Report: The first 10 games

I’m proud to present what will hopefully be the first of many club-by-club reports. This one covers the first 10 (or so) games of the new season and features a page of analysis for each Football League club.

I’ve no idea how to embed this in my blog, so below is a very low tech link to the PDF. I’ve done my best to keep the file size down – it’s about 1.4MB:

Click for the report

Click for the report

The match data used in the report is taken from a variety of public domain sources, but is all compiled by the Press Association. The goal data I capture myself as explained here.

I’ll be discussing this report on the excellent We Are Going Up podcast, released on Monday 15th October.

EDIT: Some eagle-eyed readers spotted a few idiotic mistakes, which I’ve now corrected (reference to top right rather than left when explaining defensive scatter plot, getting my left, right and divisions mixed up on the Colchester page). Please let me know if you spot any more!


  • Reblogged this on The Washbag and commented:
    Mindblowing analysis of the first ten games in the Football League, including an assessment of Swindon Town’s defensive and attacking efficiency, courtesy of Ben Mayhew of

  • Brilliant stuff Ben, glad to see you’ve persevered with your analysis – this is an area where coverage is sadly lacking and you’ve carved out a superb niche.

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  • Astonishing stuff. Really good work. As a Derby fan your statistical analysis backs up what fans have been saying about our relative strengths and weaknesses this season. It suggests that there’s real value in your analyses.

    Can I make a suggestion though? For the attack & defence grids I think it would make it easier to understand if you re-orient the axes so that ideal quadrant is the same for both charts. At the moment it’s tricky to remember that “over here is good for the attack chart, but over there is good for the defence chart”. In most grid-type charts I see, top-right is where you want to be, so I’d suggest you go with convention and re-orient the axes like that.

    One last thing. Make sure you assert your copyright on this stuff and if newspapers or magazines want to re-publish your analysis, you get paid appropriately.

    Looking forward to the next batch!

    • Hi Mark,
      Thanks for commenting and great to hear that the analysis bears a resemblance to what’s happening on the pitch.
      I completely understand your point about the “top right” quadrant – the reason the scales are this way around is mostly for consistency, so that attack and defence can be superimposed onto the same graph with a single scale.
      Will definitely be asserting my copyright where I can!

  • Truly fantastic work

  • Fantastic insight, I saw the link on the Guardian site and it is better than 95% of the stuff they produce. they should sign you up!

  • Please, please tell me you do not use the BBC stats ,,, today Watford v Peterborough there were apparently no shots on target for either side when infact the keepers made two excellent saves each and Burra cleared a certain goal off the line. Watford were on target with a penalty that actually scored and they also hit both inside of post and the outside of crossbar.
    It was the same dolts at the BBC that took a whole week to recognize two late Watford goals that turned things around at Selhurst at the beginning of the season crediting Palace with the points.

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