comment_180731

After a well-earned rest from the stresses of last season, we are now just a few short days away from our first fixture of 2018/19, away at Fleetwood. So, I’ve crunched the numbers, and this is how history suggests we will fare against our 23 League One rivals this year.

The first thing of note is that we are playing 23 clubs this season – not 22 and an abbreviation.

Moving on from that, we can see from this table that, theoretically, we should have a pretty decent season. We are expected to achieve 45 points at home and 21 away, giving us an overall total of 66 points that would have put us, comfortably, in eighth place last year.

Last season, on the basis of the teams we were to play, we were scheduled to accumulate 64 points, but we only achieved 53 – 83 per cent of our projected total.

So why should we have confidence in these stats that this season might be better? Well, it’s the averaging process. Simply put, one bad season should be offset by a good one. Overall, we are pretty average since we got into the league: in fact, over the longest term, our average does come out at around 15 wins, 16 draws, and 15 defeats – a season total of 61 points. So you can see we are owed a bit in terms of getting the average back on track! Of course, that promotion season helped …

In terms of individual games, not a lot has changed for those teams we play this year compared to last. Even good results, like the 4-0 at Bradford, do not counter what has gone before too much; history still says we should lose that one but by a smaller amount!

The uplift in fortunes this season compared to last lies in the teams promoted and relegated. Will we face two teams this year that we have not played before in the league as AFC Wimbledon: Barnsley, and Sunderland. As it happens, we play them both in the first month!

As usual with these ‘new’ opponents, I have assumed a 1-0 win at home and a 1-0 defeat away. In some respects, these might be the most interesting games of the season, stat-wise.

So we start with:

  • Fleetwood, which should be a loss;
  • Coventry, a draw;
  • Barnsley, a loss;
  • Walsall: draw;
  • and Sunderland, which goes down as a win.

If that pans out as predicted, we’ll pick-up five points from five games – only a point a game and not good enough over the full season at that rate. Sort it out, Ardley!!

We will see though, won’t we? And hopefully I will be checking our progress with updates during the season, if the podcast team lets me …

// Jim Potter – @JamPot44

comment_180507

So, how did we manage that escape? Here’s the analysis of where we bucked historical trends to secure our first division future (above the scum).

So, in our last six games, our results were expected to be:

  • Charlton: draw 1-1;
  • Walsall: most likely lose 3-1;
  • Oldham: also draw (0-0);
  • Wigan: lose 1-0 – the standard home win given as we have not played there before;
  • Doncaster: lose 1-0 (see above!);
  • Bury: win 2-1.

The Charlton game turned into a win: a great start boosting us two points up.

Then, the key game that I think turned our potential into actual survival, the dramatic win at Walsall – 3-2 in stoppage time, in front of all those volunteers on their day out. Pure bliss (Alexa? – Ed).

View Full Post

comment_180213

So, since the last review at the beginning of November, is our ‘indicator’ – based on past history panning out – predicting our future survival in League 1? Another three months gone, 15 more games down, and it’s time we look at what occurred and what is in store at the ‘business end of the season’.

The loss against Northampton should really not have come as a surprise to anyone as, along with Oxford over the years, they have been one of our bogey teams. This was a banker home loss on the indicator as we have only had three decent results against them ever since we reformed – two draws and a win.

But looking back over the last three months, the surprises on the pitch have definitely correlated to be the surprises we find in the table of expected and actual results. Overall, we have performed pretty much as expected: over this period, we were expected to get 10 points – and that is exactly what we got.

View Full Post

comment_180210

Strange how certain events in football can change a club’s course. Everything in the AFC Wimbledon garden seemed rosy up to that point Freddie Ladapo took a call from Chris Powell halfway through his medical at Kingsmeadow.

The way we handled that situation received widespread criticism and looking back, maybe the negative vibe created by publicly saying he’d legged it at the eleventh hour was the catalyst for our downturn in fortunes.

View Full Post

comment_180203

Some games you know very early on you’re not getting anything and, five minutes in, Saturday felt like one of those days.

I travelled not expecting much and a chat in the pub with a Millers fan did nothing for my expectations. He described a well organised team that are working really hard for each other: not a team with any star players, but a hard-working group on a good run and full of confidence.

Neal’s pre-match comments suggested this was a good opportunity to find out how far we’ve come as a team and how we’d measure up against one of the better sides in the division.

And there’s no doubt we’ve made significant progress in recent weeks, but when pitted against a team challenging for promotion, we got a bit of a reality check.

View Full Post