We’re two-thirds of the way through this season and Norwich City lead the pack by seven points. So far, so good. Farke knows how to win this division and has the team with and around him to to achieve that goal again this May.
But as you know, the best guide to the future is always the past; so how strong is City’s challenge this year compared to previous winners?
To find out let’s compare City’s form with all the teams who’ve won the Championship since 2011/12…
City are solidly placed in the top four on games won compared to the best team in the division over the last ten years – and are two places higher than their last Championship triumph in 2018/19.
A fantastically low loss percentage last time, bettered only by Burnley in 2015/16, and pretty darned good this year too.
This is the only faintly worrying stat. City have the worst scoring record of any team who’ve won the Championship over this period. Extrapolated across the season, they would have scored 36 fewer goals than the highest scorers, Bournemouth in 2014/15; and 31 fewer than City’s own successful tilt at the top in 2018/19!
But the most impressive stat, and one I never thought I’d see under Farke, is how few goals we’ve conceded. Far less than one a game. This extrapolates out at 22 goals fewer conceded across the season than in the Championship win two seasons ago. And another clean sheet in the next game would make City the best of the best, moving them above Burnley and Leeds.
Of course, automatic promotion would almost be as good as becoming Champions; but for the sake of having a benchmark to compare against I’ve used the top position only as that’s the surest comparison point I can make. If as a team you equal those performance levels then surely automatic promotion is within your grasp.
There are plenty of games and points to go for yet, but at this stage it’s looking good. Big congrats to Delia, Michael, Stuart, Daniel, and the gang. Would you rather be anywhere else?
PS. An early call for Player of the Season. He’s unquestionably committed, unassumingly consistent, and unremittingly effective. More than any other player he has transformed City this season. But who is he?