I wrote a piece on Bitter and Blue in November which showed, in very basic form, how 4 out of 6 relegation threatened teams in 2011/12 markedly improved their form in the second half of the season.
The threat of relegation was very real for Wolves, Blackburn, Bolton, Villa, Wigan and QPR. All but Villa, who were relatively comfortable, and the doomed Wolves improved their points tallies in the second half:
2011/12 Per Quarter
|9 games||10 games||10 games||9 games|
|Aug 14-Oct 23rd||Oct 24th-Dec 31st||Jan 1st-Mar 18th||Mar 19th- May 13th|
Wigan’s 4th quarter ppg is almost unbelievable but for the fact it actually happened. 2.33 ppg over 38 games gives you a Manchester-esque total of 88.54 points. That is how good/lucky/unrepeatable Wigan’s run-in form was in 2011/12
That was last years data, what does this years data look like for the current bottom Six?
* Wigan have only played 9 games in the 21-30 segment. they have recorded 9 points
Naturally, we can only split the season into 1/3rd’s right now. The home stretch is still to be played.
5 out of the 6 teams had the worst ‘segment’ of form in the 1st quarter of the season.
3 of the 6 teams have had their best spell of form in the 3rd quarter of the season.
Every team has scored 1ppg or higher in the 3rd quarter.
Points Per game Form: PL 2012/13
In The Relegation Zone
Outside The Relegation Zone
Villa are consistent at around 1ppg, Southampton have had registered improvement and Sunderland, who I have a good bit of money on to be relegated at 18/1 due to their shockingly bad early season SoTR, appear to be on the slide yet again.
Do teams exhibit improved ppg form as the season wears on when threatened with relegation? Well, some teams do and some don’t. We could really do with a sample size larger than tiny, but I don’t have the time to dig up all 20 PL seasons so this will have to suffice.
Last year 4 of the 6 teams’ ppg numbers improved in the 2nd half, and this year we have seen all teams register above 1 ppg in the 3rd quarter. For 3 of those teams that was the best segment of performance this year.
It’ll be interesting to see how the 4th quarter of the season plays out, but don’t be surprised to see some teams exhibit abnormally high ppg numbers in the final segment when compared to the previous 3 segments of the season. Desperation.