Before you look at this and or thing wtf is PDO, or why do SoT’s matter, a good collection of definitions in the ‘stats’ world is this here.
So left to right is the % share of shots on target a team has over the season. Bottom to top is their scoring% + save%. As Owain’s graph shows, the higher a team is, the ‘luckier’ the are, the further right they are they ‘better’ they are. Green dots are those in automatic promotion,
I feel sorry for Blackpool, patched together a team at the start and it just hasn’t clicked. Not sure whether they’ll survive, plus the stuff coming out of Bloomfield Road about the Oyston quotes from that textual flurry.
Notable also, is the position of Middlesborough – many Town fans (arguably, on that unbiased medium, Twitter) were commenting on how poor Leadbitter looked and how they were surprised at how Ipswich dominated. The buzzword that I subscribed to and agreed with was organisation. Mick has really organised the team well and the squad is beginning to get to a level of understanding between the key positions – translating into being a difficult team to break down on the pitch. Boro, however, generally have been very good – and beyond Bournemouth being a quick, very flash side who score a hat load of goals whilst rarely keeping a clean sheet, Karanka’s men are a lot more regimental in their approach. I think they will be there or there abouts come May.
Derby are an odd one. Given their personnel, they should be far and away dominating this league. Solid manager, strong squad and some exceptional individuals (Bryson, Martin and of course, Hughes are all awesome players – back 4 are equally solid) yet they seem to have been slipping up here and there. Highest PDO in the league and a fairly average Shorts on Target ratio. They should be doing much better with the players they have.. Efficiency springs to mind.
Brentford, our Boxing Day opponents, are very much in a similar boat to Town. Similar PDO/SoT, and seem an organised team. One of those squads which has been promoted and fears no-one. Their manager has them ready for every game, would be a pity if they don’t make play-offs at least. It’s a funny division, this, and I worry if they stay this year, they could be in a relegation scrap next term.
Blackburn, the team I have a little soft spot for, also plodding along nicely. IMO, should be doing better with the talent they have, particularly in both the middle of the park (Cairney) and at the back (Hanley, also Jason Steele – one of the better keepers in this division). Up front, of course, they have Jordon Rhodes and Rudy Gestede. I could be wrong, but Gestede seems to have been pushed wide a few times. He’s a talented lad, and one I’d want Mick to go for should we get promoted/lose McGoldrick, but his talents are wasted on the wings. He knows how to stick the pigskin in the onion bag.
Fulham, Brighton & Wolves get notable mentions. I wanted Wolves to be doing a bit better than they are, especially with some of the talent they have – Fulham have begun to show why their yoof are so highly rated, and McCormack has found his shooting boots and got a bit fitter. Scott Parker’s not doing too bad either is he? Need to be more efficient with their shooting, and experience will benefit the youngsters. One or two seasons, and there’s some real talent at the club who can push on. Brighton have just lost Sami, so expect a minor surge when the new manager comes in. They’re not a bad team, I just feel for Hyypia. Seems like he put his hands up and said it wasn’t working, so fair play but I like to see a manager either go at this point or stay till the season ends and then go pretty soon. It allows the new man to prepare, get his head around the club and pick out areas he wants to improve.
So Town seem to be doing good on more metrics than I’d imagine – but the league is so barmy, any team who can string 3-6 results together can suddenly be amongst it and the optimism can sling them to the big prize.