This is news to no-one but it’s worth putting it to pictures. I’m not going to use any shots data here, just simply historical points data. First is a demonstration of how much tougher QPR’s task has got as the season has progressed. The green line represents their running points per game throughout the season, whereas the blue chart the pace they would require to reach a total of 38 for the season.
To give this some context I’ve included the image to the left, which first appeared in a previous post link and shows the average points per position of Premiership teams since the ’00-01 season, minus 31 (see the post for an explanation).
At the point at which Redknapp took over, the R’s already needed to score points at the pace of a typical 9th placed team. As mc79hockey pointed out on twitter, and as highlighted with the ‘Races’ posts I’ve been doing (link), more than 9 teams score 34 points in 25 games at some point during a season, but the odds weren’t great.
Over the first 5 games they picked up 6 points and weren’t far off the required pace but a run of three defeats followed, causing the required pace to increase markedly, and left them needing to score points at the pace of a 5th/6th placed team.
Despite picking up 7 points in their last 6 games they are left needing 21 points from their final 12 games, equivalent to 67 points and a 4th/5th placed finish across a full campaign, whilst still having to face tough opposition at home (United and Arsenal) and on the road (Everton and Liverpool).
Let’s consider that scenario, along with the one in which a team requires less than 38 points to finish in 17th position. After all, West Brom survived with a mere 34 points in 2004-05 (link). Well if we look at it from that point of view things look brighter but it still isn’t pretty. For the table below I’ve taken every team that has scored 17 points in 26 games and determined how many points they scored over the other 12 games of the season. I’ve also repeated this for two other samples, the first for teams scoring 16-18 points over a 26 game stretch, and the second for spans of 15-19 points across 26 games.
Basically, even if they were to get away with being the worst 17th placed team ever, in terms of points scored, their chances of survival are still slim. I really hope, for the sake of QPR fans, that there are ‘out’ clauses for some of the players they’ve brought in because couple one of the highest wage bills in the Premiership, relegation, a stadium capacity of 18,000, and pretty nasty looking finances (link), and the tale of Portsmouth begins to sound rather more familiar than I like.