Sunday, 15 September 2013

Dry First Half

On the topic of the low-scoring start to the English Premier League this season, I wrote yesterday my opinion that 

"Unless there is some intrinsic reason for the drop off in goals, a change in the offside law that I missed or a reduction in the size of the goals, the goals will pick up soon enough"
Emp comments that:
It's too early to know if this is a trend or just variance, but to me an "intrinsic reason" for the drop in goals seems quite plausible.
10% of a season is indeed far too early to be drawing any firm conclusions from, but if there is an 'intrinsic reason' for the drop in goals, I do not know what that might be. The only change to rules or officiating is the introduction of goal-line technology, and unless something like nine goals a week are now correctly being disallowed, this is unlikely to be a significant factor.

Has the quality of goalkeeping improved dramatically, or that of strikers declined? No team is averaging above two goals scored per game, and no team is averaging more than two goals conceded per game, so this is possible.

Extreme weather can be ruled out, but there is one external factor that may possibly explain why games are a little tighter to date.

With the TV rights up by 70.2% on last season, the value of Premier League membership is more valuable than ever. Just a thought, but one that I don't seriously think explains the decline. I think it will turn out to be variance, but one statistic is particularly interesting, which is that the decline in goals is biggest in the first half.

Last season at this stage there were 52 first half goals. This season just 29. Since the opening weekend, only one team has scored two or more first half goals, and only one of the last 28 matches (and six all season) have been over 1.5 first half goals.

16 of 39 matches have been 0-0 at half-time, and 17 have been 1-0 or 0-1.

Hold the front page for a Swansea City v Liverpool goal-fest tomorrow.     

1 comment:

Mark said...

Perhaps one significant factor could be the change in managers at several top clubs. Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City and Everton all have new managers and at least two of them are not renowned for attacking football. I haven't done any analysis on this theory, but it could be a possible 'intrinsic' reason.