How inept are Fulham? (part II – is there reason for hope?)

Earlier I looked at how Fulham’s shots performance after 11 Premiership games (in which they’ve faced very easy opposition) compared to the the worst full season performances in the past 13 Premiership seasons. It doesn’t look good.

However, comparing 11 games from one teams season to 38 games from another teams season isn’t exactly an apples to apples comparison, so this time I want to look at other poor spans of 11 games in terms of TSR.

Methodology – I’ve taken each 11 game span taken by each Premiership team within the course of a season (i.e., games 1-11, games 2-12… …games 28-38) – giving me 28 spans. I’ve done this for each team season from the ’00-01 – ’11-12 seasons, giving me a sample size of 6,720 spans (28 per team season x 20 teams per season x 12 seasons).

Fulham’s TSR over the first 11 games is .304. Of the 6,720 spans there are 9 occasions in which a team has posted a TSR <.304 over 11 games. Incredibly (due to the fact they've played pretty low quality opposition thus far) their qualcompTSR (TSR that has been adjusted to take into account the opponents a team has faced) is .286 (I'll publish in the coming days and link here when I do). 2 of the 6,720 spans feature teams that have posted a TSR <.286.

Basically, Fulham are in some unique (and terrible) company. But what can the performance of the other historically terrible teams tell us about Fulham?

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 10.38.41 AM

The teams represented here – some of them multiple times:
’01-02 Derby (finished 19th), ’02-03 Sunderland (20th), ’04-05 Charlton (11th) Palace (18th), Norwich (19th), ’06-07 Reading (8th), ’08-09 Stoke (12th), Middlesbrough (19th), ’09-10 Hull (19th), ’10-11 Birmingham (18th), ’11-12 Blackburn (19th).

So it doesn’t look great – 8 of the 11 teams were relegated. Of the three that survived – Reading were relegated the season after finishing 8th when their 1123 PDO regressed past the mean, Charlton’s drop in PDO was less drastic but caused them to drop a couple of places, and Stoke were a better (if still bad) team the next time around – improving their TSR from .370 to .404.

However, as a group they averaged ~28 points over the other 27 games of their seasons and that would probably be enough to keep Fulham up. Maybe all hope isn’t lost but it seems like they’re treading on the finest of lines right now though.


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