Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Do The Villa Stats Lie?

Do The Villa Stats Lie?

Do the stats lie

I am a strong believer in that there are three reasons for Villas fade away in form. In no particular order, fatigue! Starting the season in July and losing our left back before the start of the league is one.

Secondly losing Martin Laursen as an inspirational leader is another. We have lacked leadership on the pitch since his injury. Strange then that Okey Cokey has been largely overlooked because he was purchased chiefly because of his ability to be a vocal leader on the pitch.

Thirdly (and imho most importantly)and linking in with Laursen's injury, we have changed from the successful 4-3-3 (4-5-1 some call it) formation. This has meant we have stopped playing with Petrov in the holding role in front of the back 4. This happened almost simultaneously as Laursen was injured and when the weakened defence, most needed the added protection a holding midfielder provides.

Having two excellent wide players who work tirelessly, but who hog the touchlines, leaves Petrov and Barry too much ground to cover in the middle of the park. We got away with this when Laursen was playing most weeks because Laursen was so good. However without his brilliance, whichever central defence pairing we have used since, have not got the ability to play without the support a holding midfielder provides. Result is we have been shipping goals. So it is partly the lack of quality to best suit that formation and partly the fault of playing the wrong formation.

I have looked at the starting formation for all 34 league games this season. On 21 occasions we started with a recognised two man strike force. This was a combination of 2 of either Carew, Heskey or Gabbi. These 21 games resulted in 6 victories, 7 draws and 8 defeats for a total of 25 points. An average of 1.19 points per game. Over a season this would be enough for a lower mid table finish.

The other 13 games were played with just 1 recognised striker, 4 attacking midfielders and Petrov providing the holding role in front of the back 4. This resulted in 9 victories, 3 draws and just 1 defeat (Middsbrough). This was also a game that Petrov missed, emphasising his value as the holding midfielder. This is an average of 2.31 points per game. This is more than the 2.26 per game average that Manure have to be top of the league.

So in hindsight I would say the stats would say that MON found the winning formulae. But after buying Heskey as cover for Carew, who then returned from injury, had three front players vying for 1 place. He has since persisted with playing at least two strikers every game, rather than leaving 2 of his big names on the bench. This change exactly matches the dip in results and has happened over a large portion of the season, not the odd game.

So the stats do not lie imho. Had we persisted with the 4-3-3 formation, not only could we be chasing fourth spot, we might actually be going for the title.

voiceoftheholte

Exclusive to Vital ! Read now ! The Vital Boxing John H Stracey Interview



For the very latest Premier League odds

For massive weekly jackpots - Play the Football Pools Online




Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:voiceoftheholte
Date:Tuesday April 28 2009
Time: 10:06AM

Comments

0
Great article mate , have been arguing this point about the formation with my mates for ages , and now i have some stats to back it up . The only thing i will not agree with is the fatigue side of things , these players get top money all year to perform all season and if the season starts in july so be it ,they should be fit enough to compete all season from the first game to the last.
nick1
28/04/2009 10:25:00
0
Very interesting read. If petrov always played and we played 4-5-1 we would be champions!!! :) Also the tiredness has played a huge part in this and getting money doesn't stop players legs from getting tired. Your body can only get so fit and no amount of money can chage that!!
AVNath
28/04/2009 10:33:00
0
Very well put argument, seems everyone else can see it other than MON. Gabby's loss of form coincided with him having to play up front with Heskey. Shame the sack of spuds has been used instead of either Sidwell, Nige or Gardner to help the midfield out, especially against Chelsea where they always pack the midfield which was also the start of our bad run.
Villan444
28/04/2009 10:35:00
0
I do not think players suffer from physical tirdness so much, as mental tiredness. We are a a reasonably young team and the mental demands of coping with a long season are immense. Learning to cope with pressure takes it toll but they will all be better for it next season.
voiceoftheholte
28/04/2009 10:42:00
0
Good article, the thing is, both Gabby and Heskey can play on the wings, so its not like he has 3 strikers because 2 could act as cover for Milner and Young as well as Carew (for example).
young_jonah
28/04/2009 11:02:00
0
the decline in form has coincided with MON playing Young and Milner in the same side. When he doesnn't as at Blackburn we occasionally win. Not that it matters of course the only reason for the drop in form is the lack of quality on the pitch and the inability of the manager to compensate for it over a season.
avfc48
28/04/2009 12:05:00
0
It's also coincided with the loss of Laursen, (but you can always fit something to an agenda) the clutch going on my car and an increase in the immigrant population, I blame the poles!
steff_the_villan
28/04/2009 12:35:00
0
What is also remarkable is that, when we were playing 4-5-1, it was Sidwell who was the third midfielder, and in almost every game he played, he was at best a passenger, and at worst a liability. Having lost Laursen, I'm sure even if we'd persisted with 4-5-1 we'd have suffered a little, but as the writer points out, a holding midfielder would help to paper over any cracks.
Albarnista
28/04/2009 12:45:00
0
But I wouldn't advise anyone to hold their breath in anticipation of a return to 4-5-1. Ironically, it was O'Neill's ineptitude in the transfer market (going into a season with just 2 strikers) rather than tactical acumen that saw a switch to 4-5-1. O'Neill is a fan of 4-4-2 (which isn't a bad thing of itself), and a fan of Heskey, so 4-4-2 it is. Prepare for more dodgy defending and ineffectual attacking, and the qualifying rounds of the shiny new Europa League.
Albarnista
28/04/2009 12:49:00
0
Sidwell always got involved when he was playing and put himself about. Even if the quality wasn't there, he seemed to do a role by annoying the opposition or making runs into the box. Even if they were dummy runs and noone passed to him, he still put off the other team.
Villan444
28/04/2009 12:54:00
Page 1/2
  1. 1
  2. 2

