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The "do they mean us?" thread pt 2

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22 hours ago, egg_fried_rice said:

https://www.football365.com/news/whisper-it-but-leicester-city-arent-a-good-attacking-side

 

The general consensus on Leicester City is that Brendan Rodgers has put together a squad that’s 1) young 2) exciting 3) a genuine candidate for the top four. It’s one of the reasons this season is so f***ing brilliant. All of this may be true, but the stats might surprise you, particularly if you watched their 5-0 demolition of Newcastle.

Let’s get numerical and see exactly what Leicester are doing right (and wrong).

 

Attack
As we know, total shots tend to indicate the strength of a team’s attack. The top three in the league right now are Manchester City, Chelsea, and Liverpool. Where are Leicester City? At 13th, between Brighton and Norwich.

Okay, but the Foxes are tied for fourth in total goals, which probably means they’re getting pretty good shots. So naturally we go to xG, and we find that Leicester are…19th. That’s right: both Statsbomb and Understat have them next to last in the league in xG, ahead only of Newcastle. If we tweak it a bit, and drop penalties from the equation, they jump all the way to 18th, ahead of Crystal Palace as well.

 

Fourth in goals and 18th in xG is a gigantic discrepancy, which among other things suggests that Leicester get a high percentage of their shots on target. Going to that number, we find they’ve made the keeper work with 30.1% of their shots. The league average is 33.9%. They’re actually below average in hitting the target.

So how are they scoring? The answer is shooting percentage, or the percentage of their shots on target that actually go in. If we discount the one own goal, Leicester have scored 13 times from 28 shots on target. That’s 46.4%. That’s also impossible to sustain. Mo Salah, in his miracle year, was at 47.8%, and no one has a team of 2017/18 Mo Salahs. Last year the Man City attack had a shooting percentage of 35%. Liverpool did a bit better, at 37.6%. Arsenal topped the lot with a super-high 40.6%. This is a stat that tends to regress very strongly to the mean (at the moment 31.7%), so we can be sure Leicester’s numbers will drop.

When we look at the team’s individual scorers, we can see the problem more clearly. One man dominates the stats, Jamie Vardy with five goals, well ahead of James Maddison, Wilfred Ndidi and Ricardo Pereira with two each. But Vardy’s five goals have come from only seven shots on target, an absurd shooting percentage of 71.4%. Once again, Mo Salah’s big year was 47.8%. Going to conversion rate, Vardy’s five goals have come from only 12 unblocked shots, a similarly ridiculous 41.7%. The magnificent Mo only hit 28.9%.

As for the others, Maddison shoots as soon as he wakes up in the morning, but his two goals have come from only four shots on target. Ndidi and Pereira? They each have two goals from…two shots on target. By my calculation, that’s exactly 100%. We’re bordering on madness here.

So something has to change if Leicester are going to continue scoring at a reasonable rate. Most obviously, they’re going to have to start creating more and better shot opportunities, something to take them above 18th in xG. The stats show they’re tied for seventh in deep completions, which are passes completed within 20 yards of goal, excluding crosses. They’re getting the ball into attacking areas reasonably well, but not creating much with it.

Which brings us to James Maddison, one of the best number 10s around. Except you wouldn’t know it from the stats. Maddison has an open-play xA of 0.10 per 90 minutes. That’s behind such creative luminaries as Isaac Hayden (0.19), Scott McTominay (0.13), Fabinho (0.11), and – brace yourself – Fred (0.11).

 

James Maddison - the stats

2018/19 (1st) v 2019/20

Played - 36 v 7
Goals - 7 v 2
Assists - 7 v 2
xG90 - 0.23 v 0.25
xA90 - 0.25 v 0.15
Sh90 - 2.80 v 3.01
KP90 - 3.13 v 1.58

Goal threat ➕
Creativity ➖

Now let's explore his record under Rodgers...

