Team Performance

The 2014-15 Roller Coaster Ride

A Review of Charlton’s 2014-15 Season

So, the Championship is all over and Charlton finished in a creditable 12th place.  The fact that we were the first team to qualify for next season’s Championship competition tells a story in itself:  Not good enough to go up (or even make the play-offs) not bad enough to go down (although at one stage it looked as if we might be).  If you just considered the mid-table finish and the extremely high number of draws this season you might be forgiven for thinking that the season one of consistent mediocrity, but it wasn’t really like that. It’s been a bumpy ride with two main peaks and two main troughs.

The first peak came at the start of the season with wins against Wigan, Derby, Norwich and Watford and an unbeaten run that lasted until mid-October.  Gradually things started to turn sour though as wins turned to draws and draws turned to defeats.  Other teams all seemed to have worked out how to stop us and if management had an alternative plan, the players never put it into effect.  A three month winless streak from mid-November to mid-February saw Charlton drop as low as 20th in the table.  Manager Bob Peeters seemed to have ‘lost the dressing room’ whist the club seemed in danger of losing its fans.  In a few short days in mid-January Peeters was sacked, Luzon was appointed and Meire was accused of lying.  This was the nadir of the season.

Guy Luzon did well to keep his head when all about were losing theirs and changed the team into a more attacking force that put together a string of wins in late February and March, scoring three goals on five occasions. This period saw safety guaranteed as Charlton moved into the top half of the league table.  Sadly it wasn’t to last.  Once a certain level had been reached, the wins dried up as the players went on their proverbial summer holidays.  The last month was one largely filled with frustration, ameliorated only be the demise of our leonine neighbours and win’s for the U18s in their league and the U21s  in the Kent Senior Cup.

The bumps and dips of the season are shown on the chart below, which uses an index rating to show the changes in fortune of the club for it’s league position, points taken, goal difference and goals scored.

Charlton Monthly Performance 2015-16
Please click twice to enlarge.

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Have Charlton Turned A Corner?

Having scored nine goals and taken nine points from the last four games, it is suddenly feeling good to be a Charlton fan again. After a dreadful January that saw us score just one goal and earn two points, the team seems rejuvenated.  The incoming players have fitted in very well and Guy Luzon seems to have the whole team playing with considerable confidence.  So how did February as a month compare to the other months so far in Charlton’s league season?

February was certainly the most polarised month so far.  During Bob Peeters reign, a massive 52% of all games ended in draws. In February there wasn’t one.  The three wins of February are the most in any month this season, but then so are the three defeats.  In terms of points per game (PPG) the healthy 1.5 of February is the third best so far this season.  It’s not as good as those optimistic days at the beginning of the season with our 11 match unbeaten run, but it is head and shoulders above the dark days of winter when we only just scraped half a point per game.  It is particularly pleasing that the club’s league position has risen from 18th to 12th over the course of the month.

It is perhaps to early to say if the corner has been turned yet, but both the performances and the results have been the best for quite a while.  If a similar level performance continued throughout March we might reasonably expect to take around 8 points.  That would bring us up to the 50 point mark and probable Championship safety.

Screenshot 2015-03-01 01.44.17In the table above, Charlton’s monthly performances are ranked by Points Per Game and then Goal Difference.

Charlton’s Diminishing Goals

So far this season Charlton have played 22 matches and scored 23 goals.  The goals to games ratio, 1.05, is not impressive. Indeed it is joint 17th in the division – on a par with Bolton and Millwall.  Best is Bournemouth with 2.27 goals per game.  Worst is Sheffield Wednesday with 0.73 goals per game.

What is most disturbing for Charlton fans though is the way that the goals have tailed off.  Only Igor Vetokele has hit the net with any regularity this season.  However he hasn’t scored in over a month now and no-one else has taken over goalscoring duties.  In the time since Igor last got a goal, against Reading on 8th November, only Harriott, Buyens and Cousins have scored, and they’ve only managed one each.  The chart below shows how the goals have dried up.

Screenshot 2014-12-21 01.46.39

Please click to enlarge

Charlton did start the season very well and boasted the longest unbeaten record in the division.  Those early successes were largely built on being very tight defensively.  Despite being in the play-off positions early on, Charlton never really dominated their opponents and victories were all by a slim margin.  This meant that it has only taken a small decrease in the number of goals scored to seriously effect the number of points taken:

Screenshot 2014-12-21 02.28.13Please click to enlarge

It looks as though Charlton will need to do something soon to increase the number of goals scored if the season isn’t to peter-out completely.

Charlton versus Middlesbrough (ten year record)

Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 10.13.40

Charlton’s poor record against ‘Boro over ten years.  

We’ve played Middlesbrough 90 times in the league overall.  That’s second only to the 96 times that we’ve played Portsmouth.  Over that whole period, results have been pretty even.  Boro have just shaded things winning 37 to our 34.  And aside from two major demolishings in the 1950s  7-3 and 8-1 (still our record defeat) our record overall is pretty reasonable.  Not recently though.  A look at the results for the last ten years shows that we have played them twelve times.  Of those, we have only won twice, drawing three and losing seven.

Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 10.05.09

Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 10.05.47

Six Games Unbeaten

Sunday 14th September 2014 – Charlton’s Best Starts  “Quit while you’re ahead”, that’s what they say. Well this blog is going to do the opposite, it’s going to start whilst we’re ahead. The we in question being Charlton Athletic Football Club, or The Addicks as we are alternatively known. The point of this blog is to record and publish various statistics, facts and (hopefully) interesting information about the club. It will not seek to provide anything like comprehensive coverage and it’s structure may seem quite random non-existent. Hopefully over time though it will become a cornucopia of Addicks related facts and figures. Then again, maybe not. If you hadn’t already guessed, this blog isn’t owned, run or probably even on the radar of the club itself – certainly not at the time of writing, if it ever will be. It is completely independent, but very interested. So, what is this ‘ahead’ business that we were talking about in the opening sentence? It is Sunday 14th August 2014. Yesterday Charlton beat Watford at The Valley to go 5th in the league table. We are now unbeaten in six straight league matches from the start of the season (eight including the end of last season). It’s been a very good, if not surprising. start. How does it compare with other starts the club has made.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 09.08.08

The table shows that on 11 occasions Charlton have con unbeaten in their opening six league matches. The best was in 2009-10 when we had six straight wins. The longest we’ve kept the unbeaten sequence going was to the 12th match; this has been achieved twice (1927-28 and 2011-12). The lowest position in the table that we have finished a season after going six matches undefeated is 14th.