Attacking and defensive efficiency: League 2

To complete this mini-trilogy following yesterday’s look at the Championship and League 1, here are the League 2 sides plotted as follows:

  • The horizontal axis is the ratio of shots taken to goals scored, so a low number is good (on average, less shots are required to score each goal)
  • The vertical axis is the ratio of shots faced to goals conceded, so a higher number is good (on average, it takes more shots by the opposition to breach your defence)
Let’s have a look (click to embiggen):

I’ve centred the axes on the averages of these two ratios, splitting the teams into four labelled quadrants. Some observations which leap out:

  • My beloved Torquay have the most resilient defence – in fact no team in League 2 has faced more shots than the Gulls.
  • If Rotherham want to push towards the top of the table they need to sort their defending out – they’re one of the better sides at restricting their opponents’ chances but still let too many in. Could this be a goalkeeping or defensive positioning issue?
  • If  Macclesfield can improve their shooting they might surprise a few people, as their back line can withstand a lot of punishment.
  • Crawley may remain most people’s title favourites (they’ve taken more shots than anyone else), but they’re far from formidable at the back. This is particularly true away from home where their record is rather patchy.
  • Mid-table Morecambe and Crewe are performing pretty respectably at both ends – could they be dark horses for promotion?