As our first clean sheet in over two months brought hope that the defensive crisis at Elland Road may finally have been resolved, I decided to take a statistical look at the season so far to see how it compares to past seasons – and it makes for extremely bleak reading if you’re Simon Grayson.

To date, Leeds United have conceded an average of 1.68 goals per game, which is a remarkable contrast to last season when we were one of only two League One sides to keep below the goal a game average with 0.96.

The last time Leeds United finished a season with a worse defensive record than our current one was 2003-04 when we were relegated from the Premier League.

On our travels, an average of 1.3 goals conceded per game is nothing out of the ordinary. 1.3 is only marginally worse than the 2008-09 season and better than 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2006-07.

At Elland Road however, Simon Grayson is on course to break a record that has stood since the 1959-60 season. With an average of 2.11 goals conceded per game, you have to go back to the relegation season of 1959-60 to find a team with a worse record at Elland Road – and that record is well within reach, at 2.19.

The following chart shows the stats from the past decade, with the worst (red) and best (blue) defensive records highlighted.

Stats were compiled using

7 Responses

  1. Colin

    Those stats would be worrying if were not for the fact that they are completely cancelled out by Leeds’ record of goals scored.

    Leeds average scored (Home): 1.89 6th highest in league
    Leeds average scored (Away): 1.5 5th highest in league
    Leeds average scored: 1.69 4th highest in league

    All the stats really tell us is that our home is mediocre (but not bad, 13 points) and our away form is good (but not brilliant, 16 points).

    The facts tell us that we’ve been on the end of a pounding in a few of our results (conceded lots of goals in certain games) and that means that goal stats are completely skewed and we shouldn’t worry.

    Don’t have nightmares :)

  2. TSS


    The 50 year record still stands I’m afraid. Elland Road has always been a fortress for us, and we have to restore that if we’re to sustain our push.

  3. md

    Worrying thing is that SG thinks we have a strong squad!!!!!!

    If either of the 2 fullbacks or O’Brien are injured/suspended the defence looks frail and we have to employ not signed a contract/not good enough anyway Johnson as a holding/defensive midfielder.

  4. yorkwhite

    Sorry but I have to totally disagree with Colin. From the first couple of matches of the season it was obvious where our weakness lay. Derby could have had five at ER. Forrest should have scored three in the first twenty minutes. Our drubbings at Barnsley and at home to both Cardiff and PNE can hardly be put down as one offs. I don’t deny that things have improved with our two loan singings and the fact that we have excellent attacking midfield options but the defence still needs some serious work. I was astonished when SG said he was happy with the squad earlier this week. If Leeds are serious about looking for a play off place then the defence must be strengthened.

  5. Colin

    “Derby could have had five at ER. Forrest should have scored three in the first twenty minutes” But they didn’t.

    And if we hadn’t hit the post or crossbar 13 times so far this season, we could have been 3rd. But we aren’t.

    Why oh why do we have to always get negative and beat up Leeds United? If anyone thought this season was going to be any better than it has been and that we would have been better than 1 point off the playoffs at this point in the season, then they are a mental case.

    If you’re depressed now, you’re going to be really depressed come January, because Leeds’ fixtures for Dec and Jan are awful – lots of tough teams and we will almost certainly drop down the league. NOT because we aren’t any good or because Grayson hasn’t bought player x or player y, but because we’re playing very good teams. YES! Better teams than us!

    Feb and March bring an much nicer run of fixtures and then I expect us to claw our way back up the table.

    • yorkwhite

      OK well as I said in my original post we have some excellent attacking options and the defence has improved with our loan singnings. Sorry if you find that too depressing. I’m also a realist and accept that for our first year back in the championship we’re doing quite well. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement.

      My original post was a simple observation but if you don’t like ifs and buts I’ll give you one simple fact. Our defence has let in 19 goals at home. Only Scunthorpe can match that number. In other words we have the joint worst defence in the league at home. If you can’t see that then you’re the mental case.

      • Colin

        I wasn’t calling you a mental case – i was just trying to get across that some fans aren’t happy whatever we do and that everybody should be pleased that we’re in a very good position already.

        I agree with your points, I just wanted to say that we’ve had a couple of horror shows at home with Preston scoring 6 and Cardiff scoring 4, and they are valid, but that’s 10 out of the 19 goals conceded.

        If we go with stats then as you rightly say, we’re joint bottom for defence. But in reality, let’s face it – our defence is not as bad as Scunthorpe.

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