Often Partisan

Home Wins and the Lack of Them in the Championship

I heard a statistic quoted from the Tom Ross show at the weekend about the paucity of home wins in the Championship and bearing in mind Blues have lost two on the bounce at St Andrews it set my mind thinking. Is this evidence that the Championship is more even than ever before and thus maybe proof we shouldn’t be so worried about our form as we have been?

As most of you who have ever put a bet on the football will know, the most common result in a league match is a home win. There is a lot to be said for home advantage and a good vocal crowd can help a lesser team overcome even the top of the table side if they’re set up right. However, the Championship this year has been quirky; of the 119 matches played so far in the division only 54 have resulted in home wins – just less than half. Even more strangely in the last 60 Championship games only fifteen have been home wins (25%) in comparison to 33 away wins and in the last 36 those figures become 7 home wins (less than 20%) and 19 away wins. What has skewed this division so crazily that over half the matches being played at the moment are resulting in wins for a visiting side?

I think it’s interesting that of the 24 sides in the Championship, eighteen have had a spell of at least one season in the Premier League since it’s inception. It’s my belief that the league is more equal than it ever has been – there seems to a weight of expectation on more sides than ever due to money invested or the history associated with the team and because of that I wonder if it’s become harder for teams to satisfy their fans at home. Couple that with a lack of fear factor for teams travelling to play away games and I think we have a situation whereby on any given day any team can beat any other.

Whilst all this has gone on the table is remarkably similar to the table at the same point last year with respect to points gained; top team Cardiff sit at the pinnacle of the table with 22 points and a 8 goal difference after ten games; at the same point last season it was Southampton at the top with the same number of points and a slightly better goal difference of +13. At the bottom Peterborough United languish with 6 points from their opening ten games much like Bristol City who were in the same situation last year – with exactly the same number of points. Blues were in 17th at the start of the international break with 11 points although they had only played eight games as opposed to 21st position we’re in now with the same number of points from 10 games.

The only difference realistically is the way teams are bunched up; at this moment only six points separate Blues in 21st from Huddersfield in 6th whilst the gap was 11 between Hull City and Nottingham Forest in their respective positions at the same point last season. This would give credence to the theory that this season has seen more teams take points off each other than last season.

What does that mean for Lee Clark? I think it means two things – firstly, that whilst our position is concerning we shouldn’t panic over it as we’re not adrift yet. A good run of results will see us push up the table and back into the right sort of position for our ambition. Secondly, I think it shows how important it is that Blues improve at home. At this moment in time home form seems to be separating the men from the boys in the table and Blues need to change around a record which has seen them only pick up seven points from a possible fifteen at home.

As Mark Twain once said there are three kinds of lies in this world – lies, damned lies and statistics and with that I would urge caution into reading too much into them. I’ve been too spectacularly wrong in the past when I’ve tried to use statistical reasoning to show how Blues aren’t as badly off as they seem so I’m not going to say it’s all rosy. However, I think it’s an interesting pattern and I’m going to certainly try to use it to beat the bookies!

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49 Responses to “Home Wins and the Lack of Them in the Championship”

  • Think of the children says:

    “and thus maybe proof we shouldn’t be so worried about our form as we have been?”

    yeah and we’re still in the Premier League too, and we have a load of quality players

    i gotta admit, your optimism makes me chuckle

  • Dave MacMillan says:

    its not the number of points on the board that is the concern it is teh quality of football on display and what appears to be no effort or dissire from the team. Tactics have been all wrong and LC seems to have lost the dressing room as well as the fans, the complete opposite of last season where at this point of the season the fans, players and management seemed to all gel together.

  • Art Watson says:

    I agree entirely but applaud Almajirs optimism.

  • Graham Woodward says:

    We’re shit, plain and simple!

