Premier League Projections, Week 18: The beginning of mourning

Steve Bardens

Spurs drew home to West Bromwich Albion, and in a match in which nearly all the best chances were created by the Baggies. It's not dark yet for Spurs, but it's getting there.

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.

Club W D L Pts GD Team+ Top4% ΔT4 Rel% ΔRel Title% ΔTitle 5th
Manchester City 25 6 7 81 +57 161 97% +1 0% 0 56% +1 2%
Arsenal 23 8 7 76 +33 140 87% +7 0% 0 18% +2 8%
Liverpool 23 7 8 76 +44 150 82% -1 0% 0 16% -4 9%
Chelsea 21 10 7 73 +28 137 70% +11 0% 0 8% +2 16%
Everton 18 13 7 68 +21 126 31% -14 0% 0 1% -2 25%
Manchester United 19 9 10 65 +19 126 17% -2 0% 0 0.5% -0 19%
Tottenham Hotspur 18 9 11 63 +2 118 9% -7 0% 0 0% -0.5 12%
Newcastle United 17 9 12 60 +5 99 3% +1 0% 0 0% 0 6%
Southampton 15 12 11 57 +11 112 2% +1 0% 0 0% 0 3%
Swansea City 12 11 14 48 -1 101 0% 0 0.5% +0 0% 0 0%
West Bromwich Albion 9 14 15 42 -10 90 0% 0 7% -2 0% 0 0%
Aston Villa 11 9 18 41 -15 80 0% 0 9% +5 0% 0 0%
Hull City 10 11 17 40 -16 72 0% 0 12% -0 0% 0 0%
Stoke City 9 13 16 40 -17 76 0% 0 13% +6 0% 0 0%
Norwich City 9 10 19 38 -27 69 0% 0 25% +13 0% 0 0%
Fulham 10 6 22 35 -29 67 0% 0 43% -12 0% 0 0%
Cardiff City 8 11 19 35 -29 61 0% 0 47% +14 0% 0 0%
West Ham United 8 11 19 35 -20 73 0% 0 44% +11 0% 0 0%
Sunderland 8 10 20 34 -26 74 0% 0 49% -18 0% 0 0%
Crystal Palace 9 7 22 34 -28 67 0% 0 51% -16 0% 0 0%

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