A Season in Stats: Part 1 – Relegation

Over the next several posts I’ll be delving into the statistics collated over the course of the season. Hopefully this will provide another viewpoint on the season, the players and key moments in our drop into League Two.

A Season in Stats: Part 1 – Relegation

When were Swindon relegated?

Obviously we were mathematically relegated at Sheffield Wednesday on matchday 44 and the ‘R’ was added on the league table. However, for me the drop had been an inevitability for many weeks, but how far back?

By plotting the predicted points total on each of Swindon’s 46 matchdays (based on a calculation of points won per game to that date and projecting this for games remaining) I can track our projected points versus actual progress throughout the season. Also, our progress can be charted on the below graph against the final League One targets of champions (95 points), play-offs (71 points) and avoiding relegation (48 points).

Click image to view graph in new window

After the victory against Huddersfield back in September, our third win on the bounce, Swindon were on course to achieve 1.5 points per game, equating to (at that time) 69 points. Both the points per game and projected total was our high point of the season and from there on it was downhill all the way.

With an expectation of a play-off finish again this season clearly Wilson was never on course to meet this objective. On only two occasions Swindon under Wilson were within 10 points of ending up with 71 points to finish 6th place. So why he persisted to claim we could turn it around and not face reality of a relegation fight for so long just doesn’t make sense.

In terms of when we were relegated, this is where the projected form points falls below Walsall’s final total of 48 points and doesn’t recover.

I was surprised to see our relegation was ‘confirmed’ as far back as matchday 30 on 8th February 2011. A 3-0 defeat at Leyton Orient resulted in the projected total dropping to 47.5 and for the first time below the 48 safety mark. The projected form was never to recover as Swindon won just two more games.

So with 15 games to play, Swindon were as good as relegated after defeat at Brisbane Road. Of course Wilson was still in-charge and Hart wasn’t to be appointed for another 3 and a half weeks on matchday 34. Hart was clearly fighting a losing battle from the start, technically he could’ve kept us up, but the damage had perhaps already been done.

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