MIDNIGHT CALLER: WHAT IS PROGRESS? by The Anfield Wrap | Jun 30, 2015 | Midnight Caller, Podcast, TAW Player | 5 comments Neil Atkinson is joined by Steve Graves and Andi Thomas to talk about progress and what it means for football clubs. 5 Comments Jay Wright on 1 July 2015 at 12:10 am Progress should be based on evaluating results (objective) and balancing these against performances (objective). We can’t dictate how well our competitors perform in the league, and should not therefore just be setting a target of any particular league placing as this does not take the performance of our competitors into consideration. The club’s target should be a tangible objective of 74 points, with the target for the follow up season and all beyond then rising to 82 points, which would likely put the club in position for consistent title challenges. Reply Jay Wright on 1 July 2015 at 12:17 am fwiw, in my opinion, Rodgers was a season ahead of schedule in picking up 82 points in the 2013-14 season, but this should have been always been the target for the 2014-15 season. Falling all the way back to 62 points (which was only 1 point more than gained during his first season, and 1 point less than that accumulated by Benitez’s time during his fateful final season) was definitely not progress though, and the under-performance was not counter-balanced by the over-performance of the previous year. Reply Thomas Close on 1 July 2015 at 3:47 am One problem with comparing points totals directly that they don’t take into consideration the overall strength of the league, which although you’d expect this to average out more than the points totals of the teams around us can vary with global changes like a new TV deal. A bigger problem is that once there is no longer anything to play for teams really drop off and the total ends up looking a lot worse than it actually was. This happened in Benetiz’s and Kenny’s last seasons as well (I think this season 72 points would have been a fairer reflection). I think any objective measure is only ever going to tell you part of the picture and if you are going to base big decisions like whether to keep the manager or not on them you are tying one hand behind your back. Also, while winning makes everything a lot better it is not the only criteria. Getting average results while going out and playing in an attractive attacking style and integrating young players who have the potential to be world beaters is infinitely more enjoyable to me than watching a different team getting those points playing a “Mourinho” style. Reply Jay Wright on 1 July 2015 at 3:38 pm Yea, I did mention that results should be weighed up against performances, to allow for a more balanced appraisal of any particular season. I disagree with you about not comparing points totals though. If you were talking about new money artificially elevating a lesser club all of a sudden (a la Man City), that could skew evaluation, but a general influx of money throughout the league should not have such an impact. Targetting a league placing is a far more arbitrary goal than targetting points and can lead to a lack of focus. I remember Alex Ferguson had spoken about his annual targets once being around the 82-84 point mark. That is far more sensible to me than just saying we need to be 1st, or we need to be 4th, as that approach is the one that does not take into account any outlying performances by our competitors -positive or negative. Just as teams at the bottom target 40 points as a guideline for safety, teams at the top should be aiming for specific points totals also (even if that points total is not required to achieve the stated objective at the end of season). Reply Andrew Jones on 1 July 2015 at 5:58 am Absolutely wrong about Swansea. They and their supporters are absolutely delighted that they are top half and are quite happy to stay there. After where they have been in the last 10 or so years, Swansea have built a strong foundation but have a plan that involves strong financial management without over stretching the club or their future plans. if your going to talk about a club, get the facts right or at the very least, go and watch the documentary ‘Jack to a King’, a wonderful film on the Swansea rise from the ashes and the part supporters played in that. Reply Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.