I don't really want to talk about either yesterday's match or my projections. I'm beginning the process of mourning a Tottenham Hotspur season that is looking more and more likely to be lost. What if Spurs had brought in a different manager over the summer if there were already problems with AVB? What if the club had converted chances at a normal rate early on and didn't find themselves under the microscope in the last month? Would the talent have been good enough, in a different system or a different atmosphere to make the run I thought? I don't know.
One thing I do know, however, is that when you mourn, there are no stages. The Kübler-Ross model developed mass acceptance in popular culture despite the fact that there is exceptionally little actual evidence that people go through stages of grief in any generalizable way. Mourning, rather, is an unpredictable process for which there is no right path, no easy way to distinguish the pathological from the normal. The belief that we go through stages of grief has not only led to tons of terrible joke on sitcoms where a character shifts immediately from one stage to the next, but it has actually made it more difficult for people in mourning to receive the help they need. In fact, people often don't experience extreme grief, and that is not typically unhealthy. Indeed it can be a very good way to bounce back from a loss.
Ok Fine You Took a Psych Class, Now Tell Us about the Game
Yeah, the game. West Bromwich Albion had less possession and fewer shots, but those stats completely misrepresent the balance of the match, in my opinion. West Brom took seven shots to our 20, but they took four of those seven shots from the central area of the six-yard box. (That's Olsson's goal, Olsson's early header off a corner, Vydra's free header that he glanced wide, and Gera's mis-hit shot that Lloris saved.) Spurs by contrast took 11 of 20 shots from outside the box, and precisely none from the six-yard box central.
We had four shots from the central area of the eighteen-yard box, one from the wide area of the six-yard box, all off target. Four of the five were assisted by crosses, meaning they were significantly lower expectation than the normal shot from those zones. So we had only one-quarter of our shots from good areas, and they were low-expectation for shots from those areas.
Based on shots locations, shot types, and on-target rates, I have the expected score as about 1-2 West Brom. We were probably lucky to salvage a point.
Projections and Power Rankings
Because of rounding, not all the numbers necessarily add up quite right.
|West Bromwich Albion||9||14||15||42||-10||90||0%||0||7%||-2||0%||0||0%|
|West Ham United||8||11||19||35||-20||73||0%||0||44%||+11||0%||0||0%|
- Manchester City's victory kept them on track at the top of the table, but Liverpool's solid performance kept them from dropping too deep off the lead. Liverpool could have brought themselves nearly even with City if they had won, but with four SiBoT to City's three, they were perhaps a little unlucky not to at least save a point.
- The truly bad win this weekend was Manchester United's over Hull City. Hull deserved at least a point after taking ten shots from the danger zone, five on target, while limiting United to only one danger zone SiBoT out of four shots. United do not move up to take advantage of Everton's terrible loss and Hull continue to slip free of the drop zone.
- Speaking of the drop zone, whoa. Sunderland took three points from a match the bookies (and my numbers) gave them barely a 1-in-10 chance to win. Crystal Palace beat Aston Villa on the road, Fulham did the same to Norwich City. At the same time, Cardiff City were utterly awful (zero shots on target) in a home defeat to Southampton and West Ham blew a one-goal advantage on route to a solid stomping against Arsenal. The result of all of that is the pile-up you see at the bottom of the table. Five clubs all roughly 50/50 to be relegated, Norwich City next at 1-in-4, and none of Aston Villa, West Brom or Stoke City entirely safe.
- West Bromwich's good performance in the draw at White Hart Lane didn't win them significant points to put them out of the drop zone, but it improved their underlying stats and projection enough that they seem highly unlikely to fall back down there again. Spurs both lose expected points and lose future projection from being clearly second-best in a home fixture.
- Everything is terrible.
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Bromwich Albion: Final score 1-1, Spurs lucky to get a point
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Bromwich Albion: Lineups and match thread
- Stats and Projections for Tottenham Hotspur vs West Bromwich Albion
- Writers Prediction League: Tottenham vs. West Brom
- Boxing Day Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for December 26, 2013