Can the Seagulls make the sums add up?

When a team is doing badly - or well - the response is to look at the statistics.

Saturday, 18th October 2014, 7:53 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 2:17 pm

It is often the case that when a team is doing particularly badly - or particularly well - the immediate response is for people to look at the statistics. So with around a quarter of the season gone, do the numbers offer any enlightenment?

So what are the bare facts? Albion are 19th in the championship table; they have 11 points from 11 games. But what if we look a little further?

According to statistics from, the case for would suggest there are some promising signs from Sammy Hyypia's side. Possession - 4th, 54.7%; shots per game - 2nd, 17.5; pass accuracy - 3rd, 82.5%.

The case against, however, would also be able to conjure some interesting ammunition.

The same website suggests the data indicates the Albion are "very weak" at finishing chances and "weak" at avoiding individual errors. They fail to appear in the top five teams for aggression or aerial duels won.

This is all hardly surprising to those who have watched the Seagulls regularly this season.

Football, however, is not decided on an Internet page or on a calculator; it is decided on the pitch. Confidence remains relatively high among the squad and, after an impressive international weekend for certain players, the Seagulls should feel in confident mood.

Looking forward, with 18 league points available over the next 21 days, they will be hoping for double figures across the next three weeks.

I remember Sir Clive Woodward once trying to dazzle me with the benefits to football of Prozone. I was a little cynical at the time, but I feel the team can take a leaf out of rugby's book. I grew up watching the ruthless Aussies on TV with Michael Lynagh, who managed to take any game away from opponents when his team were ahead and kill the opposition off.

The Seagulls have dominated periods of games, but have failed to wrench control away. If they can succeed in that over the next three weeks, the mathematicians may have a field day.

Of course, the most important number is the points tally in May. Only time will tell if the numbers add up.