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Blowing AWAY the cobwebs of mediocrity....a look at our progress ‘on the road’

Discussion in 'Spurs News & Views' started by GPRD81, 14 Feb 2016.

  1. GPRD81

    GPRD81 Adel Taarabt

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    GPRD81 submitted a new blog post

    Blowing AWAY the cobwebs of mediocrity....a look at our progress ‘on the road’



    Having started supporting Spurs in 1988 and then enduring the 90’s and early 2000’s Spurs playing away from home, particularly outside of London, almost certainly meant I wouldn’t bother staying up to watch Match of the Day that evening. It is trite to talk of Spurs having ‘a soft underbelly’ and ‘not fancying it up North on a cold Tuesday night’ but those of us of a certain age will be hard wired to adopting a sense of dread when looking ahead to an away game.

    As a casual away fan for much of my teens – I usually got to two or three games per season I went 10 years (from 1994 until 2004) without seeing us win outside of London – both wins either side ironically at Everton.

    Our 2-0 victory at Leicester in the FA Cup 3rd round replay was comfortable in the end and at times we combined attacking style and flair with a solid defence and rarely looked like conceding. In hindsight it is easy to point out that Leicester fielded even more of a reserve XI than we did but the facts remain that we won away at the side who are joint top and had only lost twice at home in 2015 (Chelsea and Arsenal).

    Going into the game, even a natural pessimist, I struggled to predict the outcome of the match – I felt that our second string was probably better than theirs but equally I had a realisation that we don’t tend to win many big away matches.

    I’ve split the evaluation of this theory into three sections as they are all relevant to our realistic ambitions:
    1. League matches
    2. Domestic Cup ties
    3. European ties

    League Matches

    Now I really must stress that we are so much better away from home now than we’ve been at any point of my Spurs supporting life. In every season between 96/7 and 2004/5 we failed to win more than 5 away games per season; in 2000/1 we waited until February to win out first away match (at Man City) before winning only once more on the road in the league that season.

    [caption id="attachment_439" align="alignleft" width="871"][​IMG] Our average points per game (away from home) in PL era:[/caption]

    The line shows significant improvement although we are on a slight decline from the excellent period between 2011/2 – 2012/3.

    Statistically it is clear that we are better away from home now than we were during that period of mediocrity. I have compared two six periods; 1996/7 – 2001/02 with 2010/11 – 2015/16.




    1996/97 – 2001/02
    2010/11 – 2015/16


    Ave pts gained per season away v all opponents
    16
    30


    Ave number of away games won per season v all opponents
    4
    8.6



    This shows that we are gaining an extra 14 points per season (just in away games) which is the difference between lingering in mid table and being constantly in the top 6 and beyond – an ‘achievement’ we could only have dreamed of in a team of Thatcher’s, Dozzell’s and Iversen’s.

    However, when those away results are broken down to look at our games against teams in the top 6 the improvement is not quite as significant. Comparing our results against the top 6 in each respective season and against the sides who finished between 11th and 16th:




    1996/97 – 2001/02
    2010/11 – 2015/16


    Ave pts per game gained v teams in final positions 1-6
    0.28
    0.58


    Ave pts per game gained v teams in final positions 11-16
    1.01
    1.97





    So essentially we are gaining 1 extra point per away game now than we were which is worth an extra 6 points per season; however, against teams in the top 6 we are not showing any signs of significant improvement; in the 6 year period (2010/11 to date) we have only won 3 games and two of them were in the 2010/11 season (v Arsenal and Liverpool) meaning the current average is likely to dip at by the end of the season.

    On further analysis during this period here is a break down of our results against the current six teams who we have competed against since 2010; our record in these games is less than convincing. Since the start of the 2010/11 season:



    Arsenal
    W1 D2 L3
    5 PTS (0.88 PER GAME)


    Chelsea
    W0 D2 L3
    2 PTS (0.4 PER GAME)


    Liverpool
    W1 D1 L3
    4 PTS (0.8 PER GAME)


    Man City
    W0 D0 L5
    0 PTS (0 PER GAME)


    Man Utd
    W2 D0 L4
    6 PTS (1 PER GAME)


    Everton
    W1 D2 L3
    5 PTS (0.88 PER GAME)


    TOTAL
    W5 D7 L21
    22 PTS (0.66 PER GAME)




    • FA Cup and League cup ties against any other Premier League opponent and any semi-final or final.



    Our victory at Leicester was the first time since September 2013 that we had won an away cup tie against a fellow Premier League team (Aston Villa – 3rd round League Cup). Our complete record since the start of the 2010/11 season:



    Season
    FA Cup
    League Cup


    2010/11
    Fulham LOST 0-4 (R4)
    No away ties


    2011/12
    Chelsea LOST 1-5 (SF at Wembley)
    Stoke C LOST ON PENS


    2012/13
    No away ties at PL opposition
    Norwich C LOST 1-2 (R4)


    2013/14
    Arsenal LOST 0-2 (R3)
    Aston Villa WON 4-0


    2014/15
    Burnley DREW 1-1 (R3)
    Sheff Utd DREW 2-2 (SF 2ND LEG)

    Chelsea LOST 0-2 (Final at Wembley)


    2015/16
    Leicester C WON 2-0 (R3R)




    That is, including the Leeds Utd game, 9 matches with only one win and seven defeat so in that context the victory over Leicester was unlikely.

