Maths of the Day: February 2020

This is the return of Maths of the Day, a look at some statistics to try and make sense of our current form.

Robometer

The Robometer tracks our performances over a rolling 46 game period. What does it show? Well, each game effectively represents the end of the season. It removes short term fluctuations in form and the distorting effect of sequences of difficult or easy games. After the Blackpool game we hit an all-time high of 77 points. That took a hit against Peterborough, so we’ve dropped to 74 points. This is some way ahead of our lowest point of just 50 points.

5 game form

Five game form gets a bit more granular looking at the number of points captured in a rolling five game sequence. We are in a bit of a slump at the moment, clocking just five points in our last five games. Look a bit closer and it shows that there have been several times in during the Robinson era which have fallen below this. It also suggests that we’re due a revival. It’s also quite noticeable that while form fluctuates, it shows that we’ve been able to sustain our good form for longer than we used to.

Run rate

The run rate shows how our points have accumulated over the season. The two dotted lines show a target points total needed to make the play-offs and automatic promotion. You can see that we’re still in the play-off ‘zone’ despite being 10th. The health warning on that is that with Bury’s demise, this year’s targets, which are based on the last five years in League 1, are harder to calculate. The darker blue line is our accumulation of points last year, which we’re well ahead of.

Match statistics

If process comes before results, then there are reasons to be cheerful. The graph above shows the number of passes we’ve achieved on a rolling five game sequence. There’s been a general decline in the number of passes we’ve made in a game, but a notable uptick most recently implies that we may be pulling things round again.

A similar uptick can be seen in our shooting accuracy; which is calculated by the percentage of shots on target against the total number of shots.

However, what this shows is an alarming drop in our passing accuracy in recent weeks. What I think it reflects is that teams have learned to press us much harder, giving us less time on the ball and less time to find a man. While passing and possession remains fairly favourable in every game, we are less effective when we have the ball.

Random stat: scoring in consecutive games

Paul Moody scored a record seven goals in six consecutive games to fire the club to promotion in 1996. It started with an iconic goal at Wycombe before goals against Notts County, Bristol City, two against Shrewsbury, Crewe and a promotion clincher against Peterborough. He was largely denied the opportunity for a seventh consecutive goal when he was dropped in preference for Nigel Jemson and Martin Aldridge for the season opener against QPR. He made a brief substitute appearance but failed to score.

Seven players have scored in five consecutive games, most recently James Constable in 2009. Seventeen players have scored four with James Henry being the most recent in 2018.

  1. 6 – Moody (1996)
  2. 5 – Constable (2009)
  3. 5 – Windass (1999)
  4. 5 – Durnin (1991)
  5. 5 – Saunders (1988)
  6. 5 – Aldridge (1986)
  7. 5 – Foley (1982)
  8. 5 – Atkinson (1966)
  9. 4 – Aldridge (1984)
  10. 4 – Cassells (1981) 
  11. 4 – Constable (2009)
  12. 4 – Craddock (2011)
  13. 4 – Duffy (2006)
  14. 4 – Durnin (1992)
  15. 4 – Foyle (1994)
  16. 4 – Henry (2018)
  17. 4 – Jemson (1996)
  18. 4 – Jemson (1996)
  19. 4 – Moody (1994)
  20. 4 – Roofe (2015)
  21. 4 – Roofe (2016)
  22. 4 – Thomas (1982)
  23. 4 – Foley (1978)
  24. 4 – Atkinson (1965)
  25. 4 – Fahy (1965)

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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