West Brom EFL Championship Tactical Analysis

It was a weekend where good and bad runs continued and ended in the EFL, whilst there’s a new name at the top of the tree.

Here’s the EFL in Numbers with a few lucky charms, curses and some overdue landmarks.

Stats provided by @StatsChristian on twitter.

Keep right on…. and on… and on 

Speaking of overdue EFL landmarks we’ll go straight to St. Andrews.

Birmingham City secured their first home league win of the season on Saturday with a 3-1 success over Rotherham.

Garry Monk’s side were unbeaten in 10 home games stretching back to last season going into this clash, but had drawn their last 5. 

After a strong start the season performance-wise, The Blues seem to finally be turning performances into wins, with 2 in their last 4 games.

One man who is also reaping the rewards for his performances right now is Birmingham striker Lukas Jutkiewicz.

The forward scored a brace in his side’s last home match against Ipswich and went one better against the Millers on Saturday.

Remarkably, this secured Jutkiewicz a 1st hat-trick, in his 376th career appearance.

Good things DO come to those who wait… eventually.

Away day Blues for Rotherham 

There certainly wasn’t as much to cheer about for Birmingham’s opponents Rotherham on Saturday.

In fact, there’s been very little for Millers’ fans to cheer at any Championship ground in the the last few seasons.

Paul Warne’s side are currently enduring an away day voodoo of 31 Championship games without a win, stretching back to the 2015-16 season.

Their last win away from home in the second tier was a 4-0 success at MK Dons on the 9th of April 2016.

Since then, the Millers have lost 29 of their 31 games in this barren run. Collecting just 2 points out of 93 available.

If that isn’t bad enough, and I’m sorry for this Miller’s fans, but that’s not the end of the woeful away statistics.

Since their return to the second tier in 2014 (excluding one season in League One 2017-18), the Millers have won 8 out of their last 75 Championship away games.

I wonder if Paul Warne believes in black magic.

The luck of the Irish? 

One team who have’t been struggling to collect points are the Millers’ South Yorkshire neighbours Sheffield United.

The Blades hit the EFL summit on Saturday thanks to a 1-0 victory over former manager Nigel Adkins’ Hull City.

Oliver Norwood has been a key player for Chris Wilder’s side since signing for the Blades on the 13th of August from Brighton.

The midfielder is a serial EFL promotion winner, winning promotion to the Premier League in each of his last 2 seasons (Brighton 2016-17 and Fulham 2017-18).

Since signing the Northern Ireland international, Sheffield United have collected 22 of an available 27 points.

Is the lucky charm on for a promotion hat-trick?

Moore Moore Moore 

Speaking of a promotion push, this leads us on nicely to West Bromwich Albion.

The Baggies are bouncing in the Championship right now.

A 4-1 success over Reading at The Hawthornes moved them up to 2nd, level on points with leaders Sheffield United.

We spoke last week about the impact Dwight Gayle has had since joining the Baggies, but this week it’s the turn of manager Darren Moore.

As caretaker manager, Moore couldn’t quite save his side from relegation last term, but impressed the board enough to give him the job on a full time basis.

He’s taken to management like a duck to water.

Including his caretaker spell, Moore has won 10, drawn 5 and lost only 3 of his 18 games in charge.

Along with results, Moore has also brought goals with him.

In 2017-18 West Brom scored just 31 goals in 38. This season they’ve matched that figure after just 12 EFL games.

Keep this up and there will be Moore goals, Moore wins and even Moore points.

Seven heaven for ‘Wall

After pointing out Millwall’s habit of dropping home points from winning positions last week, Neil Harris’ side duly came from behind to win on Saturday.

Goals from Shane Ferguson and Tom Elliot cancelled out Tammy Abraham’s early strike to give The Lions the points.

We’ve had a few bizarre stories recently in the EFL and Steve Bruce having a cabbage thrown at him before been sacked is up there.

Villa fans may have heard on the grapevine (bad), that a trip to Millwall hasn’t been bearing fruit (clutching at straws) in recent years.

So an away game at The Den certainly left Kevin MacDonald in a right pickle (sorry) in his first game as caretaker manager.

He couldn’t halt a run that has now seen Villa lose their last 7 games at Millwall.

Their last win? 1975. Ron Saunders was the Villa manager and The Bay City Rollers were top of the charts with ‘Bye Bye Baby’.

Hopefully for Villa fans, the Holte End’s next Sweetheart (finally) will be able to break this curse.

Lucky 13 for Argyle 

If someone put a hex on Plymouth 37 years ago, they certainly hold a grudge.

The Pilgrims went into their home game against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday having won 0 of their first 12 games, rooted to the foot of the League One table.

Argyle haven’t started a season as badly as this since the 1981-82 campaign.

Argyle were again in League One (Old Division 3) and had endured 11 win-less games (D2 L9).

It took them until their 12th game that season, a 4-1 win against Chester, to register a victory.

The current Argyle crop went one better this time, leaving it until Saturday to register their 1st win at the 13th attempt.  The 1-0 victory over Wimbledon at least moved Derek Adams’ side off the bottom.

After breaking the streak in ’81, Plymouth recovered to finish 10th.

On this occasion at least, Argyle fans will be hoping history repeats itself.