At the start of the season, many people were believing that Coventry City could go for the positions that lead to the EFL Championship. One of the things that many people would not have believed at the time was that they could do that as champions of League One and without taking part in the playoffs. Coventry City showed great stability during the season.
This data analysis will try to break down and analyse the factors that helped Coventry City remain at the top of the league table. In the piece, we will compare where the team is standing between the other teams of the leagues and what the differences are between the last and the current season.
Coventry City with the ball
The data analysis that we will follow is from Wyscout’s database, where we filtered the League One games, and the outcome is from the 34 games of Coventry City. In this section, we will focus on Coventry City’s data with the ball. Coventry City did score 48 times in League One while having a 41 in the rating system of xG. This is an indicator that gives us a fact: Coventry City were over-performing as far as the goal-scoring numbers went. Coventry City could produce more goals than the actual chances that they were creating.
The team was scoring 1.06 goals per 90 minutes, while they had a 0.91 xG per 90 minutes. That was an important factor during the season, as they managed to keep the productivity of their scoring at a high level. Moreover, the team was shooting 10.95 shots per 90 minutes, of which 38.08% were on target: that means that Coventry City had 4.17 shots on target per 90 minutes.
Because Coventry City were needing less than one xG to score a goal, we can see how dangerous these shots on target could be. Matt Godden helped Coventry this year with scoring as he scored 13 goals with an 11.51 xG rating, and 0.55 goals per 90 minutes.
The next indicator we have investigated has to do with Coventry City’s passes. Coventry City this season have had an average passing accuracy of 79%. Players that contributed to Coventry City’s passing game are Michael Rose with 53.98 passes per 90 minutes and 81% accuracy, and Liam Walsh, a player that started his career with an EPL team, Everton, and played for Coventry City on loan from Bristol City this season, with 53.15 passes per 90 minutes and an 81% accuracy.
Breaking down those passes, we notice that the direction of the passes was more forward: Coventry City had 412 passes per 90 minutes, with 154 forward, with 68.47% accuracy on them; 146.7 lateral passes per 90 minutes, with 86.33% accuracy; and 58 backwards passes per 90 minutes, with 92.5% accuracy. These statistics show us that Coventry City are a team that prefers to put pressure on their opponent.
The next metric is progressive passes. According to Wyscout, a progressive pass is a pass that gets the team closer to the opponent’s goal. If the progressive pass starts from the team’s half it has to be at least 30 metres if the pass is taking place, between the two halves it must be 15 metres, and if the pass is in the opponents’ half must be 10 metres. Coventry City make 87 progressive passes per 90 minutes, with a 73% accuracy. Moreover, the team make 63 passes per 90 minutes in the final third of the field, with 63% of them being accurate. Walsh is again a player that helped, with his 11.45 passes into the final third per 90 minutes, with 71% accuracy.
From those indicators, we can see that Coventry City is a team that prefers to put pressure on the opponent as more of the passes that the players try to complete are forward and are directed towards the opponent’s half.
Coventry City without the ball
Many managers have the opinion that to be a champion, you must have a good defence. Coventry City made sure during the season that they had a compact defence, as they conceded 30 goals, which gave them the best defence in League One last season. Moreover, Coventry City were over-performing once again as the team had 35.17 xG Against. If we analyse that number further, we will see that Coventry City were conceding less than one goal per 90 minutes: specifically, the team was conceding 0.66 goals per 90 minutes with 0.77 xG against per 90 minutes. Coventry City were conceding 8.29 shots per 90 minutes, with 2.92 on target. This defending stability helped Coventry City to remain in the top position, leading to automatic promotion to the EFL Championship.
Coventry City are a team that wins more than one out of two challenges that take place on the field. 173.7 duels per 90 minutes were taking place in Coventry City’s games, and the players won 104.65 duels per 90 minutes, which is 60.2%. As far as the defensive duels went, the players of Coventry City won 74.89% of them, which are 38.1 per 90 minutes of a total number of 50.8.
As far as the aerial duels went, the team seems to have players that can win those kinds of duels: Coventry City’s players won 61.1% of the aerial duels, which are 26.44 aerial challenges out of 43.27 per 90 minutes. All those factors show how difficult it is to go through the lines of Coventry City. The players are winning the minimum one out of two challenges that take place on the pitch.
Coventry City loses the ball mostly in the opponent’s half. Specifically, the players of the team are losing possession 116.7 times per 90 minutes. From those, 20.88 times are in the first third of the pitch, 41.8 of those losses have taken place in the middle third, and 54 times in the final third. As far as the pressing and the recoveries went, Coventry City had the opposite results compared with the losses – Coventry City had 90.4 recoveries per 90 minutes, and the majority of them were in the first third of the field. In 44.11 times per 90 minutes did Coventry City’s players regain possession of the ball in their third; 35.18 times per 90 minutes where the team won control of the ball in the middle third; while the times that the team regained possession of the ball in final third was 11.11 per minute.
Coventry City vs League One
In this section, we will break down and compare the data and statistics of Coventry City with League One. The data is from the Wyscout season report for League One. Starting the analysis with the goals for and against, we can see that Coventry City have scored 48 goals, which is more than the average of the league, having a 41 xG rating while the league has 43.69 and 45.85, respectively.
