You may have seen our tweet in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday night’s defeat to Coventry – our 11th in just 15 league games – confirming that, in terms of losses, this is indeed Bradford City’s worst-ever start to a league campaign in our 115-year history.
Of course, losses alone isn’t the only way to weigh up just how bad a start this has been, so in true Grim Reaper fashion, we’ve worked out where the start ranks along all the others in a number of categories.
As we pointed out, this is indeed Bradford City’s worst-ever start in terms of games lost at the beginning of a season. Never before has any season since the club’s formation in 1903 included 11 league defeats in the first 15 league games.
Points earned (including three points-per-win alterations)
The three points-per-win system was only introduced into English football at the beginning of the 1981-82 season, so to look all the way back to 1903 and work out where City’s points tally of this season ranks, we have to apply the present system across history.
And when doing that, it shows that there have been a handful of times in which City have failed to pick up fewer than the current 10 points the class of 2018 have got from their first 15 games.
The most recent? In the 2000-01 Premier League campaign, when Chris Hutchings’ side earned just eight points from their first 15 games. That, in a 38-game season, was inevitably going to lead to relegation.
Then, in 1983-84, Trevor Cherry’s side registered just eight points from their first 15 games: which included just one win. They did, however, then go on and finish 7th in Division Three following a run of 10 consecutive wins.
The other instances? In 1965-66, City got nine points from their first 15. All the way back in 1926-27, they actually got only seven – making this the fourth-worst start in terms of points gained.
City have shipped an alarming 26 goals already this season, and have kept just four clean sheets – but you don’t have to go too far back to find a start worse than this defensively.
In City’s first season since relegation from the Premier League in 2001-02, things started quite well, with victories against Barnsley, Portsmouth and Coventry to start the season.
But by the time City had played 15 games that season, they’d already conceded a staggering 30 goals – including 10 in just three games.
15 games played, 12 goals scored. It’s been pretty grim in front of goal for City to say the least.
The last time it was this bad? When we were relegated from the Premier League in 2000-01 when, after 15 games, we’d scored just seven goals.
Incidentally, to find a Football League campaign with a worse start in front of goal, you have to go all the way back to 1970-71, when James Wheeler’s side scored just 11 times in their first 15 games.