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Despite fixtures against Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Leicester in their next six matches, along with away trips to Crystal Palace and Wolves, there are reasons to be hopeful for those keeping faith with their Tottenham stars.

While the schedule is tough, Spurs only travel outside of London once before their Gameweek 13 trip to Anfield: heading to Austria for a Europa League tie against LASK next Thursday. And they also won’t be playing two midweek matches during this tricky sequence, as happened at the start of October.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Stats need context.

Spurs looked fairly poor in the opening half against Southampton until Son Heung-min (£9.5m) scored just before the break. But goals change matches, and the Saints capitulated in the second half. Then two weeks later at Old Trafford, a dysfunctional Manchester United were hit for six. 

When explaining their predictions, FiveThirtyEight note that:

The value of a goal when a team is leading decreases linearly to the end of the game, when a real-life goal is worth half a goal in the eyes of our model.

– FiveThirtyEight

In other words, those two matches probably had slightly inflated scorelines.

In between Spurs played a poor Newcastle side missing one of their main counter-attacking outlets in Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.3m). A negative approach allowed the hosts to rack up 23 shots including 15 inside the box and four big chances. Spurs scored once from an xG of nearly three.

Their next four opponents were both better and a little more resolute.

Against Burnley, Spurs scored once from an xG of 0.6, and while they managed an xG of 1.9 in their 1-0 win over West Brom, the goal came very late in the game. The match might have opened up a little more had Son not dallied when presented with a big chance after 12 minutes.

But those two narrow wins weren’t a sign that Spurs had suddenly decided to jettison their attacking style, just as the two big wins didn’t mean they were going to score five or six each week.

As I mentioned in a comment a couple of months back; “styles make fights”. How a match plays out depends on how the two teams approach it. Then during the game, the scoreline will often affect that approach; so you might see one team go more attacking if they need a goal and, as a result, potentially leave themselves more open at the back. This is nothing you don’t already know.

Also, the lack of pre-season hindered many teams and probably goes some way to explaining the huge amount of goals we saw early on.

But all this context is often forgotten when we start grouping stats – and for small sample sizes like four matches, context is important.

Journalistic license

The most disappointing result so far was the 3-3 draw with West Ham, in which Spurs surrendered a three goal lead in the last few minutes of the match.

Tottenham began in clinical fashion; scoring three times inside the opening quarter of an hour. And they missed two good chances to really put the game to bed – Son’s close-range effort after 34 minutes was saved before Gareth Bale (£9.5m) shot wide in stoppage time after a jinking run into the box.

That match was rightly seen as a turning point, but it didn’t – as some publications claimed – cause a total change in behaviour. The take that Mourinho had suddenly done a complete volte-face and gone from being an “expansive” attacking coach to one that “grinds out wins” was an exaggeration at best. Here’s the actual quote that article was based on:

I said that we were speaking a lot about it [the draw with West Ham] and working a lot about that situation [losing three goals in the last five minutes]. I am not going to say we are not going to lose matches or lose points in the last minutes, it can happen to anyone.

We felt the pain against West Ham and since then strategically the team is behaving in a different way. The two clean sheets, at Burnley and this afternoon [West Brom], showed the lesson – a team in the last five minutes that was very solid, it looked like the pain made a positive effort and the team improved after that.

– Jose Mourinho

The best example of game management was in the final five to ten minutes of the Brighton match, as Spurs kept the ball as far away from their goal as possible. It was professional and showed they had learnt their lesson.

A squad is a puzzle

– Jose Mourinho

Piece by piece things have come together very well for Jose Mourinho. 

The arrivals of Gareth Bale (£9.5m), Carlos Vinicius (£7.0m) and, in particular, Sergio Reguilón (£5.6m) have transformed the balance of the team and the options at Mourinho’s disposal. And last season’s club-record transfer Tanguy Ndombele (£5.9m), feels like a new signing having put aside his differences with the Portuguese Head Coach. 

On the left flank, Reguilón is more attacking than Ben Davies (£4.7m), averaging more touches in the final third, more goals attempts, and creating more chances. While defensively the Spaniard wins more tackles and makes more recoveries and clearances.

