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Positives and reflections after eleven games


Jerseybean
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We are practically a quarter of the way through the season, with 20 points from 11 games.

What are your main positives and reflections?

For me....

Positives:

Dean Holden and his assistants, DH has demonstrated tactical awareness and the natural ability to communicate with passion and honesty. I really find his common football sense and straightforward style refreshing. The glimpses I’ve seen of his two assistants suggest a positive synergy and collaboration which adds experience and diversity to the mix.

Winning matches which previously I think we would have lost....such as at Cardiff, Forest and even at home to Coventry, our resilience, discipline and professionalism meant we came away with three points, which I don’t think would have happened last season.

The intention to play a more settled side with sensible competition/rotation.

Seeing the emergence of younger players who are being given a chance and taking it.

Reflections:

It is early days, so no need to get carried away.

The neutral might say we have been lucky on occasions, Forest and Cardiff fans, in particular, would have expected at least a point from their teams performance against us.

By some distance I don’t think we have seen the best of this squad as yet. NW hasn’t yet consistently done his stuff, we still have quality players out injured and some regular starters have been inconsistent. There is IMO much more potential in this squad.

We have been in with a chance of points in every game, even against Norwich we had opportunities that on another day could have led to a point.

I am guessing that Holden’s honesty, style and communication skills are appreciated by the players.

Be good to hear others positives/reflections.

 

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I like the fact we don't get dirty washing laundered in public. LJ was too quick sometimes to throw certain players under the bus publicly (Moore & Magnússon spring immediately to mind) when to my mind this kind of thing should be confined to the dressing room not the interview suite. 

I'm sure DH has bollocked certain players at certain times but in the correct environment. Progress. 

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I think you’ve pretty much nailed it. There can’t be many City fans who are discontented with our start under Holden.

He, against all odds, really is the ‘ breath of fresh air ‘ that our owner talked about and long may it continue.

I am happy with the apparent harmony at the club and, for once , most of our gambles are paying off ( Bakinson, Martin, Vyner...) 

I am also delighted at our resilience, we are grinding out results where previously we would have come away with nothing and all this against a backdrop of injuries to key players.

 

I feel that the club is in a good place and when a club is united then results follow. I might just put a shilling on a City promotion. 
 

 

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32 minutes ago, Major Isewater said:

I think you’ve pretty much nailed it. There can’t be many City fans who are discontented with our start under Holden.

He, against all odds, really is the ‘ breath of fresh air ‘ that our owner talked about and long may it continue.

I am happy with the apparent harmony at the club and, for once , most of our gambles are paying off ( Bakinson, Martin, Vyner...) 

I am also delighted at our resilience, we are grinding out results where previously we would have come away with nothing and all this against a backdrop of injuries to key players.

 

I feel that the club is in a good place and when a club is united then results follow. I might just put a shilling on a City promotion. 
 

 

Put the shilling down, Major.

 

Step away from the shilling!

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1 hour ago, Jerseybean said:

Positives:

Dean Holden and his assistants, DH has demonstrated tactical awareness and the natural ability to communicate with passion and honesty. I really find his common football sense and straightforward style refreshing. The glimpses I’ve seen of his two assistants suggest a positive synergy and collaboration which adds experience and diversity to the mix.

For me, the Jury is still out. Not been over impressed with some choices and subs, but I have liked his interviews . He does seem straight and there's less BS & cliches.
We have yet to see his chosen line up, so when we have a few bodies fit we will see what he's aiming for. Could be good when he's not having to 'make do, and mend'.

1 hour ago, Jerseybean said:

The intention to play a more settled side with sensible competition/rotation.

One of LJ's failing, which I think cost us. But I wonder if Holden is going too far the other way? Nagy & HNM not in a squad until we are desperate with injuries. How will the 2 No10's (or whatever it is) work  when we have a full compliment. Looke like he only wants one genuine MF.

1 hour ago, Jerseybean said:

The neutral might say we have been lucky on occasions, Forest and Cardiff fans, in particular

At Forest we were very lucky, yes Keepers are paid to do a job, but those saves Bentley pulled off were as good as anything you'll see this year. That's not going to happen every week. Cardiff was different, good positioning but no real difficult save to make, as such.

1 hour ago, Jerseybean said:

By some distance I don’t think we have seen the best of this squad as yet.

With half the squad injured I'd say you were bang on! Problem is, I'm expecting so much when we have a fully fit team, that they are unlikely to live up to it.

