Going into the season we all thought we were a deeper team than last season, and that's been tested with a rash of injuries, especially in defense. We also wondered if the striker-by-committee approach would work.
We certainly haven't had an easy schedule so far--but how are we doing compared to how we did against these teams last year? (Villarreal's score shown first in all cases)
Levante away 2-0 win Levante away 1-0 win
Barcelona home 0-1 loss Barcelona home 2-3 loss
Granada away 0-0 draw Granada away 0-2 loss
Rayo home 4-2 win Rayo home 4-0 win
Eibar away 1-1 draw DNP (Eibar newly promoted)
Real Madrid home 0-2 loss Real Madrid home 2-2 draw
Celta away 3-1 win Celta away 0-0 draw
Almeria home 2-0 win Almeria away 2-0 win
Sevilla away 1-2 loss Sevilla away 0-0 draw
Valencia home 1-3 loss Valencia home 4-1 win
I will ignore the Eibar result, and focus on the other nine matches. (For what it's worth, against the clubs relegated last year, we lost at Betis and Valladolid, but won at Osasuna.)
2014: 9 matches, 13 pts (4 wins, 1 draw, 4 losses) vs. 2013: 9 matches, 15 pts (4 wins, 3 draws, 2 losses)
A couple of quick takeaways:
(1) As far as "luck" (hi, Manu Trigueros!) from what I remember of last year, we "deserved more" against Barca and Madrid for sure; this time, we could say the same about Barca and Sevilla. Not sure there's any real difference there, except that we did at least get a point from one of those matches in 2013.
(2)I don't see that our attack has gotten markedly worse (13 goals for this season, 15 last season), but it hasn't gotten statistically better, either.
(3) The biggest explanation for our failure to improve on 2013 so far? We have only shut out the opposition three times this season, versus five times in the same fixtures last season. We've allowed 12 goals versus 8 the year before.
So, in spite of all the comments in gamethreads about our lack of a finisher up front, etc. it looks as though the bigger problem has been in our defense. Injuries have certainly played a huge part, but should we be looking to shore up the back line in January?