Football Analytics Team 'defunct' (Merged Thread) (1 Viewer)

Pauly Paul

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Me too. I love a farewell post. I think they're known as Nigel Brooks's. They don't come along, too often, but I think that makes them more special. :cool:

:wave: HertfordBee :wave: Stay safe.
I disappeared off the GPG for what seemed about 5 years after getting bored of it all. Not that any of you ****ers noticed.
 

JCMcBee

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It's probably worth you going to http://statsbomb.com and having a browse, there's a Definitions section... but, on the other hand, it may blow your head off!
.....interesting.....bit beyond me....looked at the MK article.... don't understand the symbols used in the messi diagram....but I'd level a guess they indicate what runs/movements he makes.....can see how this would be useful info to have.
 

Full Metal Jacket

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.....thanks mate.....one more thing.....actually a couple of things......who collects the data and stats,and how.....and who then does the analysis,quite an important job I would imagine.......not specifically at BFC....and does it have any similarity to analysing financial markets?
Most clubs buy the raw data from commercial suppliers like Opta, though Smartodds also obtain their own data using permanent and freelance observers. (Arsenal went so far as to buy a data supplier outright!). The buyer, in our case Smartodds, then analyses that data using their own professional statisticians. Just how they do that is a guarded secret of course. The basic statistical and mathematical skills are, one would suppose, similar to those in financial markets - but knowing what to analyse and how to interpret the results must inevitably require football specific knowledge.

The basic problem of course is ensuring that the statisticians know enough about football to know what to analyse and that the football people know enough about statistics to understand what they're being told. This challenge was discussed today in fact in a very interesting article by Gabriele Marcotti in The Times. I know from my own business experience that finding common ground between statisticians and decision makers is not a problem restricted to football!
 
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.....interesting.....bit beyond me....looked at the MK article.... don't understand the symbols used in the messi diagram....but I'd level a guess they indicate what runs/movements he makes.....can see how this would be useful info to have.
The colours indicate goal probability whilst the different shapes indicate if it was a goal, on target, header, shot, through ball, dribbles etc
Top right is a breakdown, how the goals came, via a dribble, through ball, set piece
 

Simon T

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I know how you feel, but don't give in, we all get fed up with some of the cr*p that's spouted on here, just give it a few weeks rest, I do it now and again as I can't be asked to trawl through some of the dross written on here, the rest from here gives you time to clear your head and come back refreshed, I sure a majority of posters on here are Brentford through and through and perhaps regret what they post at times, most of it is due to sheer frustration and the thought of their beloved club struggling, we have been in worse situation than this before, and come through it, we will again, so just take a breather and come back a new man.
I've not been enjoying reading the GPG recently, I can understand why Hertford Bee might want to leave although if I was going to take a break (1) I wouldn't go for the announcement approach and (2) I'd probably be looking to head back in June when the board would be enthusiastic about new signings. If it's not fun to read then a break is advisable, but I can't see myself ever giving up completely as there are too many good posters here despite some of the sh*t that clogs up the board, particularly the match day threads which appear the be full of angry & unhappy people that don't go to games.
 

Lionel Bart-At

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Once again, and I ask this whenever anyone mentions it, please point me to the bullying and it will be dealt with. I find it odd that no-one ever wants to take me up on my offer.
Oh come on sir, there have been some terrible shenanigans in the boys' dorms these past few weeks. You must have heard about young Spiffingbee and his chums flushing the others down the lavatory. You only have to ask Matron.

As for resignations, no-one seemed to notice mine so I just sneaked back on once I'd sobered up. ;)lol
 

Guildford Bee

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Apologies if this has been brought up already but surely this dept hasn't been disbanded on grounds of lack of success alone given that it also appeared to serve FCM (very well)?
 

Babbelfish

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Apologies if this has been brought up already but surely this dept hasn't been disbanded on grounds of lack of success alone given that it also appeared to serve FCM (very well)?
Maybe but FCM are mid-table at the moment. Not bad but not the storming success of last season.
 

UnsungZero

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Maybe but FCM are mid-table at the moment. Not bad but not the storming success of last season.
They've slipped from 2nd to 5th (of 12) after winning one and losing three of their last 5 but are still just a point of 3rd and have the second best goal difference in the league. The Europa League made extra demands this season. I think cost control is a more likely explanation for the decision to cut back on the analytics team..
 

Guildford Bee

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I think cost control is a more likely explanation for the decision to cut back on the analytics team..
That's how it looks to me. Just last February we were hearing that MB was in a position to substantially increase his investment but now it seems circumstances have changed somewhat.
 

