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.