Moreover, Coventry City have the best defence of the league as the team conceded 30 goals, 15.3 fewer goals than the league average. This is an important factor in their route to the Championship, as we can see that they are a team that are over-performing and are better than the average teams of the leagues, both in scoring and conceding goals.
The next indicator that we are going to compare is the passes and forward passes per 90. Coventry City were the team with the most passes per 90, with 412 passes – League One’s average in the same category was 330.33. The accuracy of those passes was 79% for Coventry City, and 76% for League One. From those passes, Coventry had 154 forward passes, with 68% accuracy, while League One’s teams were passing forward 132.33 times per 90 minutes, with 64% accuracy. This shows us the domination and the pressure that Coventry City were trying to do in every opponent.
As far as the passes to the final third went, League One’s average was 57.3 with 59% accuracy. Coventry City were in third place of this category, with 63 passes into the final third per 90 minutes, and 63%. The teams that were above Coventry City were Ipswich Town with 69.8 and Sunderland with 63.18 passes into the final third with 58% and 64% accuracy. We can see that Coventry City had the second-best accuracy percentage, which makes the team more dangerous in the final third, and despite performing fewer passes, the team’s players made sure that they were accurate.
Coventry City vs Coventry City
In this section, we will break down and compare the statistics of Coventry City during the current and the last season. For this comparison, we used the database of Wyscout again. This comparison will help us find the differences between the two seasons, and see what changed to see them get promoted this time around.
This year’s team played 423 minutes less compared with last season’s team. Specifically, Coventry City played 4060 minutes in the 2019/20 season, while Coventry City in the 2018/19 season played 4483 minutes. This season, Coventry City scored 48 times, while they had a 41 xG rating. Last season’s team scored 54 times, with 70.86 xG rating. What this shows is that the current season’s team scored with more ease and was more productive.
This can be shown by the number of goals that Coventry City were scoring every 90 minutes: the current season’s data showed that the team was scoring 1.06 goals per 90 minutes, with a 1.08 xG rating, while last season’s team were scoring 0.91 goals per 90 minutes, with a 1.42 xG rating.
One of the factors that kept Coventry City in the top of the league table during the season was this productivity. The chart demonstrates a comparison between the two seasons and shows the differences that the two teams had in the productivity of scoring, with the team performing in the current season able to score a goal with more ease.
Moreover, Coventry City changed the style of their game and took control of possession. Last season the team were passing 237 passes per 90 minutes, with 74.54% accuracy. This season, Coventry was passing almost the double passes per 90 minutes: 412, with greater accuracy than the last year (79%). The same happened with the forward passes: last year, Coventry City was making 85 passes per 90 minutes, with 64.1% accuracy, while this year, they were making 154 forward passes per 90 minutes, with 68.47% accuracy.
The next indicator that we notice is the difference in the passes into the final third: Coventry City this year were passing 63 passes per 90 minutes into the final third, with 63% accuracy, while last season that number was at 35.5 passes into the final third, with 58% accuracy. Those numbers show the change of philosophy at Coventry City for this season. The team was trying to have more possession and control of the ball. In that way, the players could dominate and impose their rhythm on the game.
As far as the goals that Coventry City conceded in those two seasons went, we can see that the current season’s defensive line was more stable. This year, Coventry City conceded 30 goals, with 35.17 xG against. Moreover, this year’s team was conceding 0.66 goals per 90 minutes, while the xG against rate was at 0.77 at the same indicator. Comparing these numbers with last season’s team, we notice that the defence was not so compact and was underperforming, which probably caused some points losses during the season. Coventry City last season conceded 54 goals, with a 57 xG Against rating.
Furthermore, the team was conceding 1.08 goals per 90 minutes, with a 1.14 xG Against rating. Analysing those statistics, we can see that Coventry City this year restricted the opponent’s activity in their half, as the xG Against rate was much lower. This fact made the defensive line more compact and stable against every opponent, which helped Coventry City to not lose games when they could not win them. The chart shows a comparison between the two seasons, as far as the conceded goals and the xG Against at every match went. We can see that Coventry City managed to keep the conceded goals during the season at a low rate, with a low xG Against, too.
The above numbers are not the only ones where the two teams had differences. The last indicators that we are going to compare are to do with the duels and challenges. Coventry City had more duels per 90 minutes last year, compared with the current season. This is something that can be explained by the fact that Coventry City did not have possession of the ball, so the players had to fight to regain it much more. Specifically, Coventry City from last season had 109.5 duels per minutes, and won 45.7% of them, while this year, the team had 104.65 duels per 90 minutes, and won 60.2% of them.
Moreover, the defensive duels that Coventry City had in the two seasons were similar: 38.1 and 38.5 per 90 minutes for the current and last season respectively. But for this season, the defensive duels that the team won were 74.89%, while for the last season it was at 56.7%. There are similar findings in the aerial duels, too: 26.44 and 28.5 aerial duels per 90 minutes, with 61.1% and 46.7% successful rate, for the current and last season respectively.
This data analysis proves why Coventry City were a team with top quality in League One in 2019/2020. The team was over performing in most of the indicators, and this was a factor that helped Coventry City to stay at the top of the league. The stability that the team had during the season can be proved by the fact that most of the time, they were among the best teams of the league, which shows the high intensity that the players were playing at. Lastly, the comparison between the current and the last season shows the hard work of Coventry City’s players, as they managed to improve the weaknesses of the team and create a tough team that can play under pressure.