A week or so ago, I wrote an article for Counter Attack that attempted to look at whether we might try to definitively answer a burning question about North London Premier League soccer club Tottenham Hotspur: are they as good a team without their Welsh winger and European star Gareth Bale?
Rather than taking the conventional route of tallying up goals scored or assists completed, I tried to use some rudimentary advanced statistics to look if Spurs (as they’re known) are the same overall team without him.
One of these statistics is Total Shots Ratio (TSR), a simple metric (shots for divided by shots for plus shots against). Apparently, of all the available team stats in soccer, TSR cleaves fairly closely to expected table position. In other words, it’s a pretty good indicator of whether a team is in charge of their competitive destiny.