Mid table. It's where we deserve to be
City's loss to the Baggies on Saturday, combined with Stoke's losing and staying in the bottom half, sets up some striking stats. City may have an 11-10-10 mark with two-thirds of the league campaign now complete but check how it breaks down:
* Against the other 11 clubs in the top half of the table, City have precisely no wins to go with five draws and seven losses. That's a total of only five points from 12 games.
In home games against top-half opposition, City have managed four draws to go with two defeats. In away matches against the top half, however, City have but a single point from six played, that 0-0 draw at Sunderland in October.
* Against clubs in the bottom half of the table, on the other hand, City show 11 wins, five draws, and only three defeats. That's a total of 38 points from 19 games.
At home against bottom-half clubs, City have six wins, a draw, and two defeats. Not bad at all. They're just about as good away from home against the bottom half too. Five wins, four draws, and only one loss, that 2-1 setback at Watford in late December.
But here's the thing. Add up City's matches against top-half and bottom-half clubs, and you'll see that ten of the last fifteen games are against clubs now above them in the table. That's scary, given that City have yet to register a single win against any of the ten.
Based on John's findings than I think we can assume that we have proved we are more than worthy of being in Division 1 and we are not strugglers. We do though need to move up a level or two to become a promotion chasing team.
City next face 7th placed Sunderland and 6th placed West Ham. Both on 48 points, 5 ahead of City. We drew with both teams earlier in the season and two draws again would be creditable. I think we have proved our level, which after 18 years of mediocrity and lower league football is an excellent achievement, how we perform against the bigger and better placed clubs as the season goes on will give us an idea of what we will need to do next season to be a real threat in Division 1.
Lennie Lawrence is still aiming for the top 6. Speaking after Saturdays's defeat at WBA he said
"At some stage we are going to have to put a sequence of wins together if we are to have any chance of making the play-offs. At the end of the season I would rather finish six points off the play-offs than 10 or 12. It's equally important to get as close as we can to the top six if we don't manage to finish in it."