Jump to content
hogesar

Statistical Domination

Recommended Posts

7 minutes ago, repman said:

After reading a post somewhere comparing goals scored and against in our previous promotion seasons I thought I'd make a table showing the xG differential for the 2 previous title winning years alongside this year. I raised the average to 10 games to keep it a bit more steady but I think it still says plenty. After Swansea it's the first time in any of the seasons our xGa has been worse over 10 games than our xG, if it was 5 games there would've been occasions from every season however. I think you can see the points in both 18/19 and 20/21 where we really started to take off as a side. Fingers crossed we have a similar moment to come this season.

 

 

image.thumb.png.e723564bc842ba9197aa12066ae4dfec.png

Do you mind me asking what your data source was?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, littleyellowbirdie said:

Do you mind me asking what your data source was?

It's from fbref.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's somewhat fitting that the 5 game xG differential comes out at 0 to mark the end of Smith's tenure. As good a sign as any of the mediocrity we were heading towards (and had been heading to for some time). It's hard to say what really went wrong but it does seem clear the schedule at the start of the year favoured us and once we played some of the better sides in the division things started to unravel. Once it became obvious that we weren't one of the class sides in the division it seemed to only get worse. 

One thing I've mentioned on here is the importance of game state in single game xG analysis. It seems notable to me that some of our biggest xG 'victories' came in the games against Preston, QPR and Blackburn in which we led for a total of 23 minutes combined. Funnily enough our two worst xG 'defeats' came against Sheff U and Swansea, two games where we got positive results and where also we scored in the first 5 minutes. Compare that to Burnley who, against Birmingham the other day, scored in the first minute but only gave up 2 shots for the rest of the game. A good example that you can control games instead of sitting back and crossing your fingers that you can hold on to what you've got.

image.thumb.png.c1e808e53e54c2fe4bc2527faedaffbb.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, repman said:

It's hard to say what really went wrong but it does seem clear the schedule at the start of the year favoured us and once we played some of the better sides in the division things started to unravel. Once it became obvious that we weren't one of the class sides in the division it seemed to only get worse. 

First, it's not hard to say what went wrong - we never fully functioned as a team. Some horrendous individual errors from players that looked a bit devoid of confidence and generally a total lack of consistency. Not even from game to game but within a game. We could be great for 20mins, but if we didn't score in that time, we'd look unlike beating anyone for the remaining 70mins. The longest period of decent play we had was around 40-45mins.

That's why the Xg is what it is. Some games we created enough chances to beat two teams but either failed to score and even lost or just didn't score enough.

The "better" sides in the division is not so easy to say either. Outside of Shef Utd and Burnley who are managing that mythical consistency, there are teams that have been in the top six when we played them, or very close to it, and now aren't.

West Brom have spent the majority of the season so far, languishing in the bottom half of the table and yet are now a point off of 6th place. Many of us predicted they would do well this season, but their start certainly made that not look to be the case. We beat Sunderland... a couple of games ago they were not in the top half of the table, let alone top six.

In fact, I remember pointing out that it could all change in a game or two when someone suggested we had only beat one team in the top half of the table. It's more than that now, and in fact, one that wasn't and is now top six is Sunderland. Millwall were top six at one point too. It's a very iffy season, no one seems particularly consistent or convincing.

Which means it is absolutely prime time for someone to come in and pull this squad together and drill some consistency into them. Win even just a couple of games on the trot and the picture changes again.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

even when West Brom were in the relegation zone they were always in the top 2 or 3 teams on net xg

Corberan has helped certainly but they are just showing the variance balancing out

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 30/12/2022 at 01:50, Jimmy Raggatip said:

even when West Brom were in the relegation zone they were always in the top 2 or 3 teams on net xg

Corberan has helped certainly but they are just showing the variance balancing out

Yes, they were always creating good opportunities, but the difference is they're finally taking them! 🙂

As for xG timelines for us, we've got Blackburns now. Away from the drama and off-field happenings, we were unfortunate to lose. I think that was pretty clear for anyone who watched the highlights and took the emotion of the crowd away from it. We should have certainly scored, and both of Blackburns goals were from very low-probability chances as opposed to cutting us open:

2022-12-17-norwich-blackburn.png

From the above, you can understand why Smith and the players were a little perplexed to the reaction from the fans, but we all knows its an accumulation that led to it, even if the performance didn't necessarily warrant it itself.

