Monday, November 07, 2011

Tottenham - Comparision with Last Season

(Updated 7th November, 2011)
Spurs opened the 2011-12 season with two heavy defeats but have managed to recover the lost ground to put themselves in a stronger position compared with the same stage of the season last year.

At present Tottenham are sitting in fifth position in the Premier League  with a game in hand on all other teams around them.  The postponement of the opening day fixture against Everton because of the riots near White Hart Lane immediately put Spurs at a disadvantage and this was compounded when their next games were against the two Manchester clubs who made a flying start to the new season.  So when all the other teams had played three games Spurs found themselves pointless and at the bottom of the League.

Now, after ten games Spurs have made a remarkable recovery by accumulating 22 points from seven wins and a draw.  Seven wins in eight games has taken them level on points with Chelsea but with the home game against Everton to be played some time in the future, probably in January.  This is Tottenham's highest number of points after ten games in  the Premier League.  The draw at Newcastle United who maintained their undefeated start to the season, could so easily have been another three points but for an excellent strike for the equalising goal, three minutes from time.  Twice in that game Spurs conceded a one goal advantage.

After 10 games (6 away), Spurs are currently in 5th place with 22 points, having played one match less than everyone else.

Last season, at the same stage (with 5 away games), Spurs were occupying 5th position but with only 15 points and having played the same number of games as those around them.  They had 4 wins and 3 draws.

The comparison of fixtures played shows how Spurs have a 7 points advantage over last season, a credible situation as the most recent fixtures have been against teams who were beaten by Spurs in last season's corresponding games:
Manchester Utd (a)   -
Manchester City (h) - 1
Wolves (a) + 2
Liverpool (h)  -
Wigan (a)  + 2
Arsenal (h)  + 2
Newcastle (a)   -
Blackburn (a)  -
QPR (WHU*) (h) +2
Fulham (a)  -
[* QPR in comparison with WHU as relegated team)

This season's results show a positive score of 7 points but to maintain that progress Spurs will need to continue this winning sequence as their next fixture is at home to Aston Villa.  Following that match the fixtures up to Christmas see Spurs visit WBA (Draw**), Bolton (h) (Won**), Stoke (a) (Won**), Sunderland (h) (Draw**) and Chelsea (h) (Draw**).
[** Last season's result]

Manchester City have the advantage at present, United are looking less assured than they did at the start of the season but will overcome that, Newcastle who are currently in third place and undefeated have yet to play any of the top teams.  However, that anomoly will be resolved in the next few weeks as they play City, United and Chelsea.  Tottenham found it difficult against Fulham but were prepared to battle throughout the second half, they will need to maintain a similar work ethic in coming weeks as teams try to deny them the time and space they like to have to enable them to play their intricate passing game.  Tottenham can't afford any slips as Liverpool and Arsenal are also closing in on fourth place.

After the break for the internationals during the next fortnight, every team has a busy schedule up to the end of the year and Spurs have the additional Europa League games against PAOK Salonika and Shamrock Rovers.  These are also games which they need to win to ensure qualification for the knock-out stages in the new year.


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