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Do The Statistics Lie?

Article submission by voiceoftheholte

Do the statistics lie?

Last season we played 38 league games and used 3 different starting formations, we played 4-3-3 which was 4 defenders, 3 central midfielders and three forwards (one of which was actually a winger, Ashley Young). This pretty much mirrored the formation used by Ron Saunders when we won the League. We played 7 games with this formation (Man City, Liverpool, Sunderland at home and Chelski, WBA, Spuds and Stoke away).

We won 4, drew 1 and lost 2 scoring 12 goals and conceding 10. This is an average of 1.85 points per game. Over a season this would get 70 points, enough to qualify for the champions league more often than not.

We played 4-3-3(4-5-1). This was where we had both Milner and Young, not playing as out and out wingers but supporting the lone striker, Gabi. The midfield 3 generally consisted of Sidwell, Barry and Petrov. With this formation we played 13 games (Blackburn, Boro, Manure, Fulham, Bolton, Arsenal and WBA at home and Arsenal, Bluescouse, Wet Spam, Hull and Sunderland away).

We won 9, drew 3 and lost 1 (Boro at home when Sidwell gave them a goal in the last minute). We scored 25 goals and conceded 12. This was an average of 2.31 points per game. Over a season it would be 88 points. Enough on most occasions to win the league.

The remaining games we played 4-4-2 with two out and out wingers in Milner and Young, and Barry and Petrov as the middle two. With this formation we played 18 games (Wigan, Chelski, Stoke, Spuds, Bluescouse, Wet Spam, Hull and the Barcodes at home and Pompey, Blackburn, Man City, Liverpool, Manure, Bolton, Fulham and Boro away). We won 4 (Hull, Pompey, Barcodes and Blackburn. Not exactly great scalps and Blackburn aside very average performances). We drew 7 and lost 7. We scored 17 and conceded 26.

This was a return of 1.08 points per game and would get us 41 points per season. Relegation form.

Young and Milner are both great players, but these facts simply highlight that they can not play in the same team as part of a 4-4-2 formation, only as part of a 4-3-3 (4-5-1, call it what you want). If MON can not see this fact and continues with that formation we are in trouble. It is not a Heskey, Carew, Barry, Laursen issue. It is a formation. By persisting with it only amplifies the other weaknesses in the team such as Cuellar, Davies being a weak partnership, lack of natural leader, getting overrun in midfield due to lack of numbers.

It is simply not possible in today's football environment to play two out and out wide men because every other club knows that to combat it you simply have to win the midfield battle.

MON the stats do not lie. Please adjust your formation accordingly.




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The Journalist

Writer: voiceoftheholte Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 18 2009

