Tottenham Hotspur: Eye-Popping Statistic Show Defensive Issues at Spurs

Frank Wagner@Fw1812Correspondent IFebruary 19, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20:  William Gallas of Tottenham Hotspur is dejected after they concede a goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at White Hart Lane on October 20, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

With Tottenham sitting in fourth spot in the Premier League and in line to achieve their goal of securing Champions League football for next season, it is hard to find much negative about the club.

Sure, there are some serious issues at the striker position, but the side seems to keep working through those.

Yes, rumors continue to swirl around the possible departure of Gareth Bale, but the superstar Welshman just continues to bang in goals and contribute as of late.

It makes sense that there isn't a lot to complain about at a club that is succeeding, but are there any on-field issues that need attention?

Some interesting statistics might just reveal a concern in the Tottenham defense that would otherwise go unnoticed.

While the Spurs by no means have a bad concession rate in the league (30 goals, fourth in the league), supporters of the club can easily attest to the fact that the side has had their issues with mistakes and miscues this season.

At the start the season, the side let in an unimaginable amount of goals conceded in the final ten minutes of matches. However, Tottenham have improved dramatically in that region and have been able to steel themselves through the final moments of their contests, all but destroying their problem.

In fact, over the past several matches, the Spurs have been very good at the back, conceding just five goals in their 10-match unbeaten run.

Hence, it was quite surprising to find this statistic, which shows the defense struggling.

Here is the statistic, comparing the percentage of opponent shots that become goals:

Club Percentage of opponent shots that are goals
Manchester United 8.52%
Manchester City 9.23%
Chelsea 8.97%
Tottenham 11.54%
Arsenal 10.14%
Everton 10.26%
Liverpool 11.45%
Swansea 8.40%
West Brom 8.41%
Stoke 8.52%
West Ham 9.74%
Fulham 10.10%
Sunderland 7.69%
Norwich 10.99%
Southampton 13.31%
Newcastle 12.64%
Aston Villa 11.31%
Reading 10.26%
Wigan 13.08%
QPR 9.86%

Data compiled via

Clearly, this is not a very flattering statistic for the Spurs.

Their rate is much higher than that of any other team around them in the table. In fact, only three other sides have a rate higher (Southampton, Wigan and Newcastle), ranking them 17th amongst the Premier League in this category.

So, is the Spurs defense as bad as this makes them look?

Of course not. After all, this is just one set of numbers amongst the slew that could be kept.

There are many possible explanations that should make one rest easy and not overreact, not least of which is the luck factor that comes through an opponent's fine finishing.

However, the numbers surely have some basis in reality. While goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has certainly not been at fault on many goals this season, these numbers speak to the mistakes the defense, and in particular William Gallas, have made in letting their opponents get into must-score positions.

While Tottenham's overall record has been quite good this season, this statistic speaks toward the unacceptable mental mistakes that have been made throughout the season.

This is surely an area that the squad and its young core will hope to amend throughout this run-in and in seasons ahead.



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