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Audio - Bruce Demands Better

Manager Steve Bruce has given his immediate reaction to Aston Villa's victory over Wigan Athletic earlier today and he wants far more than he saw.

Stats: Villa v Wigan Athletic

All the stats from Villa (1) vs (0) Wigan Athletic, Villa Park, 10/12/16 Att: 29392

Aston Villa v Wigan - Team Sheets

Aston Villa are at Villa Park with Wigan the visitors for the latest Championship game.

Aston Villa v Wigan - Follow Live On Twitter

Aston Villa are at Villa Park with Wigan the visitors today, this will be a 3pm kick-off.

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Profile
Mike Field
Editor email
Profile
Steve Wade
no email
Profile
Villa_Grizzly
no email
Profile
Turkish Penguin
no email
Profile
Glensider
no email
Profile
Chris Heath
no email
Profile
M Calucar
no email
Profile
JuanPablo Angel
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Wigan MotM
Suggested By:
Gollini11%
Hutton5%
Elphick5%
Chester0%
Amavi5%
Gardner11%
Jedinak11%
Adomah0%
Grealish47%
Ayew0%
Kodjia5%
Sub - McCormack0%
Sub - Gestede0%
Sub - Bacuna0%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Brighton 20 12 6 2 42 19
2 Newcastle 19 13 1 5 40 21
3 Reading 19 10 4 5 34 1
4 Leeds Utd 20 10 2 8 32 1
5 Birmingham 19 8 7 4 31 2
6 Sheff Wed 19 9 4 6 31 1
7 Norwich 19 9 3 7 30 4
8 Huddersfield 19 9 3 7 30 -3
9 Derby County 19 8 5 6 29 4
10 Fulham 19 7 7 5 28 9
11 Bristol City 19 8 3 8 27 4
12 Barnsley 19 7 4 8 25 3
13 Forest 19 7 4 8 25 1
14 Preston 19 7 4 8 25 1
15 Aston Villa 19 5 10 4 25 1
16 Ipswich 19 6 6 7 24 -2
17 Q.P.R. 19 6 5 8 23 -8
18 Brentford 19 6 4 9 22 -2
19 Burton 19 5 7 7 22 -4
20 Wolves 19 5 6 8 21 -3
21 Blackburn 19 5 5 9 20 -7
22 Cardiff 19 5 4 10 19 -12
23 Wigan 19 4 6 9 18 -5
24 Rotherham 19 1 4 14 7 -26
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Red Bull Racing to take advantage of Merc turmoil?
Latest Vital Boxing News
Parker Claims WBO Heavyweight Crown
Write for Vital Football

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Wigan Athletic (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 13 2016 7:45PM : Norwich City (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 18 2016 12:00PM : Queens Park Rangers (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 26 2016 3:00PM : Burton Albion (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 29 2016 7:45PM : Leeds United (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Jan 2 2017 3:00PM : Cardiff City (a)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.The Fear212
2.JuanPabloAngel139
3.HeathfieldRoad187497
4.sirdennis88
5.BodyButter74
6.TuBBz74
7.Stephen Jay Hawkings61
8.DeanoVilla51
9.Wurzel49
10.kefkat41
The Vital Football Members League