What to say about Kit Symons that hasn’t already been said? We got our immediate bump when he replaced Magath, but have essentially plateaued for the past calendar year.
Our offense is on fire and something to behold when fully functioning. The one-two passing and fluidity were such a reprieve from the nebulous Magath and static Jol era. And it worked: currently we lead the league in goals scored and shooting percentage. Our PDO is second to Boro.
Yet this type of offense would be Kit’s undoing, as the defense would be exposed whenever our midfielders moved upfield. It was also due for a major regression (those numbers weren’t going to keep up with a defense this bad).
Speaking of, stating our defense is bad is now akin to saying iTunes sucks. It’s been so bad for so long we’ve sort of just accepted it.
Ted Knutson, creator of of StatsBomb.com and now analytics honcho at Brentford, came up with a theory that relegation candidates often average 16 shots against per game.
Although this is presumably for the EPL, and things in the Championship are slightly different, but if we still apply that metric Fulham were averaging about 14 shots against per game this season. Last season was over 15.
Additionally, Fulham’s Danger Zone Against percentage (this being shots that are essentially point blank) this season is 42%. Last season, when I last calculated it in early April, it was 41.9%.
Despite all the changes in personnel, there hasn’t been much systemic improvement with our defense.
So Kit had to go. It’s a shame as he seemed like a genuinely nice person. And one thing becomes evident when looking at the numbers: if we wanted to remain a mid-level Championship club, Kit would have been a fine manager.
But we don’t want to be mid-level Championship side, let alone remain in it.
We want to be in the Premier League.