On paper a team with Baker/Mawson/Kalas and Williams/Wash. looks exciting, and like it could challenge. Thing is we just don't know how we will set up, 90% certain it will be a variation of 5-3-2 , but who will fill the spots when all are fit and how we go? $64,000 question.

We have made a great start considering we had 8 first team players out for Cardiff. I think there are interesting times ahead, but I really don't know how good we can be.....  yet.

 

 

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53 minutes ago, 1960maaan said:

With half the squad injured I'd say you were bang on! Problem is, I'm expecting so much when we have a fully fit team, that they are unlikely to live up to it.

On paper a team with Baker/Mawson/Kalas and Williams/Wash. looks exciting, and like it could challenge. Thing is we just don't know how we will set up, 90% certain it will be a variation of 5-3-2 , but who will fill the spots when all are fit and how we go? $64,000 question.

We have made a great start considering we had 8 first team players out for Cardiff. I think there are interesting times ahead, but I really don't know how good we can be.....  yet.

You beat me to it 1960man.............:cool2: was going to post pretty much the same thing.

So far so good but with more than three quarters of the season still to go begs the question - can we maintain it? 

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Positives after 11 games:

  • Points on the board/league position
  • Bakinson's emergence
  • Semenyo's development
  • Holden comes across well/no bullshit
  • 90 mins at Stoke
  • 45 mins at Bournemouth
  • Luck has generally been on our side

Negatives after 11 games:

  • The number of injuries
  • The signing of Chris Brunt
  • The sale of Joe Morrell
  • Mostly poor use of substitutions
  • Reluctance to rotate players earlier (not said in hindsight)
  • Reluctance to change shape earlier, especially after Mawson's injury (not said in hindsight)
  • Ongoing lack of communication at the back

To summarise, I think the fixtures computer handed us a favourable start and we made the most of that in the first four games. We've played some good stuff and some garbage. I'm looking forward to seeing Walsh and Williams in our midfield, hopefully alongside Bakinson. We've got the same amount of points as we had after 11 games last year. 7/10 and grounds for optimism. 

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I'd echo all the positives already made in this thread, there are plenty.

My biggest reflection (and I suppose negative), is what i've said before; that despite our good results and league position we're not seeing us controlling games enough.

I just feel that will catch up with us eventually. Yes you can't control all of every game, but at the same time, you can't rely on last ditch MOTM defending and top MOTM keeping every game.

Over a long hard season, that catches up with you mentally and physically.

That's not to say I expect us to win every game 4-0. Nicking 1-0's is great, but in a way that our backs aren't against the wall in a way they have been too often for large chunks of games this season, IMO.

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I think it's a difficult scenario to judge a coach against 'normal' average Club situations.

Some people wanted proven managers to take the next step...but I honestly don't believe the likes of Chris Houton would have agreed to start Moore, Vyner, Bakinson, Semenyo...that imo, just wouldn't happen.

I'm sure at interview it would have been stressed to any perspective coach, that our process now was blooding youngsters, playing them and having a pathway.

That's a big ask of any proven experienced coach at this level. Reputation to be lost very easily.

So...yes...I think Holden and his staff have done well using such players.

Without the injuries to more experienced players like Mawson, I think we may have done better as well.

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18 minutes ago, spudski said:

I think it's a difficult scenario to judge a coach against 'normal' average Club situations.

Some people wanted proven managers to take the next step...but I honestly don't believe the likes of Chris Houghton would have agreed to start Moore, Vyner, Bakinson, Semenyo...that imo, just wouldn't happen

I was keen for experience after LJ, Houghton looked exactly what we needed (IMO) to press on. Now if there is any truth in what someone said , about Houghton wanting to rebuild the side, I can understand an about face. I never thought we needed a rebuild, more of an adjustment. Bringing players through is important to the club, not so much to a manager who just wants success . 

To be where we are, with the injuries we have , is amazing. What I wonder/worry is will the returning players have as positive an impact as we all hope & believe .

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3 hours ago, 1960maaan said:

For me, the Jury is still out. Not been over impressed with some choices and subs, but I have liked his interviews .

subs is definitely a development area.

He does seem straight and there's less BS & cliches.
We have yet to see his chosen line up, so when we have a few bodies fit we will see what he's aiming for. Could be good when he's not having to 'make do, and mend'.

One of LJ's failing, which I think cost us. But I wonder if Holden is going too far the other way? Nagy & HNM not in a squad until we are desperate with injuries.

