The Dickson effect

Graph City, Arizona.

I looked at Dickson’s games for us over the last four seasons and divided the matches according to the pre-match odds of a Fulham win. This was a bit arbitrary, but the half in which Fulham were shortest odds were designated “easy”, the half where odds were longer were designated “hard”.

Then I split the games to see whether they were home or away, and whether Dickson started or not.  The bars represent points per game, with Dickson the lower of the two bars.

The results?

We’re better in away games with Dickson playing, easy or hard match.

Easy home games are a bit of a wash.

But the difficult home games are where we find an issue: we do much better in the difficult home games without Dickson than with him.  This might make some sense or might not: he’s picked for these games because it feels like we might need the extra defensive oomph, but perhaps the level of the opponent takes him one step beyond his comfort level.  But if that were true we’d see the same effect in away games.   Perhaps in home games we do well against the good teams when we take the initiative, and that’s harder to do with Dickson in the side.


6 thoughts on “The Dickson effect

  1. Hmm, is it just me or are the “No Dickson” and “Dickson” colours the same?

    Either way I love a good graph.

    Also, apologies for my lack of input of late, hope to be back to normal next week.

  2. Intuitively, it makes sense to me. But I’m a Dickson fan, and many are not. It’s always seemed logical to me to play Dickson in away matches. I just reckon he’s very effective in that spoiling role. He tackles better than Sidwell, and, I reckon, leaves less gaps. Trouble is, in his last 2 outings, he’s made some glaring mistakes, which makes even his supporters worry about him. But I think that’s down to lack of match time, and possibly feeling the pressure to perform. Also, Murphy always seems to play better with Dickson next to him. I’d still go with him as a starter against Sunderland. Sidwell’s mistakes tend to attract less attention, and his impressive coverage of the pitch looks good. If the ref had given a penalty on Sunday for his barge on Parker, he might not be so popular. I suppose once again, its nice to have the choice – indicates a strong squad.

  3. This is an interesting chart, but it does not reflect who else was playing that day, or what attacking formation we were using (4-4-2, etc.). I short, there might be lots of reasons for this data besides Dickson.

    Regardless, as a Keeper, my indicator of a good mid field defender is the reaction of the offense: does the other team change their game plan because of the defender, do they move it to the other side, pass it over the midfielder or sideways; does he stop the attack or change the other team’s tempo?

    This type of player, and this impact, happens all the time in other sports. In hockey, the tough defender stops the rush and the other team must dump the puck in. In American football, the offense must run or throw in opposite direction because the defender is too good.

    As a Keeper, I valued this kind of player. Dickson is the best we’ve got at this skill, and the bottom line is we need this kind of player against certain teams. This is probably more vital on away games against teams with highly skilled midfields, the hard away games (as pointed out in a CCN article, home teams attack with greater ferocity).

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