Pre-Season Results – Important?

“Pre-Season results are not important,” commented [any manager’s name here], “it’s all about getting the fitness and assessing the team.”

You’ve heard it a thousand times.  But is it true?

Is there actually a relationship between the results of pre-season friendlies  and the outcome of the season?  Your resident blogger and part-time statistician decided to investigate…..

HOW DID WE FARE IN PROMOTION SEASONS Vs RELEGATION SEASONS?

The graph below shows the average number of points* we got from Pre-Season games in seasons where we were promoted vs seasons where we were relegated.  *Yes, yes, I know you don’t get points for Pre-Season games, but it provides a good indicator of performance using the usual 3 for a win and 1 for a draw.

So, in the promotion seasons we did slightly better than the relegation seasons, getting 0.25 points per game more in the promotion seasons.  However, I would not say that this is statistically significant.  Maybe you could say that going into the season with a winning mentality gives the player’s greater morale at the start of the season?

WHAT RELATIONSHIP HAVE WE SEEN THIS MILLENIUM?

The table below shows us the average points from the pre-season friendlies and beside it the league position for that season.  The little bars beside the numbers show a ranked scale of how significant the number is (e.g. Five filled bars = A good pre-season/league position)

 

The answer; there’s no relationship to be noted.  Quite the opposite in fact, in some cases (2006 for example a storming pre-season was followed by relegation). 

SO WHAT CONCLUSIONS CAN WE MAKE FROM THIS?

1)      That it’s easy to spend too much of your own time on the excellent RageOnline match stats if you’re a bit of a geek like me (link to the right)

2)      That if called upon, I can make a pretty graph in shades of yellow and blue

3)      That from what I’ve looked at, the Manager’s appear to be right.  There seems to be no clear relationship between pre-season results and the outcome of the season

That’s what I think, but what do YOU think?  Please add your thoughts by voting below and/or leaving your comments

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