Season so far: Championship – 3rd Oct 2015

With most sides having now played 10 matches, it felt like a good time to update the scatter graphics. These are explained here if you haven’t seen them before.

Shot dominance

First of all, here is how the number of shots taken by each club compares with those they face in return. The average number of shots taken per match is on the horizontal and the average number 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 2015-10-03 Reading finished 19th last season and I doubt that many were expecting much of them beyond mid-table, but they are the division’s most dominant side at the moment. They’ve taken over twice as many shots as they’ve faced, with their defence in a class of its own.

While Brighton‘s dominant attack also deserves a mention, Nottingham Forest‘s has been even busier but somehow they’re down in mid-table – the next graphic will reveal how they’ve scored fewer goals than Sheffield Wednesday despite taking around seven more shots per match.

While new Brentford boss Lee Carsley talked about taking “plenty of shots” in his first interview as manager, he needs to stop the opposition from doing the same. Along with Charlton and Birmingham, the Bees have allowed the most attempts on their goal in the division.

Attacking effectiveness

Now let’s look at attacking alone. The horizontal axis stays the same as in the graphic above, but now the vertical shows the average number of shots needed to score each league goal. Therefore bottom right is good (taking lots of shots and needing fewer efforts to convert) and top left is bad:

CH Att Eff 2015-10-03

For all of Nottingham Forest‘s attacking industry there’s been a lot of waste. The average of over 19 attempts they’ve needed to score each of their league goals is almost double the division’s average and around three more than the next most profligate side, Preston.

Meanwhile Sheffield Wednesday may not take anywhere near as many shots but are the division’s most clinical side, requiring almost four fewer shots than the average to score each goal.

Defensive effectiveness

Finally let’s look at the defensive situation – 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 2015-10-03

As we saw in the first graphic, Reading‘s defence has been obscenely good at stopping other teams from shooting, but it looks even more impressive here.

Middlesbrough‘s 0-2 defeat to the Royals has taken the sheen off their defensive record, but they Derby and Hull are still the division’s three most resilient defences.

Just behind them are Birmingham who continue to overachieve under Gary Rowett: sitting fourth in the table despite facing the third most shots, thanks to some heroics from their back line.