Over at 11tegen11, the author has written an interesting post on PDO this season. PDO, you’ll remember, is simply a team’s shot percentage added to their save percentage. It is primarily a measure of luck, although excellent teams can sustain a PDO on the high side in the short term. He compares Premier League’s PDO to its RSR, kind of a tweak to the Total Shots Ratio. As the author explains:

Remember, a high RSR signifies a relatively high ratio of shots created, and is a strong characteristic of sustainable good performance. A high PDO signifies a high ratio of shots converted and/or saved, which has proven to be a lot less sustainable over the longer term.

The information closely resembles James Grayson’s earlier mid-season review. What’s interesting is the notable gap between Tottenham’s RSR (.625) and its PDO (973). We can reasonably conclude that Villas-Boas’ Spurs show strong fundamentals but have encountered some bad luck.

Still, the conclusion in the piece is worth repeating: “Based on these parameters, the top-3 will most likely be United, City and Tottenham, with a close battle for fourth between Chelsea, Everton, Arsenal and Liverpool.” This mirrors Graysons’ conclusion from early December:

Tottenham are probably my favourites for one of the two available top-four spots. They already have points in the bag, have reasonable opponents over the next four games, and all this despite having an unsustainably poor sv%. That’ll improve as the season wears on and I’d be surprised if they weren’t in the mix for third come the end of the season.

The media machine is still churning predictably on the question of whether Spurs “have the personnel” to continue their form, but the old character jobs (he has a tactics notebook!) on December’s Manager of the Month Andre Villas-Boas have mostly quieted down. AVB meanwhile has not, and revealed in a recent interview that Chelsea needed to sack him to change course:

“I think they could have give me the opportunity to continue. But I am fully aware that changing (the manager) was the only way to make an immediate impact on the results,” Villas-Boas told France Football magazine on Tuesday.

“What we have been doing at Tottenham with my staff is a reaction to the mistakes we made at Chelsea,” the 35-year-old coach added.

It’s interesting that Villas-Boas managed to right the ship after an eight game period in November in which Spurs lost five, drew once and won twice. Since November 25th, Spurs have won nine games, drawn twice, and lost once in all competitions. Perhaps the only mistake AVB needed to learn from at Chelsea was not to join a club like Chelsea.