In our latest Podcast we ran a StatZone feature on the teams promoted in the last 8 seasons of The Championship and it makes for interesting reading, showing that not only is gaining promotion from the bottom end after 4 games not uncommon but Coyle has achieved it before with Burnley.
Here then is the breakdown of what our spot of research shows:
Promoted teams in the last 8 Championship seasons, & their standing after 4 games
The first thing worth noting here is the number of teams promoted who were down the bottom-end of the table after 4 games of the season. All but 2 of these seasons saw a team that was 13th or lower promoted.
It also shows quite a few examples of some dramatic turn-arounds. In 2004-2005 Sunderland were a lowly 17th after 4 games, but they went on to finish as Champions. In 2006-2007 Sunderland again showed that 4 games do not a final position make, on that occasion pulling off a phenomenal turn around moving from bottom (& 0 points) after 4 matches to finish Champions. Derby, Hull, Reading & Blackpool have also turned things around, coming from 16th, 17th, 14th & 13th respectively.
The most interesting stat though is probably that of Burnley in 2008-2009, who under Coyle were a lowly 23rd after 4 matches but went on to gain promotion through the play-off finals. What’s more that was no ‘honeymoon’ period for Coyle at Burnley. He’d been with them since November 2007, only managing a lowly 13th that season & with his own team in place taking them to 23rd in the first place before turning it around.
We’re not for a second going to suggest that these stats prove Coyle has what it takes, or that promotion’s likely to be an easy ride (in fact they show there’s every chance we’d have to go through the play-offs). Hopefully though they serve as a good reminder that 4 games does NOT decide a season. Teams in worse positions than ours regularly come good over the whole season to gain promotion, and Coyle himself has the experience of bringing promotion to a team he took to the bottom of the table so there remains hope he can do the same for us at Bolton.
Come On You Whites!