Luton was a different story, particularly first half where Norwich offered next to no threat whatsoever. Pukki's goal came from a low-probability chance, as is possible particularly when you have someone of his talent:

2022-12-26-luton-norwich.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, hogesar said:

Yes, they were always creating good opportunities, but the difference is they're finally taking them! 🙂

As for xG timelines for us, we've got Blackburns now. Away from the drama and off-field happenings, we were unfortunate to lose. I think that was pretty clear for anyone who watched the highlights and took the emotion of the crowd away from it. We should have certainly scored, and both of Blackburns goals were from very low-probability chances as opposed to cutting us open:

2022-12-17-norwich-blackburn.png

From the above, you can understand why Smith and the players were a little perplexed to the reaction from the fans, but we all knows its an accumulation that led to it, even if the performance didn't necessarily warrant it itself.

Can't say I agree with your thoughts on the Blackburn game. 2.2 xG feels very high and is higher than what I can find elsewhere. Even so, the first goal was an own goal which will register as 0 xG due to the fact it wasn't a shot. Despite being 1 down, we didn't create any high quality chances for the rest of the game and in fact created a good chunk of the xG on this graph at 2-0 down, when the game was essentially all over. Even the biggest jump on the graph just after 90 minutes doesn't reflect a high quality chance, we had 3 shots in that minute which is why it's much higher.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sooo!

With Dean Smith gone and Russel / Weaver in charge,  I think we all saw an improved atmosphere at Carrow Road. I think we also saw more energy, but the more direct style of play really didn't suit our players an we struggled to create really good chances, particularly once we came up against Watford...

 

2022-12-30-norwich-reading.jpg.87d6126ca6e0a38e3d93211ac096266e.jpgnorwichwatford.jpg.de166d72932a699300588b910b8d3e33.jpg

As you can see, against Watford we didn't create anything like a real goal-scoring chance.

So welcome Mr Wagner....

2023-01-14-preston-norwich.jpg.422b530bee883bfb4cd49b41d0688e88.jpg

The above xG is obviously the highest in our season. Other sources quote an xG as high as 4.1 but let's keep consistent with this one. For comparison, our highest xG under Dean Smith that I can see was 1.8 in a game that we won. We were apparently 2.2 vs Blackburn but @repman makes the valid point that we were chasing the game from the start.

We're waiting for the Coventry graph but what I suspect will be the most telling is that for the first time in a long time, Pukki will probably be in the top players by xG for two consecutive matches. It's quite clear we're playing in a way that suits him, as well as other players. These graphs don't show xGa as I suspect Dowell's performances will be backed up by being our most creative player too.

Shoutout to Sara as well though, who played Pukki in behind for our (3rd?) goal, and who also played Pukki through for the one-on-one he didn't score.

Edited by hogesar
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also worth noting Preston won 2-1 away from home at the weekend, and before playing us beat Huddersfield 3-1 in the cup and Stoke 1-0 in the league. The way we were able to carve out so many chances against them is actually quite a big deal when you look at their xGA over the season.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, hogesar said:

Also worth noting Preston won 2-1 away from home at the weekend, and before playing us beat Huddersfield 3-1 in the cup and Stoke 1-0 in the league. The way we were able to carve out so many chances against them is actually quite a big deal when you look at their xGA over the season.

Similarly, Coventry had only conceded 10 goals at home all season before Saturday (that's goals they actually conceded, rather than how many they were supposed to have). So nearly 30% of all away goals at Coventry this season came were scored by us.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, hogesar said:

Also worth noting Preston won 2-1 away from home at the weekend, and before playing us beat Huddersfield 3-1 in the cup and Stoke 1-0 in the league. The way we were able to carve out so many chances against them is actually quite a big deal when you look at their xGA over the season.

It's probably worth noting that both Preston and Coventry played into our hands by pressing high and leaving loads of space in behind. We struggle against deeper, more organised teams. It probably also helped that we scored early in both games so the opposition needed to attack. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, hogesar said:

Also worth noting Preston won 2-1 away from home at the weekend, and before playing us beat Huddersfield 3-1 in the cup and Stoke 1-0 in the league. The way we were able to carve out so many chances against them is actually quite a big deal when you look at their xGA over the season.