Sergio ReguilónBen Davies
Touches in Final Third20.612.8
Goal Attempts1.20.5
Chances Created1.40.6
Tackles3.42.8
Recoveries6.44.0
Clearances3.62.8

Key stats per appearance since Mourinho took charge

Reguilón’s willingness to get forward has had the effect of releasing Son from the shackles of the left wing. Between Gameweeks 30+ to 34+ Neale observed that “Son had been peripheral on the flanks since the restart …. his xGI was a meagre 1.47”, but contrast his touch heatmap for that period to the period since Reguilón made his Premier League debut in Gameweek 4. 

Between the two periods, Son improved his big chances per match from 0.2 to 1.2.

On the opposite flank it’s been an inauspicious start for Matt Doherty (£5.8m). Yet his Tottenham career nearly got off to the perfect start; in Gameweek 1 a trademark surge into the box ended with a shot at goal that was well saved by Jordan Pickford (£4.9m). That remains the Irishman’s only effort in six Premier League appearances.

Pre-season much of the talk was about whether Doherty could replicate the attacking threat shown at Wolves, and there are probably a few reasons why that hasn’t happened: a lack of rest following his extended final season at Molineux; a change in the balance of the team with Reguilón attacking down the left; and getting used to playing in a back four.

Speaking about the positional change Doherty commented:

Going into a back four it’s certainly tougher and it’s something I’m getting used to and improving with each game… I’m still able to get in at the back post and get forward but it’s just harder work because you’re coming from deeper and you’re not necessarily up the pitch all the time.

Defensively though it’s just a lot about your position. When you play as a wing-back for so long, you pick up a few bad habits. You probably don’t get in as tight to your centre-back as much as you should and it’s about your body position.

– Matt Doherty

Serge Aurier’s (£5.2m) anticipated move away from the club failed to materialize, and the Ivory Coast full-back has put in some of his best performances in a Spurs shirt when called upon this season, especially against the Manchester clubs. 

During the Amazon documentary viewers saw Mourinho tell Aurier, in no uncertain terms, that he had reservations about his marking:

I am afraid of you as a marker. Because you are capable of doing a sh*t penalty with VAR.

– Jose Mourinho

Aurier’s response this season is testament to his character. Long term, Doherty should be the first choice right-back but Aurier has made that decision far from certain. Though as Fantasy managers, whoever starts, we’ll be hoping for better on the attacking front.

Midfield protection

In the current system, with Moussa Sissoko (£4.8m) starting alongside the combative Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (£4.9m), there is cover should the full-backs push on – as can be seen in this sequence from the match against Manchester City, after Aurier joined in an attack:

Sissoko tackles Ferran Torres (£6.9m) while covering at right-back for Aurier.
(click on image to enlarge)

This means Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso (£6.9m) are currently vying for the one spot in the team, while pre-season favourite Dele Alli (£7.4m) has dropped way down the pecking order. It’s a remarkable turn of events; Mourinho was effervescent in his praise of Alli as recently as August:

I think when I arrived by November/December, I think he was really good and he created in us big expectations, and he is doing the same now [August]. And hopefully he matured, he knows what he has to do to be the great Dele Alli we all love.

– Jose Mourinho

At half-time in their final friendly before the new campaign it was a familiar story with Ndombele withdrawn after failing to close down Watford’s Tom Dele-Bashiru inside the box. Dele Alli dropped into a deeper midfield role for the second half.

Not many would have predicted that nine Gameweeks later it would be the Frenchman receiving praise for his stellar performances. His skill on the ball has never been in doubt; his close control and ability to pass under pressure are exemplary. Witness the opening goal against Manchester City, when his sharp turn and pass played in Son. 

Ndomdele receives a short pass from Højbjerg and turns sharply under pressure from two City players. Kane makes a movement towards the ball, taking both centre-backs with him, creating space for Son to run in behind. Cancelo is a little slow to react to the run from Son.
(click on image to enlarge)

Ndombele has improved the defensive aspect of his game, and his application has impressed Mourinho. Nonetheless, he sometimes finds himself in the wrong position to make a tackle, as he did when challenging Riyad Mahrez (£8.2m) in first half stoppage time:

Coming on with half an hour to go, Lo Celso made an immediate impact when he replaced Ndombele, scoring his first Premier League goal. The Argentine took advantage of the space vacated by Kyle Walker (£6.1m) with Kevin De Bruyne (£11.7m) less effective at covering the right-back position than Sissoko was for Spurs. 

