2nd top scorers in the Championship - anything to boast about?

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grutter

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Lots of debate at the moment as to whether our strike force is a problem, given we have scored 37 goals so far this season, 2nd only behind Fulham. We know we let too many goals in, but I've done a bit of research and have actually changed my mind on this to thinking we haven't actually scored enough:

Of the 37 goals we've scored, here's how we've done against the current top 8:

1) Boro - 0
2) Derby - 0
3) Hull - 0
4) Brighton - 0 (1 point)
5) Burnley - 0
6) Ipswich - 2 (1 point - got out of jail thanks to AG)
7) Sheff Wed - 1 (lost)
8) Brum - 1 (lost both games)

Therefore, just 5 goals against the top 8, two of which came from Andre Gray in the last few minutes against Ipswich. 32 goals, all against sides lower than us. No goals at all against the top 5. Just two points gained.

To me, this was more damning than I thought it would be and shows we mustn't hide behind what is a bit of a misleading statistic. I'm not saying we should be banging in goals against all the top sides, but it does tend to show the better sides have worked out how to play us, like Brum did (i.e - let us have the ball in certain areas).

I'm sure the management will be aware of this and also of the chances we have created, but it looks to me that we've actually got issues at both ends if we want to make 6th spot.
 

Buzzettesfriend

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Lots of debate at the moment as to whether our strike force is a problem, given we have scored 37 goals so far this season, 2nd only behind Fulham. We know we let too many goals in, but I've done a bit of research and have actually changed my mind on this to thinking we haven't actually scored enough:

Of the 37 goals we've scored, here's how we've done against the current top 8:

1) Boro - 0
2) Derby - 0
3) Hull - 0
4) Brighton - 0 (1 point)
5) Burnley - 0
6) Ipswich - 2 (1 point - got out of jail thanks to AG)
7) Sheff Wed - 1 (lost)
8) Brum - 1 (lost both games)

Therefore, just 5 goals against the top 8, two of which came from Andre Gray in the last few minutes against Ipswich. 32 goals, all against sides lower than us. No goals at all against the top 5. Just two points gained.

To me, this was more damning than I thought it would be and shows we mustn't hide behind what is a bit of a misleading statistic. I'm not saying we should be banging in goals against all the top sides, but it does tend to show the better sides have worked out how to play us, like Brum did (i.e - let us have the ball in certain areas).

I'm sure the management will be aware of this and also of the chances we have created, but it looks to me that we've actually got issues at both ends if we want to make 6th spot.
Tarkowski scored the equaliser against Ipswich. On that basis I don't trust any of your stats.
 

Isleworth_Bee

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Lots of debate at the moment as to whether our strike force is a problem, given we have scored 37 goals so far this season, 2nd only behind Fulham. We know we let too many goals in, but I've done a bit of research and have actually changed my mind on this to thinking we haven't actually scored enough:

Of the 37 goals we've scored, here's how we've done against the current top 8:

1) Boro - 0
2) Derby - 0
3) Hull - 0
4) Brighton - 0 (1 point)
5) Burnley - 0
6) Ipswich - 2 (1 point - got out of jail thanks to AG)
7) Sheff Wed - 1 (lost)
8) Brum - 1 (lost both games)

Therefore, just 5 goals against the top 8, two of which came from Andre Gray in the last few minutes against Ipswich. 32 goals, all against sides lower than us. No goals at all against the top 5. Just two points gained.

To me, this was more damning than I thought it would be and shows we mustn't hide behind what is a bit of a misleading statistic. I'm not saying we should be banging in goals against all the top sides, but it does tend to show the better sides have worked out how to play us, like Brum did (i.e - let us have the ball in certain areas).

I'm sure the management will be aware of this and also of the chances we have created, but it looks to me that we've actually got issues at both ends if we want to make 6th spot.

Or you could say we have let too many goals in against these sides?

Clean sheets win games IMO. Takes a lot of pressure off the strikers and forces the other team to open up to score.

If we are 2nd top scorers why arent we higher?

Good stats though.
 

BerksBee

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What's equally telling, if not more so is the number of goals conceded against them: 16 to our 6 scored. Just under half the goals we've conceded this season (35) have come against the current top 8 sides from a little over a third of the games played (9 out of 25). 2 points (2 draws) out of a possible 27.