49 minutes ago, canarydan23 said:

Similarly, Coventry had only conceded 10 goals at home all season before Saturday (that's goals they actually conceded, rather than how many they were supposed to have). So nearly 30% of all away goals at Coventry this season came were scored by us.

I feel like under Smith these kind of stats would be used to highlight and explain away bad performances / results against particular opponents, whereas under Wagner they are being used to emphasise just how good they were...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Petriix said:

It's probably worth noting that both Preston and Coventry played into our hands by pressing high and leaving loads of space in behind. We struggle against deeper, more organised teams. It probably also helped that we scored early in both games so the opposition needed to attack. 

Good point, I thought Preston particularly were way off in their respect for what we might be able to do to them. They just weren't up for a tactical battle. But on the other hand, some of the success we had in both matches was down to how much we surprised them with our potency, which unsettled the opposition. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the stats are the stats. Kind of obvious I know but like all stats they're not there to explain anything in isolation. The best thing we can do is look at them. Compare them. Look for patterns that might point to strengths or weaknesses. To gain anything from stats you have to put a lot of work into their analysis. Or that's what I've always believed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One pattern that has been obvious because of the goals we have scored (but might not have been seen as such had we not taken our chances) is our consistent desire and ability to create chances even when ahead in games.

And, we've often seen examples where we've lost but our xG was higher because the opposition let us have the ball (arguably) and we created lots of really-small-chance opportunities. In the reverse scenario in both games under Wagner we've taken the lead, but generally then stamped our authority on the game. Some craziness in the Coventry game but the way we played the game in the second half was incredibly pleasing.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, hogesar said:

One pattern that has been obvious because of the goals we have scored (but might not have been seen as such had we not taken our chances) is our consistent desire and ability to create chances even when ahead in games.

And, we've often seen examples where we've lost but our xG was higher because the opposition let us have the ball (arguably) and we created lots of really-small-chance opportunities. In the reverse scenario in both games under Wagner we've taken the lead, but generally then stamped our authority on the game. Some craziness in the Coventry game but the way we played the game in the second half was incredibly pleasing.

The lack of control when winning under Smith towards the end of his tenure compared to the 2nd half on Saturday is startling. In Smith's last 3 wins against Stoke, Rotherham and Swansea we had less than 50% in all of them. Maybe against Swansea you could say fair enough as they are a very possession heavy side but the other 2 both average under 50% throughout the season. 

In contrast, on Saturday we had 72% possession in the second half. Keeping the ball is the best form of defence in football, especially against weaker sides.

I think there still needs to be a degree of caution anyway, we've gone 3-0 up twice without creating a shedload of chances, that level of finishing won't continue but as you say the persistence in our attacks should remain no matter the score. In fact, at 3-0 we probably should be playing it differently to 0-0, which is probably similar to what Wagner said to them at half time and led to the much more controlled 2nd half performance.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, repman said:

The lack of control when winning under Smith towards the end of his tenure compared to the 2nd half on Saturday is startling. In Smith's last 3 wins against Stoke, Rotherham and Swansea we had less than 50% in all of them. Maybe against Swansea you could say fair enough as they are a very possession heavy side but the other 2 both average under 50% throughout the season. 

In contrast, on Saturday we had 72% possession in the second half. Keeping the ball is the best form of defence in football, especially against weaker sides.

I think there still needs to be a degree of caution anyway, we've gone 3-0 up twice without creating a shedload of chances, that level of finishing won't continue but as you say the persistence in our attacks should remain no matter the score. In fact, at 3-0 we probably should be playing it differently to 0-0, which is probably similar to what Wagner said to them at half time and led to the much more controlled 2nd half performance.

I agree with most of this, but I would say on Saturday we went 3-0 up by 20 minutes with 3 very good goal scoring chances IMO.  It would be hard to create more good chances in 20 minutes !  The first goal was actually an OG which will push down our xG but in reality it was a good chance for Hanley.  Also Onel had another really good chance, plus he tried to curl one for the far post that could easily have gone in, and of course Teemu had that 1v1 in the 2nd half where you'd have really fancied him to score.  It will be interesting how our xG stacks up for this game, allowing for the first goal being an OG I'd expect it to be 3 or thereabouts.

