Championship 2016-17: stats dump

After last week’s onslaught of post-season Championship graphics I wanted to round up some of the other useful – but less obviously visual – stats that I hadn’t managed to work into anything I’d produced. I’m working on a couple of template designs to house some of the simpler stats next season so I thought I’d road-test one of them here by pulling together some club rankings covering a range of measures that might make for some interesting comparisons.

I’m always happy to field requests for anything people would like to see, and may well ask a few questions ahead of next season about what sort of thing I should be focusing on.

Clean sheets

Starting with something simple, here’s how many clean sheets each club kept over the course of the season:

It’s not surprising to see the top two of Newcastle and Brighton leading the way here with 40 clean sheets between them. The 17 kept by Derby suggests that it was their attack – comically poor at finishing in the early part of the campaign – which ultimately let them down.

Before we move on, we can also look at defensive solidity from a slightly different angle and measure each club’s longest run of minutes without conceding a goal, which to my mind is a bit more fun (and easier to rank) than “consecutive clean sheets”:

The Rams lead the way here with the longest stretch of time unbreached and Aston Villa also registered an impressively long shut-out.

Failure to score

Let’s now look at the mirror image of a clean sheet – the failure to score:

Fulham‘s attack was often irresistible this season as just six failures to score – almost four times fewer than the 22 registered by relegated Wigan – shows. As I speculated above, Derby‘s attack don’t exactly look great here!

Again we can look at each club’s longest run of minutes:

Newcastle never went longer than two matches without finding the net, while the five successive blanks drawn by Ipswich‘s notoriously quiet attack early in the season set an unbeaten record early on.

Types of shot

I also wanted to look briefly at attacking style, starting with the proportion of headed shots that each club took:

Cardiff often took the aerial route to goal under Neil Warnock and it looks to have paid off. Meanwhile the likes of Fulham, Norwich and Brentford all tended to keep the ball on the floor when going forward.

I’m also interested in long range shots, which are perhaps less of a stylistic choice and often tell us about a team’s ability to work the ball into dangerous positions:

Interestingly there’s much less correlation with league position than in the other two EFL divisions. Here Burton were the side most focused on working the ball close to the goal before letting fly.

Perhaps Huddersfield‘s goal difference would have remained in positive territory if they’d been able to work the ball into slightly more dangerous positions?

Shot dominance

I already have the scatter graphics to show a team’s shot stats in detail, but I was interested in how often each club out-shot their opponents:

It’s unsurprising to see five of the top six at the top of this chart – Fulham and Newcastle in particular look to have dominated the majority of their matches. The enigma that is Reading give us yet another reason to be confused by their success: fewer than a third of their games saw them create more chances than their opponents.


Something I realised that I hadn’t covered at all this season was points taken from winning and losing positions, so I wanted to take a quick look at these, starting with the former:

Perhaps unsurprisingly this aligns relatively closely with league position, and here we can see that Reading are up there with the rest of the top six: it was hard to break them down once they had the lead this season.

Now let’s look at points recovered after going behind:

Fulham‘s resilience after falling behind could stand them in good stead during the play-offs, although they’ll have their work cut out against Reading if the previous chart is anything to go by.


I wanted to look at fouls, which I thought would be interesting to look at in terms of who committed more fouls than their opponents in the highest proportion of games:

Brighton certainly weren’t shy this season as one of only two clubs who committed more fouls in over two thirds of their league games; they’re the only top half side among the five scrappiest teams. Fulham were far more measured in their own promotion campaign, only out-fouling around one opponent in every five.

Game states

Finally I wanted to crowbar in a slightly different chart which shows how long each club spent winning, drawing and losing this season. Clubs are sorted by the difference between the amount of time spent winning and losing:

Norwich actually spent more time in the lead than Brighton this season – although not as much as Newcastle – yet didn’t make the final top six. While Rotherham finished bottom of the pile they actually spent more time in the lead than either of the other relegated teams.