Are Spurs for real?
They sit at the top of the table but should we expect them to stay at that lofty perch?
It feels like there is a bit of deja vu happening.
A club from North London has gotten off to a hot start, has become a media darling, and is a surprising leader of the Premier League in October. Last season it was Arsenal. This season it is their neighbor Tottenham who top the table (with Arsenal only in second based on goals scored).
Last year at roughly this exact same time, I wrote something similar about Arsenal and wondered if this was for real, and where it would need to get to be a “real” title challenge.
The first complicating factor is that the season started earlier last year with teams in the 9 to 10 matches played range, rather than the 8 that has been played this season. That little bit of extra data helps but it probably doesn’t make too big of a difference but it should be something to keep in mind.
Starting with my projection model, Spurs are still carrying a lot of doubt regardless of where they are in the table.
They have 20 points right now but are only projected to on average earn 63 points total this season. That is earning another 43 points over the 30 matches, which is just 1.43 points per match and just a 54-point pace. The spread betting is more bullish, putting them on roughly 70 points (69.5 to 71) but that is still just a 1.68 and 64-point pace for the rest of the year.
Suffice to say, people are not convinced of them yet. My model rates them as the 6th best team, the spread betting puts them as the 7th best team on points per match for the rest of the season.
But why is that?
I think the major factor is that the underlying numbers are just not that good. Unlike Arsenal at this stage last season (where they were legit putting up title-challenge numbers) Tottenham have been good but not great.
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