  • prewarblue says:

    Last season we had a team united behind the manager,,,,,,and players who made the effort to win,,,,,a desire to prove the doubters wrong,,,,,,,,,,this season there is NO team ,,,just individuals who are unable to perform due to the tactics of a manager who does not know what he is doing and so have lost confidence in him and his coaching staff,,,,have lost the will to win and now just could not care less as long as their wages are paid,,,,,,last seasons team had pride in wearing the shirt,,,,,,this season they know they are just there to keep the numbers up and it is affecting the young players who are the lifeblood of the club.

    Players who performed so well last season [even with a loss of form ] cannot become bad players over night,,,,,,while others who have been bought in play so badly after they are rated by their old clubs fans,,,,,,,its all down to the leadership shown [ or not ] that is the problem,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Chris Hughton is a leader ,,,,Lee Clark is Not,,,,,jobs for his mates good or bad is his main ethic

  • prewarblue says:

    Last season we had a team united behind the manager,,,,,,and players who made the effort to win,,,,,a desire to prove the doubters wrong,,,,,,,,,,this season there is NO team ,,,just individuals who are unable to perform due to the tactics of a manager who does not know what he is doing and so have lost confidence in him and his coaching staff,,,,have lost the will to win and now just could not care less as long as their wages are paid,,,,,,last seasons team had pride in wearing the shirt,,,,,,this season they know they are just there to keep the numbers up and it is affecting the young players who are the lifeblood of the club.

    Players who performed so well last season [even with a loss of form ] cannot become bad players over night,,,,,,while others who have been bought in play so badly after they are rated by their old clubs fans,,,,,,,its all down to the leadership shown [ or not ] that is the problem,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Chris Hughton is a leader ,,,,Lee Clark is Not,,,,,jobs for his mates good or bad is his main ethic

  • Blueboy 88 says:

    There’s only one truth here – The League Table Never Lies…!!

    We are were we deserve to be..

  • Masaccio says:

    The Camera never lies

  • bluenoseneil says:

    All of this comment about Lee Clark and his lack of tactical nous, and the “we deserve to be doing better” whinging is actually an insult to the point Almajir is trying to make: this league is pretty EVEN and nobody is really sticking their heads above the parapet yet as a standout team.
    What should that tell you? (A) fans at any one of Bolton, Burnley, Nottingham Forest, Derby, Watford etc are all probably just as frustrated at their teams lack of consistency. (B) there are some good Managers around this league and some of them have similar weight of expectation on them. They aren’t pulling up trees yet either. (C) Blues fans have always throughout history traded on entitlement rather than our successes or ability as a club. Why? Cos we haven’t had that many…and the odd thing is there’s a large section of people on here who STILL berate McLeish and can’t bear to say his name just because he also managed Villa. And before anyone accuses me of being a Villa fan, don’t bother as its childish and simply untrue.
    A few things need to happen: grow up, get some perspective, get behind the team and don’t always assume the grass is greener. We may just need to trim the lawn a little more carefully.

    • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

      Too right we berate McLeish

      Doing dirty deals with the filth whilst he was still our manager is as low as you can get.

      The man is top of my all time hate list by a mile

      • bluenoseneil says:

        Don’t be so quick to employ the use of the word “we” please. You don’t speak for us all. And I am sure you were berating the hell out of McLeish when we won the League Cup. I can bear a lot of things but hypocrisy and short memories are not one of them

    • Think of the children says:

      I personally berate McLeish for what he did at the Blues, the players he let go, the terrible football he played, the fact he went to the villa was amazing!

  • clubclassblue says:

    The big worry is that you rarely get any tactical or constructive comments from the management team, just how bad they feel and how we need to pull together etc..
    Another worry is that many fans stop going to games and find that its easy to sit at home with the radio on. Its hard to get people back on a regular basis, especially when funds are low.
    The club desperately needs a big lift, but then most of our competitors are in the same boat.

