More on the Championship, SD scores

SC Scores 2

Having a quick look at last season’s Championship table a few things stand out.

The top six teams were all among the division’s best defences: only Middlesbrough missed the “defend well and make the playoffs” bus.

Saying that, nobody had an absolute shocker defensively (the worst team in the league allowed 77 in 46 – contrast with Fulham’s 86 in 38 last season). The teams at the bottom defended worse than the teams above them, but not calamitously so. No, at the bottom of the league, the biggest problem seems to be an inability to put the ball in the net reliably.

Unlike the Premier League, where there’s less balance owing to well known financial issues, there’s no dominant team at both ends. The best we saw was Leicester, and that’s why they won the league. Derby and Burnley were the next two best teams, but Derby did it with attack and Burnley with defence.

One more thing: Millwall under Holloway (January onwards) weren’t half bad, and not the mad flying attacking team we remember him turning Blackpool into. He turned the team around defensively, sacrificing forward play somewhat in the process, but it kept the team up. I’m told they played really well in the season’s opening game so it’ll be another tricky game. Looking forward to it.

5 thoughts on “More on the Championship, SD scores

  1. I am fearful of our investment strategy when it comes to our defence. Whilst we have moved mountains to cut our wage bill by £40 m with a wholesale clear out of players , my take on this is that Magath has told everybody “if you don’t want to lay down your life for this club then we will help you find another club to play for ” . The consequences of this appear to be that virtually everybody put up their hand and we may have thrown out the baby with the bath water .

    We are horribly lacking in Championship experience and have no strength in depth .

    This season should be seen as the best opportunity we have to get back to the Premier League as our income will fall further next season .

    I am very surprised that our recruitment policy has not brought in players of better quality – save for Mcormack- and there appear to be no signs of this changing .

    If Magath thinks he will perform miracles with a handful of very talented youth players and a rag tag of overseas make weights then he’s in for a shock . How the CEO , let alone the owner is prepared to endorse this risky strategy is beyond my comprehension.

    We are one of about 18 odd teams in this division who could find themselves promoted or relegated at the end of the season and that is why it is crucial to have a balance of experience in the team .

    I am going to do my best to forget about where we came from ;the difference in quality of what will be on display this season and just enjoy supporting my team on match days and beyond .

    It might be a tough ask !

  2. I think the hardest thing & most evident thing from Saturdays game was the need to exercise ‘Patience’ this season!! After watching countless beatings last season, it was a little disheartening to lose again – as fans we desperately want to see the team win. Clearly with the sheer volume of transition, it’s going to take some time for things to settle down.

    It also feels there is a genuine belief in the quality of some of the youngsters which is encouraging. Whilst it’s refreshing to see them given game time, they’re clearly not going to deliver a promotion push on their own, Felix will know this and I would be very surprised if there aren’t further movements ‘in’ during the transfer window, as well as some obvious departures. Most of the business seems to be concluded in the final 3 or 4 days of the month at most clubs, so that should at least give a boost to a squad who at least looked hungry to be involved.

    But I think we’d feel a whole lot better about ourselves if we could record a couple of home wins in the next two games, and at least start to return to seeing some good, controlled, attacking play at home and some encouragement that we can see ourselves winning games at this level. Let’s see if we can make that happen against Milwall & Wolves.


  3. I think our crop of young players is so good that they have to be given significant playing time.

    I’d like a vocal, experienced keeper and a battle hardened CB and CDM.

    What we simply don’t know is what efforts are being made (or not) to bring these in so I’m not prepared to assume either that Magath doesn’t want them or that Khan won’t sanction the cost although either or both may be true.

    We’ll have to be patient. One thing I am confident about is that Parker aside everyone of the 14 players who played Saturday are likely to improve significantly in the future but they need to be trusted with game time. There are plenty more in the pipeline as well.

    Every reason to be excited about the future.

    1. To further reinforce your point, it’s also quite fascinating to see the thin offensive line that separates the teams. Especially when viewing statto’s Goal Supremacy.

      For instance, Leicester won the league with little fuss last season, but 18(!!!) of their 31 wins were by just one goal, and 7 by two. Burnley won 14 by one goal and 8 by two.

      Going back two seasons, title-winners Cardiff had 17 one goal victories.

      Quite apples/oranges but Manchester City’s EPL-winning season last year saw 6, one-goal victories and 10 two-goal victories.

      So on an average game, LC was outscoring their opposition by less than one goal (+0.87; Cardiff’s was +0.59! ). City’s average was 1.71.

  4. If we are going to become a team that lets in an average of 1 per match only, we shall need to improve rapidly on Saturday, when we let in two goals that seemed poor at the time and are worse when you re-play them; and were very lucky that a clear header wasn’t buried on about 75 mins. It’s a reasonable hope that greater familiarity with teammates and defensive organisational training will make a difference. It will certainly need to.

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