I see that as they were lower in the pecking order (in his view) than other players who made the 18.  What we had with LJ was random stuff.  Someone would not be making the 18, then all of a sudden would start from nowhere, e.g. Watkins.

How will the 2 No10's (or whatever it is) work  when we have a full compliment. Looke like he only wants one genuine MF.

At Forest we were very lucky, yes Keepers are paid to do a job, but those saves Bentley pulled off were as good as anything you'll see this year. That's not going to happen every week.

and so far he hasn’t had to have another game like Forest, so I see that quite positively.

Cardiff was different, good positioning but no real difficult save to make, as such.

With half the squad injured I'd say you were bang on! Problem is, I'm expecting so much when we have a fully fit team, that they are unlikely to live up to it.

that will depend whether the injured players are a big enough upgrade on the players they are replacing.  We’ve tended to have a squad that is full of middling players in the past.  Mawson was a definite upgrade and helped our possession based game...which has dropped off a bit since his injury.

I’d like to think Williams is an upgrade (I certainly believe he is exactly what we’ve been missing), but we will need to wait and see.

On paper a team with Baker/Mawson/Kalas and Williams/Wash. looks exciting, and like it could challenge. Thing is we just don't know how we will set up, 90% certain it will be a variation of 5-3-2 , but who will fill the spots when all are fit and how we go? $64,000 question.

agree

We have made a great start considering we had 8 first team players out for Cardiff. I think there are interesting times ahead, but I really don't know how good we can be.....  yet.

 

 

⬆️⬆️⬆️

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2 hours ago, Alessandro said:

we're not seeing us controlling games enough.

How many teams ‘control’ games at this level ?

The difference in quality of teams is generally pretty small with most clubs having players who can hurt you if you give them the slightest chance. 
 

What is important is having the quality in depth when you need to rotate the players through injury, fatigue or suspension, this normally favours the richer clubs who can afford to stockpile but we have been getting results with highly motivated and skillful youngsters. 
 

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15 minutes ago, Major Isewater said:

How many teams ‘control’ games at this level ?

The difference in quality of teams is generally pretty small with most clubs having players who can hurt you if you give them the slightest chance. 
 

What is important is having the quality in depth when you need to rotate the players through injury, fatigue or suspension, this normally favours the richer clubs who can afford to stockpile but we have been getting results with highly motivated and skillful youngsters. 
 

Not many - but the best teams do for large parts of the game more consistently and that's what helps gets you promoted and what we're aiming for?

I'm not talking about 60/70% possession every game - of course any team will have spells in a match - but it's aiming for the ability to take the sting at the opposition at times when they are. Rather than relying on back to wall defending. And then being able to build back possession and control games better.

Take Bournemouth and Norwich - we had our 'good' spells in those games, but they knew how to hold us at arms length and minimise our threat.

We need to learn to do that more often. Fine, if we're beaten by a moment of magic, not much you can do. 

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I'm afraid that after 50 odd years supporting City I'll take lucky wins every time!  There have been many occasions when we've done everything bar score the winning goal. Whether the other team thought they were lucky was up to them. Apart from 2014/15 I've never been confident enough to believe that we should win every game.

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37 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

I see that as they were lower in the pecking order (in his view) than other players who made the 18.

I get that, but not having MF 'legs' on the bench and relying on Brunt, IMO is a risk.

 

40 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

and so far he hasn’t had to have another game like Forest, so I see that quite positively.

Yep , I see that. It's why I was happier against Cardiff to some extent. They had a lot of the ball in our half, but Bentley did not have to make a serious save. Plus I would say they only missed maybe 2 reasonable chances.

42 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

that will depend whether the injured players are a big enough upgrade on the players they are replacing.  We’ve tended to have a squad that is full of middling players in the past.  Mawson was a definite upgrade and helped our possession based game...which has dropped off a bit since his injury.

I’d like to think Williams is an upgrade (I certainly believe he is exactly what we’ve been missing), but we will need to wait and see.

I would see as (man for current man) Baker & Mawson coming back, upgrades on Vyner & Moore (Rowe), but I wonder would we lose pace.
It's that MF I wonder about . The longer it takes, the more Williams looks exactly like what we are desperate for, but not actually having seen a 90 minutes from him, I don't know. But in theory, as a ball winner, shield , he seems an upgrade from what we have. Then the quandary . Bakinson has been little short of brilliant, so will Walsh get a run to see how we look? Does Walsh play alongside Bakinson with Williams? You can theorise all day with options, but my point is , we don't actually know what the blend will be like, how the players will work together. I am genuinely excited to see Walsh & Williams in the same team, at the same time I worry I never will.

