Date: 9th October 2018 at 11:01am
Written by:

The perception is, that Harry Kane has struggled so far this season.

Big clubs plan for injuries, fatigue, occasional drops in form and the pressures of multiple competitions – we can safely say that the Harry’s combination of being the only credible striker in our first team squad and playing for England has left the 25year old disadvantaged.

Looking beyond the cave man thinking of ‘yeah but who would want to sit on the bench for most of the season’ argument… it has to be added that despite Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente are less useful than railway sleepers.

It is Kane and our back line that have been left bearing the brunt of Tottenham being left with a second rate midfield.

Given that Kane’s primary job is scoring goals, let’s look at how he’s fairing in this pursuit.

Chances created is one area of interest, but you would then have to drill down and work out how many chances were created specifically for Kane – which would be painful.

The statistical tool to use is xG or ‘Expected Goals’.

Expected what?

How this xG business worked out?

Football data experts Opta have analysed over 300,000 shots to calculate the likelihood of an attempt being scored from a specific position on the pitch during a particular phase of play.

Graphic showing likelihood of goals from different positions

The factors taken into account when assessing the quality of a chance include:

  • Distance from goal
  • Angle of the shot
  • Did the chance fall at the player’s feet or was it a header?
  • Was it a one on one?
  • What was the assist like? (eg long ball, cross, through ball, pull-back)
  • In what passage of play did it happen? (eg open play, direct free-kick, corner kick)
  • Has the player just beaten an opponent?
  • Is it a rebound?

Here’s the current Premier League leaderboard 

The first thing that grabs me is that Mo Salad doesn’t feature in it!

What is truly remarkable however, is that Kane is currently outperforming all but Eden Hazard – who is on occasion – clearly magicking goals out of thin air.

The point being, if Spurs had bothered to reinforce, opposed to be the only club in Europe’s top 5 leagues not to buy anyone in the last transfer window, this ‘best start to a season’ piffle would have some actual substance to it.

Kane is up for the Ballon D’or and as WINNING is the metric, Gareth Bale’s Champions League credentials are pretty unassailable.

One award Kane doesn’t need – which will get talked up on a daily basis while we’re starved of real football – is a £200million contract with Real Madrid.

Anyone responding to this with a round of ‘He’s One Of Our Own’ …is whistling in the dark.

Players aren’t dummies when it comes to all this statistical stuff.

Harry will know he’s pushing water uphill at Tottenham and it is down to the club to provide him with the appropriate support.

Hazard doesn’t look like death warmed up after 90 minutes, Agüero doesn’t look like he needs a fortnight in Florida, just 8 games in.

Don’t kid yourself the January window might hold any solutions.

The boy’s miraculous but he’s not a machine.

 
Comments
  • Aside from cerebrospinal fluid, what's on your mind?

  • Tappaspur October 9, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    Dont know if this is true but apparently ENIC have their eyes on the hornsey reservoir site near new river. Thames water ready to do business along with Haringey council (who will “sell out! Where they gonna treat the water from Hertfordshire or wherever it comes from? ENIC buying bit up boy!! Social housing?? Errrm

  • dilly October 9, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Put to the test in the NLD surely it’s fair assessment to make that Arse currently have a more potent strike force than Spurs simply reliant upon Kane for the bulk of the goals as apposed to that dynamic twin effective partnership of Aubamayang and Lacasette respectively plus Welbeck, Iwobi , Oozil and Ramsey chipping in with goals. Toleira now a regular.

    • Harry Hotspur October 9, 2018 at 6:50 pm

      In the middle ages they would have burned you at the stake for that ☺️ Lacasette could leave us looking distinctly analogue…

    • Paddio October 9, 2018 at 7:36 pm

      They will burn out over the course of a full season.
      Fully fit we edge them in fire power.

      • East Stand October 10, 2018 at 9:41 am

        Woolwich hammer relegation fodder and we’re all shitting ourselves it seems…

        Hopefully Woolwich can cope with AOPKF Cyprus FC and Carrierbags cos they’ve got their hands full on a Fursdee…

    • East Stand October 10, 2018 at 9:38 am

      Lets big up Woolwich, I mean why the fuck not?

      It is a Spurs blog after all…

  • Accy October 9, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Re: Wanyama and that injury…

    “according to a former physio at the club (who i used at his own clinic) he has the same knee issue as Ledley.”

    http://www.spurscommunity.co.uk/index.php?threads/player-watch-victor-wanyama.124896/page-129#post-6052796

    • Harry Hotspur October 9, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      ffs, this makes sense. Totally different player these days.