    Looking at the same period (96/7 – 2002/03)



    Season
    FA Cup
    League Cup


    1996/97
    No away ties to PL opposition
    No away ties to PL opposition


    1997/98
    Barnsley LOST 1-3
    No away ties to PL opposition


    1998/99
    Wimbledon DREW 1-1

    Leeds Utd DREW 1-1

    Newcastle LOST 0-2 (SF at OT)
    Liverpool WON 3-1

    Wimbledon WON 1-0

    Leicester C WON 1-0 (Final at Wembley)


    1999/00
    Newcastle LOST 1-6
    No away ties to PL opposition


    2000/01
    Charlton WON 4-2

    West Ham WON 3-2

    Arsenal LOST 1-2 (SF at OT)
    No away ties to PL opposition


    2001/02
    No away ties to PL opposition
    Fulham WON 2-1

    Chelsea lost 1-2

    Blackburn LOST 1-2 (Final at Millennium Stadium)





    During this period we played 14 matches winning 6, losing 6 and drawing 2. The comparison between the two periods actually shows a regression – perhaps an indication of how less of a priority the cup is for us now:




    1996/7 – 2001/02
    2010/11 – 2015/16


    PLD
    14
    10


    W
    6 (43%)
    1 (10%)


    D
    6 (43%)
    2 (20%)


    L
    2 (14%)
    6 (60%)






    • European knock-out round ties and any high profile group stage opponent.

    Even including the glorious Champions League run, our away form is a cause for concern.





    2010/11
    CL QUAL
    Young Boys
    LOST 2-3



    CL G
    Werder Bremen
    DREW 2-2



    CL G
    Inter
    LOST 3-4



    CL G
    Twente
    DREW 3-3



    CL R16
    AC Milan
    WON 1-0



    CL QF
    Real Madrid
    LOST 0-4


    2012/13
    EL G
    Lazio
    DREW 0-0



    EL R32
    Lyon
    DREW 1-1



    EL R16
    Inter
    LOST 1-4



    EL QF
    Basel
    DREW 2-2 (lost pens)


    2013/14
    EL R32
    Dnipro
    LOST 0-1



    EL R16
    Benfica
    DREW 2-2


    2014/15
    EL R32
    Fiorentina
    LOST 0-2


    2015/16
    EL G
    Monaco
    DREW 1-1



    EL G
    Anderlecht
    LOST 1-2





    I have used a fairly subjective criteria to select which group stage opponents should be included as there is credit due for winning games in the Arctic Circle (Tromso) or the far East of Europe (Anzhi and Qarabag) but these were never considered as being high profile, must win games.

    That said in 15 games we have won only once (although the results against Lyon and Inter were enough as second legs to take us through the tie) and does not bode well for our prospects of winning the Europa League, let alone the Champions League anytime soon.

    What does this mean?

    It may appear obvious but to get to the next level we must improve our away form, specifically when playing in the bigger matches against the better teams. Most Spurs fans would list one of the following a realistic ambition for the season:
    • Qualify for the Champions League by finishing in top 4.
    • Win the Europa League
    • Win the FA Cup and/or League Cup

    To finish in the top 4 teams require on average 69 points; let’s say that 30 of those must come from away games and therefore at least one away win against one of our main competitors as we did in 2010 (at Man City).

    To win the Europa League we will have to learn to win away.

    In the FA Cup the win at Leicester may become even less significant should they fall away and end up near mid-table at the end of the season but it is was an encouraging sign that we were able to win away at a peer.

    Wins at Manchester City and Fiorentina in February would be a welcome start!
    Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
     
  2. milo

    milo Gary Stevens Staff Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to write that @GPRD81 it's a good read.
     
  3. tynesidespur

    tynesidespur Radek Cerny

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    Interesting read. I knew we had that terrible record at the top 4 (as they were Utd/Liverpool/Chavs/Goons) and that 2010/11 broke some of those ducks - Anfield & Emirates. Since then we've won at OT twice but still haven't managed it at Stamford Bridge. It would be nice to break that duck this season.
    I didn't realise how poor we were away beneath that stat though. European stats make interesting reading too. Really keen to see how we get on against Fiorentina and to see if Poch's style can work in Europe too. I didn't feel we were in as much control in some of our group phase games both at home and away but we've had 3 months further development since then.

    Great start at Citeh anyway...COYS
     
  4. metalgear

    metalgear Nick Barmby

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    we are doing well away.
    the challenge now are the remaining home games against a few top teams - man u u,arsenal...
     
  5. Gazzasrightboot

    Gazzasrightboot Allan Nielsen

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    definitely a good read! Thank you!
     
  6. Ex-Pat Jennings

    Ex-Pat Jennings Kazuyuki Toda

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    Always had a soft spot for Spurs stats, so much thanks GPRD81 for putting the effort in!
     
  7. roymathew

    roymathew Ben Alnwick

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    thanks for the detailed graph about performance , its really appreciable , thanks alot
     
  8. Kandi1977

    Kandi1977 Mitchell Thomas

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    So, to challenge for top 4 on a regular basis, you have to get about 70 points. That means picking up an average of roughly 2,2 points pr game at home, and 1.5 points per game away.
     
  9. GPRD81

    GPRD81 Adel Taarabt

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    Sadly the inability to win big away games has been our achileas heal at the end of the season. The big away win at City was a very welcome one not least for the 3 points it provided but it set us up for a genuine title push.

    This was a first for us (who weren't about in the early 60s) but the reality is that we needed to win at least one of the Liverpool or Chelsea games - the mentality is getting so much better but from next season if we are to continue our trajectory we must go into away games at Arsenal, Chelsea, Man U, Liverpool, City and Leicester genuinely looking to and believing that we will win.
     
  10. milo

    milo Gary Stevens Staff Member

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    I am not sure that is true. Many coaches will go into tough away games with the intention of not losing, Mourinho being a classic example. Obviously, it does you know good when you are playing catch up but over the course of a season, it is a common approach.
     
  11. alekaras

    alekaras Steed Malbranque

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    And Leicester? Really?! o_O
     

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