2nd June 2017
This is the first in a series of what I’ll call ‘Summer Reflections’.
Spurs scored 117 goals last season; 86 in the PL, 17 in the FA Cup, 6 in the LC and 8 in Europe.
Three players scored over two thirds of our goals. But we scored so many that was a strength not a weakness. Everybody else chipped in too. Kane scored 30% of the total, Dele 19%, Son 19%, then Eriksen 10% and the rest 22% including 1 OG. Interestingly, Janssen was our 6th highest scorer with 6 goals (albeit including penalties).
Meanwhile, Eriksen assisted 28% of the goals given ‘assists’, Dele 11%, Son, Kane and Lamela each 8% with the rest assisting 37%. Only 70% (83 out of 117) of our goals were attributed with ‘assists’. Lamela’s importance at the start is underlined by his 3rd equal ranking for the whole season. While Janssen was our 6th highest assister with 4 assists (level with Walker).
Amongst the 117, we scored all types of goals. Without trying to be too scientific, around 28% came from team / passing moves, 22% from set pieces and penalties, 20% were headers or from wide crosses, 18% were from counter attacks and 12% were shots from outside the penalty box. In sum, Spurs were not overly reliant on any particular type of goal.
I will consider the types of goals we conceded later this summer.
1. Perhaps only Spurs could be unlucky enough to score more and concede fewer PL goals than every other team and not win the League. But this ‘outperformance’ mainly relates to the second half of the Season when the team, and our attack in particular, really hit their stride. If we can carry that into the start of next Season …..
2. Kane’s contribution was massive. Everybody knows that. But Spurs came 2nd in the PL despite him missing a quarter of our PL games. The other players found a way to create and score without him. Dele and Son both had fantastic second seasons. Eriksen his best yet. There are signs (if you’re prepared to look for them) that Janssen might yet have what it takes to be a backup striker. With Lamela fit and ideally one new genuine-quality attacking option, Spurs may have the depth, and breadth, of individual talent to go one better next Season …..
3. You cannot stand still in the PL. Fortunately Pochettino is ‘always learning’ (his words) and looking to improve. With greater tactical fluidity in 16-17 than we had in the 15-16 Season (when we basically stuck with 4-2-3-1) our improvement from December 2017 onwards was sparked by an ability to shift from 4-2-3-1 to various versions of 3-4-3, within games, in ways that opponents couldn’t keep up with. There is no perfect formation or system. You can only put 11 players on the pitch. An overload here creates a chink of light there. Because Spurs are not overly reliant on one superstar, or one way of playing, or one type of goal, we’ll surely continue to cause opponents’ problems next season …..
Reasons to be cheerful!