Time: 6:42PM

Your Comments

Bravo, Bravo, Bravissimo! Exactly how I felt anyway and you've added the stats to prove it. MON doesn't do stats though.
Kiwivillan
Bravo, Bravo, Bravissimo! Exactly how I felt anyway and you've added the stats to prove it. MON doesn't do stats though.
Kiwivillan
I think we actually defend better in a 4-5-1 formation, with the wingers which i believe at the time was Young on the left, gabby on the right and then Carew in the centre. Once we signed Milner, MON felt like he had to accomodate him all the time. Good information and well presented voth
VillaSlice
I think we actually defend better in a 4-5-1 formation, with the wingers which i believe at the time was Young on the left, gabby on the right and then Carew in the centre. Once we signed Milner, MON felt like he had to accomodate him all the time. Good information and well presented voth
VillaSlice
Spot on VOTH. It really is plain to see that we have far more success playing 1 up front and 5across the middle as far as i'm concerned. And it's obvious that MON doesn't do stats Kiwi, i've just read a piece where he's talking of his suprise that we used 17 players last season whilst others used 23 or many more......... I find the fact that he didn't know that quite staggering........
Mylerneredfriends
Hit the nail on the head there mate. Bringing in Heskey and changing your very successful formation was the start of your demise last year.
HuddersfieldYiddo
Spot on VOTH. It really is plain to see that we have far more success playing 1 up front and 5across the middle as far as i'm concerned. And it's obvious that MON doesn't do stats Kiwi, i've just read a piece where he's talking of his suprise that we used 17 players last season whilst others used 23 or many more......... I find the fact that he didn't know that quite staggering........
Mylerneredfriends
Hit the nail on the head there mate. Bringing in Heskey and changing your very successful formation was the start of your demise last year.
HuddersfieldYiddo
its easier if we sack him and get a proper manager in even the MON lovers are picking holes in him now !
villan57
its easier if we sack him and get a proper manager in even the MON lovers are picking holes in him now !
villan57
well its not even stats, it just makes sense - our defence is clearly not up to the job so how do you help them - put more in front of them. It allowed milner and ash freer roles and even allowed gabby to score for cryin out loud! 4-5-1 all the way!!!
goodb_2
well its not even stats, it just makes sense - our defence is clearly not up to the job so how do you help them - put more in front of them. It allowed milner and ash freer roles and even allowed gabby to score for cryin out loud! 4-5-1 all the way!!!
goodb_2
Too many people make the call that 4-5-1 is a defensive line up and that is not the way to play and win, but as a few of us say and the stats don't lie, therein lies our strength! Gabby Ashley and James have the pace to make this formation work, both in defence and offense. Get that third man in the middle of midfield for crying out loud, we need him. A midfield of Ashley, Stylian, Fabian/Sidders, Milner and Gabby would scare the living S*** out of any Premiership side today.
Charizma
Too many people make the call that 4-5-1 is a defensive line up and that is not the way to play and win, but as a few of us say and the stats don't lie, therein lies our strength! Gabby Ashley and James have the pace to make this formation work, both in defence and offense. Get that third man in the middle of midfield for crying out loud, we need him. A midfield of Ashley, Stylian, Fabian/Sidders, Milner and Gabby would scare the living S*** out of any Premiership side today.
Charizma
Ah, 71.6% of all people know statistics can be used to prove anything ;-) No I agree totally mate, I've been singing from this hymn sheet since his first season, and even more so since last season.
Sheriff Kimbo
Ah, 71.6% of all people know statistics can be used to prove anything ;-) No I agree totally mate, I've been singing from this hymn sheet since his first season, and even more so since last season.
Sheriff Kimbo
In fact looking at the games, if you remember the win at Pompey involved Craig Gardner on the right, which I'm assuming has even more of a detrimental effect on the last statistic, as Ashley Young wasn't even playing.
Sheriff Kimbo
In fact looking at the games, if you remember the win at Pompey involved Craig Gardner on the right, which I'm assuming has even more of a detrimental effect on the last statistic, as Ashley Young wasn't even playing.
Sheriff Kimbo
Seriously, i've been saying this same thing since we won at Portsmouth and lost against Chelsea. I am astounded that MON fails to either see or aknowledge it!!!!!!!
Nigel-not-Reo
Seriously, i've been saying this same thing since we won at Portsmouth and lost against Chelsea. I am astounded that MON fails to either see or aknowledge it!!!!!!!
Nigel-not-Reo
Anyway, what do we know, we're just fans!?
Nigel-not-Reo
Anyway, what do we know, we're just fans!?
Nigel-not-Reo
Very interesting reading, lets hope to see more 442 this season... Sorry couldn't resist.
TeddyLyon
Very interesting reading, lets hope to see more 442 this season... Sorry couldn't resist.
TeddyLyon
i agree that we should change to 4-5-1 but i think the rot started earlier than the change in formation as even in during those mentioned wins we looked poor (west ham, hull, defending at everton, albion). saying that we looked excellent in both games against arsenal and i think our last win on that run was blackburn which i thought was one of our best performances of the season. if you play 442 you need two strong athletic cm's which we didnt have last year and our mediocre central defenders were constantly under pressure. looks the same again this year.
themightyatom
i agree that we should change to 4-5-1 but i think the rot started earlier than the change in formation as even in during those mentioned wins we looked poor (west ham, hull, defending at everton, albion). saying that we looked excellent in both games against arsenal and i think our last win on that run was blackburn which i thought was one of our best performances of the season. if you play 442 you need two strong athletic cm's which we didnt have last year and our mediocre central defenders were constantly under pressure. looks the same again this year.
themightyatom
Agree with all the above. I also wonder what poor Reo-Coker has to do to get a game?? I know he isn't the best passer in the league, but he's a machine that'll stamp his authority on the backside of a midfield 3 of coker/petrov/sidwell or delph...
Ericols_Son
Agree with all the above. I also wonder what poor Reo-Coker has to do to get a game?? I know he isn't the best passer in the league, but he's a machine that'll stamp his authority on the backside of a midfield 3 of coker/petrov/sidwell or delph...
Ericols_Son
 

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