 
 
 

To coin a phrase, WTF? Well, the F is that for the most part Maddison isn’t playing as a number 10 at all. He’s been asked to play on the wing and move centrally where possible in order to create. This sort of thing can work: David Silva did it for Man City under Manuel Pellegrini and Xherdan Shaqiri managed occasionally at Stoke for Mark Hughes. But at the moment it just isn’t happening. If you have the time, go to Whoscored and take a look at Maddison’s heatmaps. The only one that looks like a playmaker’s is against Sheffield United, and it’s no coincidence that match saw him create easily his best chance of the season, on a counter-attack for Vardy.

A logical way to get Maddison more involved would be to play him in his natural position. A 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 could put him directly behind the striker, with Youri Tielemans pairing with Ndidi in central midfield. You’d have to play two wingers, but the squad has Harvey Barnes, Ayoze Perez, Marc Albrighton and Demarai Gray (if he’s still alive) to choose from. None of those are likely to tear up the league, but with Maddison doing the providing, they can all produce.

In any case, Leicester are right now the furthest thing from an attacking juggernaut. Newcastle might disagree, but that brings Steve Bruce into the equation, and we don’t want to go there. (P.S. Maddison didn’t play in that match.)

 

Defence
This is where we really want to go. Because while Leicester’s attacking numbers are poor, their defensive numbers are very good. They’ve allowed a meagre seven goals in eight games; only Liverpool have conceded fewer. In total shots allowed they rank sixth, in xGA anywhere from third to fifth. In opponent’s deep completions allowed, they’re sixth. They’re just a good defensive side.

How are they doing it? First, they harass the opposition. Their PPDA (passes per defensive action) is an outstanding 7.03, the best in the league, ahead of such notable pressing sides as Manchester City, Liverpool and Southampton. But unlike those three, Leicester are not a high-pressing team: they rank only 12th in possessions won in the final third. They tend to wait until the opposition gets in or near their half, and then make life difficult.

The strong defence is also reflected in some basic raw numbers. The Foxes lead the league in tackles, and it’s not close. In blocked passes they’re on top as well. In interceptions they’re a healthy fourth. These are particularly impressive stats, given that Leicester are a relatively high-possession side, keeping the ball 53.9 percent of the time.

The main man is the criminally underpublicised Wilfred Ndidi. How underpublicised? A website not a million miles from here left him off the list of the ten best central midfielders last season. Idrissa Gana took second place, and although his entry noted that only Ndidi had more combined tackles and interceptions, there was no room for the Nigerian.

This year there will be. As that same website noted recently, Ndidi leads the league in both tackles (joint top with teammate Pereira) and interceptions. And stats aside, just watch him play. He covers an amazing amount of ground, and his reading of the game is excellent, notably improved over previous seasons. Can we give Rodgers credit for that? Let’s do it anyway. Back to stats: Ndidi’s tackles/90, interceptions/90 and blocked passes/90 are at all-time personal highs. If N’Golo Kanté weren’t around, he’d be the absolute no-questions-asked gold standard.

 

No Premier League player has won more tackles this season than Leicester City's 22 year old Wilfred Ndidi, only two players in Europe's top 5 leagues have won more than his 35 (5 per game).

Ndidi has made more interceptions than any other player - 26 (3.7 per game).

View image on Twitter
 
 
 
 

If we go to the back four, one man has definitely received his share of headlines, and that’s Çağlar Söyüncü, otherwise known as The Replacement for Harry Maguire. I confess I’m not part of the cheering section yet. He has more pace than just about any centre-half in the league, but he’s only average in the air (65.1% on aerial duels) and his marking and judgment are erratic. Salah made him look ordinary several times in the match at Anfield last week. Hopefully he’ll develop over the course of the season, the way Ndidi has from last year.

Söyüncü’s partner is Jonny Evans, who doesn’t need to develop. He’s been providing quality work without much fuss for several years now. The (obligatory mention) former Manchester United man is a proverbial cool head, whose biggest problem is staying fit. So far he’s played every minute of every game, so fingers crossed for more. If he’s in the line-up, the back line will always be well organised.