I think that shows fairly clearly that unless this situation changes, we won't be making the play offs this season.
 
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Doovster

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Lots of debate at the moment as to whether our strike force is a problem, given we have scored 37 goals so far this season, 2nd only behind Fulham. We know we let too many goals in, but I've done a bit of research and have actually changed my mind on this to thinking we haven't actually scored enough:

Of the 37 goals we've scored, here's how we've done against the current top 8:

1) Boro - 0
2) Derby - 0
3) Hull - 0
4) Brighton - 0 (1 point)
5) Burnley - 0
6) Ipswich - 2 (1 point - got out of jail thanks to AG)
7) Sheff Wed - 1 (lost)
8) Brum - 1 (lost both games)

Therefore, just 5 goals against the top 8, two of which came from Andre Gray in the last few minutes against Ipswich. 32 goals, all against sides lower than us. No goals at all against the top 5. Just two points gained.

To me, this was more damning than I thought it would be and shows we mustn't hide behind what is a bit of a misleading statistic. I'm not saying we should be banging in goals against all the top sides, but it does tend to show the better sides have worked out how to play us, like Brum did (i.e - let us have the ball in certain areas).

I'm sure the management will be aware of this and also of the chances we have created, but it looks to me that we've actually got issues at both ends if we want to make 6th spot.

Thought we lost 3-1 at Boro?
 

JTofBFC

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What's equally telling, if not more so is the number of goals conceded against them: 16 to our 6 scored. Just under half the goals we've conceded this season (35) have come against the current top 8 sides from a little over a third of the games played (9 out of 25). 2 points (2 draws) out of a possible 27.

I think that shows fairly clearly that unless this situation changes, we won't be making the play offs this season.


Wow, a Eureka moment , we concede more goals against the best teams than we do against the worst teams. Who would have thought it.
 
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sonofabee

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What's equally telling, if not more so is the number of goals conceded against them: 16 to our 6 scored. Just under half the goals we've conceded this season (35) have come against the current top 8 sides from a little over a third of the games played (9 out of 25). 2 points (2 draws) out of a possible 27.

I think that shows fairly clearly that unless this situation changes, we won't be making the play offs this season.

Given we're outside the play offs at the moment it's not exactly insight but agree if things don't change we won't be in the play offs.
 

JTofBFC

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Well 5 of our next 7 league games are against Top 8 sides so should be a good barometer as to how much progress we are making.
 

bees66

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Well 5 of our next 7 league games are against Top 8 sides so should be a good barometer as to how much progress we are making.

yep, get those tin hats on...
 

AB

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It's just another way of saying what we already know- we've not got much out of playing teams in the top third. It shouldn't mask the fact that we've conceded too many against teams throughout the table and that if that were to have been remedied we'd be very comfortably in the top 6 without having come any nearer to scoring against the top sides.

Without scoring a single extra goal against anyone, let alone one of the top teams, just conceding one fewer against Bolton, Blackburn, Leeds, brum and Cardiff would have us on 8 points more and in 4th spot.
 

Kingston Bee

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It's just another way of saying what we already know- we've not got much out of playing teams in the top third. It shouldn't mask the fact that we've conceded too many against teams throughout the table and that if that were to have been remedied we'd be very comfortably in the top 6 without having come any nearer to scoring against the top sides.

Without scoring a single extra goal against anyone, let alone one of the top teams, just conceding one fewer against Bolton, Blackburn, Leeds, brum and Cardiff would have us on 8 points more and in 4th spot.

Yep agree, and confirms that we are 2-3 players away from being a contender in this division. A midfield protector of the back four plus a top CB in the transfer window will make the biggest impact to our points total and final position. What it also tells you when you look at recent games at Birmingham, Cardiff and Fulham, we can still make the play offs. All games we should have come away with points more than we did.
 

Gee Bee

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Yep agree, and confirms that we are 2-3 players away from being a contender in this division. A midfield protector of the back four plus a top CB in the transfer window will make the biggest impact to our points total and final position. What it also tells you when you look at recent games at Birmingham, Cardiff and Fulham, we can still make the play offs. All games we should have come away with points more than we did.

