I miss Mystery Science Theater 3000. At the end of the older episodes with Frank as one of the Mads at the end of the show, Dr. Forrester would always say something along the lines of "Push the button, Frank." That show dealt with watching bad movies, but at the end of the movie, it's over and time for the next challenge, or experiment. The same can be applied to this match today. While it sucked a lot like the MST3K movies tended to suck, there's a new episode of THFC coming along the way. Let's not worry about it just yet. We can even make fun of or "riff" on the derp moments of Spurs and other teams to pass the time as Mike/Joel, Crow, and Tom Servo did once upon a time.
Tottenham's 12 match unbeaten streak finally came to an end today in a hard-fought, disappointing loss at Liverpool. That makes two blown 2nd half leads in Merseyside this season. Were it not for those two defeats, the unbeaten run would be at 17. Since Thanksgiving, Spurs are W11-D4-L2 on the season, which is still pretty darn good considering there hasn't been a fully healthy squad all year. Ade has been hurt off and on this season, Kaboom hasn't factored in matches for most of the season, Lennon has a minor knock at the moment, the list goes on and on.
I have a statistics project for one of my college classes this term that will involve analyzing Premier League trends from the past 5-10 years. These stats are coming from this season that I'm about to use. I will be calculating strength of schedule based on the league table and the remaining opponents for all 20 teams to come up with an average rank of opponent for home matches, away matches, and the overall remaining schedule [in that order]. Not quite as in depth as what MCofA has been doing, but it gives an idea of the schedules on paper.
[Bold for hardest schedule, italics for easiest schedule]
[Rank, Team, Home Average Opponent, Away Average Opponent=Overall Average [(Home+Away)/2], Opponent, Opponents in Top 7/Mid-Table/Bottom 6]
- Manchester United: 10.20, 10.20=10.200 (2/5/3)
- Manchester City: 13.00, 7.80=10.400 (3/5/2)
- TOTTENHAM: 10.00, 10.50=10.250 (3/3/3)
- Chelsea: 9.20, 10.00=9.600 (4/3/3)
- Arsenal: 11.80, 12.00=11.900 (2/5/3; they play the bottom 3)
- Liverpool: 10.75, 15.00=12.875 (2/3/4; they play the most bottom 6 sides of the top 7)
- Everton: 11.00, 6.60=8.800 (5/3/2; they play 2nd-6th)
- West Brom: 9.25, 11.00=10.125 (3/4/2)
- Swansea: 7.20, 9.25=8.225 (5/2/2; they play the top 5)
- Fulham: 10.80, 9.80=10.300 (5/2/3)
- Stoke: 8.60, 14.50=11.550 (3/2/4)
- West Ham: 11.80, 9.60=10.700 (4/2/4)
- Newcastle: 9.00, 12.00=10.500 (3/3/3)
- Norwich: 13.25, 10.00=11.725 (2/3/4)
- Sunderland: 9.80, 9.25=9.525 (4/3/2)
- Southampton: 8.20, 11.50=9.850 (3/4/2)
- Aston Villa: 11.00, 11.00=11.000 (3/3/3)
- Wigan: 11.20, 9.40=10.300 (3/5/2)
- Reading: 11.00, 8.40=9.700 (4/3/2)
- QPR: 11.75, 11.80=11.775 (2/4/3)
Liverpool has the easiest away and overall schedule. Norwich has the easiest home schedule; Manchester City has the easiest home schedule of the top 7 sides. Swansea has the most difficult home and overall schedule. Everton has the most difficult away schedule and 2nd most difficult schedule overall. Tottenham's on paper, is in the middle of the road. Their home is 8th toughest, away 12th toughest, and 9th toughest overall. This season has shown a different Tottenham side that are more resilient than past sides. I doubt they'd get points off of Manchester United the way they have in 2012-13 even as recently as last season. I'd still argue that other than Inter Milan, they haven't had a solid 90 minute shift of football, as Aston Villa away didn't get going until late in the first half. They may not have peaked yet.
However, this season has also shown that any team can beat any team. Norwich beat Manchester United and Spurs beat Manchester United AWAY [the only team to take points off United at Old Trafford, btw]. Southampton beat Manchester City and QPR beat Chelsea away. No match can be taken for granted. Today's result showed how important it is to have Lennon in the side and to not have derp moments on defense. Hate to learn the hard way by defeat, but that happens. Now let's see the lads finish off Inter to go to the Europa League Quarters and take care of Fulham on St. Patrick's Day this week before the international break. COYS!