Lo Celso scores with De Bruyne unable to catch him. (click on image to enlarge)

Lo Celso is back to fitness after a series of niggling injuries dating back to early March. The 24-year-old impressed as a number 8 for Argentina during the recent international break supplying an assist in both World Cup qualifying matches. 

A creative midfield trio of Ndombele, Lo Celso and Højbjerg is unlikely at the moment, certainly against Chelsea, but it offers Mourinho another option for breaking down stubborn deep-lying defences should he need it. 

At the moment the midfield is organised to offer protection for the attacking full-backs, which in turn allows the wide players to take up more central positions.

Super Subs

Against West Brom it was the introduction of Vinicius that helped unlock an obdurate Baggies rearguard. Forming part of a front two, the Brazilian gave the three centre-backs an extra forward to think about, and helped create space for Harry Kane‘s (£11.0m) winner.

I believed that to bring Vinicus to fix the centre-backs and to give Harry a little bit more freedom could help us … in the last part of the game they were starting to drop and I felt that we needed a striker to change the dynamic and change the positions and to give them a new problem that until then they didn’t have.

– Jose Mourinho

The joint top scorer in Portugal last season, Vinicius adds not only cover for Kane but gives Mourinho a tactical option he didn’t have last season.

Gareth Bale is gradually getting up-to-speed and the returning Welshman has already made an impact off the bench, scoring the winner against Brighton & Hove Albion.

It’s such a contrast to compare the Bale we saw towards the end of his time at Real Madrid to the one we see now. He’s gone from being an outcast, clowning around in the stands of the Bernabéu, to a happy team player. 

About to come on against Manchester City, an injury to Toby Alderweireld (£5.4m) forced a change of plan. Bale’s reaction was to give his countryman Joe Rodon (£5.0m) an encouraging pat on the back before he replaced the stricken Belgian. An indication of the togetherness in the squad.

Leaders and Winners

Bale is also a leader and a winner. Captain of his country, he picked up four Champions League and two La Liga titles during his time in Spain. And, as I mentioned in August, Mourinho has been adding leaders and winners to his squad: Højbjerg and Joe Hart (£4.4m) joined the playing staff with Ledley King appointed as First Team Assistant.

New-signing Reguilón won the Europa League with Sevilla last season and Rodon captained Wales for the final half hour against Finland during the recent international break. The Welsh conceded just once over their six Nations League matches.

The New No 2 – João Sacramento

Wales was also where Tottenham’s ambitious Assistant Head Coach took his first steps towards a career in professional coaching. Aged 18 João Sacramento, a former youth player at Braga, left Portugal to take up a place at the University of South Wales (then the University of Glamorgan), completing a BSc in Sports Coaching followed by an MSc in Performance Coaching. In 2012 he became an assistant lecturer on the courses he had just completed.

It was as a student when he first made contact with Mourinho, sending him a piece of work he’d done on tactical periodisation. Mourinho replied and they have been in touch ever since. 

Tactical periodisation is the idea and method of doing everything around the ball. As John Terry put it when describing his first training session under Mourinho:

You never see a pianist running around a piano, you see a pianist work on the piano… And from day 1 of pre-season we have the balls out, which was probably unheard of.

– John Terry

From Wales, Sacramento joined Monaco as Manager of Opposition Analysis, working for Claudio Ranieri and later Leonardo Jardim. 

Then in 2017 the Portuguese moved to Lille, where he was appointed First Team Assistant Coach. At the Ligue 1 club he gained experience under Marcelo Bielsa and Christophe Galtier, and even had a seven-game period as caretaker manager.

His attention to detail is frightening. He’ll sit and work tirelessly to find flaws in opposition systems, sometimes working 16 or 20 hours to find any opportunity he can to win.

