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Who Wins?!
Who Wins?!

Ch-ch-ch-ch, changes - Part 2

By: Chris Laishley
Date: 18/01/2010

THE debate rages on. Even The Fishy has finally tabled the straight question, "Should Neil Woods go?" in a recent poll. Opinion is split, largely on the basis that we aren't entirely sure who is the better manager. Has Woods at least matched, or preferably bettered, his predecessor's results?

Hello again! You may remember my previous article in November comparing Woods's performance as caretaker manager against Newell's last results, to see who was better. What?? You DON'T remember that ground-breaking article??? I'm offended! I'm this close to sodding off back to with my statistically irrelevant but geekily endearing features!!!

However... I shall forgive you this once, and I bring you the latest edition. The Important Edition.

You see, Mike Newell had 15 games in charge - thirteen in the league, two in cup competitions. Neil Woods has had 14; twelve in the league, two in cup competitions. So in the interests of fairness, he should technically be sacked if he has failed to better Mike Newell. So, has he? And how can we judge such an important decision? I feel it is my time to shine!

So here I am again, with the statistics of each manager. Unfortunately, my HTML statistics are somewhat awful, and it relied on Rob to set everything up in a nice, neat table. As such I'm sure he at least is relieved to hear that this time, rather than presenting the stats for Every - Single - Game, I've just totalled them up and present you with the averages.

So here we go! Woods or Newell: Who Has Won??

League Performance

Average stats per gameNewellWoods
Possession 48.846% 49.917%
Shots on goal 9.462 10.667
Shots on target 4.769 5.333
Goals scored 0.846 0.583
Goals conceded 1.923 1.083
Points 10 9
Won 3 0
Drew 1 9
Lost 9 3

Cup Performance

Average stats per gameNewellWoods
Possession 43% 47.5%
Shots on goal 8.5 10.5
Shots on target 4.5 5.5
Goals scored 1 0.5
Goals conceded 2 2.5
Won 1 0
Lost 1 2

League and Cup Performance

Average stats per gameNewellWoods
Possession 48.067% 49.714%
Shots on goal 9.333 10.643
Shots on target 4.733 5.357
Goals scored 0.867 0.571
Goals conceded 1.933 1.286
Points 10 9
Won 4 0
Drew 1 9
Lost 10 5

Well, there we have it! Whether you look at the league or the league with cup performances, Woods has bettered Newell in terms of possession, shots on goal, shots on target, and goals conceded. He's also virtually matched Newell in terms of points as, remember, this is a situation where Woods has managed one game fewer than Newell in the league.

Whatever happens in the next game against Rotherham, it is impossible for Woods to be poorer than Newell in terms of shots on goal or on target (for par to be achieved, there would have to be a negative number of shots in Woods's next game!). If possession is higher than 36% he has bettered Newell there too. In addition, Rotherham would have to score at least 13 to level the "goals conceded" statistic - a virtual impossibility.

In other words, if Woods avoids defeat in the next game, he's equalled Newell on points and bettered him statistically in almost every field - apart from, obviously, goals scored. If Woods wants to beat Newell hands-down on this record, Grimsby Town must beat Rotherham by at least 5 goals.

In honesty, however, what matters is whether Grimsby win, draw, or lose the next game. Points are, at the end of the day, what it's about. If he loses, he's done worse than Newell overall and should therefore be sacked. If he draws, he could be retained as you could argue that performances have improved in his tenure - which few would disagree with, they have, particularly in the last four games which severely bettered Woods's record. If he wins, of course, he's obviously beaten Newell hands-down.

So, for a statistical victory across the field, Grimsby must win 5-0. A win of any scoreline would see Woods gaining a higher points margin and so besting Newell anyway. Avoiding defeat will see Woods shade Newell in terms of performance. Lose, and Woods - statistically, at least - should be shown the door.

Bring on The Millers; let judgement be passed!

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