How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
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    Dr Manhattan Offline
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    Post: #1
    Big Grin How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    I mentioned this in the summer (on that there Twitter) and thought it might be a good idea to open up a thread about it on here now.

    It's something that I can't entirely take credit for, as it was Juan who originally spoke about it back towards the end of last season, but it's something I think works in terms of looking at the bigger picture for finishing inside the top 4 this season. It also helps to remember it while we're all freaking out over shite results like today's.

    Basically, the average number of points needed to finish inside the top 4 over the last 10 years has been 70. Actually, that's slightly more than average, but it's a nice round number to use for the purposes of this little guide of ours.

    So, what do we need to do to get to this magic number? Win a lot of points, obviously, but breaking it down into three separate groups makes it much easier to follow, and to stomach when things start to go wrong.

    The three groups are made up like so:

    Group A - The 'Bottom Six'

    Cardiff
    Crystal Palace
    Hull
    Norwich
    Southampton
    West Brom

    Group B - The 'Middle Seven'

    Aston Villa
    Fulham
    Newcastle
    Stoke
    Sunderland
    Swansea
    West Ham

    Group C - The 'Top Six'

    Arsenal
    Chelsea
    Everton
    Man City
    Man Utd
    Tottenham

    Now, I'm not saying these groups are what everyone would universally agree on - I'm just saying that for the purposes of the guide it helps to have everyone on the same page and sticking to these groups for the entire season, regardless of what happens between now and May.

    The idea is that we should aim for:

    36 points from games against Group A (wins home and away)
    28 points from games against Group B (wins home, draws away)
    6 points minimum from games against Group C (6 draws, 2 wins, or another combination)

    This gives you a total of 70 points, and this (hopefully) puts you in the mix for the top 4 come the end of the season. It also means that games against the top teams in the league aren't as massively important as we're all lead to believe every single season. Yeah, those are the ones we all WANT to win, but in the short term and in terms of where we need to get to as quickly as possible, the other games are actually much more important.

    The idea is that we'll tot things up as we go along, and come the latter stages we should be able to see how we're shaping up, rather than just hoping to fuck and back that we beat Man Utd away to get closer to the top.

    I'll update this post as we go. Starting right now, so you'll all feel much better.

    ------------------------


    Stoke (H) - Needed 3 points - Won 3 points (1-0)
    Aston Villa (A) - Needed 1 point - Won 3 points (1-0) +2 points ahead
    Man Utd (H) - Needed 1 point - Won 3 points (1-0) + 4 points ahead
    Swansea (A) - Needed 1 point - Won 1 point (2-2)
    Southamption (H) - Needed 3 points - Won 0 points (0-1) + 1 point ahead
    Sunderland (A) - Needed 1 point - Won 3 points (1-3) + 3 points ahead
    Crystal Palace (H) - Needed 3 points - Won 3 points (3-1) + 3 points ahead
    Newcastle (A) - Needed 1 point - Won 1 point (2-2)
    West Brom (H) - Needed 3 points - Won 3 points (4-1) + 3 points ahead
    Arsenal (A) - Needed 0 points - Won 0 points (2-0)
    Fulham (H) - Needed 3 points - Won 3 points (4-0) + 3 points ahead
    Everton (A) - Needed 1 point - Won 1 point (3-3)
    Hull (A) - Needed 3 points - Won 0 points (3-1) Even with target
    Norwich (H) - Needed 3 points - Won 3 points (5-1)
    West Ham (H) - Needed 3 points - Won 3 points (4-1)
    Tottenham (A) - Needed 0 points - Won 3 points (5-0) + 3 points ahead of target
    Cardiff (H) - Needed 3 points - Won 3 points (3-1)
    Man City (A) - Needed 0 points - Won 0 points (2-1)
    Chelsea (A) - Needed 0 points - Won 0 points (2-1)
    Hull (H) - Needed 3 points - Won 3 points (2-0)
    Stoke (A) - Needed 1 point - Won 3 points (3-5) +5 points ahead of target
    Aston Villa (H) - Needed 3 points - Won 1 point (2-2) +3 points ahead of target
    Everton (H) - Needed 1 point - Won 3 points (4-0) +5 points ahead of target * amended
    West Brom (A) - Needed 3 points - Won 1 point (1-1) +3 points ahead of target
    Arsenal (H) - Needed 1 point - Won 3 points (5-1) +5 points ahead of target
    Fulham (A) - Needed 1 point - Won 3 points (3-2) +7 points ahead of target
    Swansea (H) - Needed 3 points - Won 3 points (4-3)
    Southampton (A) - Needed 3 points - Won 3 points (3-0)
    Man Utd (A) - Needed 0 points - Won 3 points (3-0) +10 points ahead of target
    Cardiff (A) - Needed 3 points - Won 3 points (6-3)
    Sunderland (H) - Needed 3 points - Won 3 points (2-1)
    Tottenham (H) - Needed 0 points - Won 3 points (4-0) +13 points ahead of target
    West Ham (A) - Needed 1 point - Won 3 points (2-1) +15 points ahead of target
    Man City (H) - Needed 0 points - Won 3 points (3-2) +18 points ahead of target