As for the full-backs, Pereira is the star: his tackles/90 are easily his highest ever, second in the league among full-backs to the one and only Aaron Wan-Bisskaka. Last year his defending was fairly erratic, but here too Rodgers has done his work. On the other side, Ben Chilwell’s tackle numbers are much less impressive, and frankly he’s not in Pereira’s class as a defender. But his tackle percentage is at an all-time personal high, and if Ndidi and Pereira are improving, there’s every chance England’s number 3 will too.

We shouldn’t forget Kasper Schmeichel, who’s had both good years and bad years in recent memory. This year looks like one of the good ones. Right now he’s third in the league in save percentage, behind only Hugo Lloris and Dean Henderson of Sheffield United. Taking all the xG stuff into account, he’s still third among shot-stoppers. Couple that with the team’s overall strong defensive play, and the Foxes just don’t concede that often.

So that’s Leicester City. Young? No argument there. Exciting? You decide: most people don’t find defence as exciting as attack. Top four? Well, let’s be sceptical for the moment. The Foxes just aren’t a very good attacking side, and Rodgers will have to change his approach in order to make them so. But in a year where half the Big Six look seriously deficient, a strong defence, plus a little bit more oomph up front, make a realistic recipe for the Champions League.

He seems to not know that vardy's shot conversion is always high, he only really shots at clear cut chances whereas mo and kane shoot all the ****ing time.

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Haha, that article referring to Mo Salah's 'miracle year' lol

 

As undeniably brilliant as he was, that 'miracle' culminated in precisely 0 trophies that season :doh:

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3 minutes ago, Dahnsouff said:

Blimey - someone buy our recruitment team a load of pizza's :appl:

 

image.thumb.png.a69747f6e9bd2e947d0fbe1e1197d1f1.png

 

Mahrez is debatable - £60m is hardly a pittance but I still think we got shafted for at least a further £20m. If we'd done Man City up like we did Chelsea and Man Utd then Mahrez would have gone for £100m.

Edited by ealingfox

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1 minute ago, ealingfox said:

 

Mahrez is debatable - £60m is hardly a pittance but I still think we got shafted for at least a further £20m. If we'd done Man City up like we did Chelsea and Man Utd then Mahrez should have gone for £100m.

I think Mahrez nearly going on strike twice and creeping towards 28 meant asking for £100m was futile, Man City also are bastards for negotiating. We would have got that from Man Utd easily haha

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37 minutes ago, ealingfox said:

 

Mahrez is debatable - £60m is hardly a pittance but I still think we got shafted for at least a further £20m. If we'd done Man City up like we did Chelsea and Man Utd then Mahrez would have gone for £100m.

 

35 minutes ago, Ric Flair said:

I think Mahrez nearly going on strike twice and creeping towards 28 meant asking for £100m was futile, Man City also are bastards for negotiating. We would have got that from Man Utd easily haha

I think we handled the Mahrez situation excellently. Man City came in on the last but one day of the window so our stance became £90m or **** off. Mahrez has been promised that he could leave for a reasonable fee but Vichai knew that we’d be ripped off for a replacement on the last day of a January window. We proved that we wouldn’t be bullied even if it meant our players going AWOL; we also proved to the rest of the squad that we won’t tolerate that sort of behaviour. 
 

I agree that we could/should have got more for him in the end but he’d earned a move away and it was time to just take what we could get IMO

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Anyone heard the new Forest manager chant ? Apparently he hates us....weird given that there is no rivalry. Tin pot club trying to mix it with the elite :) 

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16 minutes ago, Mickyblueeyes said:

Anyone heard the new Forest manager chant ? Apparently he hates us....weird given that there is no rivalry. Tin pot club trying to mix it with the elite :)

Seriously mickey, we've only just calmed the natives down from the last cycle of this tosh ……...

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2 hours ago, Ric Flair said:

I think Mahrez nearly going on strike twice and creeping towards 28 meant asking for £100m was futile, Man City also are bastards for negotiating. We would have got that from Man Utd easily haha

i get the point about age, but the fact we sold mahrez to the richest club in the world for pretty much the same amount as watford sold richarlison to everton, in the same summer, is ridiculous. we got shafted and he's worth upwards of 100 mill. 

