played arguably our best team (depending on where you stand on the Walker/Trippier debate), with the exception of Son on the left wing. The decision backfired when Son gave away a silly penalty, but on form at the time, he was scoring for fun so wanting to find a place for him somewhere in the team was understandable. How do you defend against Matic putting one in the top corner from 35 yards out? You can't. It's so unlikely it'll probably never happen again in his career. Toby made a silly mistake to give away the free kick for their first goal - would you have not played Toby in this game? MP can't control if players make an individual error. I'm not looking to find excuses at all costs, but if anything, the players deserve the blame rather than MP.
BelgianSpur
16/05/2017 14:28:00
0
What cost us the title to Chelsea, was our bench options. I mean this in terms of games against the lower placed teams! The top six teams generally go toe to toe and try to play each other, Chelsea have been the masters of the counter attacking at speed, this season. We benefit more from pressing teams into making mistakes which works great if the opposition try to play out against us. But if they lump it long and don't commit we end up trying to play through them. we lack blistering pace, relying on Walker or Rose in the main and Son to a lesser extent to turn on the after burners. But when trying to turn a game bringing on Sissoko, Janssen, Dier or Dembele is not going to turn the opposition with a ball over the top, we still have to work it up the pitch and they can try to crowd us out. This really needs to be addressed over the summer, GKN hasn't really imposed himself yet but may prove to be an option in the long term. Having a couple of speedsters to call on would also allow us to drop off the press and draw teams out to enable us to hit them on the counter or just give the lads a breather on the pitch. That's my opinion, over all a great season but just falling short of glory in the FA Cup (real) Final and the league is still a massive improvement on our usual season reviews from even 4/5 years ago!!! That being said what an enjoyable season of football by Spurs, nearly always thrilling to watch, exciting attacking football mixed with no nonsense defenders who can get the ball down and play football too! We have a phenomenal first 15 senior players with proper cover for defense and central midfield, but we are desperately light in terms of competitive cover for our front attacking four! But three years ago things were a lot more bleak - a bloated squad filled with average players, no cover at full back (either side) 1 decent CB, a cm pairing of two youth academy products (both have since left), Dembele looking broken down and passed it, A seriously struggling Lamela, our main striker couldn't hit a barn door, Eriksen stuck out on the left wing, Kane playing in the "hole" behind Soldado!!! Given that level of progress we should really be expecting at least the treble of League, FA Cup and Champions league titles from Pochettino in the next three years!!!!!
Slurms McKenzie
16/05/2017 15:29:00
0
Agree Dele-Arri, I'm not trying to slate our team or season, but when we look to the bench we are lacking slightly for the front four positions. The threat of the fast counter attack is nearly enough to negate the opposition, When West ham got in amongst us we could get the ball away in to space for someone to run into, which gave the spammers confidence to keep trying to press against us!
Slurms McKenzie
16/05/2017 15:51:00
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