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Are We Really Worse Than Last Season?
Written by Miles on Tuesday, 8th Nov 2016 09:47

The title sounds silly as this has probably been the most difficult season supporting Town during Mick McCarthy's reign but I wanted to have a look at the results against teams last season and compare them to this year.

Obviously teams have been promoted/relegated so I've replaced them with the teams who went up/down.

Barnsley at home (last season's League One play-off winners replace last year's bottom side Bolton)

4-2 win against Barnsley this season.
2-0 win against Bolton last season.
No points difference.

Brentford away

2-0 loss this season.
2-2 draw last season.
Down one point.

Wolves away

0-0 draw this season.
0-0 draw last season.
No points difference.

Norwich at home (19th in the Premier League last season, they replace promoted Middlesbrough)

1-1 draw against Norwich this season.
2-0 loss against Middlesbrough last season.
Up one point.

Preston at home

1-0 win this year.
1-1 draw last season.
Up two points.

Reading away

2-1 loss this season.
5-1 loss last year.
No points difference.

Derby away

1-0 win this season.
1-0 win last season.
No points difference.

Aston Villa at home (Villa replace last year's Championship play-off winners Hull)

0-0 draw against Aston Villa this season.
1-0 loss against Hull last season.
Up one point.

Leeds away

1-0 loss this season.
1-0 win last season.
Down three points.

Brighton at home

0-0 draw this season.
3-2 loss last season.
Up one point.

Huddersfield at home

1-0 loss this season.
0-0 draw last season.
Down one point.

Blackburn away

0-0 draw this season.
2-0 loss last season.
Up one point.

Burton Albion at home (runners-up in League One replace 19th-placed MK Dons)

2-0 win against Burton Albion this season.
3-2 win against MK Dons last season.
No points difference

Newcastle away (Newcastle replace last year's Championship winners Burnley)

3-0 loss this season against Newcastle.
0-0 draw against Burnley away last season.
Down one point.

Rotherham at home

2-2 draw this season.
1-0 loss last season.
Up one point.

Sheffield Wednesday away

2-1 win this season.
1-1 draw last season.
Up two points.

This season we have picked up 21 points, scoring 14 goals and conceding 15.

Last season in the same fixtures we picked up 18 points, scoring 14 goals and conceding 20.

So in actual fact we've picked up more points and conceded five fewer goals in the equivalent games.

None of this actually means anything but it's interesting to see the difference in the same games compared to a year ago.

Are we a worse side than last year? The statistical answer is no.

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Edmundo added 10:01 - Nov 8
Very interesting. Shows that the actual results are secondary in many ways to the way that they have been achieved, and indeed Town fans are not just happy with a win however it comes, but want to be entertained. If we could have stats on quality of play (how we'd analyse that is debatable), I would be interested to see how we compare...

TR11BLU added 11:39 - Nov 8
Not a like for like comparison (bottom last season/promoted team etc) we are on a gradual decline of excitement/entertainment.

Dino Out

braveblue added 11:47 - Nov 8
We were not great to watch last season. Would not expect much difference.

Miles added 13:00 - Nov 8
@Edmundo it would be difficult to tell but the fact that we've scored the same amount of goals is interesting when it comes to the quality debate.

@TR11BLU obviously its difficult to judge but closest comparison you can make. From the relegated sides we have picked up 2 points compared to 1 last year and from the promoted sides we've picked up 6 which was the same as last year so far.

If we continued the same as last year we'd probably just miss out on the playoffs again.

AlexGreen added 14:42 - Nov 8
Excellent blog - really interesting and I agree with your comparisons of those going up / coming down. MM has always gone for results over quality and this shows a (surprising) uptick in results vs where we were last year. If you have the time you should run this again in a few months time and see how we're progressing.


blue75 added 19:37 - Nov 8
Performances were as crap last season as they are this season!!! So in my opinion there's no change!! McCarthy Out!!!

carsey added 07:44 - Nov 9
No amount of statistics will disguise the fact we were awful last season and are still awful this season.
McCarthy is content to stay in the top half of the table and if we finish close to or inside the top 6 he will deem that a success.
That combined with poor tactics and style is what is annoying a large number of supporters particularly those who remember the halcyon days of Robson and more recently Burley who played proper exciting progressive football.
Anyone who disputes this need only look at the empty seats on a match day.

tractormoo added 07:28 - Nov 10
Miles - Really interesting blog, thanks for taking the time. Perhaps we are a little closer to play-off pace than it currently seems.

Carsey - If you compare the attendances of the late 90s under Burley to those today, the suggestion that "empty seats" are an indicator of problems today is simply wrong.

Personally I would take a play-off place playing like this over a gloriously swashbuckling mid-table finish, but perhaps I'm in the minority.

Miles added 12:45 - Nov 10
Thank you for your feedback!

@AlexGreen, I'll look at doing another one with about 15 games to go.

@tractormoo you might currently be in the minority but that would quickly change I guarantee that. Biggest example I can think of is Roberto Martinez at Everton. Fans got sick of it after a while.

bongoblue added 07:14 - Nov 12

I like this a lot, good work, slightly superfluous! but I like it 👍 Deffo do another one. I think the question you ask is started in the wrong basis, not are we worse than last year, but should be are we making sufficient progress to compete or get out of this league as that should be the aim, right?

Marcus added 04:28 - Nov 18
It's interesting. When you factor in the departure of Murphy and needing to wait until the transfer window to get an adequate replacement then we're reasonably stable this season. From a business sense this is good practise, however from an entertainment viewpoint it can be seen as lack of progress. I can also see more young players working through the system and eventually we'll have a team developed from our own academy kids. However few football supporters have he patience for such a long game. Mick Mills suggested that the problem was with McCarthy being too much of a back seat driver and the players being too restricted to take the initiative and show flair on the pitch. This suggests the best step might be for McCarthy to become director of football and someone to step up as first team manager - Terry Connor? This wouldn't be the first time in the club history, although it would need to be the first successful time, although Mick McGiven was perhaps harshly treated considering the resources he had at the time - although his career since hasn't been that auspicious. The good part about this is that nobody would need to be sacked.
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