Not a moment too soon the curtain has fallen on the 2011/12 campaign. Here are the stats that summed it up.
2 – Leicester’s lack of constancy dogged them all season. Their inability for much of it to win twice in succession (finally managing the feat in March) crystallised the frustration that every fan felt after the promise of the summer. Such a low number of consecutive wins was not uncommon in the Championship (only Millwall and Reading won more than four in a row this season) but Leicester will need to address this issue in the summer. Many will expect the Foxes to hit the ground running and if Nigel Pearson’s men aren’t amongst the pacesetters next Autumn the panic button may well be hit.
9 – Just as last season, 75 points were needed to make the playoffs. Leicester finished three wins away from the top six. With 66 points on the board this year the Foxes ended the campaign with 1 point fewer than the combined efforts of Paulo Sousa and Sven-Goran Eriksson had produced in 2010/11. But even more concerning was the distance between the Foxes and the automatic promotion places – 22 points.
9 – 2011/12 will go down in the record books as Leicester’s most ill-diciplined campaign. The Foxes were shown a record nine red cards in the Championship, more than in any season in the club’s history. Whilst one was rescinded and a couple were open to debate, the vast majority were deserved. Amazingly, City picked up 13 points from the eight matches in which they had players dismissed, but from horror tackles to foul and abusive language, this is something Nigel Pearson ought to crack down on. The list of dismissals in full;
Darius Vassell at Coventry City
Kasper Schmeichel at Nottingham Forest
Matt Mills at Birmingham City
Matt Mills at Hull City
Steve Howard at Crystal Palace
Jermaine Beckford at Brighton & Hove Albion (rescinded)
Neil Danns at Brighton & Hove Albion
Paul Konchesky vs Coventry City
Neil Danns vs Hull City
12 – Leicester lost a dozen matches by just a single goal this season. To put it another way, of the 16 games City lost in 2011/12, only four of them were by more than one goal. It was rare for Leicester to be outclassed, but that’s little consolation to those who suffered 2-1 and 3-2 defeats at the hands of Bristol City, a 2-1 reverse at Doncaster Rovers, that 2-1 defeat to Barnsley, the 3-2 at Watford, the 1-0 at Peterborough or the 2-1 at Millwall. There will be results like this next season (it’s the Leicester way) but a few less wouldn’t go amiss.
20 – On the subject of frustration, four times City threw away leads to end up with nothing and four times they squandered three points in favour of one. To drop 20 points from winning positions represents a near doubling on Leicester’s tally from last season (11). Nigel Pearson has spoken of his side’s need the need for creativity and dynamism, it also requires a backbone.
30 – The number of players used by Leicester this season. The Foxes used 39 players last season, so this number represents something of a contraction. Nevertheless more than half of the players used in 2011/12 had never played for City before. These days Leicester teams appear to be dismantled as fast as they are assembled. The need for additions cannot be disputed, but if nothing else the demands of Financial Fair Play ought to stop City from engaging in another summer of serial signings.
32 – Leicester were the only Championship side to win more points against sides in the top half of the table than against those in the bottom half this season. The Foxes tally against teams in the top half was very respectable, with 34 points gained it represented the third best record in the division. Sadly it was when the Foxes played sides they really ought to beat that, more often than not, they came unstuck. No doubt the Foxes blew several accumulators as they won just 14 points in 12 homes matches against sides in the bottom half. 2012/13 ought to see the return of the home banker.