Not all goals are down to a need for holding MF and CB. We have often needed to protect the full back area better who have often been exposed as our weak point by opposition. Bidwell/Yennaris and Colin are regular exposed 2 on 1 as we fail to track and protect. I would add that it is our counter attacking play that has got us few goals because we haven't tracked back.
 

AB

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Not all goals are down to a need for holding MF and CB. We have often needed to protect the full back area better who have often been exposed as our weak point by opposition. Bidwell/Yennaris and Colin are regular exposed 2 on 1 as we fail to track and protect. I would add that it is our counter attacking play that has got us few goals because we haven't tracked back.

I agree that in part our defensive frailties might be down to how we play rather than who we have playing. At least we are somewhat less vulnerable to the ball chipped over a CB's head for a striker to run onto which cost us several games last season (seems to be Rangers' achilles heel a bit this season...) but the two CBs play quite far apart and you could see Brighton looking to exploit that. This might be why Toums was played by Smith much closer to the middle of the back 4 in a few recent games to provide that cover, but I'm not sure it's his best position or whether it might not harm our ability to get the ball forward again.

We could play the CBs closer together but that would probably limit the extent to which Bidwell and Colin can go forward as they'll have a greater space between them and the CBs to cover - the last thing we want or could cope with is having Judge and Canos (etc) needing also to track back (this is perhaps where Dallas did unseen work!).

On that basis maybe we do need to just accept that we can't tighten defensively much more other than to reduce the number of unforced errors and that therefore our best hope is to be more of a threat up front.
 

IDontBeeLieveIt

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Not all goals are down to a need for holding MF and CB. We have often needed to protect the full back area better who have often been exposed as our weak point by opposition. Bidwell/Yennaris and Colin are regular exposed 2 on 1 as we fail to track and protect. I would add that it is our counter attacking play that has got us few goals because we haven't tracked back.

Indeed. We gamble and play in a very attacking manner (or with attacking rather than solid players) that means we're more likely to get caught out against the better sides. Every time we get a victory half the messageboard thinks we're Barcelona rather than just a gamble that's paid off. Considering the resources it's not necessarily a bad gamble, however it doesn't mean every time we win with a few goals that we're amazing.
Unless something changes and we get in attacking midfielders who also work their nuts off defensively too (Canos does put in the effort to be fair and possibly why they say he can only last 60 mins atm) then I think we need to accept the defence will be under more pressure than your average Championship side.
There's no easy answer to that but I think a tough defensive midfielder with good pace/acceleration would help a lot as it would push their attacks into narrower channels on the side (and therefore make it easier for the full-backs to defend rather than at the moment when countless teams have strolled straight through our two in the middle).
 
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Mr Tree

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how about the stat that Dean Smith's only been here a few minutes and not had much chance to mould his team (nor was he in charge for a lot of the games mentioned).
 

Isleworth_Bee

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how about the stat that Dean Smith's only been here a few minutes and not had much chance to mould his team (nor was he in charge for a lot of the games mentioned).

Agreed and theres been the "odd" murmuring about him already in terms of team selection and subs.
 

mhead bee

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It's just another way of saying what we already know- we've not got much out of playing teams in the top third. It shouldn't mask the fact that we've conceded too many against teams throughout the table and that if that were to have been remedied we'd be very comfortably in the top 6 without having come any nearer to scoring against the top sides.

Without scoring a single extra goal against anyone, let alone one of the top teams, just conceding one fewer against Bolton, Blackburn, Leeds, brum and Cardiff would have us on 8 points more and in 4th spot.

You could also say without conceding any more but scoring 5 goals against those 5 teams would have the same effect.

Struggling to see the point in this thread, we all know that we are not quite there yet and the results prove this.
 

Full Metal Jacket

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I agree that in part our defensive frailties might be down to how we play rather than who we have playing. At least we are somewhat less vulnerable to the ball chipped over a CB's head for a striker to run onto which cost us several games last season (seems to be Rangers' achilles heel a bit this season...) but the two CBs play quite far apart and you could see Brighton looking to exploit that. This might be why Toums was played by Smith much closer to the middle of the back 4 in a few recent games to provide that cover, but I'm not sure it's his best position or whether it might not harm our ability to get the ball forward again.

