Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The P Word

Forgive the quality of this but it's the best I can do with Blogger at the moment (unless anyone knows how to insert a file other than a photo?).

Anyway, I can't stop looking at the League One table and studying the stats. This season feels extra-special and I don't just mean in relation to the days since the Premiership. 

I have had a look at how we are measuring up against the four previous promotion seasons in the last 30 years and I think you will see that this is indeed looking like it may be extra-special. We are on target to smash our recent-history points total. Even allowing for a Sheffield Wednesday fans' predicted Charlton "blip" we should expect to surpass the 77 points that Lennie's boys managed in 85-86 and beat the 84 points from the comparable Division Three promotion campaign in 80-81. That would leave us looking to overhaul the 88 points and 91 point totals achieved in the Curbs promotion seasons of 97-98 and 99-00 respectively. 

Ours games lost column is looking pretty impressive. The  best we managed in those previous seasons was 9 lost in 99-00. With just the one against us so far, we stand every chance of finishing well inside that. If we can, the points total of 91 should be reached comfortably ahead of the final game of the season. 

We have already matched or bettered the number of away wins achieved in the 85-86 and 97-98 seasons and are only three behind the 12-best we managed in 99-00. By contrast, we need to pick up at home to get close to previous achievements but we have two home games in hand and 13 yet to play in all at the Valley. Those half-season tickets are looking like great value.

At the risk of tempting Danny Baker's "nothing can go wrong now" curse, chronic injury and/or irresistible transfer bids look like the only things that could de-rail us now. Hopefully, someone will have made the new owners aware of calamitous previous January sales e.g. Robert Lee and Scott Parker. Wright-Phillips' recent goal drought may have turned admiring eyes away and I am hoping Rhoys Wiggins' is still off the radar of the big boys. I suspect we are very unlikely to get silly big money offers for any of the others at the moment and that any interest from Championship or even lower Premier League clubs would be resisted. 

There is talk of strengthening in January too, with another striker being rumoured (Jeff Schlupp) and whilst it's great to be able to bring in fresh faces, we shouldn't forget the loan debacle of Pardew's first year back in the Championship where I think his ambition in bringing in four loanees ran away with him and upset the squad. 

So, if we can bring in one or two and hold onto what we have got, we should have enough to see it through until May when we can celebrate and prepare for a crack at the Championship. Oh to dream.

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