Right, thought experiment. What can you tell about teams from league tables?
These things are rarely as simple as they first look, but I want to get the better of the game’s history. I want to be able to identify the best players from past seasons, to understand teams more.
So I want to be able to decode league tables better.
Below are a few to get you thinking.
Leeds, for instance, were a good team who would shut up shop when they went ahead. So theirs goals conceded totals are very low. And they didn’t really have conventional ‘star forwards’ (arguably they got worse, or at least a little less machine like, when they did) – the quality in this side was in the midfield. Can you tell that from the league table?
What about Arsenal in the early 90s? What does this league table tell us? Again, that team was pre-Wright, and arguably the team declined when he signed. This team was extremely well balanced, with a fine new goalkeeper (Seaman) a legendary defence and a well mixed up midfield (Limpar, Thomas, Davis) supporting the likes of Alan Smith and Paul Merson.
Huddersfield? Sheffield Wednesday? What do these league tables tell us? Can you describe teams in these tables, which are good in defence not attack, which are good in attack not defence, which look good in defence because they attack so much, which look good in attack because they don’t defend as a team? What am I looking for?
Genuinely interested in your thoughts here so please chime in.