Our new boss, Carlos Carvalhal, will have a fair bit of pressure on him this season, not only because of the money spent on players, but also because of the ticket prices being quoted to our fanbase.
To justify paying what people are going to be paying, Wednesday have to consistently in or around the top six throughout the campaign, something that could be easier said than done.
In this, my first statistical piece of the 2015/16 campaign, I’m going to be looking at the complete stats for 2014/15 and pinpointing some key areas where we need to improve if we’re going to mount any sort of challenge this season, whether it’s for playoffs or *whispers* automatic promotion.
Get the thing on target…
Last season, as we know, we were pretty darn good in defence. Yes, that was largely down to some serious heroics from Keiren Westwood, but all in all our defence was solid. So solid, in fact, that only three teams, including the champions, Bournemouth, conceded less than us. Unsurprisingly the Cherries top plenty of the statistical charts.
However, the other end of the pitch was a different matter. We were 14th in the league when it came to getting shots off in general last season (averaging 13.2 per game), however were 21st in the league when it came to actually getting them on target (3.6 per game). That’s something that CC is going to need to seriously work on, because we’re not going to get very far at all if only 27% (167 of 605 shots) of our efforts hit the target.
We scored just 25 goals from 296 shots (8%) in the penalty area last year, half of Bournemouth’s 16%, and that’s something that needs to improve drastically if we’re to get anywhere.
Keeping the bloody ball…
Secondly, and arguably just as important, is our inability to keep the ball. Our turnover is far too high, and we had one of the worst pass success rates in the Championship last year.
Over the course of the season only 69.5% of our passes reached the target compared to Bournemouth’s 79.5%, with only six teams, including relegated Blackpool, completing less passes than ourselves.
Also, on top of that, we’re not really creating enough. We only averaged 9.6 key passes per game (Bournemouth 13, Norwich 12.1, Brentford 11.9) and had the eighth lowest key pass rate of all the teams in the league.
Only seven teams had worse long ball accuracy (50.8 per game), and only 10 had worse short ball accuracy (62.3 per game), meaning that, in general, we just need to be a bit more composed in possession.
On top of that, and semi-related to passing, is the fact that no other team in the entire division averaged more unsuccessful touches (15 per game) than us over the course of the season.
Wednesday’s Stats (average per game):
Average possession – 49.5%
Shots – 13.2
Shots on target – 3.6
Dribbles – 7.4
Pass success – 69.5%
Aerials won – 20.1
Offsides – 1.6
Where Wednesday’s 42 Goals Came From:
Penalty area – 25
Six-yard box – 9
Outside the box – 8
Own goals – 1
Next week I’ll be doing a similar piece based around the things that we were much better at in 2014/15, and I’ll be trying to do a weekly piece based on our weekly performances throughout the course of 2015/16.