Visualising the Championship: Historical context charts

Last week, I wrote a post on Millwall, mentioning that their last 5 games had been historically bad. In fact, at the point of writing, Millwall had recorded the third worst share of Shots on Target over a 5 game stretch since the 2004/05 season. However, is there a way to easily show just how bad a team’s recent form has been compared to past teams’?

Historical context charts

In order to quickly compare teams’ performance to past Championship teams, I have constructed a set of charts looking at the proportion of teams with a superior score (shaded orange), along with where on the bell curve their performance lies (black/orange boundary) for four metrics: Total Shots Ratio, Shots on Target Ratio, Goal Ratio and Points Per Game.

For instance, the graphic for the same Millwall streak as in the post mentioned earlier comes out as this:


As we can see, Millwall’s performance in each of these metrics is at the lower extreme. Their performance has been terrible; almost every team in the Championship since it’s rebranding has performed better over 5 games (in all of their 5 game streaks) than Millwall have here, as shown by the almost completely orange histograms.

For comparison, this is what a good team looks like:


This shows Bournemouth’s most recent 5 games in their historical context. As we can see, despite their accumulation of points being merely “good”, their domination of Shots, Shots on Target and Goals tallies over recent weeks has been excellent.

Hopefully these are faulty intuitive and a useful tool for putting extreme performances into some sort of context.


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