Monday, 21 January 2013

Why is our home form relatively poor?

The facts speak for themselves. The Addicks are currently 7th in the form table and 12th in the real table, but someone calculated we would be 17th in the table if it was based just on home matches.

Only Brighton have lost fewer games away. Only Cardiff, Hull and Watford have won more away. Only Brighton and Leicester have conceded fewer goals away. We have let in more goals at home than away. We have scored the same number home and away.

There are a couple of explanations we can discount. The crowd as '12th man' have really got behind the team when it has been needed, the classic example being at home against Cardiff. The usual suspects have berated their scapegoat player and shouted 'You've got to work for it Charlton' when the more usual deficiency is one of skill, but that is par for the course.

Sometimes decisions by the officials at home have gone against us. I don't think this is bias, it is just a question of them trying to show that they are not 'homers' or influenced by the crowd. The overall effect on outcomes is marginal, although admittedly football is a game of thin margins.

Formations may be a factor. We use 4-5-1 more away and we secured our first home win on a Saturday deploying it against Blackpool. Some Addicks think that it plays to our strengths, although the midfield does often lack consistency. I still have some doubts about Kermorgant as a lone striker, his goal on Saturday notwithstanding. The same goes for Wagstaff in the hole. The Football League Paper noted of his performance on Saturday that 'he failed to deliver much'.

The biggest factor may be confidence. Opposition teams will have noted our home record and that will give them a boost. We often make a hesitant start, indeed one of the problems is a failure to deliver quality over the game as a whole.

That makes Saturday a massive game and a test of whether we can continue our winning start to 2013. I note that the Palace fan commenting on their goalless draw on Saturday in The Football League Paper had already chalked up three easy points against us.

1 comment:

Mick said...

I have only seen a handful of matches this season but I would say that Charlton side play best on the counter attack; they got out of Division 1 when they shifted style to keeping the ball, being patient then turning quickly from defence to attack. I think this works well if you (1) have the speed / planning to counter quickly, (2) the opposition over extends, and (3) if you stay patient. Two and three are more likely to happen away from home (though last season it did not matter so much because of, well, how well they played home and away.) 2 and 3 are also more likely against teams who think they are better than you. This perhaps explains the other topsy turvy aspect of the season, very good results against top teams and on the other hand results like the Barnsley game.

I don’t think there is an easy answer and what do I know any way? But I do see home and away form as glass half full (why do the team do so well away, rather than why do so much less well at home?). My own feeling is the side have done better than I thought they would (compare experience and background of players in the side that went down in 2009 with the one playing now) and to stay up wont be a stunning achievement but an achievement all the same. Thanks for the blog, always interesting.