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Our season so far

I posted this data a couple of days ago in another thread. Thought it might be easier to read as a table. I've calculated the table as it would have been if Reading and Derby had not had points deducted.

Essentially we have had three really good results against top teams, but generally speaking we are thumping the bottom third, drawing with the middle third and shipping a lot of goals against the top third.

'Boro and QPR will tell us a lot about where we are at; let's hope for back-to-back wins and a push on for the play-offs.



  • I wish it was May.

  • Is that James or Theresa ?

  • I would say a steady start , a new coach , lots of changes since the playoff games .

    Could do better , glimpses of what we are capable of

    20 points from 20 games in times gone by .

    A steady start on which to build for the remaining 26 games


  • we have 27 points from 20 games

  • And I expect it to continue like that - mid table team with pretensions and out muscled by the teams at the top end

  • Going old school with 2 points for a win .

    1 point a game so far , to do well you need a point and a half per game .

  • I was thinking of commenting on this half way through the season, but seeing as one has been been started, I may as well join in.

    At the beginning of season I thought we'd finish mid-table. On the basis of what I've seen so far, I'd now predict 7th. I don't yet see that we've got it to get into the top 6 , although I did bet £10 on us doing that back in October when we were 8/1 - now we 4/1.

    From the Whoscored website we are positioned as follows in the Championship:

    Possession: 65.9% - 1st

    Passing accuracy: 85.7 - 1st

    Tackles per game: 24th

    Interceptions per game: 24th

    Fouls per game: 24th

    Fouled per game: 1st

    Shots per game: 9.8 - 23rd

    Shots on target per game: 3.7 - 10th

    Source: https://www.whoscored.com/Regions/252/Tournaments/7/Seasons/8619/Stages/19794/TeamStatistics/England-Championship-2021-2022

    The top 6 criteria ratings there make sense - when you've got the ball and are passing well, you tend not to need to make tackles or make interceptions but you are susceptible to being fouled.

    So our dominance of matches is fully confirmed (unless you believe dominance is goals scored) but what we are not doing well enough is converting that possession into shots per game, and, to a lesser extent shots on target. This is something that needs fixing, otherwise we won't reach the playoffs.

    Entertainment value has generally been better than last season, with the Cardiff match being the highlight for me. However, despite the official figures, you can see that our actual attendance is pretty poor ; I would say an average of 12,000, but that obviously just a guess. So despite our domination in terms of possession, our relative lack of scoring chances is not pulling in the punters yet.

    We seem to have a weakness in getting beaten away by the better sides and this, in part, is due to the advanced position of our wing backs. So, do we modify that approach when we are likely to be pressed, or do we say, no, it's Plan A, we stick to it come what may. Well, I've come to conclude 52%/48% that the former is my preferred approach - pull them back 5 or 10m against good teams when away from home.

    Piroe and Paterson have been a real surprise with their quality but the downside is that we are heavily reliant on them for goals, so we are vulnerable if injuries occur. My other surprises are how well Bennett and Naughton have fitted in to their new roles and Downes has been an excellent signing. I'm disappointed that we haven't seen more of Obafemi and Rhys Williams but there you go.

    RM has definitely changed our style - for the better in my view - and we are doing better than OK. I'm still very supportive of "the project".

    Off the field, pleased to see extended contracts for Matt Grimes and Brandon Cooper.

    I haven't seen any of the matches but the U23s don't seem to be doing well and some teething troubles there, possibly with the change of formation, but only going on what people have said.

    Supporters Trust comms has dropped off since a change of Chairman although Terry Sinnett, the new Supporters Director, did a nice write up on his early days and the role. News regarding the Trust legal action is pitifully non-existent and there's only 3 months remaining on the limitation period for action to be taken.

  • @Fledge

    Interesting summary and one which I largely concur with. My one doubt is the average attendance figure of 12,000. Surely this should be calculated on attendances since all restrictions were lifted, otherwise it it is not a truly representative figure ? My recollection of the announced attendances, post restrictions are that they were all 16,000+ ?

  • Average home attendance so far is 16,777

  • Always looks less than 16,000 +

    Probably count all season ticket holders regardless if they turn up .

  • I was referring to actual attendances, not the "official" or announced attendances- the actual number of people in the ground. As Malc says, the official figures include absent season ticket holders.

  • I would think it would be around 14,000 plus away fans and on the day

  • Sadly for us,the three team with the most POINTS go up,the fewest go DOWN.

    Everything else is meaningles

  • that theory makes a mockery of clubs like Brentford who took over three years to gain promotion while they slowly built up a team that got to the PL.

  • @Colin_swansea

    You could say the same about Ridgers team that achieved promotion , the side was put together over a few seasons.

    After gaining promotion 3 key signings was made .

  • You know you can gain promotion by finishing 4, 5 or 6 th

  • I won't do this after every game but I thought this one might be of interest because of the light it shines on the next two games. Again, Reading and Derby are placed where they would be if they hadn't had points deducted, not where they are currently placed in the table.

    I also think it places yesterday's game in perspective. Most of us were expecting a draw or a narrow defeat, and either outcome would have been a fair result on the day.

  • Just a sad state of affairs when most fans expect a draw or narrow defeat against a side like Middlesbrough.

    Given the consensus is to give RM time to work on his project, how long/how many transfer windows until we can expect to beat average championship sides?

  • Whatever position we've been in, even in automatic promotion or play-off seeking seasons, I have never, absolutely never, expected us to beat an average championship team away from home. I know it doesn't usually work like that.