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For me the outstanding positive is the form of Dan Bentley.  On current form, one of the best City goalkeepers I’ve seen, and I go back as far as Mike Gibson.

To add some context.  If you had the choice of Dan Bentley or Jordan Pickford to play in goal for city, who would you choose?

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5 hours ago, CyderInACan said:

I like the fact we don't get dirty washing laundered in public. LJ was too quick sometimes to throw certain players under the bus publicly when to my mind this kind of thing should be confined to the dressing room not the interview suite. 

There is no need for any manager to call out our players. That is what OTIB is here for.

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I think the answer comes in two parts: firstly how happy are we with how the season has gone so far, and secondly how do we think the next 6 months will go? That is, how likely is it that we improve, decline, or stay largely the same. Ultimately, how likely are we to maintain our current 1.81 points per game (which would see us end on 83 points)?

The first answer is easiest and broadly I agree with most on here. On the whole our football is more enjoyable to watch than it was in LJ's final season, the summer transfer window was broadly a success (although injuries have hampered a full assessment of that), and at the end of the day we are comfortably in the top 6 with a solid 20 points. I won't go further with that as others have summarised it all really well.

Answering the second question is harder. When trying to predict the future based solely on previous results, we must be naturally wary. Personally I am wary, if I was @Major Isewater I would be keeping my shilling firmly in my pocket at this stage. If we continue playing as we are, and if that play continues to produce the end results on the pitch that it has done so far, then I see us dropping down the table and landing around 11th-9th in May. 

We've seen good the improvements in passing, in defending, in holding shape and grinding out performances, but we are still producing shots, and shots on target at about the same rate as we did under LJ in 2019/20. That makes me think that our current scoring rate is unsustainable as it relies on finishing that is more clinical than can reasonably be expected of players at our level*. Now the counter argument to that is that we've actually maintained that high level of finishing for some time now, since early last season in fact. Therefore, by sheer performance, we've shown that the high conversion rate from last season was a) not a fluke, and b) not dependent on LJ. That is encouraging.

However, if the aim is a comfortable top 6 finish with an outside chance of top 2, then you have to ask whether the stats we have laid down in these first 11 are typical of teams that finish in those positions. They are not.

Contrary to las season we are scoring roughly in line with our xG this season. We have conceded a couple of goals less than xG would say was likely, but the margin isn't huge. Again encouraging. Typically teams that finish in those top 4 or 5 places have much higher numbers for shots taken (normally 15 or more per game), shots on target taken (around 5 per game), and goal difference (around +0.5 - +1 per game). That is, they manage to make more efficient use of their passing and possessional dominance to hit a high number of shots, on target, thus increasing the chances of forcing defensive and goal-keeping errors, and so scoring heavily. They win games not just by 1 goal, but by 3 or 4 goals. Currently we are on just over 10 shots per game, about 4 of which hit the target, and GD is +4. We are behind the curve on each of those three metrics.

Defensively those top teams tend to allow fewer than 10 shots per game, we are currently averaging 12.5 per game. Shots on target against for top teams is just less than 3, we are at 3.45 - again we are behind the curve. 

I am not saying that shot and goal difference is the only way to get into the upper echelons of the Championship. It is perfectly possible, of course, to win every game 1-0 with just a single shot on target in each game. However, historical statistics show that shot dominance, and a high xG (whatever you may think of xG) frequently correlate with teams finishing high up. I am also not saying that we are dreadful, or that we are relegation fodder and need to make huge changes. We are decent.

What I am pointing out is that, for all the positives, and the improvements, we are not performing in a way consistent with the historical records of the majority of teams finishing in the top 4 or 5 positions in the division. Therefore I would remain pleasantly surprised and intrigued if we are able to replicate the results of the last 11 games across the coming 35 and finish in one of those spots. If we do manage that then we will, to an extent yet to be determined, be something of an outlier, a fluke perhaps, or just a decent team with a slice of luck.

*@Davefevs I couldn't see how individuals have done re xG but my hypothesis would be that Wells, and Paterson in particular are both over performing xG by a decent amount. Hunt likely to be as well. (I know that on such a small sample size the value of these stats is questionable).

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5 hours ago, Major Isewater said:

I think you’ve pretty much nailed it. There can’t be many City fans who are discontented with our start under Holden.

He, against all odds, really is the ‘ breath of fresh air ‘ that our owner talked about and long may it continue.

