no slide rule needed

Pete Sixsmith has already produced a “first time” post for ‘Boro away so I’m using his usual spot to bring you an update on the progress of the clubs our pre-season poll predicted would be the top six. (Over 8,000 votes were cast. If you’re new to the series or wish to catch up you might try some of the links at the bottom of the page).

The clubs were: 

Middlesbrough,
Aston Villa,
Fulham,
Sheff Wed,
Leeds,
Sunderland

 Votes cast

 

The current top four were not well fancied and they collectively gained just over 10% of the votes castAs you can see from the graph on the left, Wolves, with 341 votes – 4%, were nowhere near the top of the poll. Derby did better but still only came in at number 9, with 5% of the votes and Bristol and Cardiff both came in around the 1% mark. In contrast, the top six clubs in the poll garnered almost 2/3 of the total votes cast. Our readers really did have firm favourites for promotion and the play-offs. 

I suspect that Sunderland crept into the top six only because this is a Sunderland site. Even so I don’t think anyone would have expected Sunderland to be on the bottom. Their question now is, will they get off it? The graph below shows they have been consistently poor and the gap between them and the other favourites has widened:

As for the other favourites, Villa and Leeds have been consistently averaging enough points per game to make the top six, with Leeds even spending some of the earlier season in straight promotion territory. Fulham and Boro have averaged enough to remain on the fringes of the playoffs, despite having had flat spells. Sheffield Wednesday have been off the pace for a while and, unlike Boro and Fulham, don’t look like getting back into contention.

However, Wolves have featured in these reviews for a while  (as have Cardiff), are clear of the pack, and look like they have what it takes. After them, only 8 points separate Fulham (10th) from second place Derby.  Goal Differences don’t vary much after Derby and Goals For are also close between many of the clubs vying for sixth or better. My reading of the situation is that Villa, especially, might have what it takes to catch Derby and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them there or thereabouts in May. Nor can Leeds be discounted and Middlesbrough, under a new manager with a reputation for defense, might also push into the top six.  I’m not so sure about Fulham, although they do appear to be running into form. 

All of which begs the question:

Can Derby, Bristol and Cardiff hold on?  

What do you think?


If you do wish to revisit earlier posts in the series you’ll find these links useful:

Reading at last? Norwich perhaps, or Derby, Leeds, ‘Boro and Sheffield? What’s your fancy? Middlesbrough, Villa, Fulham, Sheffield Wed, Leeds, Norwich top six. Bristol and Burton Albion – ‘nul points’
Middlesbrough, Fulham, Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds head the poll. Norwich, Reading and Derby slip down Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Fulham, Sheff Wed, Leeds and Sunderland – the ones to watch
Birmingham, Wolves, Brentford, Forest, Cardiff, Preston, QPR and Ipswich go missing from our poll Leeds OK as Cardiff, Wolves, Sheffield United, Bristol City and Preston keep out Aston Villa, Fulham, Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday
 Wolves, Sheffield United, Cardiff and Bristol City keep out Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham (and don’t mention Sunderland)  

Clicking on the image takes you back to Salut! Sunderland’s home page

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by – and principally for – supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

SAFC vs Hull City Who are You?: (1) who will avoid the drop?

Jake: 'you may have seen this one before - M Salut just deleted the date'

Monsieur Salut writes: although we sometimes – OK, often – go back to familiar faces for the Who are You? […]

SAFC vs Hull City prize Guess the Score: the annual relegation scrap

Click on the picture above, guess the score and you may win a prize whoever you support

Oh dear, muses Monsieur Salut. The piece below was prepared before the Cardiff debacle. Will anyone be left to predict […]

Wrinkly Pete says: to be or not to be a borrower, that is the question

Wrinkly Pete(featured image)

John McCormick writes: It’s appropriate as we look towards Hull, well known Capital of Culture, that we get into the […]

Sixer’s sub’s soapbox: Grounds for pessimism after Cardiff

Salut Banner4(featured image)

Pete Sixsmith didn’t quite take the day off but the trip he made was a short one, only over the […]

Sixer’s Sevens. Cardiff leave us singing the Blues

Sixer's Sevens (featured image)

John McCormick writes: I didn’t think Cardiff City were anything special yet they brushed us aside. So what does that […]

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Ground: (part 2) Cardiff City and the Eponymous Stadium

Sixer'sSoapbox(featured image)

John McCormick writes: after 1971-2 it was another 30 years before I returned to Cardiff. This time I drove there […]