GloucesterB

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That's how it looks to me. Just last February we were hearing that MB was in a position to substantially increase his investment but now it seems circumstances have changed somewhat.
Which might explain where we are now...
 

Babbelfish

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That's how it looks to me. Just last February we were hearing that MB was in a position to substantially increase his investment but now it seems circumstances have changed somewhat.
You may well be right but I thought analytics was a key part of the thinking. If so, wouldn't that be a long way down the list of things to go in a cost cutting exercise?
 

Les Beeavinu

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You may well be right but I thought analytics was a key part of the thinking. If so, wouldn't that be a long way down the list of things to go in a cost cutting exercise?
I'm not sure this is the same - I think this is more an analytics team looking at recruitment. The match analysts work directly for BFC.
 

wanderer paul

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You may well be right but I thought analytics was a key part of the thinking. If so, wouldn't that be a long way down the list of things to go in a cost cutting exercise?

I'm not sure this is the same - I think this is more an analytics team looking at recruitment. The match analysts work directly for BFC.
:imwith: Player recruitment, not match day stats etc :sorted:
 

NorthamptonBee

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Ignore the entire crapshoot. Knutson didn't want Smith appointed and appears bitter becuase he was booted out.
Wasn't he a huge Pep Clotet fan, will his next article be about how well Oxford are doing in a "I told you so" kinda way?
 

jlove

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It does appear to contain a dose of sour grapes but I also assume this data is informing the coaching staff right now. With a highly-inexperienced front line, they're almost bound to make bad decisions about shooting, so there ought to be improvements naturally.
 

Jim Rourke

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Interesting article. Whatever the thoughts are on Ted, this is data he is quoting. The comments I thought on relegation were generous. If there is no change to xG per shot then I would be worry that relegration is a strong possiblity. I would suggest that no improvement on this measure would be a greater danger to Smith's position than results (although the two are very likely to go hand in hand)

That said, return xG per shot to last seasons figures or better and eliminate the defensive erros, the story could be very different and we could start talking about Promotion.

I can't help but enjoy the rollercoaster that is Brentford.
 

rebus

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Interesting article. Whatever the thoughts are on Ted, this is data he is quoting.
And if you use crap data then you'll get crap outcomes. I would be amazed if he had better access to what our Analytics team use.

This is a guy that thinks Kerschbaumer should be running things in midfield for BFC when as long as I have a hole in my arse, he will never be a decent championship footballer.

His picks in 2015 were largely a disaster and it took Carsley and Smith to get us out of trouble that season. Knutson was soon found out and then let go. He hasn't held down a job in football since and that's all you need to know.
 

NorthamptonBee

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Interesting article. Whatever the thoughts are on Ted, this is data he is quoting. The comments I thought on relegation were generous. If there is no change to xG per shot then I would be worry that relegration is a strong possiblity. I would suggest that no improvement on this measure would be a greater danger to Smith's position than results (although the two are very likely to go hand in hand)

That said, return xG per shot to last seasons figures or better and eliminate the defensive erros, the story could be very different and we could start talking about Promotion.

I can't help but enjoy the rollercoaster that is Brentford.
Your last sentence is how I feel about the past few years, it's always been an up and down experience but the last few years have been special, I even love it whilst we're struggling as the normal recovery has always been excellent, it's certainly not dull.
 

jlove

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Whatever the thoughts are on Ted, this is data he is quoting. .
Actually, to be pedantic it's not data but analysis calculations; for xG, the data is the position, distance, possession chain, etc and so subject to interpretation.
 

Brentford 4 Life

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I'm not really surprised by anything in the article. Seems pretty fair.
Yeah, ignoring Ted bugging himself up it seems to tell us what we already know. "sh*t" in front of goal and "sh*t" in defence atm. Not worried because we haven't played badly yet this season.
 

mixedknuts

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And if you use crap data then you'll get crap outcomes. I would be amazed if he had better access to what our Analytics team use.

This is a guy that thinks Kerschbaumer should be running things in midfield for BFC when as long as I have a hole in my arse, he will never be a decent championship footballer.

His picks in 2015 were largely a disaster and it took Carsley and Smith to get us out of trouble that season. Knutson was soon found out and then let go. He hasn't held down a job in football since and that's all you need to know.
There's a lot that's wrong in this reply, but if this is the general perception I guess it might be useful to address it...

Having actual knowledge of the data and analytics inside of Brentford and Smartodds was, I would say what I have access to is not WORSE than theirs. Whether it's better after 18 months of additional R&D time is probably up for debate.

