Comparing Tottenham to Recent Fourth-Place Finishers

Ryan Tolmich@@R_TolmichCorrespondent IINovember 19, 2016

Referee Andre Marriner shows a red card to Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose, number 3 third right, for a penalty challenge on Manchester City's Edin Dzeko, not pictured, during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at White Hart Lane stadium in London, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

There really is no true way to quantify the constant mess that is the Barclays Premier League.

In a league where anything goes, there’s no true way to ever predict what’s going to happen. On any day, the biggest of fish could drop points to the tiniest of minnows.

However, when attempting to calculate expectations for Tottenham from here on out, one needs to analyze from both heart and head.

When it comes to going with your gut, it is hard to imagine Tottenham pushing towards a top-four place. Liverpool currently holds a three-point (essentially four with goal differential) lead over Spurs, while Everton and Manchester United are also swarming.

However, it is also necessary to break things down numerically. For that, let’s take a look at fourth-place finishers over the past 10 seasons and how they were faring at this point of the season:

Fourth Place Finishers in the Premier League
YearTeamPoints Through 23 MatchesFinal Points

As you can see by the comparison, if Spurs keep pace they would finish with just enough to qualify.

However, this year’s Premier League race is a different animal, as parity has been the name of the game. There are more points spread throughout the top of the table, as no clear No. 1 has run away with the race. Let’s take a look at City and how they compare with previous title winners:

Premier League Title Winners
YearTeamFinal Points
13-14Manchester City87.6 (Projected)
12-13Manchester United89
11-12Manchester CIty89
10-11Manchester United80
08-09Manchester United90
07-08Manchester United87
06-07Manchester United89

Having done this, you can see City are projected to finish with a lower point total than all but three of the previous winners, meaning more points are being gobbled by teams other than the title winners.

City compare most favorably with their crosstown rivals of 2007-08, as the Citizens are projected to finish with roughly the same amount of points as Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United.

Coincidentally, Liverpool was able to snatch up fourth that campaign with 76, five more than the Spurs' projections.

With that being said, Spurs face an uphill battle in their fight for Champions League qualification. Recent drubbings at the hands of City and Liverpool do little to inspire morale, as the team will have to regroup in an effort to push forward.

There’s still plenty of time for Spurs to improve, but as of now, Champions League places may just be slightly out of reach.


Will Tottenham make the top four? Tweet your responses to @R_Tolmich or comment below!