West Brom EFL Championship Tactical Analysis

The International break is back again (sigh), but there was no rest for League’s 1 and 2 this weekend.

What got Northampton fans belting out Peter Andre on Saturday night? How close were Lincoln to breaking an EFL record? And what on earth did Southend get up to at Gillingham?

Here’s the EFL in numbers, stats provided by Goodbrand Stats.

Mysterious Curle 

The one great thing about terrace chants is it links the most unlikely people together.

Does anyone actually sing the proper lyrics to ‘Freed From Desire’ any more? And who can resist singing about Liverpool’s deadly front three when ‘Sugar Sugar’ by the Archies comes on?

For EFL fans, Keith Curle will always have that special connection with Peter Andre and his song ‘Mysterious Girl.’

Curle is back in the dugout and one of the greatest football songs of all time is back in the terraces.

But will he play 3-5-2 or will his mind explore at Northampton?

In Curle’s 3rd game in charge of his new side, Andy Williams scored deep into injury to give Northampton a rare home win and end Forest Green Rovers’ unbeaten start.

This sparked scenes of jubilant celebration as fans invaded the pitch to celebrate with the players and manager.

This was Northampton’s 1st win at Sixfields since 21st April and a 1st league win under Curle.

Under Curle’s leadership, the Cobblers have picked up 5 points from a possible 9.

Before he came in, the Cobblers had taken 7 points from a possible 30.

Cobblers fans will be hoping Curle can steady the ship and after that who knows? Take them up above?

Stendel’s Schnell Soccer 

Under new head coach Daniel Stendel, football is a simple game in South Yorkshire. 22 men chase a ball about for 90 minutes and at the end, Barnsley win.

It’s fair to say the Tykes are enjoying life under their German managerial duo Daniel Stendel and his assistant Andreas Winkler.

The Reds beat Luton 3-2 on Saturday to go 4 unbeaten and move up to 3rd in the League One table.

Since Stendel joined the club, Barnsley have lost just 1 of his 12 EFL games in charge.

Amazingly, they have one of the best attacking and defensive records in the division.

They’ve scored 26 goals in 2018-19, the 2nd best record in League One and have only conceded 9, the joint-best record in the third tier.

Stendel’s brand of high-pressing attacking football has seen fans flock back to Oakwell this season, and they have certainly been rewarded.

The Reds are unbeaten in 10 home games, stretching back to March.

And if that wasn’t enough, the former Hannover boss has won 7 of his opening 12 games at Barnsley.

The Reds had won only 7 of their previous 41 before his arrival.

Stendel’s fast football bearing fruit.

Impvasion at Vale 

Speaking of good fits, that takes us to Lincoln City, where Daniel Cowley’s stock in the EFL continues to rise.

The popular Imps’ manager called for focus from his team, amidst speculation linking him to the Brentford job.

His side duly delivered, and then some.

Cowley’s side were rampant and demolished Port Vale 6-2 in their own backyard. This was the 1st time Lincoln had scored 6 goals in an EFL game since January 1932.

The Imps beat Darlington 6-0 that day and have had to wait 85 years and 10 months to repeat the trick.

Spare a thought for Vale, this was their biggest home loss since a 5-0 defeat to Walsall on 8th May 2016.

If this isn’t bad enough, the Valiants actually hold the unwanted record for the biggest home defeat in English Football League history.

This was all the way back in December 1892, where they were thrashed 10-0 by Sheffield United.

Sixy Football.

Posh jolly good on the road 

Another team who’ve been treating their fans to good days out in the EFL are Peterborough United.

Steve Evans’ side bounced back from a harrowing 4-0 defeat at home to Barnsley with an impressive 2-0 win at Scunthorpe on Saturday.

This result means the Posh have now won 6 of their 7 away leagues games this season.

A remarkable turnaround from a side who had previously won 6 out of their last 31 games on the road.

Travel sickness cured.

Another Win For Flynn  

Whilst on the subject of turnarounds, one of the surprise stories on the season so far has been Newport’s form in League 2.

The Exiles have enjoyed a steady EFL rise under manager Michael Flynn.

Since taking over the reigns at Rodney Parade in March 2017, the Welshman has lead his side to 1 great escape and 1 comfortable mid-table finish.

His record is impressive, 37 wins in 85 games gives him a win ratio of 43.5%.

This season, he has his side battling for promotion and Newport’s home form is playing a major part.

Antoine Semenyo’s goal almost eight minutes into stoppage time helped Newport to a  2-1 win over Stevenage on Saturday.

Flynn’s side have now scored 3 goals in injury time already this season, earning them 7 points.

The Exiles have won 8 of their last 10 home games, losing just 1.

In fact, under Flynn’s leadership, Newport have lost just 5 of their last 35 games at Rodney Parade.

Fortress.

Cox In The Box 

The toast of Southend this weekend was without a doubt their forward Simon Cox.

His brace secured Southend victory over Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.

The striker’s two goal-haul made him the clubs’ joint-top goalscorer this season with Tom Hopper.

Cox has certainly hit a purple patch of late. The forward now has 5 goals in 5 games.

His importance to Chris Powell’s side can’t be questioned. When he turns up, so do Southend. The forward has scored in 5 of their 6 wins this season.

Shrimpers shooting up League One thanks to their tiny Cox.