A thrilling game in which the points were shared and, on the balance of play, probably fairly so. Everton were slightly depleted and Tottenham were missing the other worldly Gareth Bale along with Aaron Lennon; two players who have been in on, in one way or another, 49% of Tottenham’s total shots in the premier league.
If your team is missing players of such importance it is always likely that a dip in performance is to be expected. Tottenham played well, albeit without the same zip and thrust to their play. Kyle Walker was sensational in Lennon’s absence, providing the width down that right flank and at times getting the better of the Premier League’s best left back Leighton Baines.
The main focus of this article is the two teams’ Shots Frequency. I came up with this method of looking at each teams shots by time as an easy way showing how the frequency of shots changes throughout the game and especially how the frequency of shots changes as the game state (winning/losing/drawing) changes.
This chart shows each teams accumulated shots divided by time on the clock.
The game was tied at 1-1 very early in the fixture following Adebayor’s opener and Jagielka’s equalizer.
At 1-1 we see Everton’s shots frequency dip in a big way, whilst Tottenham’s frequency at first spikes in response to Everton’s equalizer but then tail off an stabilize until Everton’s 2nd goal.
Tottenham, at 1-2 down, really kick into high gear in terms of chasing the game and registering shots. There’s an almost relentless increase of Tottenham’s shots frequency once they were at the -1 game state. This increase culminated in Tottenham’s slightly fortunate equalizer through Holtby.
Once the game was again tied, this time at 2-2, Everton, with what little time remained, began to create chances on the counter attack as Tottenham pushed for the game winner. We can see Everton’s mini spike in shots frequency from the 88th to the 94th minute and this is evidence to that counter attacking which created a couple of quality scoring chances.
Now we know what effect each teams shots frequency looks like and the effect that game state has on each teams attacking intent and registered shots, let’s now look at the location of each teams shots attempts.
Location Of Shots Attempts
This is Tottenham’s breakdown of their shots attempted by location. The locations are split between left side of the box, right side of the box, center of the box and outside the box.
It’s pretty easy to see the problems Tottenham had today in trying to break down Everton’s defense: 15 of Tottenham’s 20 shots came from outside the box and this tells us how difficult the home side found it to get in behind Everton’s obdurate defense. Of the 3 shots Tottenham took from a central position inside the box 2 of them resulted in goals and the other hit the post. That’s a tiny snapshot of the importance of getting in behind a defense and shooting from inside the box, especially from the central portion of the box.
Frankly, Everton’s shots location chart looks little better than Tottenham’s, but there is obviously a key difference between the two teams. Everton, despite being out-shot to the tune of 20-9, recorded just one less shot from inside the box than Tottenham did.
Again, for all Tottenham’s shot volume the difference was in how many shots Tottenham attempted from outside the box–15 to Everton’s 5. That solitary shot from a central position was the only difference between the two teams in terms of in the box shot attempts.
To conclude: It was Tottenham who were the busier and more frequent shots team, but as I have shown, 75% of Tottenham’s impressive shots total were taken from outside the box where the odds of a shot being on target are highly unlikely. Credit here must go to the well drilled defensive unit of Everton, who restricted Tottenham to low quality pop shots from outside the box, far away from the red zone/central area.
I have no doubt though that the absence of Bale and Lennon certainly contributed to Tottenham’s inability to create shots from inside the box, especially centrally, where the chance of a shot being on target or a goal vastly improves. Remove the two most creative and effective players and it’s no surprise to see the location quality of Tottenham’s shots decrease, especially against an opponent as tough and stingy as Everton are.