Stat Attack – March

Welcome to Tom Williams’ monthly look at the stats, remember these figures don’t include our April win against Carlisle.

An unbeaten month for City and whether it’ll be a brilliant return to the Football League or just a very good one is still up in the air. 5 games, 3 wins, 10 goals for, 4 against; not bad. 3 late Ollie Palmer goals could be all important in defining our season, picking us up 4 points and showing the unpredictability of his game at its very best sealing the win at Chesterfield. Anyway, let’s dive into how that affects the stats.

While the obvious differences were always going to even themselves out by this stage in the season, there’s still a clear trend here. The Imps might commit more fouls and pick up more bookings but I doubt many will be overly bothered if we continue to shoot more than and outscore the opposition.

The key trio continue their incredible amount of minutes played. It will be interesting to see if the impressive Palmer and Whitehouse can force their way up the table.

The recent goal-scoring run and the impact Palmer and Whitehouse have had throughout the season sees them appear high on this ranking. Lee Frecklington’s impact has been questioned by some but the change to 4-3-3 has seen us become more prolific.

In terms of goals conceded, it will be interesting to see how high Palmer can stay on this list if he gets the starting spot he’s working hard to achieve. The fact that Neal Eardley has such an impressive score after so many minutes is another example (along with his 10 assists) of how brilliant a campaign he’s had.

So how does Ollie compare to the starting duo for the majority of the season, Green and Rhead? Obviously these stats can’t include the tireless running of Matt Green and the defensive nightmare that is Matt Rhead. How much significance one assigns to these attributes varies from fan to fan, I know debate rages on about Green with some considering his work rate and pressing vital and some viewing it as wasted energy. Personally, I’m a big fan of the impact Rhead has on opponents’ tactical shape. They either have to push very high to play offside, leaving room for Green, Anderson, Rowe etc. to run into; or drop to edge of their box which lets us control the majority of the pitch. The way I say it, each of our 3 strikers offers something unusual. Green offers his constant running (which goes beyond the effort you expect from all professionals), Rhead offers his physicality, and Palmer offers chaotic unpredictability. I don’t think he has any idea what he’ll do next which means the defenders don’t either and it’s great fun to watch.

On the numbers front, Ollie fares well. He scores far more frequently and is efficient with his shots. He also tests the ‘keeper far more often than his rivals for a spot. However, this may be aided by the fact that he has often featured off the bench against tired opposition with us searching for a goal. Either way, it’s an impressive record and he’s certainly gone a long way to prove to his many detractors that he’s adding real value to the squad.

Sorry, or you’re welcome, for the shorter roundup. Not much has changed in the other graphics so I didn’t want to repeat what I’d already covered. We still score and concede a bizarre amount just before half-time, so cross your legs.