    ------------------------

    We are currently 18 points ahead of a target of 70 points.
    (This post was last modified: 13-04-2014 05:23 PM by Dr Manhattan.)
    21-09-2013 07:39 PM
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    Paddy Offline
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    Post: #2
    RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    Like the idea and I'm always thinking on these lines but you can't have Southampton in that bracket!

    Swap them with Sunderland.
    21-09-2013 07:46 PM
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    Dr Manhattan Offline
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    Post: #3
    News RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    (21-09-2013 07:46 PM)Paddy Wrote:  Like the idea and I'm always thinking on these lines but you can't have Southampton in that bracket!

    Swap them with Sunderland.

    Swap a side that's been in the top flight for all of ONE season for one which has been there for quite a while? Nah. Just because people are expecting them to do well this season doesn't change the fact that they were only one place above the bottom six last season and won only 2 points more than the side you want to replace them with.

    Like I said, people won't agree, but it's a fine line and doesn't really matter. It's just a guide. And besides, if you think Sunderland are a worse side, therefore easier to get points from, then them being in the middle group is a bonus, surely? As we'd ultimately GAIN two points more from those fixtures than the EXPECTED six we'd get if they were in the bottom group.
    21-09-2013 07:51 PM
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    NiceToMichu Offline
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    Post: #4
    News RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    (21-09-2013 07:46 PM)Paddy Wrote:  Like the idea and I'm always thinking on these lines but you can't have Southampton in that bracket!

    Swap them with Sunderland.
    this

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    (This post was last modified: 21-09-2013 09:06 PM by NiceToMichu.)
    21-09-2013 09:05 PM
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    Dr Manhattan Offline
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    Post: #5
    News RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    (21-09-2013 07:51 PM)Dr Manhattan Wrote:  Swap a side that's been in the top flight for all of ONE season for one which has been there for quite a while? Nah. Just because people are expecting them to do well this season doesn't change the fact that they were only one place above the bottom six last season and won only 2 points more than the side you want to replace them with.

    Like I said, people won't agree, but it's a fine line and doesn't really matter. It's just a guide. And besides, if you think Sunderland are a worse side, therefore easier to get points from, then them being in the middle group is a bonus, surely? As we'd ultimately GAIN two points more from those fixtures than the EXPECTED six we'd get if they were in the bottom group.

    This.
    21-09-2013 09:09 PM
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    Matt8pie Offline
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    Post: #6
    RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    Fact of the matter is most people would've agreed before today's result on Southampton's placing in Doc's list and we all expected a win today. Just because we lost doesn't change that. It just means we dropped points in that group but we've thankfully gained points in other groups.

    We don't want this to become a "replace x with y" after every loss just because we all lost. Given Southampton's start to the season and end to last season, we ALL expected a win at home against them, especially because of our form.

    As I said on twitter and in the match thread, we have 10 points from 5 games. If we continue to get 10 points from every 5 games we'll end up on around or above 70 points and well in the mix for finishing in the top 4.

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    21-09-2013 09:13 PM
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    Rajah Rar Offline
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    Post: #7
    RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    Yeah, this is something I like to do as well. Ultimately, getting the points against the teams beneath the top 6 is enough to easily finish top 4. Of course days like today will happen for every team aiming for the higher end of the table but we need to avoid it becoming a habit!

    The other thing I tend to do is match comparisons. The sheet I have goes back as far as the the 2007/08 season. After 5 games this is were we are compared to the previous few seasons (brackets are the final points tally for that year).

