“Panic on the streets of Bedwell, panic on the streets of Broadwater… I wonder to myself” – Now then chums, is it really time to start reaching for the A-Z Guide of League Two? No. That’s the short answer and the only answer you’re getting at the moment. Sure, we might be sitting the wrong side of the dotted line at the bottom of League One, but that is no call for feeling morbid less than halfway into the season.
Rotherham United, Shrewsbury Town and Gillingham – now here are three sides who owe us big time for making them look better than they actually are. This is nothing new, by the way – we used to make Welling United and Hayes look good as well. So far this year, we’ve won as many games as the Shrews and they’re “flying high” in 13th. We’ve just lost games that, on another day, might have earned us a point!
Anecdotal evidence – i.e. things we know but couldn’t be bothered to prove – suggests that GW gets the best out of his teams during the second half of the season, which is good. But what we have done is taken a look at the first 2o league games of seasons past to see where we stand in the grand scheme of comparative things, which – it turns out – is not good. The following findings may contain stats of a distressing nature.
As you know from televised cricket, At This Stage comparisons are relatively useless but it true to say that inferior goal difference could make this our worst opening 20 games to any league season – IF we lose the next league game (we’re only on 19, we’re aware of that). The 2002-3 season saw us pick up 17 points in 20 games with a GD of -7. We’re currently on 17 with a GD of -13. We finished 12th in 2002-3, just to jog your memory.
We’ve scored 19 goals – not great. But if we score just one in our next league game, we’ll be on a par with the 20 we scored in the opening 20 games of the 2010-1 season. We went up that year, if you remember. And we’ve only shipped 32, which – at the moment – compares OK with 2008-9 (5th), 2006-7 (FA Trophy winners, 8th), 1986-7 (16th) and 1982-3 (12th). You see – it looks bad on paper, but it really isn’t all that bad.
In that spirit, therefore, enjoy some Bobby McFerrin…