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Choi Yong-soo's Record: Month by Month in the K-League

Choi Yong-soo celebrates after Cha Du-ri's goal against Suwon last September- from youtube.com
Traditionally, FC Seoul get off to a terrible start in March and April, languishing at the bottom of the pack until sometime around Summer.  From there, they go on a great run to get back into contention, but inevitably fall short.  However, that has not been the case in 2016.
Other than the loss to Jeonbuk, March was a good month for Seoul (they did so well in the ACL) and so far, it has been a great April as well.  Seoul have won five in a row and regardless of how the Super Match against Suwon finishes, this will be Choi's best April ever.  Compared to how Seoul were performing last year after their first seven games (2 wins, 1 draw, 4 losses, 6 for, 12 conceded, seven points), it has been an amazing u-turn.  

I have written before about the necessity of a good start and how it affects a team's title chances.  With Seoul's good start, I think it is fair to say they are in the driver's seat right now.  To project how the season might possibly play out, I decided to see what Choi Yong-soo's record was for each month.  By no means am I predicting Seoul to win the title right now, since it is early and my predictions have a way failing to come true, but I am interested in seeing the possibility of how Seoul might do based on the past history of the teams that Choi Yong-soo has managed.    

To do so, I visited FC Seoul's website and looked at how Seoul did in the K-League for each season from 2011 to 2016.  This includes all regular season games, the playoff game in 2011, and any games played during the championship round from 2012 until 2015.  Here is a chart below.


Choi Yong-soo's Record: Month By Month in the K-League (2011-2016)
Month
P
W
D
L
GF (avg.)
GA (avg.)
Pts. (avg.)
Mar.
18
5
4
9
22 (1.2)
21 (1.17)
19 (1.06)
Apr.
27
13
9
5
40  (1.48)
29 (1.07)
54 (2)
May
17
10
3
4
27 (1.59)
19 (1.12)
33 (1.94)
Jun.
16
8
5
3
16 (1)
10 (0.63)
29 (1.81)
Jul.
25
14
8
3
50 (2)
27 (1.08)
50 (2)
Aug.
25
18
4
3
53 (2.12)
26 (0.96)
58 (2.15)
Sept.
19
12
4
3
30 (1.58)
15 (0.79)
40 (2.11)
Oct.
20
8
5
7
22 (1.1)
18 (0.9)
29 (1.45)
Nov-Dec.
22*
11
6
5*
36* (1.64)
31* (1.41)
39 (1.86)
* Seoul lost to Ulsan in playoff 1-3 in November of 2011.  


Choi was not appointed as the interm manager until April 30th, 2011, so I did not attribute Seoul's terrible start to him in 2011.  I would say that was the fault of Hwangbo Kwan, who has had the shortest stint of any K-League manager ever.  After Choi was appointed, Seoul went on a bit of a run and moved up the table, leading him to be given the job as the full-time manager.  


(An Anyang Cheetah Legend back in the Day- from forums.bigsoccer.com)
When he took over in 2012, he won three of his first four games in March, with Seoul outscoring the opposition 7 to 2.  The next five games in April were not so great as he only won one, drew three, and loss one with the team scoring 5 and conceding 5.  In 2016, Seoul did not start as well in March as they did in 2012, but they have done so much better this April than they did in 2012.  Therefore, I would say that March and April are a bit misleading.  Instead, I am curious how Choi's record looks from 2013-2015.  

                         Choi Yong-soo's Record: Month By Month in the K-League (2013-2015)

Month
P
W
D
L
GF (avg.)
GA (avg.)
Pts. (avg.)
Mar.
12
0
4
8
11 (0.92)
18 (1.5)
4 (0.33)
Apr.
15
5
6
4
19 (1.27)
18 (1.2)

21 (1.4)


To average about a point a game is pretty terrible (1.06 in the month of March), but 0.33 is even worse and would be enough to get any manager fired.  April has been a slightly better month for him, but not by much.  He averaged 1.4 points per game, which is still not great and is far away from the mark that a team needs to achieve to win the title.  Next, this is Choi's record in 2016.  

Choi Yong-soo's Record: Month By Month in the K-League  (2016)
Month
P
W
D
L
GF (avg.)
GA (avg.)
Pts. (avg.)
Mar.
2
1
0
1
4 (2)
1 (0.5)
3 (1.5)
Apr.
5
5
0
0
12 (2.4)
4 (0.8)
15 (3)

Including this in Choi's total stats makes his record a bit more respectable, especially for the month of April when his team averages two points a game.  Of course, the Super Match is coming up and the cruelness of fate will probably end Choi's streak at five.  Nonetheless, I have really enjoyed this last month.  However, what interests me most is the months coming up.  Here is a table of how Choi has done. 

Choi Yong-soo's Record: Month By Month in the K-League (2011-2015)
Month
P
W
D
L
GF (avg.)
GA (avg.)
Pts. (avg.)
May.
17
10
3
8
27 (1.59)
19 (1.12)
33 (1.94)
Jun.
16
8
5
3
16 (1)
10 (0.63)
29 (1.81)
Jul.
25
14
8
3
50 (2)
27 (1.08)
50 (2)
Aug.
25
18
4
3
53 (2.12)
26 (0.96)
58 (2.15)
Sept.
19
12
4
3
30 (1.58)
15 (0.79)
40 (2.11)
Oct.
20
8
5
7
22 (1.1)
18 (0.9)
29 (1.45)
Nov-Dec.
22*
11
6
5*
36* (1.64)
31* (1.41)
39 (1.86)






* Seoul lost to Ulsan in playoff 1-3

The team has done better than average in May and June, but they seem to really hit their stride in July, August, and September.  There is a bit of tapering off in October and slight uptick in November.  Therefore, I think if Seoul do not slip up too much and Choi can have the team maintain their traditional summer form, they have a very strong chance of winning the title.  Here is a table showing the league winners and their position after 10 games. 

League Winners and Their Position After 10 Games- 2011 to 2015
Year
Team
Pts.
Rnk.
Diff.
2011
Jeonbuk
19/30
2nd
2 points
2012
FC Seoul
19/30
4th
4 points
2013
Pohang
28/30
1st
N/A
2014
Jeonbuk
19/30
2nd
2 points
2015
Jeonbuk
19/30
1st
N/A

Here is a table showing how teams that started well after ten games and where they ended up in the table.  

Best League Starts After 10  Games- 2011 to 2015
Year
Team
Points
Final
2011
Pohang
21/30
2nd
2012
Suwon Samsung
23/30
4th
2013
Pohang
28/30
1st
2014
Pohang
22/30
4th
2011
Jeonbuk
25/30
1st

After seven games, Seoul are in first with a five point lead, but there is not guarantee that they will win the title.  Seoul could lose their next three games and Jeonbuk could win their next three to go ahead in the table.  However, the difference would still only be four points and as history has shown, that is a deficit that can be made up.  That is why, along with Seoul's performance in the months of July, August, and September, I really like their chances for the title this year.  

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