– Steve Savage, Head of Sport, the University of South Wales

When Mourinho took over at Spurs his long-time assistant Rui Faria was unavailable having taken up a full-time managerial post. So Mourinho turned to Sacramento:

We can say that by talking, by changing opinions, by changing ideas, we know each other for quite a long time and I knew that he was going to be an assistant with quality because he has great talent and with great motivation.

– Mourinho on Sacramento

The new No 2 soon endeared himself to Spurs fans with his enthusiastic celebration following Jan Vertonghen’s winning goal against Wolves in 2019. 

However, for the recent match against Manchester City, instead of lining up in his usual position alongside Mourinho in the dugout, Sacramento took a seat five rows back in the stands.

Presumably this was to give him a better overview of the pitch. Sitting at a desk, the 31-year-old was working away on a tablet, shouting instructions down to Ledley King and Mourinho on the bench. 

Back in 2011, when he was undertaking a placement at Cardiff as a scout and academy coach, Sacramento started a blog. The blog, which has since been taken down, featured an analysis on Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona. Luckily enough a copy of the blog survives on the Internet Archive. 

In it, Sacramento describes why Guardiola encouraged his centre-backs to bring the ball out of defence in order to create ‘three on two’ or ‘two on one’ imbalances in the midfield. He then goes on to explain some of the thinking behind this system as well as its weakness:

Coaches admit in books and lectures that the safest way to play out is through the full-backs (using the full-backs as reference players). From my point of view, the reason why Guardiola opts for this strategy of playing through the middle rather than the flanks, is due to the fact that most teams in the world currently use the moment that the full-backs have the ball as a trigger to press.

That is, when a full-back receives the ball, the opposing team is going to focus on pressuring the full-back because the wide areas of the pitch are considered easier to press, since the full-back with the ball is limited because he is close to the touchline.

However, taking into account this type of offensive initiation through the centre of the pitch adopted by Guardiola, it is important to note that it is a very difficult and risky system because it requires a lot of technical-tactical solidity on the part of the players, especially the centre-backs, because if possession is turned over there is no second man to compensate.

– João Sacramento’s blog, translated from Portuguese

The system changed slightly at Bayern Munich with the full-backs, instead of marauding up the wing, tucking inside and becoming “inverted full-backs”.

Another tweak took place at City with one full-back, Kyle Walker, frequently forming a back three alongside the two centre-backs, and the other full-back, João Cancelo (£5.6m) or Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.5m), tucking into midfield.

As you can see from the shot below, Cancelo was often alongside Rodri (£5.4m) at the base of midield.

From that position, the Portuguese full-back played a couple of excellent balls through to Ferran Torres (£6.9m) either side of half-time.

The tactics Spurs employed were very interesting as Sacramento had the chance to put his knowledge of Guardiola’s system to good use.

For instance Son, instead of lining-up on the left where he would have been up against the lightning-quick Kyle Walker, started on the right. A successful ploy as it contributed to the opening goal, Cancelo unable to keep pace with the South Korean.

Conclusion

Tottenham, it would appear, currently have an excellent blend within the club: an ambitious young coach who works tirelessly to find flaws in opposition systems; a squad full of winners, leaders, and different attacking options; and a successful manager who is ready to adapt his approach depending on his opponents.

And, yes, I’m aware how stupid this article will make me look if Spurs get hammered by Chelsea!

TopMarx Fan of Fantasy Football and Monty Python. "Archimedes out to Socrates, Socrates back to Archimedes, Archimedes out to Heraclitus, he beats Hegel. Heraclitus a little flick, here he comes on the far post, Socrates is there, Socrates heads it in! Socrates has scored! The Greeks are going mad, the Greeks are going mad! Socrates scores, got a beautiful cross from Archimedes. The Germans are disputing it. Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside.”

53 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Samurai Blue
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Great article mate. Cheers.

  2. FPL Virgin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Why is this only a community article? This better than 50% of the pro pundit articles I read. The amount of effort that has gone into this is staggering.

    1. RedLightning - January to M…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Community Articles often result in better discussions than main articles, unless the main articles are accompanied by Hot Topics, since many of the comments on the main articles are just a string of RMTs by posters some of whom have probably not even read the articles themselves.

