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For the record again

October 27 2011

Dougie Freedman

Dougie Freedman

Jamesey examines some interesting statistics that bode well for Dougie Freedman's regime.

Just under a year ago I penned a column ("For the record", Dec 30, 2010), which highlighted the half-season performance of our then-manager, George Burley.

The analysis was based on figures from one of our more intelligent and thoughtful HOL members "Phil O'Sophical" looking at our performances that season compared with those of the last decade.

"Phil's" breakdown of our various managers' performances left George Burley stranded nearly at the bottom of the heap. And before the usual cries of "well, he only had 10 players to start rose in volume, GB had signed 11 players since then and the footballers who were producing the goods were the ones he inherited and not his choices.

In case that wasn't enough to cause concern we had scored fewer goals and conceded more than in the past decade at the half-way mark.

I attracted quite a lot of abuse and insults for that column from the sort of people who see any justifiable criticism as "negative" or "defeatist". In which case the board of CPFC2010 were as bad as me because within a couple of days Burley recieved his marching orders on New Year's Day after a horrific 3-0 defeat at the New Den.

"Phil" has kindly produced another set of statistics showing the team's performance for the first quarter of the season in the Dougie era.

Of course, we all know we're doing pretty well at present - fourth in the league as I write and in the last eight of the Carling Cup (oops, I nearly wrote Mickey Mouse Cup then... funny how the league cup grows in stature when you're still in it?).

In "Phil's" manager league table (based on the first 12 games in the past 11 seasons), Dougie's current performance comes in third, after Steve Bruce's exceptional first quarter in 01-02 and only nudged out of second place on goal difference by Iain Dowie's 05-06 efforts.

Burley's dreadful record is only saved from bottom place by Alan Smith in 00-01 (do the words "Stockport", "Freedman", "relegation" and "saved by" resonate in your minds?)

"Phil's" analysis also shows that, although our shots on target figure is relatively low at 52, and only just better than this time last year, we’re converting over 10% more of those shots and our goals for, of 17 at this stage, is the third best in the past 11 years.

As for the defence, after Burley made the mistake of not playing a Derry type defensive midfielder we had conceded 72 shots on goal and let nearly 30% of them in. The 21 goals conceded by this time last year was the worst ever in 10 years.

This year’s defence and the 12 goals we’ve conceded so far ranks alongside the best of our defences in the past 11 years. The conversion rate of 18.18% is 11% better than last season and only marginally worse than 08-09 when we had one of Palace’s lowest ever goals against in a season of 42.

"Phil" has subsequently pointed out that after 13 games played and 23 points garnered, Dougie jumps over Iain Dowie into second place in the table.

So, let us hope and pray that Dougie Freedman can out-jinx the awful legacy of "legendary player returns to old club as manager".

So far, so good.

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