Whistle while you work
What's in a colour?
a) Top ten over-performing clubs over whole period
b) Worst ten under-performing clubs over whole period
c) Top ten over-performing clubs since 1997-98
d) Worst ten under-performing clubs since 1997-98
e) Top over-performing club by season
f) Worst under-performing club by season
Some local rivals
Some 'sleeping giants'
What's in a colour?
12 May 2005
January 2004 saw the launch of CAMRED, Cod Almighty's 'Campaign for Red Stockings'. On Tuesday 10 August 2005 Mariners fans everywhere were witnesses to the success of that campaign. Grimsby Town took the field for their first home game of the 2004-05 season and ran out at Blundell Park to rapturous applause adorned in red stockings. But were we right to launch CAMRED? Were they the fashionary link that had been missing all this time? Had two success relegations been the result of a clothing designer's design for co-ordinated sportswear?
This bit of analysis aims to look back on the first season back in red stockings and answer the questions at the forefront of everyone's mind. And while we're at it, it might just look at how other kits decisions and quite how they've effected Town's performance this year.
The measure used to evaluate performance over kit choice will be points scored per match played. To give us a standard to compare to in the 46 matches played this season Grimsby Town FC have amassed a grand total of 58 points, as well you know. This is 1.26 points per match (ppm). In the 23 home matches the score is 1.48 ppm while the same number of away matches has seen a mere 1.04 ppm.
Our relative home/away performance this season would lead those of you that are still following me to conclude that when it comes to shirt choice the black and white stripes win over the yellow shirt everytime. And you'd be perfectly correct to conclude that. Town have scored 1.33 ppm in the 36 matches where they've worn the traditional home shirt. When it comes to shorts though, traditional is not best. The Mariners scored 1.30 ppm this season while wearing white shorts. And now the crucial question - what colour stockings served GTFC the best in 2004-05? Well, the results are not good for CAMRED. Red stockings saw Grimsby win 1.16 ppm in 25 matches, while black stockings saw 1.73 ppm in 11 matches.
So that's what Town should wear, calculated by looking at each item of kit individually, but does that still hold when looking at the whole sporting ensemble? Well, Town wore their home shirt, white shorts and black stockings once this season. And they won. Thank you, Cambridge. But that's only one match in 46. I'd hate to draw conclusions from that. The second best kit, judged by ppm, is the home shirt, white shorts and red stockings. Town remained unbeaten wearing this combination scoring 2.00 ppm from two matches. But that's not really enough results either. Moving down to third in the list we finally get to an outfit that has a few more occurrences. Next up is the home shirt, black shorts and black stockings. In ten matches Town scored 1.60 ppm. Incidentally, this season's home kit of choice only yielded 1.09 ppm. Over the course of 23 home matches this difference would equate to almost 11 points. Red socks are the difference between 18th and a top half finish. Controversial?
After working out what kit Grimsby should wear the next thing to look at was what kit has been unlucky for us this season. It doesn't take a genius to work out that if the home shirt is the best shirt then, given we have only worn two different shirts this season, the worst shirt for us is our away shirt. Surprise, surprise. We wore it 10 times, scoring only 10 points in the process. That's clearly 1.00 ppm. As for shorts, it's again quite simple to see that, given white shorts were best for us in '04-05, black shorts were the worst option. 36 matches, 1.25 ppm. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to work out that the stocking option Grimsby Town should not take is yellow. 1.00 ppm again.
And just as we looked at the best kit parts and then the best kit in combination, the worst kit for Town in 2004-05 was the specified away kit - yellow shirt, white shorts, yellow stockings. You probably could have told me that before I started this analysis, couldn't you? 0.86ppm. You couldn't have me told that though, I'm sure.
We've seen that there is a difference in Town's performance depending on what they're wearing, but what about what the opposition is wearing? How does that affect Town's ppm, eh? Well, I'll tell you. Town played a team in light blue shirts twice, and won once and drew once. 2.00 ppm. They played teams is red shirts seven times and scored 14 points. 2.00 ppm. They played teams in yellow shirts ten times and scored 20 points. 2.00ppm. It seems like yellow shirts have been best for us to play against. Although the ppm's are the same for light blue, red and yellow shirts, yellow is best as the same ppm was achieved over more matches. Moving down to the shorts, Town played teams wearing green or light blue shorts once each. And won both. 3.00 ppm all round. But just as I looked further than one occurrence with Town's kit so I shall with their opposition's kit. The five times they've played teams in yellow shorts they've managed 2.20 ppm. Moving onto the leg-warmers, one match with opponents in green stockings and one win means 3.00ppm. But looking at colours with more than one occurrence, yellow is the colour of choice here too. Six occasions scoring 2.33 ppm.
And finally we come to the the worst colour kits for Grimsby to play against. White shirts are up first. Three matches, 0.33 ppm. Ouch. Maroon shorts are next. Two matches, 0.50 ppm. The kit of nightmares for Russell Slade is topped off, so to speak, with a pair of white stockings. In 13 matches playing against sparkly white stockings Grimsby scored 0.46 ppm.
In conclusion I'll be pushing for CAMBLACK for 2005-06. A return to black stockings is for me. And how's about us wearing white shorts next season? That's what the numbers say we should do. It wouldn't be unwarranted either. Black and white shirt, white shorts and black stockings was the first choice home kit between 1910 and 1924 according to this site. (I'm sure someone with better knowledge than me will correct me if I'm wrong.) Admittedly we did suffer two relegations and a World War during this period though. Maybe we should stick with the black shorts after all. And as for opponents, I'll be voting for the whole league to be forced to play in all yellow against us next year. How about you?