Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bristol Who?

I’m not sure if anyone has in the (actual) press has written about them, but in case you were unaware Bristol City is currently in place for Automatic Promotion into the Premier League.

One point from the top and one from the playoffs, the Robins didn’t just arrive at this pinnacle– they’ve been yo-yoing in and out of 2nd and 3rd place since September.

Several months ago before my computer died I was going to write a column comparing the parity in the CCC to the NFL. Well, Bristol City is the case in point. Not to slight their fellow CCC clubs, but c'mon -- its Bristol City! Colchester performing well last year was one thing, but this this wholly something else. How West Brom can have a +26 GD and only be 4th blows my mind, more so than them losing to Derby in the Play-offs Final.

The Robins were promoted from League One last May, and didn’t lose a league match until October. In fact, had it not been for a horrid November where the team lost three straight matches with by a margin of 0-9, they would arguably be in the top spot of the Championship.

But City are still in the hunt, thanks in large part to their excellent home form – just two losses – and their ability to grind out away fixtures. Had it not been for the 6-0 thumping away to Ipswich in November, their GD would be much different.

Speaking of which, the Robins amazingly have 1 as their GD. Yes, a second place team with just one more goal scored than conceded. The only other side within ten spots below them is 12th-place Wolverhampton, who have –4.

So how did a team such as Bristol City get so high up in the standings? One-goal victories: which they have 12 of. Darren Byfield leads the team with 8 goals, followed by Marvin Elliott with 5, Bradley Orr with 4, and four other players with 3 goals a piece. In fact, fourteen players on the squad have at least a goal. I’m too lazy to do the math and compare that with another team, but that’s still a really good spread.

So after years of languishing in League One anonymity, Bristol City look prepared to make it to the top flight after just one season in throngs of the CCC. And with fans like these, the Premiership welcomes the minnows.

Even if they prove to be worse than Derby.