Fullback debacle


Ted Knutson of Statsbomb has produced the above for Fulham’s fullbacks. The point here is that the spider web would be all full of colour if the player was doing all of these things really well relative to others at their position. So per 90 minutes, how many times are Riether and Riise tackling, or intercepting opponents’ passes?  Well, the answer is “never”, almost.  These numbers are adjusted to cater for the frequencies of opponents’ attacks, too.  So with all the defending Fulham did, the fact that our full-backs basically never tackled looks troublesome.  Riether’s defenders would say that he is a good attacking player, but here we see that he didn’t ever cross the ball either.

Here is an explanation that includes Lionel Messi and the average player.

10 thoughts on “Fullback debacle

    1. Oh yeah. The point was meant to be that both players were laughably absent in terms of tackling and interceptions. They basically didn’t defend, which is weird for riise as he didn’t attack either.

    2. Tony I agree with you entirely. I had thought I was a “visual” person and certainly I glaze over when presented with a bunch of numerical statistics. However, perhaps I am just too old to get my head around it but I find this very difficult to make sense of. To be fair I should put my hand up and say I am not a big fan of stats, never have been. I don’t think, in a game of football with so many variables that they can truly be taken too seriously and can be manipulated to prove just about anything you want them to. That said, I understand the point these are trying to make and I’m not sure we need a computer to tell us how bad our defending was last year. I’d like to Senderos’s stats and Amobieta’s along side as well and see what effect their questionable play had on the others was.. And then there were the times when Rieter was played in midfield and JAR was played in front of Richardson… Actually no, please don’t show me any more stats, I’m over last season.

  1. Gosh, that is not good.

    Obviously the highlight video from a friendly is far, far from enough to make any kind of judgment on, but Stafylidis and Voser both looked good against Motherwell, from what I saw.

  2. Yes, they both endured a rather torrid campaign – the occasional solid game was followed up by an exceptionally poor game, or indeed run of games. The poor games really stuck in the mind as an abiding memory of just how bad we were – Reither repeatedly caught up the pitch in the 2nd half of games leaving gaping holes behind him & the team conceding with him having just returned to the half way line; Riise’s performance against Sunderland up there with as poor a defensive contribution as you can remember – you could understand why Jol had decided to malign him at the start of the year. It’s nothing personal against either player, they both seemed willing professionals but for whatever reason they consistently failed with the basics & left a shaky defence even leakier. It had you wishing you still had Konchesky & Pantsil, who I am sure were undoubtedly cheaper on the wage bill!

    What probably bothered me most about this though was the repeated failings of any of the coaches to attempt to do something different in the face of this type of evidence. I’d argue that Richardson was tried & preferred in the left back position, but on analysis probably didn’t offer much more defensively. He was a far greater contributor pushed up the pitch where his pace & willing runs added a dimension to the attack, and at the back half of the season was one of our most effective performers.

    But it struck me as utterly obvious that a coach should have at least experimented with 3 centre halves, and 2 full backs to see if that could’ve stemmed the flow – particularly in away games. Martinez did this to great effect for Wigan, Van Gaal used this tactic at times in the World Cup, and we had the abundance of similar quality centre halves to do so. I’m guessing all coaches felt it would have reduced their options further forward, but at no point last season (save the ultra-defensive games against Utd then Liverpool under Rene) did you feel that we weren’t capable of creating a chance or scoring a goal. The clear issue was that we were conceding a ridiculous number of chances, from the 1st game of the season onwards.

    Yet nothing ever seemed to be done about it.


    Oh well, let’s see if the new recruits can offer more hope in the new season.

    1. Just as you say. Could have been addressed but never was. Would 3 more points have accrued if had been? You’d have to think so. Seemed an outstanding case of ineptitude until Brazil v Germany hoved into view. Scolari must have been taking tips.

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