League Two Rankings: Southend top in our overall efficiency rankings

So then… after two days of bamboozling you all with a wealth of statistics – defensive ranks & attacking ranks – I’ll attempt to give you a brief summary on the efficiency strengths and weaknesses of each League Two team as part of our overall rankings.

Graphs showing the rankings split into home and away form are at the bottom of this post, but here’s the overall rankings, which is the combination of home and away efficiency in both defensive and attacking assessments:

Click image to enlarge

Southend United 1st | 157 points – Surprise, surprise….Top of League Two and by far the most efficient attacking and defensive team in these rankings. The Shrimpers are consistently high across the board, yet slightly weaker at Roots Hall. Only their allowance of 56% of their opponent’s shots on target sees Southend grouped within the division’s weakest sides in the many areas assessed.

Crawley 2nd | 164 points – The current second best team by the league table is also no.2 here. Their weakest area is attacking away from Broadfield, but it is the Red Devils’ awful accuracy, testing the opposition ‘keeper – only 46% at home and 34.8% away – which prevents the West Sussex side from sitting top of these rankings.

Shrewsbury 3rd | 170 points – Exceptionally strong in defence at home and consistent elsewhere, Shrewsbury can only look towards significant improvement in increasing the total shots at goal on their travels and their accuracy in front of goal at the GreenHous Meadow to push on from their good start to the campaign.

Swindon Town 4th | 172 points – After years of watching defensively inept, after defensively inept performances, Town are now hard to break down at the back. With Paolo known for his desire to achieve an open, pressing and efficient attacking play, by these rankings he’s still got a long way to go to build Town’s frontline into a potent force. However, if Saturday’s performance against Huddersfield is anything to go by, we will be a force to be reckoned with this season.

Oxford Utd 5th | 175 points – Our nearest rivals have two key areas to improve; restricting opponent shots on target and  their overall strike rate away from the Kassam. That being said…I’d rather they wouldn’t…

Gillingham 6th | 175 points – Previously our runaway leaders in our rankings after 9 games, the Gills have dropped away to sixth thanks to a less efficient defence on their travels by allowing more opposition strikes at goal. In attack, a below average number of shots per game is outweighed by a strong accuracy and goal rate. so there’s no current cause for concern at that end of the pitch.

Aldershot 7th | 200 points – Improvement is needed in their attack, particularly at home, where 53% possession is all well and good, however a 23rd ranked 38% of shots on target and 21st ranked 8% strike rate shows where Aldershot must improve.

Cheltenham 8th | 202 points – The division’s surprise package are revealed here as the third strongest team as hosts. Clearly ‘Nam need to buck up their away efficiency, in particular restricting their opposition shots and increasing their own % of shots on target, if they’re going to maintain their early strong form.

Port Vale 9th | 221 points – If only Vale could replicate their away form at Vale Park. Sorting out a leaky home backline that allows one of the greatest % of shots against, corners against and a 22nd ranked save rate, must be an immediate priority for Micky Adams.

Morecambe 10th | 232 points – Saved literally by the performances of Barry Roche, it is Morecambe’s poor home performance in these rankings which highlights a fundamental issue. Six of the ten areas studied show the Shrimpers are more efficient away, resulting in a ranking of 17th at the Globe Arena and 5th away.

Barnet 11th | 243 points – An average ranking here suggests the Bees might not be looking over their shoulder for long. An improvement in their defense at Underhill including upping their home 48% possession conceded, reducing the total number of opponent shots and ultimately save rate will be key factors if Barnet will be able to halt their slide.

Rotherham United 12th | 248 points – The Millers defence crumbles before their supporter’s eyes both home and away. Even 30 goals scored hasn’t been enough to compensate for the goals shipped in, hence the slide down from an early lofty perch in August. If Rotherham fans want to point the blame anywhere then your goalkeeper has really struggled against the most difficult and lethal attacks faced by all teams in League Two.

