I've been thinking a lot about strikers lately.
20 goals is the magic number.
Everyone says, you need a striker to guarantee you 20 goals a season.
Well I'm going to come in from a different angle here.
It doesn't matter how many goals your striker scores, what matter is how many points you accumulate.
And in order to accumulate those points, goals scored/conceded is going to play a large part in this.
You'd have to ask MCofA exactly how much it correlates, and I'm aware that it's not exactly but on the whole those at the bottom half of the table have a negative goal difference, whilst those at the top have a positive goal difference.
There are of course exceptions, last year Liverpool had a goal difference of +28 mainly due to a few 5-0 victories.
Tottenham scored 66 goals and conceded 46, giving us a goal difference of +20
We conceded more goals than anybody in the top 7, and scored less than the four teams above us.
We actually scored as many as Man City but conceded 12 more goals.
The key to bridging the gap is fairly simple.
We want to score more goals and concede less. It's obvious when you say it, but that's the basis of football.
Score more than you concede.
I like to think that we should be aiming for 76 goals scored. 38 conceded.
That's an average of 2 scored per game, and 1 conceded.
If you're scoring 2 goals per game, then other than the odd 3-2 loss, you're going to be winning and drawing most games.
So at the end of our season, I believe we look at the team and say.... How can we score more goals and concede less.
Who can we add to this team to change those stats?
Going by my number of 76 goals, we need to add 10 goals to the team somewhere, it really doesn't have to be the striker, if Paulinho scores 8 that's 8 more than Parker last year.
The interesting thing is this. If you want to score 80 goals a season, and your striker scores 20, you need 60 to come from the rest of your team.
If you have that,
Then a striker scoring 13 goals gets you 73 goals and a striker scoring 23 gets you 83.
You're not putting all your eggs in one basket and the success of your season doesn't rely on one man.
If you look at the acquisitions since AVB came in you can actually see this moneyball concept in effect. The purchase of Jan Vertonghen adding goals from CB, the purchase of Siggy was supposed to have the same effect from midfield, even Dempsey, Now Paulinho.
Paulinho actually being the perfect purchase for us and arguably the most important when you see that it's our goals conceded stat that's actually most worrying from last year.
Suddenly breaking the transfer record on him doesn't seem at all strange.
So where do we add 10 goals to our team from?
Defoe scored 11 goals last year so it's a reasonable suggestion that £25m for a striker that would score 20 is money well spent. The problem being that you can never guarantee that a a striker will score 20. I don't think many of us would turn down Aguero but he finished the last campaign with 12 goals, imagine last season we had bought him for £30m on the premise that it was all we need to complete the team.
On top of that you could end up with injuries taking Mr 20 goals out for half a season.
Levy and Baldini have to look at our team and work out how to add goals and they have to work out the most cost effective way of achieving this.
Don't get too irate when they decide that a £25m to £30m striker isn't the instant solution.
If Paulinho scores 5 more goals than Parker (0). And Adebayor and Defoe manage to up their combined total of 16 to a not inconceivable 20.
That alone is 9 more goals.
Maybe replacing lennon with Chadli adds another 3 or 4. ( a cost of £7m not £30m)
Siggy not having the unluckiest season in the history of football might add 5 more.
Bale could have a better season thant last year. 3 or 4 more.
The team could have just gelled more finding better fluidity and breaking down defenses easier and as a team score more goals in total anyway. Not taking the first 10 matches to get used to the coach is another plus.
Defensively, a season of Kaboul and Sandro being fit, Lloris starting from day 1 and what looks like one of the most defensive midfield trios in the world will hopefully shore up that goals conceded stat.
(arguably a far more alarming stat)
So fellow spurs, if we sign a striker... Great.
If not, don't panic.
I genuinely think we'll score more this season, concede less. And subsequently break our record points total for the second year in a row.
Obviously nothing is as simple as I've written, but it's definitely not as simple as saying "sell defoe, buy benteke, win the league."