Ben Hamer and Danny Hollands share their impressions of the growing professionalism of the Championship and the Football League generally in the May edition of Four Four Two. Hollands says, 'You don't see chocolate on the bus to away games anymore. [So that's the secret of our away form this season?] Elite methods are everywhere and tactics and nutrition have improved.'
Hollands thinks that all three levels of the Football League the ball is being cherished: 'I think that even all the way down to the Conference, teams are trying to play the right way. Teams and players move up the divisions now and don't get such a big shock.' He also thinks that coaching in the Football League is becoming increasingly attractive to foreign managers.
Hamer agrees: 'Teams want to stroke it about. They've seen the Spanish blueprint, and English football wants to move to that at all levels. You need the players, of course, and it also depends on the pitch quality - we are struggling to pass well on ours at the moment.
Hamer continued: 'You see the quality go up every year. Footballers are more athletic, more professional, and every club is scrutising little ways to get an edge. Everyone is getting better at their job.'
The article notes that while the average number of shots on goal per game in the Chamoionship has remained at 13.5 for the past four years, the average number of shots in target rose from 6.1 in 2006-7 to 7.4 last season. That does, of course, mean that only just over half are on target, but it also means that a keeper could concede seven goals a game if they were very poor.