Welcome to part III. After the jump we'll look at Premier League teams goal difference per game in both home and away games, and I'll show why only the very best teams outscore their opposition away from home.
2011/12 EPL table by home goal difference
We can see here that the truly good teams tend to top this chart. We have the top 4 being led by a Man City side with an extremely high number with +2.26 goal difference per game. Spurs move up a place by this measure as do Chelsea, Newcastle being a faller by this chart. At the bottom end, as expected, Wolves and the relegation clubs are joined by Aston Villa and Wigan who didn't cover themselves in any glory by this measure.
Goal differential is a pretty accurate method of seeing which teams are outscored and outmatched over a season, although this can be skewed by the odd one sided game, or blowout.
I thought that listing goal difference over a season was too dull for the Bitter and Blue readers so I changed it up so we can see what it looks like per game. I think it offers a more interesting view on just how likely the winning or losing margin was likely to be per game, and, in this case over a home season.
2011/12 EPL table by goal difference per game away
So this is the chart and graphic for away goal difference per game. Let's get to it straight off. It is not easy to outscore the opposition away from home over 19 games. It's nigh impossible, and only the best teams get near break even, let alone to actually record a + figure by this measure.
So knowing that, we see Man Utd's exceptional number of +1.21 goals per game goal difference. It's a sensational number, although, one that is asterixed by recording three wins on the road by over a margin of 5-0. Still it is to their credit for posting the best number, big wins and all, and they had one of the better away seasons in recent EPL memory. It will be a challenge for them to maintain that into next year.
Spurs, Arsenal, City and Chelsea just scraped a positive figure by this measure. We know those 4 teams are quality outfits so it's a testament of just how difficult it is to record a positive goal difference over 19 away games. Again Newcastle drop down by this measure into mid table, and in all honesty, mid table is probably where they should of ended up if not for Cisse's unsustainable scoring post-January.
Again we see the relegation clubs populating the bottom section of the chart/graphic. Stoke slide into the bottom 3 by this measure, and there will be worse to come for Stoke fans when we look at more numbers from the 2011/12 EPL season.