Here’s Spurs supporter and regular FFGeek contributor Joseph Crilley with his FPL Spurs analysis on the team as a whole and the individual players from an FPL perspective. Joseph finished with an overall rank of 7k last season and 13k in 16/17.
Joseph Crilley with his FPL Spurs analysis – he looks at the team and the players
The dreaded international break is upon us and in order to help see us through, FFG has asked if I would provide some thoughts on Spurs for your benefits from a fan’s point of view (hopefully without too much bias!). I will provide a general overview of the season thus far along with the star performers and the future prospects of the squad as we head towards GW9.
Tottenham have picked up 18 points from their opening 8 games, which is actually the most they’ve picked up by this stage in any Premier League season. However, I personally feel that the results have outweighed the performances as I struggle to remember a display that I believe Pochettino will have been truly happy with. Even during the 3-0 win at Old Trafford in GW3, we had to ride our luck with Man U failing to convert multiple chances including Lukaku’s open goal miss while the score was 0-0.
The defence has conceded 7 goals so far, though, as highlighted in FFG’s underlying stats article, they have been rather fortunate having an xG conceded value of 9.7 which is below Bournemouth and Leicester surprisingly. This has resulted in only 3 clean sheets which is lagging behind the league’s top defences which is frustrating for fans and FPL managers considering how strong at the back Spurs were last year.
In attack, Spurs have scored 15 goals which is the same as Liverpool and matches their xG score of 14.8 although I would normally expect us to outperform this with Kane’s natural finishing up front. We have yet to really blow anyone away as the only victory of over 2 goals was in that match against Man U which highlights a struggle to comfortably dispatch of the so-called lesser teams. This has resulted in a lack of big hauls for the Spurs attackers who have combined for only 3 scores of 10+ FPL points during the early part of the season.
Two of those scores came from key man Kane and he has been a big FPL talking point, especially in the lead up to the previous gameweek. He has 5 goals and 1 assist so far for a PPG of 5.6 which does not present good value in my opinion for 12.5mil. The Englishman clearly started the season in sluggish form which could be due to a combination of World Cup hangover and repercussions of the ankle injury that he picked up in March. He has begun to look sharper in recent weeks and I thought the goal that he scored against Barcelona was a clear sign that he was approaching full fitness again.
However, a new problem has presented itself due to Kane taking up a deeper position this season with him playing more as a no.10 in some games. This has clearly affected his shot output as last season he was averaging 5.32 shots per 90 mins which has now dropped to just 3.25 – this is actually the lowest amount in any Premier League season for him. Something surprising that I noticed is that this is the first season that he has underperformed his xG score (5.22). For example, in 2016/17 he scored 29 goals with an xG score of only 19.8 so perhaps we can expect some improvement in the goal department.
The main reason behind the deeper position is that January signing Lucas Moura has sometimes taken up a striker role. I believe Pochettino is looking to use his pace in an attempt to stretch defences in order to create space for the remaining attackers. I have been very impressed with the Brazilian and he has arguably been our best player, perhaps benefitting from being the one of few players who was able to rest over the summer.
Alli, Eriksen and Son
Alli and Eriksen certainly seemed to have suffered from World Cup fatigue with both having injury-hit seasons, though hopefully they will return after the International break. Neither have really got going so far with Eriksen’s FPL output taking a hit after losing some set-piece responsibility. Their partner in crime, Son, has arguably struggled even more and his exertions at the Asia games seem to have really taken their toll.
In defence, Trippier is comfortably the highest scoring FPL defender at Spurs after assuming the set-piece responsibility from Eriksen leading to a total of 1 goal and 3 assists. The injury for Aurier has also helped with his security of starts which has seen him pick up 22 points in the last 3 games. Alderweireld is back in the picture and has started every game since GW1, predominantly alongside Vertonghen but he has also suffered an injury now.
There are some tricky fixtures on the horizon with Spurs facing 4 away games in their next 6 which include match ups with Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal. I’m expecting us to line up with a 4-2-3-1 over the next few weeks with the starting XI looking roughly as follows:
Trippier/Aurier Alderweireld Sanchez Rose/Davies
Lucas/Lamela/Son Alli Eriksen
The next 6 fixtures
West Ham (A)
Man City (H)
Crystal Palace (A)
It was recently announced that Vertonghen is not expected to return to training until December which represents a big blow to the clean sheet prospects as he has been a key man at the back. He is the only naturally left-footed centre back in the squad and Sanchez had difficulty filling his LCB role during the Barcelona match. The Belgian’s absence combined with the tough fixtures could reduce the FPL output of Trippier and the other defenders – the ‘Bury Beckham’ is currently in my side and I’m strongly considering selling for Mendy/Robbo this week.
Following his early season form, Lucas is by far the most popular Spurs midfielder, but he has started to see plenty of transfers out this week. He has blanked in his last 4 games which include Huddersfield and Cardiff, though he did post some fantastic stats in the last game with 5 shots and 3 key passes. Watching Match of the Day, I’m not quite sure how he didn’t score and he had a very advanced position after lining up in the centre forward role. He’s another Spurs player in my team and I think it’s a good idea to hold onto him for one more week as he looks decent value at 7.4mil.
The rest of the midfield
As for who else may emerge from our midfield, I think Son and Lamela will be reduced to bench roles once Alli and Eriksen return – provided that Lucas keeps his form up. It used to be a toss up in FPL between the two stalwarts of the midfield, but Alli is comfortably the better proposition over Eriksen this season for me. The lack of set-pieces for the Dane combined with the more advanced position of Alli suggests that the latter is the premium midfield Spurs asset to go for if you desire one.
Now for the big question – Kane. I fully expect him to have another 20+ goal PL season, but the high price tag is a posing a difficulty for obtaining him in our FPL teams. With other premium players such as Hazard and Aguero performing well, then you need to have confidence in the ability to captain Harry in order to justify a place in your team for me. With the aforementioned tough schedule, plus the better fixtures for Liverpool, City and Chelsea in the next few weeks, I don’t think he demands a role in our FPL teams right now – I fail to see a gameweek that I would captain him in during the next 6 weeks. However, I would certainly keep a close eye on him as the schedule turns very positive for Spurs from GW15 until GW28 and there are plenty of armband opportunities in that spell.
If you are holding any Spurs players, I would probably give them the next West Ham match, but I don’t think that I’d be looking to bring anyone in given the next few fixtures. We face Man City in GW10 followed by two tough away trips so that looks a good potential selling point as well. Nonetheless, FPL managers should closely monitor the performances of the team and individuals over the next few weeks, with the option to bring in one or two assets when the fixtures turn very kind in GW15.
Hopefully that article has helped to provide some insight into Spurs – feel free to ask any questions in the comments or reach out to me on Twitter.
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