  • Cleggy says:

    I think the amount of negativity amongst a lot of blue noses who post on twitter and comments pages like this is greatly depressing. I witnessed the abortion that was Barnsley and, yes, it was a gutless shambles but since then the performances have been better. We beat Brighton, played well but lost against Cardiff at home and whilst we were far from scintillating against Huddersfield at least we created clear cut chances and could have scored on more than one occasion. I think Clarke has got his tactics wrong sometimes but he’s a young, hungry British manager who could go on to achieve things with Blues if people show a little patience. When has calling for a manager to resign done anybody any good? Some of the whinging sounds a lot like misplaced entitlement to me and I used to think that was a disease only suffered by Villa fans. What a shame a few of our own have been infected.

  • Alex T says:

    after a few minutes of watching the Huddersfield game, I timed the blues on how long we could keep the ball……

    not once did we last more than 15 seconds! This tells me 2 things….

    1.) I am a very sad character
    2.) The players dont know where to put themselves when their team mates are in possesion, and thus passes will go astray or the ball will be hoofed up field. This is stuff that has to come from the manager…..

    So Al, dress it up as you like… at the moment it looks like you are polishing a great big turd.

    • almajir says:

      Did you actually read the piece Alex?

      • Alex T says:

        Of course I did Al…. I always read your articles with interest, and 99% of the time agree with the content.

        My point is just that, I dont think what is happening elsewhere is of any concern to us, indeed, nor that of our position in the table at the moment. Its what we see happening (or not happening) on the pitch that is of concern to me.

        The players look lost, and THAT is down to the manager

        • almajir says:

          I don’t think it’s just down to Clark; I’m of the belief that the players have to bare some responsibility too. I think some have been a bit complacent and it’s shown

  • Retired&Weary says:

    The title of this blog could have been “grasping at straws”. Yes it is a fairly even division, with funny results every week, but we don’t seem win home or away at the moment. It’s a bit like when you are 8 points behind at the end of a season & say there’s still 9 points to play for.
    Can you really see signs of improvement? We seem to have a disjointed, disinterested team at present, very low on desire & confidence. A bit like the fans really.
    We must all have experienced examples at work when someone has been brought in or promoted, & is soon found out (despite a good interview process), I’m afraid that’s how it looks with LC. Urgent decisions required before it’s too late.

    • almajir says:

      What’s clutching at straws?

      Did you not see at the bottom where I said stats never tell the full story? Or my confession that extrapolating stats in the past proved nothing?

      It’s not a case of trying to “clutch at straws” and show all is rosy. It was just something that had intrigued me and I think showed that home form is going to be very important and that if Blues are going to do well some good home form and a few good results will help us on the way. I didn’t say it would necessarily happen, just that is what we needed.

      I think some people are willing to criticise Lee Clark so much that they’re looking for any excuse to slap him down.

  • James says:

    Lee Clarke has been involved in Football for the best part of 25 years, played in the Premiership and went on a 53 game unbeaten run. What on earth does he know about the beautiful game??? He’d be better off giving the job to me ( 5 years at School level and I’m awesome at 5 a side on a Monday night), where I can teach the team to play as a unit and bring some flair into it.

    Whilst the league doesn’t lie, we are 6 points of 6th. Its almost as if certain fans want the club to fail.

    I wouldn’t mind but I’m usually next to some complete weapon down St.Andrews ( who probably coaches an under 7 team and thinks he’s Bobby Robson) who moans every 30 seconds because we aren’t playing like the Brazil side of 82 – seriously we’re all entitled to an opinion, and I know I’ll get mine shoved right back down my throat, but can some of you have a day off?

    I appreciate being served up the dross against Barsley does little to install confidence, but a little bit of a sing song and 3 points does wonders for moral.

    We will be ok this year. Maybe not play offs, but we will be safe.

    Until we get new investment, we are stuck with an average team and manish at 1130 on bbc1 – either way sacking the manager or booing at HT does no one any favours.

    KRO

    • BobbyBlue says:

      Well said! I understand why many blues fans are not happy… but something Almajir picked up on is the weight of expectation on home teams and the lack of a fear factor for away teams.

