Rich made a comment in my previous post that got me thinking, “just how hard was our first half?”
Well, unfortunately, soccer is a bit behind on the sabermetrics such as SOS and RPI and Power Rankings or other crazy mathematic formulas/systems that determine, well, everything.
What we can figure out is our points haul from one half of the season to the other. And, after looking at the statistical breakdown, we’re definitely a second half team. Does that mean our schedules are easier in the second half? Impossible to tell.
But, sure makes you wish we had playoffs eh? (First 19 games on top, second 19 on bottom)
As the stats bear out, only twice in the past 7 seasons did our points haul drop from the first to the second half: 2006-07 when the club, for all intents and purposes, collapsed; and 2009-10 when we had the likes of Juventus, Wolfsburg, Hamburg, and Atletico Madrid to worry about (read the sentence after the semi colon back without smiling. It’s impossible.)
Excluding those two seasons, the average point increase from the first half to the second is 7.2 (with them, it’s barely 3).
Things didn’t go as planned on Wednesday but, if we win the remaining home games we *should* win, I don’t see how we don’t beat the 20 point haul from the first 19 games. By my count, we’ll have 25. And that’s not counting any away matches.
So, even though this club is schizophrenic with amazing highs (comeback versus Arsenal) and awful lows (see: 2011-12 Europa League Group Stages) I’m optimistic about the second half of the season. Even without a recognized forward for the foreseeable future, trying to reach that magic number of 20 (or, 40 overall; which should be more than enough to survive) is still something to watch for in the remaining games.