Northampton 13th | 248 points – The Cobblers defensive efficiency away from Sixfields has been dragging them towards a relegation battle. Even though they’ve picked up the majority of their points away they could’ve picked up more had it not been for giving away too much possession coupled with a higher than average shots against per game and opposition accuracy.

Torquay 14th | 259 points – Their defence at Plainmoor is holding the Gulls back from impacting on the play-off positions. Allowing their opponents too many shots and corners, coupled with a not that fantastic save rate, are recipes for not picking up the necessary points at home.

Bristol Rovers 15th | 267 points – Many expected a Paul Buckle inspired Rovers to be automatic promotion contenders, yet this now looks as likely unlikely. If you’re looking for reasons then key factors are allowing too many opposition shots on target, a suspect goalkeeper and an attack without the lethal edge, with the Gas’ home inefficiencies holding back a surge for the play-offs.

Macclesfield 16th | 279 points – With a strong defensive efficiency (ranked 10th), the Silkmen are let down in their attacking ranking of 20th. It is their inability – 2.5 below the division average – and find the target enough on their travels, which are preventing the Cheshire side from mounting a serious push for the play-offs.

Burton Albion 17th | 285 points – Propped up in these rankings by their attacking prowess, surely Burton’s flirt with the play-off places will be over soon… Lacking any hold on the game and heavily reliant on their good strike rate, Burton can’t keep out the shots at the other end and are vulnerable to opponents with an equal, if not, more impressive strike rate, particularly on Burton’s travels.

Accrington Stanley  18th | 292 points – Average in defence and woeful in attack, Stanley need to vastly increase their average shots per game and overall accuracy in front of goal, and we’ll soon see the Lancashire side find mid table safety.

Dag & Red 19th | 301 points – Their defence is the Dagger’s downfall this season. Any team that allows their opponent plenty of possession, the highest number of strikes at their goal and can’t back that up with a top save rate is going to struggle.

AFC Wimbledon 20th | 303 points – Equally poor in defence and attack there is little to shout about in SW19 with the Dons 20th here. The only area where they’ve got it right is by restricting their opposition attack to only 43% of their shots on target, however with a ‘keeper only likely to save 3 in 5 shots there’s every chance Swindon will score this weekend.

Crewe 21st | 315 points – So much for ‘playing football’. Dario Gradi has resigned following a less than impressive start, which is rightly reflected here. Alex are equally poor in attack and defence. Interestingly, Crewe’s stronger away form is replicated here with a ranking of 23rd at Gresty Road, compared to a respectable 13th away. Key reasons for that poor home form; an average save rate, not enough shots on target and a lack of possession won.

Bradford City 22nd | 340 points – Boring, boring Bantams. Phil Parkinson’s side killed the game against us a few weeks ago with no desire to attack. This is also clear in these statistics which show Bradford make hardly any shots with only a handful on target, a sorry 1 in 10 shots scored, bugger all corners won and totally dominated in possession. Dire, dire, dire…

Hereford 23rd | 349 points – The second worst performers here does not reflect their recent rise to 19th in League Two. Where the Bulls defy their low ranking is their 9th placed save rate and average % shots on target, however a consistent improvement all round is needed should Hereford retain their League status.

Plymouth Argyle 24th | 369 points – With off the field problems understandably taking their toll on the pitch I don’t need to make excuses for Argyle’s woeful league and our rankings position. Needless to say…an improvement is needed across the board. There’s too much wrong to report in just a few words.

Agree or disagree, then there’s a big comment place to speak your mind below…

Home Performance Rankings:

Click image to enlarge

Away Performance Rankings:

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How are these rankings worked out?

Each of the 5 defensive and attacking measures are ranked 1 to 24 on a home and away basis, totaling 20 measures for each team.

The overall ranking is created by the sum of the home rankings and the away rankings for both the defensive and attacking measures.

The best score possible is 20, being a 1st place in each of the 1 x 10 home and 1 x 10 away ranking sets.

The worst score possible is 480, being a 24th place in each of the 1 x 10 home and 1 x 10 away ranking sets.

Where is base the data from?

Data is collated from the Press Association statistics published by the Football League.


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