      There are so many main articles now that it might perhaps even be easier to find this kind of article among the community articles than if it was a main article hidden between all the other regular main articles and match reports.

      Many of the pro pundits articles are a bit different from this one, often giving insights into their different individual styles of play and the thinking behind their plans for the coming game-weeks, although others do cover other subjects such as the psychology of FPL players or suggested differentials. As with most community articles, and unlike many of the pro pundit ones, this one is not about TopMarx's own team.

    2. TopMarx
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      Very generous praise, thank you! Although to be fair I think we've had some top notch community articles recently, and I was worried this article was a bit long. Now let's see how silly I look in 90 minutes time!

    3. noquarternt
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 25 days ago

      Most ‘pro’ pundits stuff is just click bait rubbish. But this is the age of social media and I guess FFS want to go to ‘the next level’...

      Top marks

  3. Flair
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 27 days ago

    World class article. Great read

  4. Wild Rover
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    What’s the blanked out word?

    1. the Penman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 27 days ago

      “Counts”. Jose wants his team to win a title by playing as if they already have a title.

    2. TopMarx
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 26 days ago

      I removed one of the stars... It's obviously not a word I come across very often.

  5. Rotation's Alter Ego
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Incredible article from one of the best. Cheers TopMarx

  6. Giggs Boson
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Amazing article, great work!

    I like what Spurs are doing. Their solid central midfield of Holberg, Sissoko, Dembele helps control the centre and improves the press, similar to Liverpool's solid central midfield. The playmaking then comes from the central striker, and the fullbacks - again, similar to Liverpool. Controlling the centre is a key chess principle, and the logic translates to football quite well. Liverpool and Spurs proving how effective it can be.

    Many criticise Southgate for trying a more defensive central midfield, but it's a viable strategy if one of your front 3 can create, and both your fullbacks bomb forward. Conte won the league with Matic & Kante sitting in front of a back 3. You don't always need a creative player in central midfield.

    Spurs are moving in the right direction, unfortunately.

    1. TopMarx
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 26 days ago

      Excellent observation. How's the current coaching badge coming along? I remember you saying last month you were partway through your second one.

      1. Giggs Boson
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 26 days ago

        Huh, I didn't think I told anyone that 😆 I got extremely drunk a few weeks back after my nan died so must have
        been then...

        It's been on hold for over a year now, for mental health reasons. Been continuing my programming work at home, but getting out there and coaching is too much right now.

        Getting better though, made huge progress this year. Hopefully I can restart it next year.

        1. TopMarx
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 26 days ago

          Delighted to hear you are getting better and continuing work at home. You didn't tell me directly about the coaching badges, you mentioned it in a comment about Reece James after he was dropped for Azpilicueta in GW4. You turned out to be spot on in your assessment:

          "But as someone who is partway through his 2nd coaching badge, and has read countless books on tactics and attended many lectures, including one in person on tactical periodisation by Jose, I'm convinced Reece James is crucial to the way Chelsea want to play moving forward. And when Ziyech returns Reece James will become one of the best value players in the game."

          I'm actually thinking about doubling up on the Chelsea defence, although I might wait until after Leeds, given how many chances they seem to create.

          And that lecture by Jose must have been fascinating! Would love to hear him talk about tactical periodisation.

          1. Giggs Boson
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 26 days ago

            Jeez that post sounded egotistical. I hate drunk me. I try to be open to other people's opinions, so that "My opinion is superior because x/y/z" tone I had is ugly to me. I must have been frustrated with someone insisting James wasn't first choice, when to me it was clear he was.

            Yeah, I really like the Chilwell James double up. I think it's the way to go this season. Superb team defensively, and both players are heavily involved in attacks, and bap magnets. Both are FPL gold mines.

            Chelsea are my favourites for the title, provided Ziyech stays fit. They have everything. Strong on the counter, terrific at breaking down low blocks, and solid defensively against all types of teams. No weakness really. They have all the tools required for all situations. City and Liverpool have one or two problems, but they'll be up there for sure, wouldn't be surprised if they won. Spurs and United are amazing on the counter, but they do struggle against the low blocks sometimes... so I think they'll battle for 4th...