I am happy with the apparent harmony at the club and, for once , most of our gambles are paying off ( Bakinson, Martin, Vyner...) 

I am also delighted at our resilience, we are grinding out results where previously we would have come away with nothing and all this against a backdrop of injuries to key players.

 

I feel that the club is in a good place and when a club is united then results follow. I might just put a shilling on a City promotion. 
 

 

A whole shilling Your Maj ?

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Positives:

If DH is a cheap option and a yes man, can we have some more like him!

Bakinson, Semenyo, Vyner and Moore have benefitted hugely from the injury crisis. Bakinson and Semenyo in particular will cause DH some selection headaches when he has a full squad to pick from.

Reflections:

Not everything Dh has done has come off and he has made one or two selection mistakes and sub errors in games. However, he does seem to be learning from his mistakes, no doubt helped by having a solid coaching team around him - I get the feeling he is willing to get input from them , take it in and act on it, while remaining his own man and the man in charge.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, downendcity said:

Not everything Dh has done has come off and he has made one or two selection mistakes and sub errors in games. However, he does seem to be learning from his mistakes, no doubt helped by having a solid coaching team around him - I get the feeling he is willing to get input from them , take it in and act on it, while remaining his own man and the man in charge.

What makes you think Holden is learning from his mistakes? I'm not trying to stir the pot, I'm just intrigued.

I see little evidence of him learning, looking at the Bournemouth and Norwich games in particular. To give two recent examples, he had no option to change shape for Cardiff and at Huddersfield, he threw on strikers after an abysmal 68 minutes more in hope than tactical genius and Semenyo proved to be the difference. 

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2 hours ago, 1960maaan said:

I get that, but not having MF 'legs' on the bench and relying on Brunt, IMO is a risk.

 

Yep , I see that. It's why I was happier against Cardiff to some extent. They had a lot of the ball in our half, but Bentley did not have to make a serious save. Plus I would say they only missed maybe 2 reasonable chances.

I would see as (man for current man) Baker & Mawson coming back, upgrades on Vyner & Moore (Rowe), but I wonder would we lose pace.
It's that MF I wonder about . The longer it takes, the more Williams looks exactly like what we are desperate for, but not actually having seen a 90 minutes from him, I don't know. But in theory, as a ball winner, shield , he seems an upgrade from what we have. Then the quandary . Bakinson has been little short of brilliant, so will Walsh get a run to see how we look? Does Walsh play alongside Bakinson with Williams? You can theorise all day with options, but my point is , we don't actually know what the blend will be like, how the players will work together. I am genuinely excited to see Walsh & Williams in the same team, at the same time I worry I never will.

I’m not one who’s necessarily jumped on the Bakinson bandwagon (not saying we shouldn’t).  If you asked me has he over-achieved against my expectation my answer has been most definitely yes.  Has he overachieved against the expectations of a central midfielder for a playoff chasing team?  That’s a different question and I’d say “probably not”.  The good thing is that opponents have presented him and our team as a result with problems and we’ve overcome them or at least negated them in the main.  He hasn’t looked out of his depth (✅), has he helped us dominate a games?  Probably not.

Sounds critical of Bakinson, but I think it’s a case of making sure we measure against the right bar.  It’s a bloody encouraging start though.

I have differing views of Moore and Vyner, but these are based on different expectation levels.

We need to see whether Williams can improve us.

34 minutes ago, tin said:

What makes you think Holden is learning from his mistakes? I'm not trying to stir the pot, I'm just intrigued.

I see little evidence of him learning, looking at the Bournemouth and Norwich games in particular. To give two recent examples, he had no option to change shape for Cardiff and at Huddersfield, he threw on strikers after an abysmal 68 minutes more in hope than tactical genius and Semenyo proved to be the difference. 

Certainly not trying to give him a “get out of jail free card” on some of his decisions but he seemed to suggest that after being all over the shop defensively against Norwich early-on, he wasn’t gonna let that happen against Huddersfield...and bar a stupid conceded goal, despite us playing poorly with the ball we didn’t really look in any trouble either.

I don’t buy into the “let’s keep it 0-0 for 70 minutes then go for it”, and I hope this isn’t a pattern against anyone other than the Norwich’s and Bournemouth’s, where I’d accept that approach.

But I think we have to see more of his decision making in-game.

I’m pretty happy with starting eleven selection and tactics (in the main), it’s the reaction to what’s going on the pitch that will make him stand out from LJ.  We’ve already seen some evidence of subtlety which our former boss didn’t seem to possess, but we have seen some heavy handed stuff too.

