Dave Bowers (Dave B to regular readers of this site) has again offered us an intriguing insight into the Farke era based on his statistical comparison with the previous eras of Lambert, Adams and Neil. Take it away Dave…
With the international break coming to a close, now is a good time to reflect upon the season so far. Building on my summertime review of the previous three Championship seasons, I have updated all the charts to include 2017/2018. So here we go…
Setting the scene
So far this season we have:
- Played 11 games, representing 22 per cent of the season.
- 5 home, 6 away.
- Competed against the teams currently residing in the positions 3rd, 4th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 14th, 16th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, and 23rd.
Warning about the data
Before we go further here’s my “get out of jail free card”.
- Many of the graphs and charts show the “average” for a particular stat as the season progresses. The longer the season goes on the less impact to those stats by “blips”. That said, early in the season they can be erratic.
- As we discovered in my previous analysis, we may need as many as 30 games to have a good idea of our likely finishing spot.
- Finding meaningful patterns is made difficult due to the two disparate halves of the season (pre and post Millwall).
- I have used exactly the same measurements as I did in the summer pre-Farke. I have not cherry picked any data to make him, or other managers look good or bad.
Therefore, while the following is interesting, don’t get too hung up on it:
Position and Points
The two most important stats: Are we garnering points at the required rate? And is it reflected in the table?
Fig 1 – Position
After 11 games our best league position was 1st, under Neil/Adams. Under Neil alone it was 2nd, Lambert 3rd and Farke 9th.
Fig 2 – Points Accumulation
For points accumulation Farke still trails, but not by the margin seen in league position. Neil would lead with 23 points, Adams 21, Lambert 20, and Farke 18.
Home vs. Away form
Fig 3 – Away pts. Accumulation
Previously away games were identified as the key area between success and failure for promotion. Farke’s away form is nearly in line with others (the same as Neil, 1pt behind Lambert and 2 behind Adams).
Home form (not shown) has Farke joint last with 8pts, Neil in the lead with 13pts.
Goals For and Against
Two key indicators of the likelihood of winning a game. Ideally the average goals scored is higher than the average conceded!
Fig 4 – Average goals against
A disastrous start has shown a very clear improvement and is now in line with Lambert (13 goals) and better than Neil (15 goals). The Adams’ administration performed particularly well at this point, only having let in 10. Although ten games later and it all began to unravel.
Fig 5 – Average goals scored
Goals scored remains very low at 11 goals, almost 1 goal a game less than Neil and Adams (21 goals scored each). A key area in need of improvement!
A myth doing the rounds is that having high levels of possession leads to better results. The next three graphs show this is not the case for us. Simply put, the more possession we have the less likely we are to win or score, and the more likely we are to concede.
Fig 6- Goals conceded vs. possession
Fig 7 – Goals scored vs. possession
Fig 8- Points vs. possession
It should come as no surprise to see two very different patterns in the graphs. For me this both vindicates the alarm people had in the early season (it was that bad), while supporting the positivity currently emanating from the pitch to the fans (things are that good). If promotion is our goal then we can’t take our foot off the pedal but the good news is that our squad clearly is capable of promotion pace points accumulation.
Cheers to Dave; interesting as ever. Let’s all hope for an update further on in the season that has plenty of upward curves.