I’ve just noticed that I did some analysis at this stage of the league (i.e. after Round 5) two years ago so I thought it might be worthwhile to update this to see how we’re faring out this spring compared to previous years. In doing so, I’ve extended the analysis back to 2007 so the time series involved stretches to five years, which means that we can see how this first league campaign under James Horan is going compared with the four previous ones under The Politician.
What’s immediately obvious is that while the points for and against totals have gone up and down over the years, this is the first year since 2007 where we’ve conceded more than we’ve scored at this stage in the campaign.
The next graphic demonstrates fairly clearly why this is happening. This one shows goals scored and conceded after Round 5 and it’ll come as no surprise to see that the latter metric has gone through the roof this spring.
What’s interesting from the scoring stats is that compared to this time last year (when we were flying in the league) we’ve scored exactly the same amount after five rounds (i.e. 7-58) but this year we’ve conceded 10-53 versus 5-52 last year. Goals lose games and all that.
Does any of this matter? Not a huge amount, I reckon. It’s only a snapshot of where we stand at a certain point in the league and a quick look back over the graphs shows that those years where we’ve been going best at this time of year have also been the ones where we’ve underperformed worst in the summer.
It’s noteworthy that 2007 and 2010 both stand out in terms of positive performance in this respect and while it may be stretching it a bit to claim that there’s some kind of inverse correlation between points difference now and a good summer campaign, it’s fairly clear that riding high on this stat in spring is no certain harbinger of a productive championship season. That said, a bit of tight defending over the next few matches wouldn’t go amiss either.