League 2 – attack and defence 2012/13

Over the coming days I’ll be producing final versions of as many graphics as possible for the season, starting here with League 2. While it’s yet to be decided in what capacity this blog will exist next season, these are my all-time favourite creation and I’m determined that they will continue to exist.

If you haven’t seen these before, the Explanations page (link above) will give you the jist of them, but in essence it’s quantity on the horizontal and quality on the vertical and the axes centre on the divisional averages. Clicking on the images will bring up a full-size version in a new tab. None of these will include any play-off matches – for consistency this just covers the 46 league games.

Attack

League 2 attack final

  • League 2 has had a strange distribution here for much of the season, with the teams forming a relatively neat line apart from a few rebellious exceptions, most notably Port Vale whose ruthless efficiency in front of goal is streets ahead of the rest. They required 3 less shots for every goal they scored compared to the average League 2 side, which more than made up for the 1 less shot on goal they tended to muster in each match.
  • At the other end of the scale, Plymouth‘s wastefulness – they required 2 additional shots to score each of their goals than the average side – made for another nervous campaign.
  • While it must have been frustrating watching Rochdale going forward at times, it certainly wasn’t boring. They fired in over 3 additional shots per game than the average side, although it looks like a large proportion of these were somewhat speculative.

Defence

League 2 defence final

  • If Port Vale’s promotion was founded on a clinical attack, then champions Gillingham‘s was down to some equally ruthless defending. Able to soak up 4 more shots for every goal conceded than the average League 2 team sees them stand out clearly in another largely linear distribution.
  • The stark contrast between the defensive philosophies of play-off finalists Northampton and Bradford is evident here – the Cobblers soak up a lot of pressure while the Bantams are arguably the most adept side at restricting the quantity of their opponents’ attacking efforts.
  • The most punch-drunk defence was that of my own beloved Torquay, having to absorb over 2 extra shots per match on average which almost cost them their league status – a more assertive approach is needed next season.
  • An honourable mention for Chesterfield‘s defence – conceding fewer goals than anyone bar the eventual champions almost won them a play-off spot at Bradford’s expense.