Friday, May 16, 2008

What was Ramos’ impact on our league form?

Juande Ramos is an undisputed cup expert, winning five trophies at Sevilla and obviously one with us (so far). We were knocked out of this season’s FA Cup by ManUre (at Old Trafford) and the UEFA Cup on penalties to PSV – neither of which could be described as embarrassing exits. Despite some of my recent doom and gloom, I am excited about what next season’s cup competitions have to offer.

But what about the league? Ramos guided Sevilla into the Champions League and is obviously hopeful of doing the same with us. A bottom-half finish was obviously a huge disappointment to all of us this season, but since Ramos inherited a side struggling in the league part-way through the season, he can’t be held completely responsible.

I’ve taken the liberty to analyse the league table and divide it into two. Firstly, when Ramos took over at WHL we had played 11 league matches (BMJ was in charge for the first ten, and then Clive Allen for the eleventh). I have therefore constructed a league table based on all teams’ first 11 matches of the season. I have then created a second one showing everybody’s latter 27 games of the season:

I think it makes interesting reading. Yes we all know we had problems in the early part of the season and lay in the relegation zone at the point our new coaching team took over. Since then the form has been up and down. We have spent most of the season in eleventh place, and following the patchy league form since our Wembley win, we have been unable to push on and secure a top half finish.

However, there have only been six sides who outperformed us since the end of October. Although a seventh place finish in the ‘Since Ramos’ league table would not be enough to qualify for Europe, it’s not a bad showing.

Compare that to Martin Jol’s early record, who also inherited the managerial reigns mid-season. When BMJ took over from Santini in November 2004, we ended the season in ninth place overall. Despite finishing two places higher than Ramos has done, Jol also accumulated 39 points from 27 games (although his goal difference was +8, compared to Ramos’ +10). On league form, there wasn’t a lot to choose between them in their first seasons. And we all know what happened in Jol’s next two seasons – two consecutive fifth place finishes.

If Ramos can replicate or improve on that record most of us will be pretty happy. However, as I’ve said before, I’m not overly confident about next season. With the recent standard of performances we’re not looking like a Champions League side (more like a Championship side) and with a gap needing to be filled following the inevitable loss of Berba, I think we might have a tough start to the season.

However, if we can find the form of Ramos’ first fifteen games – leading up to Wembley – then things look more encouraging. We averaged just less than 1.7 points per match under Ramos before the Carling Cup success. Extrapolate that over the course of a full season and we’d accumulate 63 points – the approximate equivalent of a fifth place finish.

We’ve heard plenty of excuses from the Spaniard that the whole reason our form suffered was because we didn’t have anything to really play for. Well on that reckoning I’d hope that he can ensure we can replicate his first few months in charge and perhaps therefore I have reason to feel a lot more positive.

At the end of the day I think my pre-season optimism (or lack of it) will depend on the comings and goings at the club over the next few months. But I’ll save that discussion for a future post.


Anonymous said...

Nice analysis. The key thing about next season is to get of to a good start. At the moment virtually none of the squad is going to Euro08 (except for Modric I think) so Ramos would have lots of time to work with them. If we are in the top 5 after 10 games then we have lots to play for. We also need to get that decent keeper

Greekos said...

Very interesting. Seems to me like we have the same manager in the league but can win cups. Strange. Im sure that if Ramos fills the four major positions: - a striker to replace Berba, DM, LM, Goalkeeper and bring in anyone else to give the team a depth in quality then we can definately see what Ramos is really made of and see what he can do with his own squad. Whatever happens the future looks bright for Tottenham.

Anonymous said...

Problem with the analysis is that it doesn't take into account the fact that the seasons objective was achieved and the players took their foot off the pedal, whether this is right or wrong is another argument, but it's fact. If we analysed Ramos' results between taking over and the Carling Cup win, I think you'd get a more accurate reflection, although you wouldn't be able to analyse many games. There is an easy way to compare, wait until next season.

Anonymous said...

Results between taking over and Carling Cup win.

Won 15
Drawn 8
Lost 5

That's Champions League form.

Anonymous said...

Does that take into consideration the injury list that we had at the beginning of the season, i still think that if our key players were not injured we would have had a better start.

Anonymous said...

Results IN THE LEAGUE between Ramos taking over and the CC Final:

7 Wins (Wigan, Citeh, Pompy, Fulham, Reading, S'land, Derby - 5 home, 2 away)
4 Draws (Boro, Wet Spam, Everton, Man Utd - 1 home, 3 away)
4 Losses (Brum, Ar5ena1, Villa, Chelsea - 1 home, 3 away)

25 points from 45.

Results after CC Final:

3 wins (Wet Spam, Pompy, Reading - 2 home, 1 away)
5 draws (Chelsea, B'burn, Boro, Wigan, Bolton - 3 home, 2 away)
4 losses (Brum, Citeh, Newc, L'pool - 2 home, 2 away)

14pts from 36.

Anonymous said...

Most important thing is that best league form under Ramos was before CC win, when it really could have mattered - after, with Euro qualification and no danger of relegation, well, it just really didn't matter that much.
Moral of story - media muppets, Gooner **NOHKUJ**&JH*s and assorted retards who believe next years form can be gauged by the league form since the CC win shutup - it will be much much better!

deninmk said...

The 2006/7 season started almost exactly the same as 2007/8. Our then manager pulled it round and we finished 5th (again). Would anyone care to add up the points earned in the last 27 games of 2006/7 (without the benefit of Hutton and Woodgate to strengthen the defence) and let me know why they think Ramos is an improvement?