 

And when we'd got 3 up there was a definite feeling that it could get embarassing and Cov could literally crumble, it seemed we were carving them apart at will, and I can understand our players getting complacent.  Cov had a couple of good strikers who gave our CBs a tough time for the first half and ditto the winger was getting the better of Dimi repeatedly.  I'm sure it's a lesson Wagner will drum home.

 

Second half with McCallum on we took a much more measured approach and Andrew O was visibly learning how to deal with their strikers I thought.  From about 70 mins onwards after we'd got the 4th goal you could see the belief just leaking out of Coventry and they didn't threaten much at all AFAIR towards the end.  It's not that often as a City fan that you feel comfortable about a game moving into the final 10 minutes but Saturday felt close.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Hank shoots Skyler said:

I feel like under Smith these kind of stats would be used to highlight and explain away bad performances / results against particular opponents, whereas under Wagner they are being used to emphasise just how good they were...

Except under Smith these stats (scoring 4 in consecutive games) never happened. 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Petriix said:

It's probably worth noting that both Preston and Coventry played into our hands by pressing high and leaving loads of space in behind. We struggle against deeper, more organised teams. It probably also helped that we scored early in both games so the opposition needed to attack. 

At Coventry, our first goal was from a corner (the 2nd in a row) and I thought our next 2 goals came after we pressed them high up the pitch and won the ball back, so all about pinning them back, winning the ball high up the pitch, and creating an attacking opportunity quickly.  Which is exactly what I was expecting from a Wagner team and wouldn't be anything to do with them leaving space behind ?  

 

So I wouldn't see it as them playing into our hands, really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, It's Character Forming said:

At Coventry, our first goal was from a corner (the 2nd in a row) and I thought our next 2 goals came after we pressed them high up the pitch and won the ball back, so all about pinning them back, winning the ball high up the pitch, and creating an attacking opportunity quickly.  Which is exactly what I was expecting from a Wagner team and wouldn't be anything to do with them leaving space behind ?  

 

So I wouldn't see it as them playing into our hands, really.

Yes, that's certainly true of the goals we scored. But I think it's a fair reflection of the balance of play to accept that Coventry lacked positional discipline and we got in behind them on numerous occasions. They practically left Onel unmarked for half the game. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Hank shoots Skyler said:

I feel like under Smith these kind of stats would be used to highlight and explain away bad performances / results against particular opponents, whereas under Wagner they are being used to emphasise just how good they were...

Similar stats were also used to explain away why a good result was actually not a good result as well, or even why a good 9-game unbeaten run was not a good thing either.

Edited by littleyellowbirdie
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 23/01/2023 at 08:51, hogesar said:

Sooo!

With Dean Smith gone and Russel / Weaver in charge,  I think we all saw an improved atmosphere at Carrow Road. I think we also saw more energy, but the more direct style of play really didn't suit our players an we struggled to create really good chances, particularly once we came up against Watford...

 

2022-12-30-norwich-reading.jpg.87d6126ca6e0a38e3d93211ac096266e.jpgnorwichwatford.jpg.de166d72932a699300588b910b8d3e33.jpg

As you can see, against Watford we didn't create anything like a real goal-scoring chance.

So welcome Mr Wagner....

2023-01-14-preston-norwich.jpg.422b530bee883bfb4cd49b41d0688e88.jpg

The above xG is obviously the highest in our season. Other sources quote an xG as high as 4.1 but let's keep consistent with this one. For comparison, our highest xG under Dean Smith that I can see was 1.8 in a game that we won. We were apparently 2.2 vs Blackburn but @repman makes the valid point that we were chasing the game from the start.

We're waiting for the Coventry graph but what I suspect will be the most telling is that for the first time in a long time, Pukki will probably be in the top players by xG for two consecutive matches. It's quite clear we're playing in a way that suits him, as well as other players. These graphs don't show xGa as I suspect Dowell's performances will be backed up by being our most creative player too.

Shoutout to Sara as well though, who played Pukki in behind for our (3rd?) goal, and who also played Pukki through for the one-on-one he didn't score.

