Attack & defence graphics – 1st January 2013

First of all, Happy New Year!

I missed a lot of football over the festive season due to holidays, so things will be a little bit quieter while I catch up with it all. I thought that it was worth taking the time to update the attacking and defensive effectiveness graphics (explained in the ‘Explanations’ page linked above), seeing as these were last reviewed for the ’20 games in’ report. Clicking these will bring up full-sized versions in new tabs:

Championship – attack

Att Eff CH 010113

  • The most striking improvement (if you’ll pardon the pun) is from Peterborough, whose recent performances have seen their attack shift from being arguably the division’s worst to respectably average, largely due to converting a much higher proportion of their chances.
  • Heading in the opposite direction after their poor recent run are Wolves, while another big mover are Leicester who have turned the tap on a bit more up front, taking noticeably more shots at goal.
  • Ipswich‘s more clinical performances of late leave lowly Barnsley adrift as the division’s most wasteful side, needing more than 3 shots than the average team to score each goal.
  • Crystal Palace have overtaken Leeds as the Championship’s most clinical team, and still create a lot more goal attempts than the latter.

Championship – defence

Def Eff CH 010113

  • Leicester‘s ability to restrict their opponents’ shots at goal still sets them apart from the crowd – while Blackpool are almost as good at closing teams down, their defence requires almost 3 fewer shots to breach.
  • Hull‘s recent rise looks to have owed much to their defensive solidity – while fellow high-fliers Cardiff are more resilient at the back, the Tigers contend with significantly fewer shots at goal.
  • Bristol City and Peterborough are in need of the most improvement at the back: the former are too easy to score against and the latter allow their opponents too many chances.

League 1 – attack

Att Eff L1 010113

  • There are quite a few large movers in League 1’s attacking performance, with Hartlepool plumbing new depths of wastefulness in front of goal with Colchester and Bury hot on their heels.
  • On a more positive note, Coventry‘s impressive renaissance is driven by what is now arguably the most fearsome attack in the division, although Swindon also seem to have moved up a gear lately.
  • Formerly profligate Scunthorpe – for so long lurking in the top right – have finally shaken off their outlier status with significantly more composure in front of goal than in the early part of the season.

League 1 – defence

Def Eff L1 010113

  • Recent defensive lapses have seen dramatic falls from grace by former paragons of resilience MK Dons, Tranmere and Doncaster. Meanwhile Bournemouth are toughening up at the back as their unbeaten run continues.
  • Notts County are now the hardest team to break down, but continue to offer their opponents plenty of chances to do so, while Crewe seem increasingly minded to follow suit and soak up pressure.
  • The Leicester-Blackpool contrast in the division above is eerily imitated here by Swindon and Preston, with the former the masters of shutting down opposing attacks and the latter relatively easy to breach with the chances they do allow against them.

League 2 – attack

Att Eff L2 010113

  • Something very strange is going on here, with a very flat distribution showing little variation in the efficiency of League 2’s attacks apart from a handful of outliers.
  • Only Wimbledon, Plymouth and Bristol Rovers (who perhaps not coincidentally have all sacked their managers this season) are noticeably wasteful in front of goal, while high-flying Port Vale are alone in appearing particularly clinical.
  • Aldershot‘s improvements in front of goal are worthy of a mention – while still not creating many chances they’ve become much more reliable at converting the ones they have.

League 2 – defence

Def Eff L2 010113

  • Torquay have now taken over as the division’s busiest defence, although Morecambe have seen a similar increase in the number of shots faced.
  • Fleetwood have marginally surpassed Gillingham as the most resilient while continuing to restrict the number of shots they face.
  • While their attack has shown improvement, this is being undermined by a deterioration at the back by Rochdale.