      As fans we are often congratulated for lifting a team, but we are even more effective at strangling the confidence of players. Last week against Huddersfield you could hear and feel the impatience and dissatisfaction of the fans (a Terriers fan commented on here about his suprise at the shoddy home support). The players responded accordingly.

      Yes, Clarke is be expected to fill players with confidence, but WE should expect the same thing of ourselves. Get behind ’em. If the players feel the support they will feel brave, stand up and fight – just what we need right now.

      KRO

  • mighty_bluenose says:

    posted this on twitter but had a pdf from this blog sent to me… makes interesting reading covers lower leagues and has statistical review for each team. Apologies for posting a link to another blog feel free to delete if you don’t feel its appropriate Al

    http://experimental361.com/2012/09/18/attacking-defensive-efficiency-early-view/

  • DoctorD says:

    mighty_bluenose — thanks! The link is really interesting.

    From the two graphs at

    http://experimental361.com/2012/09/18/attacking-defensive-efficiency-early-view/

    you can see Blues are actually slap bang in the middle on both attack and defence. I see mid-table beckoning. Everyone can relax.

    • mighty_bluenose says:

      the updated pdf is not as nice reading we are in poor areas for defence and and attack. As a bluenose I can’t recall a time when we we prolific but we were usually always seen as solid defensive team.

      Does state that statisically 10 game review rarely is accurate indicator of where we’ll finish though but with my glass half full we can only impove… hopefully

  • RichardW says:

    Well said James – all we can do is offer positive support in the current confusion; anything less will merely make matters worse.

  • James says:

    Apologies for my soap box type rant; think it must be my time of the month.

    Just remember those cretins over the road; booing/moaning because they feel Champions League Football should be at Villa Park – I’d have given my right arm to have had Martin O Neil. There bloody awful banners “we just don’t like you” which is fine to state if you’re a 14 year old school girl – but we aint them. We like a good moan, I think it’s a prerequisite to be being a brummie, but if we are getting battered 3 nil by half time, can’t we just start singing “oh when the beans come out the tin”? like we used to?

    Being battered at home 3-5 by Barnsley, losing 6-4 against Swindon, despite being 4-1 up, the Barry Fry years ( some of you old uns that have witnessed Latchford, Kenny Burns, Trevor Francis et al have absolutley no right to moan!!!), the heart breaking play off defeats by Watford, Barnsley & Preston. Being robbed by some tit of a ref int the Worthington Cup final – all gut wrenching, I even cried at Cardiff in 2001, but through all of it my chest was still much bigger than any other football fans.

    Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand people who settle for second best, who actually like to wallow in their middle of the roadness. But we will have our day in the Sun again. We carry the second city’s name and have the greatest anthem in world football ( I could sing “You’ll never walk alone after 18 league titles and 5 european cups but it just doesn’t compare to KRO) – it makes me sick to my stomach re the moaning and the down right miserable attitude of some of our supporters. No one chooses to support Birmingham City Football Club – your dad tells you this is your team. End of.

    I’m not suggesting for one minute that a full house would do anything for the results, but at least with a positive and downright noisy atmosphere, we could leave the ground knowing we have sung our heart’s out for that ball and globe.

    Right, I’m off to watch the League Cup Final and the Stern John last minute equaliser as the boss is out the office.

    KRO you miserable bar stewards! ( just joking)

    • almajir says:

      True fact – Blues turned down Martin O’Neill when they appointed Barry Fry

    • Bull Sh*t - The Voice of Friesian says:

      The 4-6 Swindon result doesn’t really help with your opinion James.

      Andy Gosney in goal and you couldn’t boo at the end because you couldn’t stop laughing……

      do me a favour and don’t use a swear word in your name. Ta

      • James says:

        Please elaborate BS, you’ve lost me on the first and last statement.

        Remember the day well as Dave Mitchell scored a hat trick

        • James says:

          Unless the last sentace is Almajir telling you not to use an explitive, which I think it is.