I will be very interested to see the graph for Coventry for lots of reasons.  It's very clear that we're now playing to Pukki's strengths, playing balls in the channels for him to spin and run onto.  You could see the Coventry CBs were having a torrid time, they'd much rather have us lofting hopeful balls in the air, which we had been doing.

I'm interested in how xG assesses their goals and how good their chances were for the rest of the half and also the 2nd half.  My perception at the game being they had some more decent chances in the first half but 2nd half we largely stifled them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, It's Character Forming said:

I will be very interested to see the graph for Coventry for lots of reasons.  It's very clear that we're now playing to Pukki's strengths, playing balls in the channels for him to spin and run onto.  You could see the Coventry CBs were having a torrid time, they'd much rather have us lofting hopeful balls in the air, which we had been doing.

I'm interested in how xG assesses their goals and how good their chances were for the rest of the half and also the 2nd half.  My perception at the game being they had some more decent chances in the first half but 2nd half we largely stifled them.

Ask and ye shall receive! 😉

2023-01-21-coventry-norwich.jpg.c905f353ab5ecd70583f7abb62c05c62.jpg

You would be correct in your assumptions. In this scenario note that our first goal carries an xG of 0, because we didn't actually take the shot, so there's no recording of the quality of chance.

The second half was pretty much total dominance with very little created by Coventry. As you can see, our 2nd and 3rd goals were relatively low scoring chances, as were Dowells. The one that surprises me a bit is Sargents but it's worth noting at the time of him shooting there are at least 2, maybe 3 defender between him and the goal and the goalkeeper is in position. All of those will be factors. Same with Hernandez, where the goalkeeper probably should have saved.

Second half we should have scored a couple more times than we did probably - as the graph indicates. Pukki is again in the top xG players.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, hogesar said:

Ask and ye shall receive! 😉

2023-01-21-coventry-norwich.jpg.c905f353ab5ecd70583f7abb62c05c62.jpg

You would be correct in your assumptions. In this scenario note that our first goal carries an xG of 0, because we didn't actually take the shot, so there's no recording of the quality of chance.

The second half was pretty much total dominance with very little created by Coventry. As you can see, our 2nd and 3rd goals were relatively low scoring chances, as were Dowells. The one that surprises me a bit is Sargents but it's worth noting at the time of him shooting there are at least 2, maybe 3 defender between him and the goal and the goalkeeper is in position. All of those will be factors. Same with Hernandez, where the goalkeeper probably should have saved.

Second half we should have scored a couple more times than we did probably - as the graph indicates. Pukki is again in the top xG players.

this reflects Wagner's comments that he was much happier with the second half than the first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, hogesar said:

Ask and ye shall receive! 😉

2023-01-21-coventry-norwich.jpg.c905f353ab5ecd70583f7abb62c05c62.jpg

You would be correct in your assumptions. In this scenario note that our first goal carries an xG of 0, because we didn't actually take the shot, so there's no recording of the quality of chance.

The second half was pretty much total dominance with very little created by Coventry. As you can see, our 2nd and 3rd goals were relatively low scoring chances, as were Dowells. The one that surprises me a bit is Sargents but it's worth noting at the time of him shooting there are at least 2, maybe 3 defender between him and the goal and the goalkeeper is in position. All of those will be factors. Same with Hernandez, where the goalkeeper probably should have saved.

Second half we should have scored a couple more times than we did probably - as the graph indicates. Pukki is again in the top xG players.

Thanks, that's very interesting although I'm surprised to see Max with our top xG alongside Onel !  I certainly didn't spot him having chances comparable to Teemu !

 

So mentally I would add an xG fraction for our first goal and that would reflect us being ahead at the break.

 

Very interesting that the 2nd half looks extremely sound from this perspective, and would support the view that being defensively solid does not = failing to create chances.  Certainly Teemu had a 1v1 that you'd have banked on him to score.

 

So now Wagner has a nice break to work with the players before the Burnley game.  Hopefully the squad will be on a high, but conceding those goals will give him plenty to work with in eliminating complacency.

 

The Burnley game will tell us a lot more about how well we are doing, in terms of the performance not the result.  One thing's for sure, if you were a Burnley fan, you'd be wishing they could have played us before Smith was sacked !  We've been there !