    2012/13: +2 (61)
    2011/12: +4 (52)
    2010/11: +1 (58)
    2009/10: -5 (63)
    2008/09: -1 (86)
    2007/08: +3 (76)

    It's incredibly early days and there is plenty of time for us to go backwards or improve. The key for me is how we are doing compared to the previous year and right now we are 2 points up on last years equivalent matches. But we have some must win games coming up to keep it that way.
    21-09-2013 10:34 PM
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    PKT9 Offline
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    Post: #8
    RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    Blah blah blah blah blah. At the end of the day, you can do all these little charts, scenarios and 'what if' analysis, but the bottom line is we are short on quality and are not yet ready for the top 4. We fucked up this transfer market and our marquee signing was a defender who makes Sebastian Coates look like Paulo Maldini in his prime, and our number 9 makes me want to recall Fabio Fucking Borini from his loan.
    (This post was last modified: 23-09-2013 09:02 AM by PKT9.)
    23-09-2013 09:01 AM
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    Head Of Cow Offline
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    Post: #9
    News RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    (23-09-2013 09:01 AM)PKT9 Wrote:  Blah blah blah blah blah. At the end of the day, you can do all these little charts, scenarios and 'what if' analysis, but the bottom line is we are short on quality and are not yet ready for the top 4. We fucked up this transfer market and our marquee signing was a defender who makes Sebastian Coates look like Paulo Maldini in his prime, and our number 9 makes me want to recall Fabio Fucking Borini from his loan.

    *hugs*
    23-09-2013 02:40 PM
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    Dr Manhattan Offline
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    Post: #10
    RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    With the win yesterday, we're currently THREE POINTS AHEAD of our target.
    30-09-2013 11:50 AM
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    Matt8pie Offline
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    Post: #11
    RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    I thought about this during the match yesterday.

    People were saying "if we played like this against one of the top teams they'd murder us". For one, we never play like we did yesterday against the top teams, we always raise our game. Secondly, if people are saying that every week and we're winning points against the lower teams, it just goes to prove Doc's theory.

    We all expect to beat the teams below the top 6 home or away and that's where the majority of the points come from.

    As I said before, we need about 10 points per 5 games. If we continue this form up until January we'd be on the 30-40 points mark which would be a massive boost for the remainder of the season. Hopefully in January we spend big to get some really top players to boost the club, the fans, the squad depth and to have a big, all out push to secure a top 4 place. If we can hold onto this form until then, things will look really positive.

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    30-09-2013 01:26 PM
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    Juan Loco Offline
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    Post: #12
    News RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    If I've got it right then 10 points out of every 15 works out at 76 a season, which would at worst equal the record for the highest 4th place points total (at least since the league went to 4 European Cup places). That record was us in 07-08.
    (This post was last modified: 01-10-2013 05:03 PM by Juan Loco.)
    01-10-2013 05:02 PM
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    Head Of Cow Offline
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    Post: #13
    RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    76 points would be an achievement for this squad. I think 70 points (or roughly 20 wins and 10 draws) would be a good season for us. 20 wins is pushing it but we should really be aiming to beat everyone at home and the bottom 10 away. Obviously we already lost to Southampton and we've got tough fixtures to come so redistribute them as you see fit but as a general rule we should be looking for those figures come May.
    01-10-2013 05:42 PM
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    Finn Solomon Offline
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    Post: #14
    RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    Ah I remember reading this on Twitter. Makes sense that we should go for maximum points against the smaller teams while the one-off games against the big clubs don't really matter, that's how the Mancs tend to win their league titles.
    02-10-2013 02:28 AM
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    Dr Manhattan Offline
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    Post: #15
    RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    No change this week, which is a good thing. We needed 3 points against one of the 'bottom six' and we got 3 points.

    Still currently 3 points ahead of the average target.
    05-10-2013 07:58 PM
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    SiempreEsPossible Offline
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    Post: #16
    RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    Bit worried that we haven't beaten anyone above us yet.
    06-10-2013 01:19 PM
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    Dr Manhattan Offline
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    Post: #17
    RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    Updated. Still 3 points ahead of where we need to be.
    26-10-2013 06:03 PM
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    Omar Offline
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    Post: #18
    RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    You still agree on your positioning of Sunderland & Southampton, Doc?

    Aside from that, I agree with your lists and it is good to see us on track till now to finish near the 70 points mark at the end of the season. A win against Arsenal will be one hell of a massive moral booster I reckon.

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    27-10-2013 08:39 PM
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    Dr Manhattan Offline
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    Post: #19
    News RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    (27-10-2013 08:39 PM)Omar Wrote:  You still agree on your positioning of Sunderland & Southampton, Doc?

    It doesn't matter in the slightest.
    27-10-2013 09:01 PM
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    dfinneran Offline
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    Post: #20
    News RE: How to reach the top 4 in 38 easy steps
    This Sunderland/Southampton debate is dominating this thread.

    For those who think they should be swapped, just consider us only 1 point ahead instead of 3.

    Either way as soon as we go to St. Mary's both away games have been played and it won't matter what 'tier' they are in.

    As this season pans out it's looking more and more likely that 70 points won't be enough for top 4 though, I suppose we'll have a better estimate over the next 5 games when the top teams start facing each other.
    27-10-2013 09:23 PM
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