League table “footprints”: 23 Jan 2018

I realised that I forgot one type of graphic from the batch I cranked out at the start of January, which is how many days each club has spent in every league position so far. These work as follows:

  • The clubs are listed down the side, in the order they finished in the final league table
  • Each row shows how many days that club spent in each league position
  • The season is considered to run from the date of the first match to the date of the last and excludes the play-offs
  • I’ve added dividing lines in both directions to indicate the automatic promotion places, the play-off zone, the division between top and bottom half and the relegation zone
  • There are also fainter outlines around each club’s final league position

The idea of this is that you can see the “footprint” that each club left in the table this season. Some stayed up one end, others bounced around a lot more etc. This isn’t supposed to be anything particularly profound, but when I ran it I was surprised to see how much time certain clubs spent quite a long way from their final position and how far most travelled over the course of the season.

Premier League

I’m sure someone will do some bantz about both Watford and Huddersfield having spent more time in the top four than Arsenal this season. Runaway leaders Man City and fourth-placed Liverpool are the only two clubs not to have spent a single day in the bottom half of the table, while surprisingly it’s 11th-placed West Ham who are the only side yet to occupy the top half. The Hammers join Bournemouth as the two teams currently sitting in their highest place this season (apart from City obviously), with the Cherries also completing a trio – along with Brighton and West Brom – who have actually sat in both the top four and the bottom three this season.


Wolves are closing in on 100 days at the top of the table – a mark they’re guaranteed to pass – although Cardiff are the only side not to have spent a single day in the bottom half. Upwardly mobile Aston Villa and Fulham are currently occupying their highest placings of the season so far, while Brentford have also put a disappointing start behind them as the data suggested they would. At the bottom, Bolton are enjoying some time out of the relegation zone, having spent exactly the same number of days in 24th place as the current bottom three have between them.

League 1

Blackburn have only just dislodged Shrewsbury from the top two after the Shrews and Wigan had been monopolising the automatic promotion places. Gillingham‘s ongoing revival has moved them into the top half of the table for the first time this season, while Blackpool are heading in the other direction, occupying their lowest position of the campaign thus far. Despite sitting bottom for longer than anyone, Plymouth are now some way above the relegation zone.

League 2

The current top three of Luton, Notts County and Accrington have made their respective positions their own for much of this season, while Exeter look to have been dislodged from the top three. Crawley and Stevenage are neighbours at the moment but both look to have spent the bulk of their campaigns at opposite ends of the table, with Harry Kewell’s side currently occupying their highest position of the season. Chesterfield have spent more time rooted to the bottom than Forest Green and Barnet combined so far, but now find themselves above both.