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20 minutes ago, ScouseFox said:

i get the point about age, but the fact we sold mahrez to the richest club in the world for pretty much the same amount as watford sold richarlison to everton, in the same summer, is ridiculous. we got shafted and he's worth upwards of 100 mill. 


According to Wikipedia, 'Richarlison transferred to fellow Premier League club Everton on 24 July 2018 for a transfer fee starting at £35 million and potentially rising to £50 million'.


That's the 22 year old Richarlison. Who had four years left on his contract.

 

 

 

 

Edited by turtmcfly

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Time to open the transfart forum?

Seems Man Utd fans are convinced that Madders will be linking up with JLingz in the not too distant future.....

....thats some eye bleeding fashion shoots right there**

(According to Ornstein from The Athletic anyway)

 

** Daft old bugger disclaimer.

Edited by Dahnsouff

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4 hours ago, Dahnsouff said:

Blimey - someone buy our recruitment team a load of pizza's :appl:

 

image.thumb.png.a69747f6e9bd2e947d0fbe1e1197d1f1.png

 

This is obviously the best approach for a club like ours, and thank goodness we have the scouting and analytics resources to make it work.

 

That said, Spurs are now demonstrating the limits of it.  “Their squad is getting stale”, “Poch has lost the changing room” … eh, maybe it’s just simple economics.   

 

Levy has always locked his good players up to incentive-laden, club-friendly extensions to maximize the profit when they do move on.  Now the likes of Eriksen, Alderweireld and Vertonghen have had enough and held up their middle fingers.  They have long since proven themselves, and are not about to burn themselves out giving 100% to Pochettino’s pressing game.  Get through the next six months, and the fat fees Levy expected to pocket will go to them as signing bonuses.  Spurs' season won't fix itself unless their summer signings can contribute.

 

It’s 2019 and at some point, most elite players are going to demand market value.  Surely we are offering raises and extensions to the likes of Maddison and Soyuncu.  It will be telling to see which players sign them (though I suppose refusals may not make the news).  They are probably a fair measure of who feels ready to leave.

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1 minute ago, KingsX said:

 

This is obviously the best approach for a club like ours, and thank goodness we have the scouting and analytics resources to make it work.

 

That said, Spurs are now demonstrating the limits of it.  “Their squad is getting stale”, “Poch has lost the changing room” … eh, maybe it’s just simple economics.   

 

Levy has always locked his good players up to incentive-laden, club-friendly extensions to maximize the profit when they do move on.  Now the likes of Eriksen, Alderweireld and Vertonghen have had enough and held up their middle fingers.  They have long since proven themselves, and are not about to burn themselves out giving 100% to Pochettino’s pressing game.  Get through the next six months, and the fat fees Levy expected to pocket will go to them as signing bonuses.  Spurs' season won't fix itself unless their summer signings can contribute.

 

It’s 2019 and at some point, most elite players are going to demand market value.  Surely we are offering raises and extensions to the likes of Maddison and Soyuncu.  It will be telling to see which players sign them (though I suppose refusals may not make the news).  They are probably a fair measure of who feels ready to leave.

I see what you are saying, but we aren't like Spurs.

Its not that we "know our place", but you could argue that we recognise the value of the player in terms of fiscal price and their benefit to the whole.

Also, Levy coming the a$$hole on all things wage related is all well and good, but as you say (And the excellent Tifo Football video showed) his determination to focus on infrastructure whilst not updating the playing staff is dangerous and sometimes your principles need to take a backseat for the greater good, or at least sacrifice some family silver (Like Kane or Eriksen) for the benefit of the playing group.

 

Tifo link if interested 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Babylon said:

The issue Spurs have had is that they've dug their heels in a bit too much and held on to players too long. That was the issue I had with people saying in the summer that we shouldn't sell any of the players, that's great in theory... but eventually you end up with a pissed off squad.

