How Are We Doing?

It’s an old adage in football that you can’t take the league table seriously until ten games are played and while we are a bit behind the Championship reached that milestone at the weekend. So with no games this weekend it’s a good time to take stock on how we are doing.

If this was Facebook then the answer to that question would go something like “We’re doing terrible, we should be in the top two. Yeung out!” but I’d like to offer a more realistic analysis. The answer is probably that it’s a case of us doing as well as can be expected considering the upheaval over the summer.

Blues currently sit 17th with eleven points from eight games. If both of the games in hand were won then we could be 5th. Of course games in hand are not always won but with both of those games being at home it’s not unreasonable to expect four points that would put us 11th. That would still leave us seven points of the top and five from second but we could hardly be considered to be adrift. We are a long way from the relegation that people were predicting all summer. This is despite the fact that our fixture list has seen us travel to the current top three.

I’m not saying that we are in any way doing really well. You could argue that the points total might even flatter us as while we have gained four points from our last two games we have probably only played well for a combined twenty-five minutes. In both games we only really woke up in the last quarter. The team have still not settled and the Europa Cup is having a negative effect on performances immediately following. Jordon Mutch’s injury was a big blow and he has not really been replaced. Other than Chris Burke on the right there doesn’t seem to be a first choice midfield. The experiment of using Wade Elliot as a second striker should be sent to the same tactics graveyard as Heskey on the left and Alex Bruce as a holding midfielder.

One thing that gives me encouragement is that a lot of the early pace setters have started to falter and other than Southampton nobody is putting together a good run. In the last two weeks most of the top six sides have dropped points to those below them. It really is a league when anybody can beat anybody. In the last five years the average points total for automatic promotion has been eighty-four and to make the playoffs seventy-three have been needed. This year it might be less so maybe just seventy points would be enough for sixth. I see a playoff position as being our realistic target this year and that means getting an average of just over one and a half points a game. That would mean a current total of twelve so we are only just below par.

I also expect us to get better as the season goes on as the team that had been built from variety of spare parts starts to gel. With a little investment in January and most likely no European distraction the second half of the season may well result in more points that the first. At least when we are creating only a few chances we now have the strike force to take advantage. It’s a big boost that Chris Wood will be staying until January as long as Shane Long and Peter Odemwinge don’t get crocked before then. Hopefully the financial situation will be clearer by the end of the year as well.

So there are reasons to be cheerful after all. What does everybody else think? I’m particularly interested from hearing from those who commented over the summer saying how we would be in administration by October and in League One in May. What do they think now?

You can also comment via Twitter (@Aylesbury_Blue) where you can swear without Kev deleting the bad words.

Discuss this post, and other items, in the Joys and Sorrows Forum.

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7 Comments on How Are We Doing?

  1. I didn’t predict administration or relegation so I think we are doing well. Eight games in with virtually a whole new team, the disruption caused by playing Thursday and Sunday and the various injuries it seems to me that we are doing better than most of us thought we would.
    I think things can only get better. As you say in the last two league games we haven’t played well for the majority of the matches but we still came away with four points. That’s what you have to do keep trying, don’t give up and you will get some reward.
    There are no stand out teams IMO in this division and so I think we have every chance of a play off place. Whether we are good enough should we get promotion well that’s an entirely different question.

  2. I still think automatic or a play off finish is beyond Blues,,,,must be totally honest did think we would be almost certain relegation fodder but now am fairly sure that wont be the case,,,as for January I think we will be still waiting for some signs of investment in the club and team, so there is no change there unless we can arrange a swop deal with WBA for Wood we will be struggling as usual for goals

  3. A magnificent article, Aylesbury! I agree that we’re not quite there yet, but the signs are excellent. As a Season Ticket holder, I can confirm the excitement factor is back. 1-0 up with McLeish was always a nervy time, 1-0 down against Barnsley we could still be excited! 3 goals in two home games in a row was amazing. A hattrick from a Blues player was thrilling for the first time in ages.

    I agree that the playoffs is a more realistic target this season, relegation is an almost non-existing possibility from what we’ve seen, and you could even tip us as an outside bet for automatic promotion….

    Keep Right On, and stay positive.

    PS – I think Kev has your twitter password, so expect censorship there too 😉

  4. Chris Hughton was the key, still is IMHO. He’s a proven motivator and builder of team spirit, after successive seasons of thinking “can we hold on??” we now think “we can win this!”. That in itself is a near miracle, but assisted by more open play, speed and aggression we are going from the team that ‘grinds you down’, to the one that’ll ‘beat you if you give them a chance’. CY is the only fly in the ointment, financial uncertainties must be distracting for both CH and the team. On that score our opinions and protests are unlikely to have any impact.

    Our support and enthusiasm is parhaps even more important now than it has been for some seasons, with many impressionable and still inexperienced players, negative attitudes from us fans could so easily damp down our future stars. Yes, the whingers will always be there, but lets focus on the positive and help CH create the best Blues for years to come ! KRO

  5. As usual, the problems that we are facing is the deafening sound of silence from the [ board ],!!.
    All this talk emerging about possibly losing 3, players, [ maybe 4, if Wods is recalled ], is de-stableising, and would undoutably effect the teams performance in the 2nd half of the season,
    Other than that,?. I remain optomistic for a play-off place, at least,!!.

  6. I agree great article. I think we are doing ok, under the circumstances (and lets be honest the circumstances have been tough).I think a top twelve finish with all of the goings on fianancially and a European campaign to boot would be a good achievement.

    I was also worried about being caught up in the basement of the table but we’ve already easily dispatched a couple of teams below us,so Id think we can(with any luck) be well clear of any trouble. I do think a promotion push is slightly beyond us. I dont really think we have the strength in the centre of midfield. However maybe Ill be pleasantly suprised?.

    I give our start a 6.5 outta 10 (promise but clearly room for improvement)

    KRO

  7. Good article. We’re doing better than I thought we might and a great deal of that has to go down to CH. I’m still thinking less about our current and final team positions in the league this year and more about the financial side which should still concern us. To understand how we go forward we need to know 1). the true state of current debt, 2). the revenue / investment prospects from the current owners OR the current owners future intentions for the club. While the second may be tied a little to Mr Yeung’s current situation, the first should be made much more clear to all.
    Finances willing, I still believe we are in the first year of a total rebuild so have no expectations other that finishing as high as we possibly can this year. Whatever we do, both on and off the pitch, let’s do it right and keep it right this time

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