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Half-Term Prediction

By Phil Roberts :  28/12/2007 :  Comments (8) :

 

So half the season gone and we sit in 6th ? the same as at the end of last season. In fact, as the table below shows, from the same 19 fixtures as last year, we also have the same number of points ? the only change being an improvement in the goal difference of 6.

 

So to bring a little festive gloom, if all teams achieve the results in the 2nd half of the season that they achieved last year, then Champions League ? we having a laugh, but as things stand we should all be going on a European Tour in 2008-09, even if we don?t win a cup this season!

 

Points Diff. to 06/07

Full Season Points

Full Season GD

Position Change

Man Utd

-2

87

50

0

Chelsea

-1

82

40

0

Liverpool

+5

73

33

0

Arsenal

+5

73

30

0

Man City

+19

61

7

9

Everton

0

58

22

0

Portsmouth

+4

58

12

2

Aston Villa

+7

57

12

3

Tottenham

-5

55

8

4

Blackburn

+2

54

-5

0

Bolton

-3

53

-3

4

West Ham

+6

47

-5

3

Reading

-10

45

-11

5

Newcastle

-4

39

-18

1

Fulham

-1

39

-19

1

Middlesboro

-8

36

-20

4

Sunderland

-3

35

-31

1

Wigan

-4

34

-29

1

Birmingham

-1

33

-26

0

Derby

-7

21

-47

0

 

This analysis which looks at all 20 teams shows that United and Chelsea are virtually the same as last season, but Liverpool and Arsenal have closed the gap by 5 points. However, matching last season performance will still leave them 9 points drift of automatic European Qualification. There nearest challenger is of course City which we can see from their current league position and that they are currently 19 points better than last season. But they are unlikely to add the same number of points in the second half where their fixtures gained them 26 points last year compared to only 16 in the first half. So at the moment they are in the only guaranteed Uefa Cup place, the others rely on the teams in the Cup Finals being in the Champions League to lower the qualification to 6th and 7th places.

 

And here the competition is fierce with Everton, Portsmouth, Villa, Spurs, Blackburn and Bolton all within 5 points of each other. As I write this, it is before the Arsenal game. A loss for us would put us down to 55 points and 8th, but a win at Boro would put us back up to 58! However, it is amazing how results re-occur. Chelsea only drew with Villa and there was disaster for Newcastle at Wigan. Would you like to guess what last year?s results were? The same! In the first half of the season, nearly half the games (45%) had the same result as last year. So movement is history is a reasonable predictor of the future.

 

But is Champions League so tough for us to get? To really progress (and even beat City for 5th) we have some important matches. Home to Villa, Spurs and Chelsea last year were all defeats and City and Reading were only draws. That is 13 points to improve! Losses at Fulham and Boro and City (could be tough to reverse that this year) and draws at two of last year?s relegated clubs could be another 10 and all of a sudden we are on 81 points and we have gone undefeated in the rest of the season. We can but dream! But we should have the ability to pick up more than the 25 points we did last year and therefore challenge for that 5th place.

 

As for the rest of the league, the relegation battle this year could be real fun. With 7 clubs projected to get below the magic 40 points, it could be a real dog fight. What is interesting is that none of the promoted teams are out-performing the teams relegated last year. Newcastle only picked up 13 points last season in their remaining fixtures. If they do free fall like that, then Big Sam should be manager number 8 to be sacked during the season. It also shows that there are now clearly 3 divisions in this league. The 70+ points, the 45-60 and the less than 40 points. The first division are in the Champions League, the last fight relegation and the ones in the middle are where the real competition is happening as the winners also get into Europe.

 

One final piece of trivia: Over the last 38 matches, Everton have scored 58 goals and have a positive goal difference of +22. The last time we were this free scoring was at the end of the 1999-2000 season, Walter Smith?s second season. But then we also leaked goals at the same rate. So to get a positive goal difference of +22 over 38 games, you have to go all the way back to the start of the 1996-97 season (we had finished the previous one with +20 thanks to 6th place and Andrej Kanchelskis) which is over 10 years. Who says we have not come a long way in the last 5 years?

 

Here?s to a Happy New Year, and another European Tour in 2008-09.

Reader Comments

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Tommy Jones
1   Posted 31/12/2007 at 05:16:22

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Very interesting stats but then again... that was then and this is now. This is the best team I have seen in ages and I think we are strong in all departments.

I am shocked at the recent reports that Moyesey was close to quitting when we were playing in Europe... he is our best man and I hope we can keep him for many years.

Merry Crimbo and Happy New Year!
Arthur Jones
2   Posted 31/12/2007 at 10:51:32

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Very interesting stats and does give an indication to our standing compared to last season but certain factors cannot be included , ie There was a vast increase in transfer activity by most teams last summer , none more so than Man City who in my eyes without the intervention of " sintra " and Sven were prime relegation candidates , On that premise then the January transfer window should be interesting and indeed crucial to the second half of the season , another Pienaar , Arteta or Manny would be priceless and DM and his scouting team have a knack of uncovering such gems , What the stats above don?t show is the improvement in Everton since Tim Cahill recovered from injury . 4th place is a possibility but there are too many indeterminables to make it a definite . Here?s hoping though
Tony Williams
3   Posted 31/12/2007 at 12:07:28

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Interesting and well presented piece but which ultimately does not prove much other than if you spend £50 milllion and get a recognised manager your fortunes will change.

Also last season the teams did not have to worry about the acorn cup and losing influential players,

Chelsea, Arsenal, Pompey and Us are probably the worst hit.

I like your last sentence and hope it is correct
Nick Toye
4   Posted 31/12/2007 at 14:37:06

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These kind of stats mean sweet FA. Sorry mate, and sorry you went to all the effort, but they mean nothing.

So many events can cause and effect an outcome, and nobody can predict when they events occur, or which way they will fall.

What is interesting though, is this season, all the games I have expected us to win we have done, and all the ones I have expected us to lose, we have either drawn or lost.

For me that is an improvement, for some however and they know who they are, its just too slow progress to justify keeping the manager.

For the majority of Moyes’ tenure, he has battled with no funds and forced to make budget purchases, which as it happens has reaped dividends.

Now he does have more money to spend, and he finally has the squad that he is happy with, well then we can start judging him.

I can’t think of anyone I would want in charge at Everton, and I’m delighted that the board decided that a consistent leader is more effective than swapping out your manager every season because he hasn’t brought back the golden days.


Charlie Skinley
5   Posted 31/12/2007 at 19:39:15

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Well said Nick Toye, couldn?t agree more
Bill Goodall
6   Posted 01/01/2008 at 02:11:33

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Good article, one other point and a points total we should be aiming for as a minimum is the fact that since the 95/96 season 61 points has guaranteed 6th spot every year, except in 01/02 when chelsea got 64. History repeats it seems so as a minimum we need 28 for UEFA cup which should be achieved and close to 40 to get close to the Champions league spot, which is a dream.

Happy New Year to all and heres to stuffing 4 past Boro to get us going again
Brendan McLaughlin
7   Posted 01/01/2008 at 20:28:20

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Nick Toye, you & Phil ain?t really that far apart. Only thing is he (Phil) needs to console himself by statistics,you just feel it in your gut. But what the Fuck!
Ed Smith
8   Posted 02/01/2008 at 20:59:53

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Only one point from five games against the "big four" tells its own story. I know we should have taken points from both Utd games and all 3 against the shite but until we start getting the results against the top 4 we will have to settle for 5th for now. What would we have given for that under Smith? The top 4 do drop points along the way, so why not against us?

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