Posted by: RFC Blogger from Bridgend | December 30, 2010

Christmas roundup so far…..

7 (WWD) points from a possible 9 so far can’t be bad, although I’ve just caught up with the highlights (goals) on the BBC website and Shane missed a penalty in the game against Hull which we went on to draw, so it could have been better. But before I watched the highlights I was pretty pleased, and I still am really.  The Christmas period with so many games in a short period of time can be make or break for a team, as we turn the  corner and head into the second 23 games of the season.

We started the campaign with our first win in 6 games, away to Derby (2:1 to RFC) with a late goal to Shane Long, and then followed this up with an emphatic home win over Bristol City (4:1) with another late goal for Shane being the icing on the cake to add to his earlier goal and goals from Jobi (about time too) and Noel (celebratory birthday goal).

I listened to the Derby game on-line and sent an email to Reading 107 congratulating the fans that made the journey in difficult snow filled circumstances but who were well rewarded by a RFC performance to get our first win after 5 draws. The Boxing Day game (Bristol City) I listened to on-line from the kitchen. Peter Hood’s enthusiasm is sometimes easier to listen to from afar! I can’t remember much about the game but it was a cracking result after we went behind to Bristol who had already beaten us once this season. We have a pretty good record for games played on Boxing Day so there was always the possibility that we would at least draw, but to win by 4 goals to 1 was really heart warming, and I just about managed to stay awake to watch the goals on the Football League Show later that night.

I could not listen to the Hull game as we were visiting family, but we were receiving updates on our various team’s performances (RFC, Crystal Palace, Swansea and by default Cardiff) at half time and every 20 minutes or so. Even though the Royals went down one goal early on in the game, I was confident that they would score at least one goal and hopefully get a draw. I don’t think I am a prophet at all, so I think this confidence came from the Team’s performance generally over the last 7 games which they have managed to at least draw, and the last two game which they won.

I’ve updated my stats and the tables and performance analysis is on the following link, if you are sad like me and like to pour over data and figures.

 The Royals have moved from 15th to 6th in the official table since before the Christmas run of games. Looking at the League of Tables the improvement in performance is helped by improvements in their goal difference having scored 7 goals in the last three games and only conceded 3. Their goal difference has increased by a positive 4 to plus 10 to put them 4th in the goal difference league. 

  table position win order draw order losses order goals scored order goals conceded order goal difference order
17.12.10 15 17 1 3 13 5 5
18.12.10 7 13 1 3 10 6 5
30.12.10 6 9 1 3 7 5 4


Looking at other indicators of good performance you can see that the Royals have improved their position by winning more games, scoring more goals and letting in fewer goals. I know this is stating the blindingly obvious, but I was thinking the other day about the difference between teams that do well and those that don’t is to do with scoring goals. Looking at the table QPR are storming the league this season, and when you look at the reasons for this the obvious evidence is that they have scored more goals than most other teams. But more importantly they have  let fewer in than other teams. Goals scored 42 and conceded is 14. And they seem to be doing this more consistently than other teams.

I know it must be boring to keep looking back to that season  (2005/6) but the Royals were consistently winning games and scoring goals. So I created the attached file for my own information (and because I’m a sad person who loves numbers and stats) to compare how the Royals were doing in other league table, most wins, most goals etc. The same sort of data you can get on Statistics – Football365 one of my favorite web sites.

The above extract shows how the Royals have moved from 17th to 9th in the league table for number of wins, 13th to 7th in the table for goals scored, and remained at or near the top of the league for number of draws and fewest losses. These tables are all relative to how other teams are performing, and I realise that being top of the league for number of draws is not necessarily a good one to be top of, but the improvements in these tables are all moving the team in the right direction.

I am obviously an amateur statistician, and you can look at stats in many ways, and I am only dipping in and out of the data for things that strike me at the moment. My conclusion is that to win the league or at least do well, the team needs to be near the top of all of the various leagues (obvious) as this shows a level of consistency that is needed to perform well over time.

“My other teams” did quite well on the 28th, Swansea won, Cardiff were thumped by Watford, and Crystal Palace drew with Bristol City. Brighton have not had a good December comparative to the rest of their season so far. Apart from a win in the FA cup, they have only managed to draw and lose a game in the league in December, although I expect the snow has something to do with that as well. But despite this they have a 4 point cushion and a game in hand over their nearest rivals. The only possible good that can come out of the Royals not getting promotion this season is the prospect of playing Brighton in their new ground next season.

Our next game is against Swansea down the road at the Liberty stadium. It’s a bit of a family tradition that me and one of my daughters go in the away end to support the Royals and my partner and the other daughter go in the Swansea end to support the Swans. So we shall all be there on Saturday for the 1st of January outing. Hopefully to see the Royals win for the first time in a while at the Swansea ground. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a Swansea FC programme, as they are usually quite good, and it’s always interesting to see the views on the Royals from another perspective. The additional spice this year will be the Brendan Rodgers effect.

I can’t wait!


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