There is always gonna be a fine-line between hope / luck and tactical genius.  But then again I think trying to change things when you’re not at full-strength isn’t easy either.

I don’t think my view of #holdenball has changed since he was caretaker.  Lots of encouragement but still far from perfect....but give me that every day over large parts of the previous incumbent’s last 12-18 months,

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35 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

’m not one who’s necessarily jumped on the Bakinson bandwagon (not saying we shouldn’t).  If you asked me has he over-achieved against my expectation my answer has been most definitely yes.  Has he overachieved against the expectations of a central midfielder for a playoff chasing team?  That’s a different question and I’d say “probably not”.  The good thing is that opponents have presented him and our team as a result with problems and we’ve overcome them or at least negated them in the main.  He hasn’t looked out of his depth (✅), has he helped us dominate a games?  Probably not.

He was highly thought of at Luton and the glimpses I saw for Newport and reports from Plymouth, I had been hopeful . IMO he has been better than I thought he would be, probably because he's really hit the ground running. I also think he's done better in respect of he's had no real support in the 'engine room' because of the players around him. I think the acid test is coming now, if Williams is fit on the resumption , and fit to start. That would add some steel and give TB chance to have some support and cover. Also teams would have now cottoned on, he's not a surprise so if he can start to impose himself on games , he could prove to be the real deal.

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20 hours ago, ExiledAjax said:

However, if the aim is a comfortable top 6 finish with an outside chance of top 2, then you have to ask whether the stats we have laid down in these first 11 are typical of teams that finish in those positions. They are not.

The only statistics that actually count are points achieved, followed by goal difference, followed by goals scored, then presumably the drawing of lots ... There is no award for the best xG performance ... so based upon the measurements that actually count Bristol City are doing fine.

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30 minutes ago, Hxj said:

The only statistics that actually count are points achieved, followed by goal difference, followed by goals scored, then presumably the drawing of lots ... There is no award for the best xG performance ... so based upon the measurements that actually count Bristol City are doing fine.

Ok, I'll bite. What you've written here is the classic "we've had good results so far so we will probably keep getting good results". This is a flawed outlook that crops up in many human endeavours.

Companies post big profits but fail to recognise the fickle consumers driving them. A salesman scores a huge sale but doesn't know how lucky he was that his competitor broke down on the motorway. Someone wins the lottery once and continues playing in the belief they'll win again. These hypothetical examples are all flawed because although the result is positive, it is always built on shaky foundations. But humans like to take credit for good results and they like to think they're clever, so they tell themselves that it wasn't fortune but skill that got them these great results.

Now you're correct that points, GD, and goals scored etc are the only "stats" that are used to determine the outcome of the season. But there are other stats that we can look at at that can help us try to predict the likelihood of any particular outcome. That is what I was doing, and I say it several times in my post.

We're doing fine now, but how likely is it that the results will continue? That was what I was reflecting on. Looking at the historical pattern, and comparing it to our current numbers suggests we should be wary. Not pessimistic, but wary. 

Oh and drawing of lots doesn't come into it at all. It's points, then GD, then goals scored, then head to head record, then number of wins, then away goals scored, then penalty points (a measure of a team's disciplinary record), then finally a play off match.

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No need to bite.  I believe that, with a a quarter of the season gone points achieved to date is as accurate a predictor of future performance of xG or any related concept.

Currently an xG and xPTS table shows that Brentford, Blackburn, Norwich and Cardiff are easily the favourites for automatic promotion.

Personally I would hazard a guess that two of Reading, Watford, Norwich and Bournemouth are more likely to be promoted automatically.

Happy to wait until the end of the season to find out.

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On 10/11/2020 at 09:14, Major Isewater said:

I think you’ve pretty much nailed it. There can’t be many City fans who are discontented with our start under Holden.

He, against all odds, really is the ‘ breath of fresh air ‘ that our owner talked about and long may it continue.

I am happy with the apparent harmony at the club and, for once , most of our gambles are paying off ( Bakinson, Martin, Vyner...) 

I am also delighted at our resilience, we are grinding out results where previously we would have come away with nothing and all this against a backdrop of injuries to key players.

 

I feel that the club is in a good place and when a club is united then results follow. I might just put a shilling on a City promotion. 
 

 

It's a bit early to say that, I think. He's got a more than reasonable set of results so far, but a good chunk of the football has been lacklustre. 

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