On Kersch: I'm not sure if I thought he should be running things, but when he played for BFC in his normal role, he certainly delivered assists. He's currently playing regularly for a team tied for 2nd in Bundesliga 2.

"Picks were largely a disaster." This one is interesting... Let's do this and be fair about it.

Bjelland: Slightly Below Average? Blew his ACL in his first match possibly due to turf gate. Not sure how to fix that part on the recruitment side.
Hoff: Disaster. Guilty as charged. He was bought partly because Marinus was playing CF in training because we only had Andre and Andre was being sold. Ger U21 when we bought him. Even so, should have been/done better.
Colin: Excellent right back. Bees fans generally seem to have loved him. Made a solid profit.
Woodseh: You tell me.
Lasse: This has to be a huge hit, right? Replaced Andre and Hogan's production completely for a tiny price. Smart player. Great guy.
McEachran: Too injured :( Pretty darned good when he plays though.
Barbet: Excellent LCB. Great range of passing. Actual pace in a big guy.
Sergi Canos: Liverpool didn't even rate him until we brought him to GP and he played. He's an outstanding young player with bags of ability and spirit. BFC will likely make a big profit if they ever sell him.
Swift: good young loanee. Tried to sign him longer term but went to Reading.
Gogia: This one may be controversial. He didn't get a chance at BFC. Then was voted the best attacker in Bundesliga 2 last season. :shrug:
Djuricin: Was good until his injury. Then his attitude apparently fell apart. A loanee that probably ended below average. Disappointment.
Kersch: Cost almost nothing. Played out of position regularly. When he played as a 10, he set up teammates to score goals like almost no one else in the league.

That's the 2015 window. 2 definite poor ones in Djuricin and Hoff. The rest were average or much better, but obviously you can disagree.

2016
Egan, Bentley, Rico, (Sergi) all big recs from our group. Romaine less so. I don't think any are actively bad including Romaine.

2017
Mokotjo the only one we had done work on previously and I would have been a lot less excited about him in summer 2017 than summer 2015. I mostly praised the window on Twitter.

Just for clarity, I genuinely want Brentford to succeed. I am a fan. I paid for iFollow so I could watch the games live internationally.

My analysis was an attempt to point out something quite odd when trying to make sense of the bad start myself.

I'll go back to lurking now. Good luck Bees.
 

abeeforever

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A long winded read with a touch of sour grapes from Ted, it could have been summed up with, defenders aren't defending how they should, forwards aren't scoring how they should, sort those two problems out and we are on the up !!!!
 

DidntYouUsedToBee

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A long winded read with a touch of sour grapes from Ted, it could have been summed up with, defenders aren't defending how they should, forwards aren't scoring how they should, sort those two problems out and we are on the up !!!!
Have a missed the smiley? In that case we don't really need a Coach at all in fact who does?
 

rebus

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So Ted seemingly claiming credit for Rico Henry coming to BFC when Smith gave him at first team debut at 16....

Believe what you want, but I can tell you no one in football thinks he is creditable. Quick to claim credit, and quick to lay blame. I'm sure he's a nice guy but run a mile if he's working at your football club.

I will actually cut him slack for Hofmann as most champ clubs would have been interested given his pedigree but as you know, it's not all about the stats when signing a player. He also doesn't deny opposing Smith's appointment.
 

Leonardo

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So Ted seemingly claiming credit for Rico Henry coming to BFC when Smith gave him at first team debut at 16....

Believe what you want, but I can tell you no one in football thinks he is creditable. Quick to claim credit, and quick to lay blame. I'm sure he's a nice guy but run a mile if he's working at your football club.

I will actually cut him slack for Hofmann as most champ clubs would have been interested given his pedigree but as you know, it's not all about the stats when signing a player. He also doesn't deny opposing Smith's appointment.
Ted's team had already identfied Rico irrespective of DS. The fact that DS came to Brentford made a difference in him signing for the bees rather than say Fulham.
 

DidntYouUsedToBee

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Instead of attacking the messenger, it's well worth looking back on our games this season. I had a feeling we were low in clear chances and were mostly snatching at shots from distance. Seems the stats confirm this. Once that is taken on board I guess the issue is how to address it. We have the quality players. There just needs to be some tweaks in playing style.
 

nick logan

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" low in clear chances "
:lol:
 

jbee

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The analysis makes sense. The question is: Have we changed strategy or are we simply finding it more difficult to create big chances so end up going for lower xG shots? My hunch is that it is a bi-product of our increased possession this year linked to our new pressing tactics. Teams are ceding a lot of territory to us and it makes it harder for us to hurt them with high speed attacks.