  • No it really is true.

    Wins mean points. Passing doesnt.

    Brentford were building by having brilliant scouts. Brentford have replaced sold players with quality

  • Does help them to have a sister club in Denmark , check out how many Danes they have in their squad .

  • Man United have struggled on a worse run of defeats than we have before they sacked their manager. We can’t just chop and change managers on the basis of 2 consecutive defeats. Just remember that that was in part what caused us to be relegation material when we were flirting with the drop in the Premier League. It will likely be our undoing if the club made the decision to sack RM after just 4 months at the helm. It would be utter madness.

  • edited December 2021

    @SeaJack - in the early part of this season, posters on here were saying that RM was 'the real deal', he had a massive rebuilding job to do, no pre-season to get used to his players and get them used to his playing style, it would take at least two more transfer windows for him to accomplish his master plan, that we had better get used to his 3-4-2-1 formation because he wasn't going to change it, and that anything above the relegation zone this season would be success because it is a long-term project.

    All of that was posted on here.

    Lack of pre-season aside, I think a lot of that is starting to look embarassing in the cold light of day. There is rebuilding to do but he has some damn good players at his disposal if only they were used the right way.

    So don't be surprised if there is an equal and opposite counter-reaction now that the halo has slipped, it's just Newtonian physics asserting itself.

    But seriously, I can't speak for others on here but I am not hearing a chorus of posters calling for him to be sacked and that would be just as much an over-reaction as the kind of statements I described earlier.

    For a long time now I have been saying I thought:

    • He is an inexperienced man manager who needs coaching (witness his treatment of Obafemi, Piroe, Benda)
    • He is in a hurry to succeed OR he fears failure so much that he is trying to push too fast with his main strategy, which is to emulate Man City's style of play. This can be dealt with through coaching
    • He doesn't give enough respect to his opponents (see previous point) and change his game plan accordingly. A good coach can address this
    • He has removed everyone from the club who might have been able to coach him
    • He does not show signs of learning. Well that has changed as of the last two games and this is very encouraging.

    Apart from the last two points, I think that's what most people are saying on here.

    Two defeats in a row are disappointing, but both were against top-third teams in this division so there's nothing to panic about. Strengthen in January and get a good coach/mentor in and we'll be fine. Oh, and stop messing with the U-23s and don't unbalance the squad in the transfer window please.

  • @Cadleigh

    Just one point on this post. Why do you think he mistreated Piroe in any way ? Piroe clearly stepped out of line by partying in Cardiff just before a game and RM dropped him from the squad. Unquestionably, he will also have had a 'discussion' with Piroe about his behaviour and what is expected from him.

    Since then, Piroe has gone on to be something of a revelation and his attitude and performances on the pitch have been exemplary.

    All things considered, the difficult situation seems to have been well managed, with a successful outcome.

  • Cadleigh,

    fine margins define football and those same margins on another day would have brought points in the last two matches.

    RM has a fixed idea of how he wants the game to be played and the more mistakes players like Manning make will make his mind up on getting replacements.

    If for any reason players can't take on board his mantra there will only be one option. Off you go and I will bring in somebody who will.

    RM is building his coaching career on a system of play that he believes in while those amongst us who fail to recognises subtle positional changes during a game continually scream out to change to a back four. I mentioned after the Reading game when Naughton was switched to midfield for the last ten minutes and played two defenders after Bennett was subbed for Cullen, yet, from the highlights of Saturday's game it was plain to see Naughton in a wide left sided position playing the ball through to Piroe who after going round the keeper had his shot cleared off the line by McNair.

    For the second game running we played against a team that played with five across midfield yet we continued to carve out scoring opportunities while one would have thought an experienced keeper would have done better when conceding not only Boro's goal but also Reading's. I believe our biggest problem is down our left side where, unlike on the right Laird works up the flank as well as back in defence, on the left side it doesn't, as games like Boro and Fulham away clearly prove.

    As for messing about with the U23's, not so long back many believed it was best to have youngsters playing at U23 level playing the same system as it would help them move up the ladder to first team appearances, but to me the problem lies with a coach who is not capable of coaching that system although in recent matches I have been told there is an improvement.

  • @Colin_swansea

    Lots of good points , where against Reading Paterson shot which looked as if the ball was going to to be cleared off the line the defender put the ball into the net , McNair cleared Piroe shot off the line ,

    I still prefer Bidwell to Manning as a defender , Manning may be the better footballer , I like Bidwell for his defensive side , always touch tight at corners or free kicks ,

    Always feel we are more solid when he plays .

  • Because he did it in public. No need for that. That was deliberate and it was designed to humilate the player. Same with Obafemi and training, Obafemi and his effort on the pitch, Obafemi and his attitude generally. Do it behind closed doors, don't do the equivalent of putting the player in the stocks on the village green.

  • Colin - you want to know who posted the comments about Rodgers' boring tiki-taka and Laudrup's complete change of playing style? It was you.

    I wasn't going to say it, but your sly digs ("those amongst us who fail to recognises subtle positional changes during a game continually scream out to change to a back four" - you mean me, obviously) have got me down.

    If you are in a glasshouse, think twice before throwing stones.

  • Cadleigh,

    no doubt the same sly digs that you continuously make against the posters who support, and have patience in RM.

    I would be interested in reading what I have posted about Rodgers and Laudrup or whether you have taken it out of context. Recently I have posted my admiration of Leicester's way of playing while Laudrup's complete change of playing style is compared to who in particular, Roberto or Brendan?

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