It’s the second of our articles looking at Wanderers’ season in numbers – in this one we go into just a little more detail.
If it’s too long, it seems to paint the picture of our playing style, and that we’re quite reliant on creating chances from second balls at set pieces. Also, maybe ‘hoofball’ has some merit.
Shots per game
From open play, we seemed reluctant to have a shot, in fact, an average of 6.5 was the second lowest in the league. We were a set-piece threat, four per game coming from them (6th best would you believe), around 40% of our shots coming from dead ball opportunities. Only Burton had fewer shots on target than our 3.2 per match.
Goals per game
Averaging 0.8, we were the third most goal-shy team in the league. Relative to everyone else, we were slightly better when it came to goals in the six-yard box, but we still 21st. Basically, we’re not very good at scoring goals, however far out. From open play, we scored the fewest goals. Also, we scored just seven goals with left-footed players, fewer than anyone else.
In the air
Unsurprisingly, given our style of play, we were involved in more aerial duels than anyone except Cardiff, averaging 62.9 per game. That didn’t necessarily guarantee success though, with 33.1, we lost more per game than anyone, but only four teams won more than our 29.8.
We seemed to get stuck in, averaging 27.2 attempted tackles per game, only Hull, Forest, then fitting their stereotypes, Leeds and Millwall making more. We were officially the dirtiest team in the Championship, with 14.1 fouls per game, 0.1 more than Cardiff. Take that, Neil Warnock.
Wanderers were shown 98 yellow cards in the last season, only Preston (106) got more. Two of our players were sent off, no team went all season without a red, while Cardiff, Forest and Norwich only had one sending off each.
Bolton were caught offside less often than anyone else in the league, just over once per game. I have no idea if this is a good thing.
A lot to deal with
We made more clearances than anyone, with 35.3 per game. Our keepers averaged 3.1 saves per game (4th), and made more saves from shots inside the box than anyone else.
We averaged 312 per game, the third lowest in the league. It should be said that promoted Cardiff had the fewest. 171.9 accurate short passes saw us finish third-bottom on that count though, but we’re only the sixth worst offenders when it comes to aimless long balls. Our crossing was okay, five accurate crosses per game was 5th best, but that weirdly didn’t translate to set pieces, despite getting chances from them as touched on earlier, with only two teams having more inaccurate free-kick deliveries. We created 97 chances from long balls though, only bettered by Millwall, but only Burton created fewer chances with a short pass (we had 5.8 per game). When it came to key passes in certain situations, we were in the top six coming from corners, but in the bottom three from through-balls.