The Arsenal game isn’t until Tuesday, so I thought I might sneak a post in before then.
I’ve just seen a very interesting statistic and while scary, it also provoked me into wondering why it is that we look like we’re going down?
Here’s the stat first;
Goals scored, Premier league only;
Wesley 21 games 5 goals
Kodjia 6 games 0 goals
Davis 16 games 0 goals
Samatta 12 games 1 goal
Vassilev 4 games 0 goals
Baston 0 games 0 goals
A hat-tip goes to “hightrinity” on the Vital forum.
Basically, 6 goals spread between 5 strikers (not counting Baston).
It’s easy to say then, on the face of it, that there lies the reason we’ve struggled so much.
And of course it’s hard to disagree.
Except, is that really the worst area of our team?
I’m not convinced.
A look at the league says that while our strikers have been abysmal, we’ve (surprisingly to me, at least) outscored seven teams in the league. Amazingly, that includes Sheffield Utd, who sit in 8th place.
So while the attack might have been an issue, lack of goals hasn’t cost us our place in the league.
The defence then and yes, it’s easy to see a corelation here.
We’ve conceded the second highest amount of goals, behind Norwich.
There’s no getting round that at all. Our defence is awful. We’ve all been saying it, all season.
But has that been the single biggest reason we are where we are?
Does all I’ve said up to now leave the Midfield scot-free?
This one’s trickier, to me, at least.
A good midfield should help with attacking and defending.
No less than four midfielders have scored more than Wesley (our top scoring striker) in all competitions. They’re Grealish (9), Hourihane (7), El Ghazi (6) and Trezeguet (6).
What I noticed there was that Hourihane has the best record for minutes per goal and one of the best percentages for shots on target.
That’s interesting, seeing as I don’t rate him at all, so fair play to him.
So while the numbers aren’t staggering, the midfield has at least chipped in.
Which leaves the defensive side of the midfield?
What’s that like?
I have to be honest and say that’s not the area I keep my eye on so much, so I really don’t know.
That said, Luiz has caught my eye recently and you see him getting the ball and advancing nicely at times. But that’s not defending is it?
But it strikes me, that along with our defence being poor, our midfield doesn’t help things.
Who’s our anchor supposed to be? Well, it’s Luiz of late, at least when playing forward. But I’ve never noticed him when defending? Perhaps that’s just me.
Is it Nakamba?
I think he’s been ok at times, but it’s been the minority of games, in my opinion.
Which only leaves John McGinn who could remotely be called a defensive midfielder and that’s pushing it massively. All the others are all more attacking players.
It seems we’re incredibly short in the defensive mid area.
Which indicates to me that Dean Smith realised that and definitely went with a more attacking approach in mind.
There is of course, the other option, in that there is no particular weak area in the side.
In other words, we’re just all-round poor.
Which is where you come in.
I know many of us like a Poll. I do too, so I’m putting one up and will be very interested in the result, as I know what I think.