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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Who's Going to Keep Their Nerve?

Just 45 days left of the football season, a little over 6 weeks and which team, and manager, will be better at keeping their nerve?

We are still in a dominant position, 9 points clear of Sheff. Utd and 11 clear of Wednesday and they don't even talk about us now as they battle among themselves for the second automatic spot. So are we worried or not? Well, that will depend as much on you as the team  so lets do our best to help you enjoy these last few weeks of a memorable season.

Everyone is calculating how many points we need to get the Championship/automatic promotion. Will we need 90, 95 or whatever? But the Number One priority is, of course, to stay above the third placed team, currently Wednesday although Huddersfield could equal their points total if they win their game in hand.

The good news when comparing the Addicks, the Blades and Wednesday is that we have all fallen below our best over the last 8 games. Over the whole season so far the Addicks have averaged 2.16 points per game, United 1.92 and Wednesday 1.87 whereas over the last 8 games, both ourselves and Wednesday have dropped to 1.75 and United are down to 1.37. So everyone is suffering from bad nerves with 4th placed Huddersfield also down to 1.62 points per game.

So we ask ourselves, will the next 8 games be any easier than the last 8  - well, probably not as the Play-off and relegation battles hot-up - so it would seem obvious to calculate how many points both Sheffield clubs would get if they continued at their current rate. That's easy - United would add  just 11 and Wednesday 14 to give them totals for the season of 84 for United and 85 for the mighty Wednesday compared to our current Addicks total of 82.

Now, you can see some daylight. At those averages the Addicks only need four more points to be certain of grabbing hold of the silverware. But I can see you're not convinced, you want it to be harder than that don't you?

OK, lets see how easy are the 8 games of our opponents to see whether or not they may improve on their current averages. United look to have an easy run-in and face the 3 bottom teams, Chesterfield, Rochdale and Exeter; 2 more involved in the Play-off race, MK Dons and Stevenage and 3 others in mid-table, Hartlepool, Bournemouth and Orient. OK, I hear you say - any team that puts 5 past Notts County could well win at least 6 of those games against such iffy opposition giving them at least 18 more points and a grand total of 91 even if they lost to the Dons and Stevenage, and that's 9 more than we currently have, so we would need at least 3 more wins plus whatever else they pick up.

OK, then lets look at Wednesday. They, on the other hand being in 3rd place, we only have to match game for game to keep them below us and what better than to play the same teams which is almost the case. No less than 6 of our own opponents - Huddersfield, Orient, Preston, Wycome, Carlisle and Oldham also play Wednesday. Annoying thing is we play 4 of them before they do so we won't know what their result would be.

So all in all then we're got no idea what going to happen and I'm sure Sir Chris is only planning on winning as many games as possible until he can relax - hopefully in about 4 games time.......


Hungry Ted said...

Enjoyable read, IB.

It could well be advantageous to Charlton that the chasing pack involves the Steel City rivals. Hopefully their fierce rivalry will ensure more than the odd nervy and unpredicted result (like Sheff Wed v Walsall).

I've predicted Wycombe at home to pop the champagne, by the way.

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