            Who knows though, football is so chaotic and unpredictable. Fun to try anyway 😆

            1. TopMarx
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 26 days ago

              I didn't read it as egotistical, I thought it was interesting to know your background.

              I agree with you about Chelsea but I like to think Spurs are more than just a counter attacking team (although we can be ruthless on the counter). Against low-blocks we might go with Ndombele and Lo Celso, or have Vinicius with Kane, and we are yet to see the best from Bale too. And Doherty, once he settles, should help against low-blocks with his runs into the box.

              There was a lovely passage of play in the City match, if you go to https://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/fixtures/first-team/20202021/spurs-v-manchester-city/?tab=LatestNews scroll down and click "Show More", you will find the full match replay. Then go to 12:04 in the match (16:18 on the timeline) there's a 13 pass move that would have been a wonderful goal if Kane hadn't been narrowly offside. It started with Reguilón winning possession in his own half. I know City weren't in a low block but still it was a good move.

              So I hope Spurs will be higher up the table than you have them 🙂

              1. Giggs Boson
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                1 month, 26 days ago

                That was a beautiful move.

                Oh they're definitely not just a counter attacking team. I have them and United both down as "good" at breaking buses & "superb" at counter-attacking, whereas Chelsea, Pool, City are down as "superb" at bus breaking. I'm starting to look at tactical matchups to see if I can spot trends.

                You guys huffed and puffed against Burnley and West Brom, for example, so I wouldn't captain Son or Kane again against a low block again. KDB, however, got the armband against Burnley, because it's a favourable matchup for City's particular style - they excel against these kinds of teams. I think these matchups are important... need more data though...

                Spurs are a fantastic team, and they may well be higher, I just think the standard is very high at Chelsea, Liverpool & City this season. But I'm probably wrong! 😀

                1. TopMarx
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • Has Moderation Rights
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 25 days ago

                  Valid, I do think if Son scores that chance after 12min v WBA it becomes a more open game, but yes I would definitely feel more confident going with KDB against a low-block than Kane or Son.

                  I also wonder if Spurs will improve against low-blocks, a player like Lo Celso could make a difference and hopefully Sacramento figures out a way through!

                  It's interesting that in both matches against Burnley this season (PL and League Cup) City have gone with width to beat them.

  7. mixology
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Fantastic, cheers!

  8. Blitzar
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 27 days ago

    One of the best articles I have read in a long long time. A class apart from the other articles i have read here. Waiting for the next one. Well done.

  9. MikeBravo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    An article worthy of featuring on The Athletic. Very good.

  10. ch33kych4ppy
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Brilliant article thank you. Tottenham will win today

  11. Groot the Leveller
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Good stuff
    The next few weeks will be interesting and informative

  12. Greyhead
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 27 days ago

    Just a brilliant article, the level of detail, quality of writing and layout is superb and deserves top marks

  13. TopMarx
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 26 days ago

    Thank you for all the kind words!

    I'm pleased with a draw against Chelsea. Rodon got lucky a couple of times at least (clearly a step up from League B of the Nations League), hopefully he settles down next week. And James put in two great crosses at the start of the second half. But I thought Højbjerg was excellent again, and Ndombele is wonderful on the ball - his defence-splitting passes didn't quite come off today but very pleased to see he's trying to make things happen. Spurs were a little sloppy at times I thought but started to get some control in the game as the first half wore on.

    Hopefully form doesn't go out of the window next week, it's the first time in decades I feel this confident going into a North London derby.

  14. Sharkytect
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 26 days ago

    This is just a wonderful article. I may be biased as a spurs fan - it's always enjoyable reading nice articles about your own team. but this has been put together using so many sources of info and stats. Well done. Thank you.

    1. TopMarx
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 26 days ago

      Thank you, and I value your opinion even more as a biased Spurs fan 😉

  15. Werkself
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 26 days ago

    I'm late to party but had to add my voice to those above in praise of this article. It's a terrific analysis and a great read. And I agree with the opinion that the community board is the best place for it because it won't get buried by unrelated comments and then pretty much disappear in a few hours, which is what would happen if it was posted on the main FFS page.

