Prior to Antonio Conte’s arrival at Tottenham Hotspur, the club were all over the place and would not have dreamed of getting back into the top four fight.
However, such is the class and pedigree of the manager Spurs have hired, that they now find themselves firmly in the drivers seat over the ultimate fate of the final spot in the top four.
Manchester City are the clear runaways for the title, and despite a significant drop off in recent weeks between Chelsea and Liverpool, they remain far stronger teams than those immediately below them, all hunting for the all important fourth place Premier League finish.
And Conte has made an instant impact with The Lilywhites as depicted with an incredible stat which shows the stark difference of how well the team were playing before his arrival and after it.
Tottenham before Conte’s arrival (10 matches):
xG Created: 10.60
xG Conceded: 16.25
Tottenham since Conte’s arrival (9 matches):
xG Created: 21.18
xG Conceded: 8.22
Difference +12.96 pic.twitter.com/plb9SGLEWM
— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) January 20, 2022
Expected goals quantifies the quality of the chances a team has had throughout a game or set of games. For example a shot with from six yards out might have an xG value of 0.9 and is therefore likely to go in 90% of the time on average, whereas a shot from 30 yards out might have a value of 0.1, meaning the shot will go in on average roughly 10% of the time.
So the figures on Spurs’ xG for and xG against showcase a complete turnaround for the team and depicts what a good job Conte is doing with the squad he inherited.
Tottenham can now consider themselves among the front-runners to get the final Champions League spot in the league.
They possess a deeper squad than both Arsenal and West Ham United, and are more structurally sound than Manchester United, although do arguably give up something in terms of overall quality in the starting xi to the three rivals mentioned.
Spurs are currently in fifth place in the league. One point behind West Ham with three games in hand.
It’s safe to say if Spurs make their games in hand count then they will make the top four their own to lose, and if the players keep buying into Conte’s system and way of playing then they may well mount a late push for a top three spot by the end of the season.