Date:Thursday March 12 2009
An article debut for forum member 'Plaselwy', who writes about the points that The Seasiders need to gain to avoid the drop. Will 50 be enough? What has history told us?
How Much is Enough for Blackpool?
In terms of investments there is always the caveat that 'past performance is no indication of future performance'. So it is also with the number of points required to avoid relegation from the Championship - what was needed last season has little implication for this season.
However, there is a trend though nothing statistically very sound. This occurs when you take the number of points required to just outperform the best relegated team (the 3rd from bottom) and relate it to the combined points of the top 2 teams in the league. Taking the last 10 seasons as the database, 2007-2008 saw 53 points as the safe haven at a time when the total points of the top 2 teams was just 160. At the opposite end of the scale 2005-2006 saw the top 2 amass a stunning 196 points between them and, that year, 43 points was sufficient to avoid the drop. It implies that when you have two (or more) teams who win a lot of matches they will take a lot of their points from the lower clubs. Clearly this makes for a very precarious prediction but if anxiety and unease is growing it might be a useful tactic for firming up or demolishing your existing view of the end-of-season situation.
With 8 games each to go the current Birmingham and Wolves tally is 139. If, and it`s not an unreasonable proposition, they continue to accumulate points at the same rate then the final number becomes 168. This is the second lowest of the last decade and is in keeping with the unreliable form that they've shown throughout. If the trend of the last 10 seasons is anything to go by it is likely that at least 50 points will be required to stay in the Championship, almost certainly a few more. Just glancing at the points gained already by the bottom 3 teams tends to support this. I would predict 52-54.
If 'Pool continue the same rate of points accumulation we shall reach just 52 points. 4 wins would almost certainly mean safety.
So where are those wins coming from? Well, the fixture list for the run-in could hardly be more encouraging. Every single team we meet has something to play for. Reading (h) and Swansea (a) will be tough but they are strong challengers for promotion and will have confidence but with a leavening of added anxiety. PNE, too, have promotion in mind but it's a local derby of the fiercest kind and that's a great leveller. The other 5 matches, away to Barnsley and Charlton and home to Southampton, Plymouth and Notts Forest are all against fellow strugglers - indeed, all except Plymouth are below us and the latter are only above by a 1 goal margin.
Personally, I'm relieved that there are no games against teams with nothing to play for, no 'edginess', who can play for fun with no pressure. I think they are the hardest matches. On current form 'Pool might just make it happen. To be frank, if we can't get 10-12 points from the 5 matches against the lower teams then we deserve any fate that comes our way.
I still feel strong and positive about the end-of-season situation however gloomy about management and administration. Maybe it's the form of the last 2 games. Maybe it's just because I feel the need to be positive.
Date:Thursday March 12 2009
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