 

Agree.  And that's the tightrope our board will have to learn to walk, now that we have several players who project to be good enough for top PL and European clubs.

 

Extensions can be a win-win for young players who haven’t yet banked enough for their financial security.  And just maybe -- a club where you have good young teammates and good coaching, and a family ethos where players feel valued and enjoy coming in to work, is a club young players might not rush to leave.

 

But you can’t keep them forever.

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It probably helps that Top has a connection with the players, he looks after them and knows them as friends rather than as the owner. As far as I'm aware Levy and Spurs don't have that. The family type atmosphere amongst the staff must mean our players are happier, they'll self police at little bit more and might not be as eager to leave otherwise.

 

 

The age profile at Spurs is different too, most of our squad know they've got more than a decade left in the game. Eriksen, Vertonghen and Alderwiereld are going to have to leave if they want to win things because they certainly aren't at Spurs.

Edited by Stadt
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18 minutes ago, Dahnsouff said:

I see what you are saying, but we aren't like Spurs.

Its not that we "know our place", but you could argue that we recognise the value of the player in terms of fiscal price and their benefit to the whole.

Also, Levy coming the a$$hole on all things wage related is all well and good, but as you say (And the excellent Tifo Football video showed) his determination to focus on infrastructure whilst not updating the playing staff is dangerous and sometimes your principles need to take a backseat for the greater good, or at least sacrifice some family silver (Like Kane or Eriksen) for the benefit of the playing group.

 

Tifo link if interested 

 

 

 

Point well made.  Levy’s stadium-first approach and failure to refresh the squad was an equal contributor to the pickle they’re in.  I didn’t mention it as it’s not relevant to us (I assume the Srivaddanaprabhas are not planning to invest half a billion in the KP extension).

 

He finally went and refinanced all that debt out to near-infinity, so they can at least invest CL winnings in the squad.  It beggars belief that someone with his shrewd reputation, didn’t do that early enough to buy at least one or two key players in those unused windows.

 

Maybe he just thought he and his team were smart enough to bring the Toilet Bowl in on time and budget … and to keep extending mature players on the cheap … and got caught out.

 

A huge miscalculation.

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25 minutes ago, Dahnsouff said:

I see what you are saying, but we aren't like Spurs.

Its not that we "know our place", but you could argue that we recognise the value of the player in terms of fiscal price and their benefit to the whole.

Also, Levy coming the a$$hole on all things wage related is all well and good, but as you say (And the excellent Tifo Football video showed) his determination to focus on infrastructure whilst not updating the playing staff is dangerous and sometimes your principles need to take a backseat for the greater good, or at least sacrifice some family silver (Like Kane or Eriksen) for the benefit of the playing group.

 

Tifo link if interested 

 

 

Took me a while to realise at 2:34 that that was his knee...

 

Originally thought it was an overexcited Arsenal fan taking a little too much joy in their downfall.

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5 minutes ago, KingsX said:

 

Point well made.  Levy’s stadium-first approach and failure to refresh the squad was an equal contributor to the pickle they’re in.  I didn’t mention it as it’s not relevant to us (I assume the Srivaddanaprabhas are not planning to invest half a billion in the KP extension).

 

He finally went and refinanced all that debt out to near-infinity, so they can at least invest CL winnings in the squad.  It beggars belief that someone with his shrewd reputation, didn’t do that early enough to buy at least one or two key players in those unused windows.

 

Maybe he just thought he and his team were smart enough to bring the Toilet Bowl in on time and budget … and to keep extending mature players on the cheap … and got caught out.

 

A huge miscalculation.

But if Spurs could have continued to operate at a top 2-3 level for 2 more years, Levy would have been a genius. :dunno:

Would give him a hug, except I don`t want too :thumbup:

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2 hours ago, OadbyBlue said:

I prefer this version of the forest chant tbhlol

Better with subtitles on, get the Trent End singing this

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 16.13.57.png

  • Haha 1

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