Form Guide March 2012
P W D L F-A GD Pts
6 2 2 2 8-7 1 2
(2 Cup Matches)
· February 2012 figures
· Last year's figures
The mystery of score ratio
After most games, when inviting readers to cast their votes on the various skill areas and individual performances of players, manager and officials, one recurring query is about "Score Ratio".
I don't ask people to be too scientific about it, but basically my definition of "score ratio" is the number of goals scored in relation to chances created. Thus, if only 1 chance was created, and only 1 goal scored, then in truth the score ratio ought to be 10 ot of 10! Those who vote are able to see the scores given by other readers, and often comment quizzically about some of the marks awarded. Overall, I am satisfied that the "Spursometer" gives a good overall trend in relation to each of the categories nominated.
Score ratio is an underlying theme this month, as Spurs have scored their lowest mark of the season so far, with just 44.16%, which is definitely under par. So far this season, the skill area has managed 53.92%, and is distinctly the worst skill area for the current Spurs side.
This is not a new problem, as the "score ratio" element has been Spurs' achilles heel for the last two seasons too, although not by such a margin as so far this term. It's easy to explain the low grade for this particular month, where we played 6 games, failed to score in two, and only scored one goal in two more games. These low scores were all in our Premier League games, where we managed just two league points, continuing a run of five league games without a win, leading to a drop to fourth place. We did score three goals in both our Cup games, but these were against moderate opposition.
Even in the Bolton game, where we scored three goals, the score ratio was quite rightly seen as less than satisfactory, because, as one voter said, "If we had put our chances away we should have won 12-0!"
How do we explain the general trend this season though? Partly, it is because we prefer to play one man up front (Adebayor), with Van der Vaart in support. The goals per minute played ratio of Defoe, Saha and Pavlyuchenko (marginally) are all better than that of Emmanuel Adebayor. Defoe has started 9 games less than Adebayor and played 400 minutes less. Most people can see though that Adebayor offers so much more to Spurs with his overall game. He has height as well as pace; wins and holds up the ball; and also appears on both flanks to offer more options to his team-mates.
Part of the answer must be the need for the midfield to offer more goals. Of course, Gareth Bale scores plenty, and he is level with Adebayor in all competitioms (12 goals). Jermain is our top scorer with 15. Rafa van der Vaart joins these three on double figures for the season so far.
Luka Modric is a little dynamo and is at the heart of so much that Spurs do, but he could do with scoring more, with 4 so far. Scott Parker has yet to score a Spurs goal, and whilst his speciality is at the other end, for the amount he does get forward, he needs to hit the net. There was a great example against Bolton, when he missed a golden opportunity in front of goal. Jake Livermore is having a great season, and scored in the first game at Hearts, but he also gets into the opposition area, so could do with more goals.
Perhaps two of the major answers to my question about "score ratio" lie in the absences of players such as Tom Huddlestone and Aaron Lennon. "Thud" hasn't played since August. Message Board members know that I am not actually his greatest fan, but had he been fit, he would have got more games, and he would have created and scored more goals.
Oh, and I haven't even started to write about our current long-standing inability to score from free kicks and corners, until Nelsen (v Bolton)!
The big miss for me has been Aaron Lennon, who has actually missed 17 of our 44 games through injury, and started just 20. Aaron hasn't featured in our last four games, and has played in just 4 of our last 11 matches. Even though we lost at home to Manchester United, Lennon was voted as the Spurs Odyssey man of the match. He has tweeted this week that he is fit for selection, so it would be good to see him in tandem with Bale again starting Sunday at home to Swansea.
Speaking of Gareth Bale, he is the Spurs Odyssey player of the month for March, winning his third monthly award this season. Bale was voted our man of the match twice in March, making a total of seven individual votes in 33 appearances this season. Despite that, Gareth is still chasing Scott Parker for the player of the season vote. Parker's form showed a decline this month, but he is the only player with an overall mark which is over 7 out of 10 at this time. Most of our other first choice players are still in with a chance of winning that accolade at the end of the season.
White Hart Lane witnessed an incident this month, which has attracted the attention not just of the football world, but the world as a whole. I refer, of course, to the miracle of Fabrice Mumaba, still in intensive care, but making miraculous progress following his cardiac arrest on March 17th, and his amazing resuscitation. No review of this month could be complete without making reference to the story, which is reflected on this page:-
· An account of the night Muamba collapsed
...if you want to read reports of the matches played during this month, then links are on the Spurs Odyssey Fixtures page here. By working your way back through the previous month's figures, you can review the performances over more than 11 years!