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The fate of the promoted teams 08:25 - Apr 2 with 370 viewsHighgateBlue

Plymouth's sacking of Ian Foster got me thinking about the diverging fates of the promoted clubs.

Last season saw three teams with exceptional records fight it out at the top of League One. Whatever one thinks of Wednesday, they deserved promotion. All three got more than two points per game. One side got more than a hundred points, one got more than a hundred goals, and the third team languished on a mere 96 points, with a goal difference of 44. Each won at least 4 of their last 5 games.

Fast forward 11 months, and two of those sides are in the bottom 4 of the Championship, between them they average one point per game, and between them they have won only one of their last 5 games. Neither still has their promotion-winning manager. These two teams, added together, have fewer points than the other. Added together, they only have two more goals than the other has.

The new teams of the other two promotion winning managers, between them, have fewer points than the promoted team which retained its manager. And remarkably, fewer goals between them.

How very lucky we are to have Kieran McKenna. Yes, Wednesday is a bit of a basket case, and yes Plymouth were very unlucky to lose Schumacher on top of having lost Lowe. But Plymouth and Wednesday were so good in League One - not a simple league to get out of. They have proven that the Championship is a hard place.

And yet look at our incredible record. Just like last year, KMac was able to assess what we needed in January and improve the squad greatly. This time round, his resources did not dwarf the remainder of the division, especially those teams around us. He assesses and answers questions within games too. Other sides call us lucky or cry foul when we come from behind to win games. We have incredible fitness and team spirit, yes, but not all of our goals come in the 97th minute. They are often the result of working out what change needs to be made (when we're already losing) and making that change, be it tactical or personnel-related.

It could still go very wrong or very right, and maybe that's the joy of football. Either way, we're already guaranteed at least 4th place (a position which was my very optimistic prediction for the season).

Our numbers on their own show how incredible the season has been, but Plymouth and Wednesday underline that in a very big way.
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