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, littleyellowbirdie said:

Similar stats were also used to explain away why a good result was actually not a good result as well, or even why a good 9-game unbeaten run was not a good thing either.

Yep although that did prove to be pretty accurate in the end. Remember when the bad form started and Smith said ‘we’ve been playing just as well as we did during the unbeaten run’, as if that proved the performances had still been good enough to win? Unfortunately all it ultimately showed was that performances had never been good enough to sustain an auto-promotion challenge for a season. And although there was some decline during the bad run, performances still remained fairly reminiscent of that early season form under Smith - with the hallmark 20 minutes of excellence still evident all the way up to the Stoke, QPR and Boro games at home - yet throughout this period we never even got close to those results we found during the unbeaten run. It was only after the World Cup where performances really and truly fell off a cliff for Smith, I don’t think we managed a meaningful spell of attack for longer than 5 minutes a game and that’s generous!

Overall in terms of results perhaps we were lucky during some games of the good run and unlucky during some games of the bad run, but regardless the end point is still the same - nowhere near good enough to challenge the top 2, and in the end barely good enough for the play offs (I would argue not at all based on form at that time).

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1616300902_Screenshot2023-01-24at20_03_53.png.373a016c6f16158786bf84732f3448ec.png

Don't think I've posted the 5 game xG average since after the Luton game so there's 4 new games in the bank. The red shaded part obviously refers to the spell with Russell in interim charge, xG was pretty bad in both those games and also maybe looks more dramatic due to Rotherham (A) coming out which we outscored them basically 2-1 in xG (and in the game too!). You can see the impact of the Preston game where we created tons of chances as already mentioned in this thread, both games were solid wins in the xG recorded on fbref. We've had 5 games this season with an xG difference greater 1 and two of them have come in 2 games under Wagner. The 5 game average of 1.69xG also marks a season high.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, repman said:

1616300902_Screenshot2023-01-24at20_03_53.png.373a016c6f16158786bf84732f3448ec.png

Don't think I've posted the 5 game xG average since after the Luton game so there's 4 new games in the bank. The red shaded part obviously refers to the spell with Russell in interim charge, xG was pretty bad in both those games and also maybe looks more dramatic due to Rotherham (A) coming out which we outscored them basically 2-1 in xG (and in the game too!). You can see the impact of the Preston game where we created tons of chances as already mentioned in this thread, both games were solid wins in the xG recorded on fbref. We've had 5 games this season with an xG difference greater 1 and two of them have come in 2 games under Wagner. The 5 game average of 1.69xG also marks a season high.

You’ve got too much free time on your hands. 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Midlands Yellow said:

You’ve got too much free time on your hands. 

288D369D-23AA-46D5-98A7-78D6B186C5A2.jpeg

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Hank shoots Skyler said:

Yep although that did prove to be pretty accurate in the end. Remember when the bad form started and Smith said ‘we’ve been playing just as well as we did during the unbeaten run’, as if that proved the performances had still been good enough to win? Unfortunately all it ultimately showed was that performances had never been good enough to sustain an auto-promotion challenge for a season. And although there was some decline during the bad run, performances still remained fairly reminiscent of that early season form under Smith - with the hallmark 20 minutes of excellence still evident all the way up to the Stoke, QPR and Boro games at home - yet throughout this period we never even got close to those results we found during the unbeaten run. It was only after the World Cup where performances really and truly fell off a cliff for Smith, I don’t think we managed a meaningful spell of attack for longer than 5 minutes a game and that’s generous!

Overall in terms of results perhaps we were lucky during some games of the good run and unlucky during some games of the bad run, but regardless the end point is still the same - nowhere near good enough to challenge the top 2, and in the end barely good enough for the play offs (I would argue not at all based on form at that time).

I think this sums it up perfectly.  Clearly by the World Cup break, Smith had lost his way with us and as a result that time was wasted, after the team came back they were playing worse, not better.  As many of us said in the run up to the break, that was the time to change the manager/coach, not waiting until afterwards.  As a result, we've now got a new coach and things are looking up, but realistically we can target the playoffs, the auto places are out of reach barring a very surprising **** up by one of the top two.  That's the cost of having delayed the change of coach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...