Shut up about our road form

There’s a stat going around the interwebs that states our (mighty) 8 goals scored on the road is the worst in the entire Football League. And as a result, we’re 18th in the away table.

But here’s another stat for you: we’re somehow tied for fifth best in the EPL on away goals conceded with just 19. And would be tied for 4th had Bobby Zamora not completely skied a wide open net against Everton in October.

Here’s the top 5 away goals conceded for the EPL. Who top the list? Take a wild guess…

POS TEAM W D L F A
1 United 11 3 1 34 12
2 City 7 4 4 28 15
5 Chelsea 5 5 5 18 15
9 Everton 5 4 6 15 18
7 Liverpool 6 1 8 17 19
13 Fulham 2 5 8 8 19

That’s some pretty fine company I’d say. And if you look down the entire Football League, only five other teams have conceded less than 19 goals on the road, with three others concedeing exactly 19. They are:

POS TEAM W D L F A
9 Hull City 7 6 7 17 17
2 Reading 10 3 6 25 18
1 Charlton 13 4 3 32 14
7 Stevenage 7 8 5 25 16
3 Sheff U 9 4 6 30 19
6 Oxford 7 7 6 21 18
12 Morecambe 7 8 4 26 19
1 Swindon 8 2 8 21 19

You may think “comparing us to Swindon negates your argument. We’re EPL. They’re League 2” True, they are. But they and majority of the other teams with a equal-to-or-less-than-19-away-GA are in promotion places in their respective leagues and have decent away records. Fulham are enjoying mid-table mediocrity with a terrible away record.

Additionally, Fulham are mathematically on par for another record low (though not lowest) season of goals conceded on the road. Last season, they conceded just 20 goals on the road: tied for first with Chelsea. In 2009-10 they conceded 31. In 2008-09 it was just 18(!!!), which would only place them fifth (First-place United would only concede 11 on the road all of that season. Three of which Fulham scored).

Going back further: in 2007-08, it was 29. 2006-07, 42 (which put us last in the league). In 2005-06, 37; in 2004-05, 34.

Now, Fulham still have trips to Goodison, Anfield, White Hart Lane, and yes, even the Reebok, that could muck all this up. But I’d say we’re on par for a pretty commendable season considering how our offense has misfired on the road.

And speaking of that and the original stat, here’s some context: under Roy Fulham scored only 11 goals on the road in 2008-09, and 12 in 2009-10.  Only teams that were relegated did worse than that (except for Stoke in 2009-10). So Fulham would only need to score at least 3 goals in our remaining road fixtures to equal that. (Could they get as many wins or points? Probably Not. Goals? I’d sure like to think so.)

Ironic though that Jol is commended for his offensive prowess (at Craven Cottage that is), yet he’s actually done a wonderful job with our defense. Even better than Hodgson, once.

8 thoughts on “Shut up about our road form

  1. Great spot here. Really great spot. This should be required reading for all Fulham fans so people stop f*cking moaning about how awful we are away from home.

    Yes we are not very good, but as usual, the problem is nowhere near as bad as it looks.

    I had not realised how good our away defensive record is. When people claim that ‘going for it away from home because we have nothing to lose’ is a dead cert way to get more points, this kind of stuff refutes that argument. If football was as simple as attacking all the time it would be very boring, there is so much more to away form than not scoring enough goals.

  2. Jol talks constantly about scoring goals at the right moments in games. Not because of stats, but to influence the outcome of games. Not conceding many goals influences the outcome of a game, but only in the context of how many we score. Stat – 11 points from 15 away games. No other team in the EPL has gained fewer points away from home and only QPR and Wolves have gained as few. For a team that wants to “push on” in the top half of the league, it is always going to be hard when the amount of points being picked up away from home is comparable with the teams in relegation positions. Come on – you can’t polish a turd and 8 goals away from home this year is a big fat steaming turd!

    1. Not trying to polish a turd nor play Baghdad Bob.

      Just found it interesting that for every yin (our awful offensive road form) there’s a yang (we’re pretty damn good defensively on the road)

  3. What’s interesting is that Woy’s West Brom’s away form this season reads:

    W 6 D 4 L 5 F 21 A 22

    Only three more goals conceded but 13 more scored and 11 more points. I think our stats show that our away form is poor, no denying that, 2 wins and 8 defeats is the joint worst in the league with QPR and Wolves, but that the problem is not as far gone as it could be. With the defending (somewhat) solid, a few more, as Jim says, optimally timed goals and we could be so much better.

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