It’s obvious enough from watching them on the pitch to see that Tottenham haven’t made a great start to the season, and the stats back that up.
Despite claiming victory in their three opening games, leading to manager Nuno Espirito Santo being named as manager of the month for August, those three results were quite deceptive.
Spurs have since come unstuck in their last two games. Losing 3-0 to in back-to-back London derbies away at Crystal Palace and at home to Chelsea.
The three victories Tottenham claimed were all tight 1-0 affairs, albeit with one of those coming against champions Manchester City. However, you would have expected them to be more convincing against their subsequent opponents Wolves and Watford.
While they got away with these a bit, they were not so fortunate against Crystal Palace as Japhet Tanganga was sent off in the second half, contributing to the 3-0 drubbing Palace handed out.
Against Chelsea, Spurs could be forgiven for not being favourites, but after a promising first half, Chelsea then changed their system and tore Tottenham to shreds.
The stats for the North London club’s season do not paint a pretty picture either. As you can see below…
Tottenham's season has taken a turn for the worse, and the underlying numbers are not encouraging:
? Only three teams have scored fewer goals
? Lowest xG in the league (4.4)
? Joint-fewest big chances created (2)
? Fifth-highest xG against (9.6)
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) September 21, 2021
Another extremely alarming stat not in the above post is that of star striker Harry Kane’s xG value.
xG or expected goals measures the quality of chances a player has when shooting and Kane has only registered an xG of 0.71 in 283 minutes, less than Mark Noble who has played just two minutes of football and accumulated 0.77xG.
For reference, Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo has accumulated 3.47 xG in the Premier League since he returned, more than 16 other clubs.
In fact, according to the Expected Points table, which is measured via xG, Spurs should be on no more than four points, which puts them behind Burnley, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Watford and just one point above Norwich and Newcastle if we counted it all on xP.
— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) September 20, 2021
Of course, football cannot simply be measured by stats and that is the case with Spurs. But xG and xP are good methods to help indicate how well a team is actually performing, regardless of points or results.
Tottenham will play an equally out of form Arsenal next, and a good result in the North London derby could be vital in getting their season back on track.