West Brom EFL Championship Tactical Analysis

The clocks went back an hour this weekend and to mark the occasion the EFL went back even further.

This week’s EFL In Numbers features a long overdue hat-trick, a once in a lifetime away win and another defeat for Thomas Frank.

Stats provided by Goodbrand Stats.

Sharp Shooting from Billy 

Sheffield United returned to the top of the Championship table on Saturday with a 4-2 win over Wigan Athletic.

The Blades were fired to victory thanks to a hat-trick from their captain Billy Sharp.

Amazingly, that was his first treble in the EFL since 2008, during a 3-0 Championship success over QPR.

Billy has been a reliable sharp-shooter for the Blades over the years, scoring 10+ goals in each of his 4 season since rejoining the club in 2015.

Sheffield United have a remarkable record when Sharp scores. The Blades are unbeaten in all 41 games he’s found the net in since Chris Wilder took charge, winning 34 and drawing 7.

Who says he can’t hack it at Championship level?

Frankly not good enough? 

Someone who certainly isn’t hacking it at this level so far is new Brentford manager Thomas Frank. 

The Bees appointed him as their new manager after Dean Smith left for Villa earlier this month and it’s fair to say he couldn’t have got off to a worse start.

A 1-0 defeat at Norwich on Saturday was Frank’s 3rd on the trot since joining the club.

No Bees manager has lost his first 3 games since Mike Everitt in 1973.

The only other Brentford manager to lose his opening 3 EFL fixtures was their player-manager Fred Monk all the way back in 1953. 

Since Smith left the club Brentford have made a beeline down the Championship table, falling from 6th to 16th in just 3 games.

You’re not the Bees Knees right now, to be Frank.

Sky-High Blues 

Coventry City are the Bees Knees in League One right now.

After winning promotion via the League 2 playoffs last season, Mark Robins’ side have made an impressive start to life back in the third tier.

The Sky Blues are only out of the top six on goal difference after a 2-1 win over Doncaster on Saturday.

This was their 5th win a row, the first time they have achieved this feat for over 20 years.

This was back in the Premier League days during January and February 1998. Gordon Strachan was Coventry manager and Dion Dublin scored in 4 of those wins.

They will be hoping to make it 6 on the spin when they host Accrington Stanley on Saturday.

This would be the first time The Sky Blues have won 6 successive league games for over 100 years. The last time they managed it was the 1907-08 season.

Who needs Batman when Cov have Robins?

Tigers sink their teeth into the history books

Hull City haven’t waited quite as long to see their side win a game at Bolton, but City fans will have been Wandering if they ever would.

Every side in the country has that one team that for some reason always seems to have their number.

As far as hunting grounds go, Bolton has been as fruitless as they come for Hull City.

Before the weekend, The Tigers hadn’t won at Bolton since March 1935, over 83 years ago.

To put that into some sort of perspective, in 1935 George V was king, Brian Clough and Jack Charlton had just been born and the driving test became compulsory.

Nigel Adkins certainly drove his side to end this run on Saturday.

Fraizer Campbell’s 10th-minute strike was the difference between the two teams as the Tigers ended their car-crash of a record in this part of Greater Manchester.

Tigers finally show their teeth.

Iron defence steeling a living 

If you’re a Scunthorpe fan it’ll probably feel like 83 years since your side won anywhere.

The Iron have been promotion challengers in their past 3 League One seasons but have struggled badly so far this term.

On Saturday, Stuart McCall’s side were beaten 4-1 by a Plymouth Argyle side who hadn’t won away since February.

Sadly for McCall, he hasn’t yet Ironed out the problems that have seen his side endure a woeful campaign.

They’ve now lost 5 consecutive games for the first time since 2011, conceding 3 or more goals in 4 of their last 6 matches.

If that wasn’t bad enough already, Scunthorpe now have the joint-worst defence in the whole EFL, with a staggering 34 goals shipped already.

Iron Fist needed for Rusty Scunny

Rangers Jumping Through Hoops

Speaking of rusty, many people will have been doubting whether Steve McClaren has still got his managerial spark.

We’ve witnessed some amazing sporting comebacks over the years. The Miracle of Medinah, Istanbul and the Rumble in The Jungle spring to mind.

However, former England boss (less said the better) McClaren looks set to add his own to the party.

Rangers lost all 4 of his opening EFL fixtures, conceding a whopping 13 goals in the process.

Since then, The Hoops have come back from the dead. Winning 7 of their last 11 games, including 2 draws and just 2 defeats.

Their 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Friday night was their 3rd in a row. The 1st time Rangers have managed this since January 2017.

This victory also saw McClaren’s side keep their 3rd successive clean sheet, for the 1st time since December 2015. 

Southgate watch out?