Championship update: 21st February 2015

I thought it was about time for another update to the attack and defence graphics for the four divisions below the Premier League, starting here with the Championship. For each division there are three graphics – the first shows overall dominance, the second attacking performance and the third defensive performance. All are based on shot data and give a high-level view of how each club is doing relative to the others, with the axes centred on the divisional average. You can click on a graphic to bring up a full-sized version in a new tab.

This time I’ve added in each club’s movement from their positions at the end of 2014 (the smaller dots), so we can see how their fortunes have changed since the start of the year.

Overall dominance

I’ll start with the extent to which each club dominates (or is dominated) in matches. In this first graphic, the average number of shots taken by each club is on the horizontal and the average number of shots faced is on the vertical, so bottom right (take plenty, allow few in return) is good while top left (take few, allow plenty) is bad:

CH Att Def 2015-02-21

They may be slightly off the pace in the title race, but Norwich are the division’s most dominant side despite their attack cooling down slightly since the turn of the year. It’s still surprising to see Brighton in 20th despite them consistently having the greater share of goalscoring chances this season. While Ipswich and Birmingham are both making positive strides towards taking more control of games, Fulham look to be going backwards at the moment.

Attacking effectiveness

Now let’s look at attacking alone. The horizontal axis stays the same as above, but now we have the average number of shots needed to score each goal on the vertical axis:

CH Att Eff 2015-02-21

Wolves look to have switched focus from quantity to quality up front since the start of January, with BlackpoolRotherham and Bolton also enjoying better fortunes in front of goal. Meanwhile Millwall and Wigan‘s recent frustrations up front mean that now only Sheffield Wednesday‘s attack is more profligate. Brighton‘s position in the upper right partly explains their lowly position: for all their attacking, only 4 sides have been more wasteful in front of goal.

Defensive effectiveness

Now let’s look at the defensive picture – basically take the above chart and replace the word “taken” for “faced” on both axes. Now top left is good – facing fewer shots and able to soak up more per goal conceded – and bottom right is bad:

CH Def Eff 2015-02-21

Despite recent setbacks, Middlesbrough still boast the division’s best defence by some distance – they have to deal with an extra shot per match than Norwich but it takes an extra 7 to find a way past them on average. Quite a few teams have seen their defences spring leaks in 2015, with Ipswich (formerly the division’s most resilient defence), Derby and Bolton suffering the most notable setbacks.