Hallelujah, the Chalkboards are back!

Well, sort of…Go get your hands on FourFourTwo’s Stats Zone app. The chalkboard functionality is free for UK users, while US users need to pay a paltry $2.99.

Below is the chart of both club’s passing.. Note that Norwich didn’t have too bad a passing stinker (or, otherwise known as “Pull a Stoke”), but, Fulham managed attempt nearly 600 passes. And complete 90% of them.

As we saw several times last year, Fulham love to maraud up the left flank. If you were to draw a diagonal line  the top right corner of Norwich’s penalty box across the field to the point where the half line and the sideline intersect, you’d have…10-15 passes? Part of this could be down to playing the left-footed Duff inverted on the right. Part of it could be us going at Norwich’s new signing Robert Snodgrass (who got subbed out at the 55th minute.)

But, if you were to look at the player influence map, it’s really because of Riise’s presence along the touch-line. (Ruiz may seem nonexistent, but he’s just hidden by Dembele.)

Again, if we were to draw that same line, it would leave Duff all alone in that section. And look how little his name is.

What I find fascinating about this is how it relates to what we saw with Spain in last summer’s Euro 2012, coupled with our collective groans at not signing more forwards. When I was listening to the new ESPN FC podcast (at least I think it was that) previewing the season, they mentioned how several clubs would emulate Spain’s new-found tactics of fielding zero strikers.

Although we fielded one, notice the tiny footprint of Petric, and to an extent Rodallega; our goalkeeper had more influence than our starting forward: Schwarzer received 31 passes, and completed 24 of 37 attempts (going 2 of 13 on his long passes). Petric received just 18 passes and completed 14 of 15.

And yet we still won 5-0.

Timmy Gelles is a writer for Craven Cottage Newsround. A Fulham fan since 2006, he is happy to have some blogging material back. E-mail him or follow him on twitter.

7 thoughts on “Chalkboards!

  1. I wonder if maybe all the attacking up the left flank, and the lack of passing on the attacking right, is also in part due to Riether still getting to know his teammates. Though a one-game sample isn’t conclusive of anything, he looks to have perhaps better straight-line speed than Riise up and down the flank and good control of his passes (completed 44 of 49, though most of them went sideways or backward), and maybe he’ll do more attacking once his teammates have a better idea of when and where he’ll make forward runs.

  2. It is a fascinating map especially the lower one but I question it’s real worth when Hangeland and Hughes are so large and Kaca is so small. It is all very well basing everything on the number of passes (which I’m assuming this does) but passes back and forth between the centrebacks and to and from the keeper should not have the same weight as passes further up the field, or am I missing something?

  3. Still quite instructive. Riise is, quite simply, a different player to the one who started with us last season. He’s another one that I look at and think “hang on, how many better players are there in the league at that position?”. I think in Riise, Diarra, Dembele and Hangeland we have four Championshipish calibre players, with Dempsey another and Ruiz potentially joining them,. That’s frightening.

    1. Schwarzer might belong on that list too; for all that I’d like to see Stockdale given a chance to make an impact, Schwarzer has done precious little to deserve a demotion.

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