In July the J League started again. It had been shut down in February with teams having played only one game. Cerezo got off to a pretty good start winning 3, drawing 2 and losing only 1 game. The loss was to in-form Nagoya. This is what the league table looked like a the end of July.
Cerezo where joint 4th with Kawasaki in first place. This is no surprise as Kawasaki are a strong team who have won the title 2 times in the last 3 years.
I decided to look at the current results in context. There is a football stat called the Uncle Jeff Coefficient. It compares current results with the equivalent results (i.e. against the same teams) from the previous season (this season points – last season points). These are the best and worst preforming teams for July
Both Nagoya and Hiroshima have played one game less due to a weather cancellation. Despite this Nagoya are top of this form league. Hiroshima are bottom with their mid-table position below their expected performance. An extra 6 points would put them 6th. Yokohama FM are performing rather badly. They won the league last season. An extra 5 points would only put them 7th so maybe they have had some difficult games.
One issue with such a statistic is that, while it provides an easy comparison, one good or bad season could provide a poor comparison for the subsequent season. I extended the definition to consider the average number of points taken in the equivalent fixture over the past 4 seasons. The magic number of 4 had been chosen as it gives an average and dividing by 4 gives readable decimal numbers. A little trickery is required to deal with promoted and relegated teams but the use of only 4 seasons keeps this to a minimum. The form table using this statistic is as follows:
Similar results. Kashiwa have done well at the start of this season and sit in 7th place in the league table. They are a newly promoted side but were relegated the season before last while playing in the Asian Champions League. The J League can be a bit topsy-turvy. Cerezo are neither best or worst performers. Their performance is generally as expected.