We could play the CBs closer together but that would probably limit the extent to which Bidwell and Colin can go forward as they'll have a greater space between them and the CBs to cover - the last thing we want or could cope with is having Judge and Canos (etc) needing also to track back (this is perhaps where Dallas did unseen work!).

On that basis maybe we do need to just accept that we can't tighten defensively much more other than to reduce the number of unforced errors and that therefore our best hope is to be more of a threat up front.

Carsley got the centre backs playing much closer together and the full backs playing narrower. The result was that we instantly looked a lot tighter. It meant a few more crosses coming in to the box but most crosses are pretty harmless (just look at the statistics!) and by being more compact we defended them better. The "Carsley method" sacrificed a bit of our attacking threat - the full backs were indeed less able to get forward and we had the more defensively-minded Woods on the right side of midfield protecting Yennaris - but overall we were harder to play against. I think that, against the top sides, we need to draw our horns in a bit and adopt the same approach.

If you're going to play an expansive game, as we did last season, you need people with the quality of Jota, Douglas, Gray and Pritchard to make it work. And, at the minute, we just don't have that quality available.
 

nick logan

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If you're going to play an expansive game, as we did last season, you need people with the quality of Jota, Douglas, Gray and Pritchard to make it work. And, at the minute, we just don't have that quality available.

3 defeats in 13 isn't it ?
 

AB

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You could also say without conceding any more but scoring 5 goals against those 5 teams would have the same effect.

Struggling to see the point in this thread, we all know that we are not quite there yet and the results prove this.

True, but the point I was trying to make was that being that much more potent attacking would be harder to achieve than being defensively tighter. Those 5 goals were all capable of being kept out by the players we have if they were a bit tighter (or in the Brum case, if we'd decided we were happy with a point).

The way we play, being more gung ho going forward would be at the cost of leaking more goals. It would probably have worked against Bolton and Blackburn who were weak (we ought to have been out of sight of Bolton by half time). Leeds were reasonably solid defensively but had Djuricin been a little more match fit could have put them away and we conceded through an error. Last minute winners from Cardiff and Brum mean that gaining the point by an additional goal would have involved being in a quite different position earlier in the game (eg against Brum rather than being 1-1 in the final moments and pushing up, we'd have been 2-1 up and looking to see the game out).
 

IDontBeeLieveIt

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Carsley got the centre backs playing much closer together and the full backs playing narrower. The result was that we instantly looked a lot tighter. It meant a few more crosses coming in to the box but most crosses are pretty harmless (just look at the statistics!) and by being more compact we defended them better. The "Carsley method" sacrificed a bit of our attacking threat - the full backs were indeed less able to get forward and we had the more defensively-minded Woods on the right side of midfield protecting Yennaris - but overall we were harder to play against. I think that, against the top sides, we need to draw our horns in a bit and adopt the same approach.

If you're going to play an expansive game, as we did last season, you need people with the quality of Jota, Douglas, Gray and Pritchard to make it work. And, at the minute, we just don't have that quality available.

If I put my optimistic hat on:
- Djuricin back should improve us up top (and I don't think would be considerably worse than Gray given service - could make a case he'd be better but who knows - I reckon he's probably a more natural goalscorer although Gray would prolly have the edge in some physical aspects)
- MacLeod, if he tackles a bit more than Swift, could be a further improvement. I remember reading all the press and quotes from players/managers/etc about just how good MacLeod was and could be in the future so the potential is there once he gets back up to speed.
- McEachran might grow into that role Douglas played but if not I don't think Macca is a bad stand-in until we find someone to fit that role (and is underrated imo - ignoring his psychotic will to kill everyone)
- We still have Jota who is yet to be back to his best and should improve us (though the way Canos is playing I'm not sure I'd drop him for Jota!). I'd be tempted to go with Judge behind Djuricin and Canos/Jota on the wings.

