"Tottenham's form needs to be more like Peru"
What Is It?
The Rolling Form Guide (RFG) looks at the number of points gained in each 6-game sequence.
For more explanation, take a look at the previous one here.
What Do The Levels Mean?
On the left hand side you can see the number of points gained in any six-game run. These actually equate to something. For example, the 14-point level means that if your season average is up here, you are getting 2.33 points per game. Over a season, that would give you 89 points and you are challenging for the title.
At the other end, if your average is 6 points, that's a point a game and only 38 for the season, so you are in a relegation battle.
Amazingly, Tottenham visited levels worse than that. Below relegation there is a level at which clearly Points Are Not Tottenham's Strength (PANTS). But being Spurs, on one occasion we even bypassed that and descended to one lower, which can only be described as Totally Pants.
8 points per 6 games will leave you mid-table on 50, a 10-points average will give you 63 points which should mean UEFA Cup qualification and a 12-point average would see you challenging for the Champions League.
What Does It Tell Us?
Looking at the completed RFG for this season one thing stands out: it looks like a bastard mountain range. The only word to describe our form would be "inconsistent", when we can go from being totally pants to title-winning form in the space of five games.
You can see that we spent nearly half the season (18 games) in sub-UEFA Cup qualifying form, and offset it with a couple of good runs. We were showing relegation form or worse for 7 games - that's nearly a fifth of the season. But then again we spent the same number of games showing Champions League form or better. As I say - inconsistent.
Obviously some of it depends on the sequence of fixtures, but you wouldn't expect to play more than two top four teams in any 6-game run.
Our season low point was the LLDLDL sequence leading up to our visit to Everton on February 21, having garnered a fizzy pop-tastic 2 points in the previous six games. But JJ's last-minute winner was a turning point and we set off on a five-game winning streak that gave us a fleeting glimpse of title-winning form.
The drop-off following the Chelsea defeat was down to two of the five consecutive wins being replaced by the Wigan and Goon draws. But we finished on a sequence of WDWWDD, giving us a CL-achieving form of 12 points to open our account next season.
Sorry Mr Jol – I disagree!
On the official site, BMJ made this assessment of our season:
"We had a bad start, but it lasted just six games in which we played Manchester United and Liverpool away. We lost by a single goal at Anfield and probably should have scored before they netted at the other end. Bolton, of course, was also a disappointment on the opening day."
We didn’t get our first away win until Manchester City in December, and the guide reflects this contrast in home and away form very well. It was not just a “bad start” – our form was up and down for most of the season.
What About The Future?
Unlike even Lawro, the RFG has no predictive qualities. All it can do is look back at the kind of form the team has been showing, and at any one time tell you what that form will bring you at the end of the season if it's maintained.
For next season it would be good to see something that looked less like the Himalayas and more like Holland. Well maybe not Holland, as that is flat but at a low level. So if our form is a bit up and down, can it at least be at a higher level? Something like the The Altiplano of the southern Peruvian Andes maybe?
To be at a Champions League level, Tottenham will need to have a consistent set of sequences with a combination of wins and draws to average that magic 12-point level. A tall order, especially with our terrible record against the top four. So we'll have to offset any defeats in those games with another win.
Finally, if the shape of the graph looks familiar, take a look at the 'rollercoaster' image in Geez's signature.
Notice anything? ;-)