    1. TopMarx
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 26 days ago

      Thank you, and I agree, it would be nice to get more article-specific comments on the main articles too. This is something "the powers that be" are aware of.

  16. Ze_Austin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 26 days ago

    Beautiful stuff, earning top marx

    1. Ze_Austin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 26 days ago

      Heck, I've bookmarked it for reference

      1. TopMarx
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 26 days ago

        honoured 😀

  17. waltzingmatildas
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 26 days ago

    Late to this, but great article. Thank you!

    1. TopMarx
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 26 days ago

      Thank you 🙂

  18. noquarternt
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 25 days ago

    Fantastic article. You should push this to somewhere like The Athletic, see what they think.

    1. TopMarx
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 25 days ago

      I'm delighted you think it is good enough!

  19. Sam A La Dichet
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 25 days ago

    Honestly this is the best article I’ve ever read on ffs, and there have been many excellent ones.

    1. TopMarx
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 25 days ago

      High praise, thank you. And there are a lot of excellent articles on site, I agree.

  20. Eytexi
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 25 days ago

    This is the first non-Eliteserien community article I have read in quite a while, and with good reason. Not only helpful, but completely fascinating. The honourable mention of Sacramento really made it for me. Fantastic work my friend, and good luck for the rest of the season.

    1. TopMarx
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 25 days ago

      Thank you, and I hope you have a good end to the season in Eliteserien.

  21. The King Wilson return
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 25 days ago

    I loved reading how the current spurs team come about and the details about Mourinho and his assistant.

    Thank you

    1. TopMarx
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 25 days ago

      Glad you enjoyed it, thank you for commenting 🙂

  22. MyPrettyPony
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 25 days ago

    Hi, TM,

    I've not been on a lot/ at all (!), have had a busy few months and a FPL season which I'm already ready to forget but I wanted to check in just to thank you for this quality article.

    I hope you are well and that maybe in 2021 we get another FFS tournament so you can teach me how to defend properly again!

    1. TopMarx
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 25 days ago

      Hi PK,

      Great to hear from you, another FFS tournament in 2021 would be fantastic. I'll need to get my fitness up as I've found it hard to exercise with all these lockdowns, but having something to aim for would be good. And I still have 50 t-shirts from the Stroke Association that arrived just after the last tournament! At least we can use them for the next one.

      I hope all is well with you despite being busy, and I definitely don't need to teach you how to defend, behave!

      1. MyPrettyPony
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 25 days ago

        Ha, I forgot all those shirts arrived too late! Definitely an excuse to organise another tournament, although obviously that won't be for a little while yet (I hear Villa Park is free this weekend...)

        Yeah, our Vet's football is due to restart again this weekend after a month off but I've forced myself to stay fairly healthy in lockdown cos I know I'd go downhill quickly otherwise!

        Am still keeping an eye on FFS of course, and enjoying your articles as always, mate. Maybe your lot will get you an overdue trophy, eh?

        1. TopMarx
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 24 days ago

          Well I count the Audi Cup we won last year! We beat Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in clinching the coveted trophy...

          Ok, yes, a proper trophy would be nice. Pretty please.

          And what's happening with the two-time European Champions? Languishing at the wrong end of the table by the looks of it.

  23. avfc82
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 24 days ago

    A bit to late to this, but it's absolute gold TM.

    I even read it twice!

    1. TopMarx
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 24 days ago

      Honoured, thank you Tom!

      And well done on your Raphinha differential pick, still only 0.2% owned but I suppose Leeds play Chelsea next, really nice little run after though. He passed the eye test I thought.

  24. El Estadístico
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 24 days ago

    Enjoyed it very much

    1. El Estadístico
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 24 days ago

      And sorry for being too late for this, as I was really busy with work. It feels like I have missed something great!

      1. TopMarx
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 24 days ago

        Thank you for taking the time to read, I look forward to reading your next piece 🙂

  25. Dreams
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    How good is this article. Keep on reading it on a daily basis in awe of the depth of the analysis. One of the best ever.