I don't think we're THAT far different in terms of quality available once people are back from injury. I think Pritchard is the biggest loss as his quick feet kept things ticking over (attacks flowing forward fast without pausing) but still think the biggest improvement will come from sorting the defensive midfield aspect (which short-term would be Macca and Toums for me). Longer term, hopefully McEachran, but he's not shown enough yet, and Woods I don't think is suited to that role, looks better slightly further forward as a CM/AM.
 

sonofabee

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If I put my optimistic hat on:
- Djuricin back should improve us up top (and I don't think would be considerably worse than Gray given service - could make a case he'd be better but who knows - I reckon he's probably a more natural goalscorer although Gray would prolly have the edge in some physical aspects)
- MacLeod, if he tackles a bit more than Swift, could be a further improvement. I remember reading all the press and quotes from players/managers/etc about just how good MacLeod was and could be in the future so the potential is there once he gets back up to speed.
- McEachran might grow into that role Douglas played but if not I don't think Macca is a bad stand-in until we find someone to fit that role (and is underrated imo - ignoring his psychotic will to kill everyone)
- We still have Jota who is yet to be back to his best and should improve us (though the way Canos is playing I'm not sure I'd drop him for Jota!). I'd be tempted to go with Judge behind Djuricin and Canos/Jota on the wings.

I don't think we're THAT far different in terms of quality available once people are back from injury. I think Pritchard is the biggest loss as his quick feet kept things ticking over (attacks flowing forward fast without pausing) but still think the biggest improvement will come from sorting the defensive midfield aspect (which short-term would be Macca and Toums for me). Longer term, hopefully McEachran, but he's not shown enough yet, and Woods I don't think is suited to that role, looks better slightly further forward as a CM/AM.

:sorted: It's all about getting the right pieces of the jigsaw together. I think we may have the forwards we need to do very well if we can get the tactics and service right.

The bit that's missing is a bit of steel as current midfield is full of flair and football but very lightweight and that doesn't give the defence the cover they need.

Don't think it will take a lot to fix and reckon those in charge know that.
 

malagakid

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If I put my optimistic hat on:
- Djuricin back should improve us up top (and I don't think would be considerably worse than Gray given service - could make a case he'd be better but who knows - I reckon he's probably a more natural goalscorer although Gray would prolly have the edge in some physical aspects)
- MacLeod, if he tackles a bit more than Swift, could be a further improvement. I remember reading all the press and quotes from players/managers/etc about just how good MacLeod was and could be in the future so the potential is there once he gets back up to speed.
- McEachran might grow into that role Douglas played but if not I don't think Macca is a bad stand-in until we find someone to fit that role (and is underrated imo - ignoring his psychotic will to kill everyone)
- We still have Jota who is yet to be back to his best and should improve us (though the way Canos is playing I'm not sure I'd drop him for Jota!). I'd be tempted to go with Judge behind Djuricin and Canos/Jota on the wings.

I don't think we're THAT far different in terms of quality available once people are back from injury. I think Pritchard is the biggest loss as his quick feet kept things ticking over (attacks flowing forward fast without pausing) but still think the biggest improvement will come from sorting the defensive midfield aspect (which short-term would be Macca and Toums for me). Longer term, hopefully McEachran, but he's not shown enough yet, and Woods I don't think is suited to that role, looks better slightly further forward as a CM/AM.

Exactly!!
 

IDontBeeLieveIt

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:sorted: It's all about getting the right pieces of the jigsaw together. I think we may have the forwards we need to do very well if we can get the tactics and service right.

The bit that's missing is a bit of steel as current midfield is full of flair and football but very lightweight and that doesn't give the defence the cover they need.

Don't think it will take a lot to fix and reckon those in charge know that.

Yup.
I did have the thought that, in games where we're in a situation like being goal down with 30 mins to go, it might be worth a punt taking off Swift (in the number 10 role) or one of the DM's to bring on Hofmann to play as a target/link man in that number 10 role. He's good on the deck and links well chesting it down but with a striker ahead of him rather than him alone up top (whether Vibe/Djuricin when he's back) that could be an interesting option to vary our attack if we need to go for it.
 

TW3Bee

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Sounds quite simple to say we need to concede less goals, but putting it into practice is a whole different thing, but not making silly mistakes will help.
 

nick logan

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Sounds quite simple to say we need to concede less goals, but putting it into practice is a whole different thing, but not making silly mistakes will help.

I honestly think its individual errors more than shape , defensive mifdfielders etc.

The way we play is lovely to watch but we will always concede a few going for more goals ala Cardiff and Brum.
Once we have everyone fully fit we will be fine
 
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