          Jus the first sentance please

  • Danny shooter says:

    Its proof we’re crap.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Why is it that some of us feel that we have a ” God-given ” right to be in the premiership, ?. [ I, myself ] would love to see us back there,!!.

    The fact is that even if we are ” lucky enough ” to attract a proper new owner, [ who will do a Sully,Gold and Brady ] and re-build us bottom-up, Some would moan in their cups, why are we not playing in the Eurpeon Cup, !!!.

    If any of you out there posses millions of pounds, would YOU plow it all into a football club, then when it does not work out as was wished, — Have to have ” supporters ” sniping at you as if it was all your fault, ??.

    Rant over,!!. It just makes me angry when some blame everyone else for whatever reason, !!!.

  • andy says:

    I got slated for posting on here that the Championship would be tougher this season esp with the teams coming into the division from the Premiership and League one. But my honest opinion on Blues’ home performances so far is that it has been Garbage. It has nothing to do with the opposition being tougher, Blues have just been very poor indeed.

  • bluenose08 says:

    started supporting blues at 13yrs old and i am now 55yrs old and in all that time i have never booed the team or manager as it gets you no-where.as the song goes we will have joys and sorrows too ! as in life you just have to carry on and wait for the turning point which for us could be new owners but in the meantime do what we always do support b.c.f.c. k.r.o.

  • Paulo says:

    This season’s championship table is one to marvel at, and I wonder if we can all hold as much optimism! However, it also shows how tight the table is, and how precious a win is. One thing cant be denied though, that if we get a consistent form of wins ‘and’ draws, then there is no way we can support our team the way we want to …regardless of where we are.
    We need better home form and because we can all see that confidence and communication is lacking, we (as a crowd) just cant join in like we want to.
    I’m more angry at LC for taking away the chance of that 4th round play off home atmosphere.

    but thats just me.

  • steve says:

    great read as usual al. But one point id like to pick up on. Why the constant reference to vile fans being the biggest moaners of all. All clubs have most fans that wont more than there getting thats just human nature im afraid i have a vauxhall but believe i deserve a bmw. The posts above prove all fans want more and expect better than they have however life is very differnt.
    So to my point the only way fanst can effect things is by going through the turnstiles and screamin on the team with passion. this season crowds of 13000 does not help remember the villa watching the worst football ever played in a season under mcleish without a home win in 12+ games still had an average crowd of 34000 even when all home games could of been watched in a pub for free.

  • Bluehobba says:

    We have to make St.Andrews a fortress again and a daunting place to come for away fans and players. We have to start against Leicester as no doubt they will bring a good following. I am sure we will give a good account of ourselves starting then..We have to,

  • david elvy says:

    Firstly may I thank you Almajir for all of your up to date information regarding Blues and your excellent assessments of the various situations regarding our beloved Blues. This is the first time I have decided to make any comment on your site although I am a daily follower of Often Partisan. I am of an age that I was lucky enough to see the Francis, Latchford, Burns era with average crowds of apx 40000.. There has been a lot of comment about the crowds and they are disappointing however one point that has been missed by everyone is that all championship crowds are down. Just to highlight three other clubs, if you take Leicester who currently lie second in the table their average crowd is about 3000-4000 down on last year, the same applies to Derby and Wolves average is far lower when compared to their recent spells in the Championship. There are odd exceptions to this trend for example Brighton (new ground / affluent area). In my opinion the delayed reactions to the recession account for this trend. In our case this is coupled to the general depression currently surrounding the club.
    I would be fairly confident that our percentage fall in gates from last year is no worse than that of other midlands clubs in the championship so lets not be too hard on ourselves when highlighting this particular subject.

  • Art Watson says:

    You make a very good point but the first couple of home games this season attracted around 18500 supporters dropping down to 14000 for the Barnsley game.

    So where are the missing 4500 and more importantly why have they decided not to attend the games.

    For me its a protest against Clark and his style of football and has very little to do with the national trend.

    Successful teams have always been well supported at the Blues .


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