So here's what we do with shots differential: Instead of simply listing a raw number I am going to use the rolling shot differential number over 38 games. Why do this? I think it displays the trends and peaks and dips in performance throughout the season in a more easily accessible way. Naturally teams shot differential will be affected by injuries or exceptionally tough runs of fixtures or.........bad managers.
Total = the total shots differential
Close = the shots differential at Close game state (behind by a goal, Tied and up by a goal)
Tied = the shots differential at Tied Game State (only shots when the game was tied)
Shots Differential: League Positions 10-20
Norwich were a pretty decent shots team for the first 24 games or so. Then it fell apart. A small squad, fatigue, injuries and the opposition figuring out Norwich's tactics may have all been causes. It's pretty easy to see why Norwich bought fairly heavily.
Fulham were consistently out-shot all season. Fulham's performance at Tied game state wasn't too horrendous but at Close and Total their differential got pretty scary in the last 10 games of the season. It'll be interesting to see what happens with Fulham under a new owner. Will they strengthen, will they be a heavy user of analytics as Khan's Jacksonville NFL team were?
Pretty clear info here: Stoke weren't that good for the majority of the season. In fact, only the last ten games of the season look respectable in terms of shot differential. That last ten games may have saved their PL status. There was only so many season where Stoke could attempt to create a better quality of shot opportunities than their opponents and actually get away with it.
Pulis is gone, Hughes may be chaos personified.
Southampton were actually a pretty fair shots team under Adkins and at the time his sacking appeared to be unfair. Little did we know that Pochettino would implement a tactical setup that would better the setup of his predecessor. Southampton improved markedly in the 15 or so games that Pochettino was in charge.
It'll be mighty interesting to see what he can do this season with a young and improving squad.
15) Aston Villa
Villa weren't a bad Tied and Close shots +/- team for the first 18 games or so, they weren't much good either to be fair. Games 16, 17 and 18 destroyed Villa's Total shot differential. I honestly thought Villa's shots differential would look worse than this. Lambert had a super young squad last term and it should be better this year with a year of hard experience. Keeping Benteke was so important.
Bat.Shit.Crazy. Newcastle's shot differential never strayed lower than -35 nor higher than +19 all season. that is pretty weird. Just as weird is the two or three game streaks of either poor or great shots performance. Some of this may be due to home/away effects and maybe some injury effects. Still, that chart is crazy, we don't know who they are.
Sunderland were bad and bad early. At game 10 Sunderland were a MINUS 100 Total shots +/- team. At game 10 Sunderland were a ~-50 Tied shots +/- team.
At around game 6 of last season i put a fair amount of money on Sunderland being relegated at odds of 18/1. I was convinced it was going to happen and but for a couple of long distance screamers in Di Canio's first few games, it would have happened.
Sunderland were a horrible shots team and Di Canio didn't improve Sunderland in that respect. Instead Di Canio improved Sunderland's PDO and their ability to score 35 yard goals. Pasted in the run-in by Villa, Tottenham and Southampton.
Wigan were baaaad for a good portion of this season. And then they went on the annual desperation run. Wigan improved sharply for 5 or 6 games before running into Tottenham. The home loss to Swansea at game 36 was the end. Wigan were a strange and remarkable team managed by a man who routinely overachieved given his budget.
This looks an awful lot like the worst team in the league. Consistently over matched, out-shot and out-gunned, Reading were simply terrible. A strange end of season run took place after their relegation had been confirmed.
Yep, this is a weird chart. QPR were a poor shot differential team under Hughes, but they weren't terrible. A nose dive in shots differential ended Hughes's reign. Redknapp took over and turned QPR, yes that QPR team, into a break even shots differential team. Remarkable. QPR's problem was their attackers could neither hit the target nor work themselves into shooting positions close to the oppositions goal.
QPR haven't lost too many important players and they have added some more experience. If we take a break even shots differential team and place them into the Championship then what happens? I guess we'll find out. Promotion would be my guess.
Thanks for taking the time to read these articles on shot differentials. It's not the complete picture on a teams form but I think it shows some pretty cool form trends via one of the few statistics that is not luck driven.