League 1 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, focusing here on League 1. 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.
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:
Despite trailing to Bristol City – whose defence is significantly more permissive – in the title race, MK Dons, Preston and Swindon stand apart as the three most dominant clubs in the division so far. Even after two massive wins, Crawley‘s forwards are still getting quieter overall, while Colchester have also been creating far less since the turn of the year. It’s a bit tricky to see in the congested central area of the chart, but Doncaster look to have found another gear as they step up their challenge for a play-off place.
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:
Yeovil continue to struggle to put the ball in the net, needing around five more attempts per goal than the average side and over twice as many as Gillingham and Rochdale, who if anything are getting sharper in front of goal. Crawley, Colchester and Sheffield United have also improved their finishing lately and look to be cutting out some of their more speculative efforts.
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:
After being defiantly resilient for so long, Notts County‘s defence looks to be finally falling back to earth as County continue to drop further from their impressive early-season placing of third. The other big movers here are Scunthorpe, who have been getting much better at soaking up pressure lately (albeit with plenty of practice).