Monday, 24 January 2011

Goals: the difference

Bolton 0 - Chelsea 4

We just don't do results like that. Not this season we don't.

Seriously, check. We've only won three league games by more than one goal. And we haven't won any by more than two.

We've scraped quite a few:

Stoke away – they had a perfectly proper goal chalked off and we were very lucky to get all three points.

Fulham away – Huddlestone's winner was initially flagged offside. And Gomes made a couple of 'worldies' (as the Men Who Stare At Football say).

Liverpool at home – Torres could, should and, the way he's playing now, would have made it 0-2, before an own goal gave us some hope and Lennon blagged an injury time winner.

Arsenal away – well that was just fucking ridiculous. Gloriously fucking ridiculous.

For once, it feels like we've snatched more points than we've had points snatched from us. Every other season, it feels like we're more winned against than winning (clever, right?), but this year there's no way we could say we deserve to be in a higher position.

We've rarely been convincing.

Our goal difference is +6. That's two better than the team below us (Sunderland) and 17 worse than the team above us (Chelsea).

Goal difference isn't a better marker of performance than points, but it does say something about how you play and (at this end of the table) how you win.

We're playing okay and winning narrowly.

Next time we line-up in the league, let's hope the side's spearheaded by a record signing who can play with Van der Vaart or Defoe and will go on to get double figures this season and 20+ next.

That would be the goal difference we're looking for.

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