    • East Stand October 10, 2018 at 9:43 am

      So he doesn’t train at all then?

    • East Stand October 10, 2018 at 9:46 am

      “according to a former physio at the club (who i used at his own clinic) he has the same knee issue as Ledley”

      Well that’s very bloody reliable ITK innit.

      My Auntie’s ex boy friend’s current missus’ best mate used to live near Luka Modric and he’s coming back to Spurs in Jan…

  • Paddio October 9, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Kane isn’t bossing games at the moment and I think that’s more where he is being asked to play and system rather than fitness.
    His best games are when hes terrified central defenders ie Liverpool and ManU at home last year, but he’s seemingly dropping deeper this year for squad tactics

  • Paddio October 9, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    The Kane staying is also influenced by not being one of our own but rather than I think he wants Shearers all timeprem scorer record and winning the premiership.
    So it would.be a another premier league team rather than Madrid that he would go to but then he would need to be convinced he could get both.

  • Jimmylofi October 9, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    A bit misleading this. Agree wholeheartedly with your assessment, Kane is magic but not invincible, and we should have strengthened regardless of how good he is. Kane was expected to score 5.22 goals over the games, based on the likelihood of him putting them away, and he’s got 5. Good lad.

    The green/red highlight on the xG stat is the wrong way round though. If Glen Murray is expected to only score 3.6 goals but he’s exceeded that by scoring 5, he’s performing better than Kane in terms of exceeding expectations. Looking further down the table, although Gulfi was only expected to score 1.76 goals, he’s actually scored 2.24 more than that on 4 goals so far (still miss him).

    As you note, Salad is currently the worst performer in the league – he’s expected to have scored 5.91 goals and only has 3. We knew he was shite.

  • Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack? October 9, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    I was well up for Llorente coming to us……..when he was available in 2007.

  • Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack? October 9, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Even Hazard wants to go to Madrid.

  • Only Me. October 9, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    For me, the issue of “cover” for Kane boils down to our own plan B attitude. No matter who we buy and have as cover, they are not Kane. When Lorente was at his best its about crosses into the box, poaching and headers. Janssen played at his best when he had space at his back, and players threading passes to him. Kane is a different beast, and can make chances when sometimes there are none, he is far more all round. So perhaps our issue is the fact that when Kane needs to rest/injured/change it up, we need to consider a new route of attack?

    • Accy October 9, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      The problem with Llorente is that beyond the possibility of a tap in or a header, he is an incompetent footballer – something one would have thought would have been flagged up when we bought him on deadline day from Swansea no less. Yes, that’s Swansea. Not good enough to be retained by Swansea.

      Sissoko, another incompetent footballer gotten rid of on deadline day by relegated Newcastle.

      I don’t particularly begrudge the purchase of Janssen because he at least finished top scorer and was a Netherlands international before it turned out he wasn’t suited to the prem.

      Moura has been a better buy because although he was an opportunistic buy (like many other recent purchases) he can actually control a football.

      • Ronan October 9, 2018 at 12:44 pm

        Before he’s put out to pasture, i think llorente might be given one last hurrah in the nou camp where poch will need some means of beating their press. I won’t be surprised if the wardrobe is wheeled out for the most daunting challenge of all, as he was at the Bernabeu.

  • Andrew October 9, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Should have gone and bought Aubamayan from Dortmund. A terrific player, lots of pace etc. That’s all we needed, would’ve been a terrifying strike force . And they can both play , no need for bench warming.
    Now the goons have him, and we are worried if Kane gets injured.

  • Kanenable October 9, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Llorente, Saldado, Jansen, Adebayor, have all failed in his shadow, now in there own right all but Jansen have had quite good careers ???

    Not sure what the answer is but would you find someone to play alongside him or to replace him when rested, there in lies the problem, Son and Moura are both very hit and miss and to be honest maybe are not the most intelligent

    I think he misses Dele badly but i do agree a solution needs to be found not only for Kane but 3/4 of the squad

    • Accy October 9, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      Son & Moura are wingers who have on occasion been rebadged as strikers. That is why they are unsatisfactory in that role.

      The problem is our recruitment strategy – which seems to involve a dartboard, a pile of horseshit and a fan.

      • BobbytheBrain October 9, 2018 at 5:33 pm

        Is it that sophisticated?