Statsbomb bits

Always interesting. This basically sums us up:

Normally I am fairly conservative about suggesting managers should be sacked. After all, if you are going to bother firing one, they should probably be really bad andyou need to be able to replace them with someone better.

On the other hand, I have publicly battered The Guardian’s writers on Twitter for writing that Fulham were too good to go down.

Martin Jol should have been fired months ago.

As of October 1st, Fulham were giving up 20 shots per game while only taking 8 themselves. This is very, verybad. Through this weekend’s dire performance, where they lost to one of the worst offensive teams in the league by a 4-0 score line Fulham are…

Giving up 20 shots a game, while only taking 8.

Go figure.

Even Pescara, who most models considered to be the worst team in the big European leagues by far last season took 10 shots while giving up about 18 a game. Fulham were worse than that.

(Yes, I know our predictive model liked them more than I do, and I know why, and all I can say is that it was horribly wrong here. Welcome to modelling.)

The important question is: Can they be saved?

I honestly don’t know. I think Riether and Hangeland are pretty good in their back line, and I think Berbatov and Ruiz are very good up front. Everyone else on that team is either a question mark, actively bad, or truly horrific. The midfield simply doesn’t work with how Jol wanted to play, and the axis of Sidwell and Parker seems to do absolutely nothing to help either end of the pitch. Meulensteen has his work cut out for him, but the next few months should teach us a lot about whether a bad team with pockets of talent can be saved by a new manager.

Fulham need to be really careful about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

10 thoughts on “Statsbomb bits

  1. I don’t want to go over really old ground but the problem is 11 players (OK 10 I’ll forgive the keeper) who aren’t quite fit enough and play as if it was a pick up game with strangers.

    Our problem is coaching, both tactical and fitness, and it’s a disgrace that Jol let it sink to this level.

    The players theoretically are good enough because they’ve proved it in the past but getting them up to speed as a team will be a hell of an ask.

  2. I’d like to know what Statsbomb thinks about Richardson as well, because I have a vastly different impression of his quality than a lot of observers. Whoscored.com ranks our players thusly (ranks out of 288 players with at least an average number of appearances in the Premier League this season):

    107. Kasami
    133. Stockdale
    138. Sidwell
    144. Ruiz
    153. Hughes
    167. Parker
    171. Amorebieta
    175. Riether
    211. Stekelenburg
    220. Hangeland
    238. Berbatov
    241. Richardson
    250. Bent
    259. Duff
    272. Kacaniklic
    280. Taarabt

    The oft-discussed Senderos doesn’t appear because he’s only had 6 appearances, but if you expand it to all players, they rate him our second-best player, between Kasami and Stockdale.

    And left backs:

    23. Evra
    40. Baines
    41. Clichy
    45. Santon
    63. Pieters
    71. Gibbs
    82. Vertonghen
    98. Davies
    100. Shaw
    106. Luna
    136. Figueroa
    151. Jose Enrique
    157. Kolarov
    160. Ridgewell
    169. Cole (wow)
    177. Moxey
    214. Rat
    216. O’Brien
    219. Olsson
    223. Taylor
    240. Colback
    241. Richardson

    And this is the list after I removed players who don’t primarily play left back. The only players who are listed as sometimes left backs and ranked below Richardson are Vurnon Anita (who makes infrequent starts for Newcastle at central midfield and hasn’t really played left back since last year) and Nacho Monreal (who primarily makes sub appearances in midfield for Arsenal). I’m sorry to keep banging this drum, but he’s terrible.

    1. I am coming round to the view that he isn’t up to it, presumably in part owing to injuries.

      Sidwell scores highly as he has a nose for goal which is quite reasonable for his position.

      1. By the way, small sample size concerns abound of course, but Whoscored ranks both Briggs and Riise (in that order) ahead of Richardson – Riise narrowly ahead of the West Ham pair of Rat and O’Brien, Briggs narrowly behind Moxey.

        Sidwell chips in the odd goal, we know, but also is stronger on the ball than Parker (1.2 times dispossessed and 0.5 turnovers per game vs. 1.7 and 1.3 for Parker), stronger in the air as well (wins 1.2 aerial duels per game vs. 0.3 for Parker), and hasn’t gotten himself into disciplinary trouble (just 2 yellows in 13 matches so far this year).

  3. Can we read the “Sidwell and Parker seems to do absolutely nothing to help either end of the pitch” line as a rebuttal to the jingoism that we need “workhorses” like the two (Englishmen) to guide us to safety?

    Please?

  4. One a side note, how many times did Parker get the ball in the attacking half only to circle around to his right and end up in the center circle? He’s a workhorse alright, going around the mill wheel.

    I expect we’ll be seeing a lot more of Boatang.

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