I would also say there is a big difference between recommending a team focus on creating high xG chances and actually implementing it. It's only a small step from recommending that a team score more goals, and then claiming credit when they do/blaming others when they don't. It is entirely possible that this has happened despite the best efforts of the coaching staff and will be rectified in time.
 

BeeHomeSoon

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Anyone can have a database of interesting players. And Ted wasn't in charge by the way....
Sorry for my ignorance but I thought that was the point of an analytics team, to have a database of interesting players to scout?
 

DidntYouUsedToBee

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The analysis makes sense. The question is: Have we changed strategy or are we simply finding it more difficult to create big chances so end up going for lower xG shots? My hunch is that it is a bi-product of our increased possession this year linked to our new pressing tactics. Teams are ceding a lot of territory to us and it makes it harder for us to hurt them with high speed attacks.

I would also say there is a big difference between recommending a team focus on creating high xG chances and actually implementing it. It's only a small step from recommending that a team score more goals, and then claiming credit when they do/blaming others when they don't. It is entirely possible that this has happened despite the best efforts of the coaching staff and will be rectified in time.
Yes, I think teams sit back behind the ball and let us have more space in front of them. They know they'll get the odd break either by error or skill.
 

Jim Rourke

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Well that kicked off! With my tin hat on sticking my head up of the trench........

Wherever the data is from, with MB at the helm, it will be clear to all at the club and I am sure the Coaching Staff are working on improve such stats that would naturally lead to the results. Such stats not improving would be a threat to Smith's position.

Looking forward to the KPI's improving tomorrow.
 

Jim Rourke

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Your last sentence is how I feel about the past few years, it's always been an up and down experience but the last few years have been special, I even love it whilst we're struggling as the normal recovery has always been excellent, it's certainly not dull.
Indeed. Look at the tweet this week (Tuesday?) from the Cub (Gentle reminder to us all) that four years ago we beat Tranmere in a League game. And it was not that long ago that we celebrated like we won the Cup beating another now Conference team.

I wonder where are coaster is going next?
 

Idaho Bee

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We've all worked with people in the past that we didn't really think were up to snuff. That's life.

However, spouting about it to all and sundry on a public message board is very bad form and reeks of sour grapes.
 

jlove

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The analysis makes sense. The question is: Have we changed strategy or are we simply finding it more difficult to create big chances so end up going for lower xG shots? My hunch is that it is a bi-product of our increased possession this year linked to our new pressing tactics. Teams are ceding a lot of territory to us and it makes it harder for us to hurt them with high speed attacks.

I would also say there is a big difference between recommending a team focus on creating high xG chances and actually implementing it. It's only a small step from recommending that a team score more goals, and then claiming credit when they do/blaming others when they don't. It is entirely possible that this has happened despite the best efforts of the coaching staff and will be rectified in time.
There's a danger of just over-thinking it. The bottom line is that we've played most games with an attacking 3 who are young and/or without any Championship experience. When faced with defenders of quality that they've never faced before, the tendency will be to try to play through them and fail, so then try to shoot from poor positions. We need Vibe back to give some experience and I feel confident they will collectively improve.
 

Pauly Paul

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Low quality expected goals seems to tally with the absences of Canos and Vibe, the continued absence of Judge and Jotas half heartedness
 

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Tbf, he makes some interesting points, even if a lot of it is stuff we can already see for ourselves (and Dean Smith, for that matter).

But Knuttson's argument falls down on one key point. He notes that:
"What was cool is that [generating high quality shots] actually seemed to work. Brentford’s open play xG per shot went from around 11% under Warbs in 14-15, and up to 12.2% under Dean Smith last season, which is very good for the Championship. Shots were generally getting closer to goal, and the attack was consistently very good."

Of course, TK tries to slide away from the apparent contradiction between DS-2016/17 and DS-2017/18 by observing thus:
"Someone on a Brentford forum recently noted that even at Walsall, Dean Smith was considered a 'streaky' manager."
Yet he doesn't quote any statistics to back up this assertion.

In fact, were I a self-styled expert statistical football analyst etc, I'd be rank embarrassed to base my theories on what "someone on a [fans] forum recently noted"...

Indeed, if you think about this article, all it does is give a stats-based exposition of what is happening (not creating enough good chances, whilst conceding too many of them), without really explaining why this is happening*.

So from my humble position on the Ealing Road terraces, I would suggest two explanations.

One, this season we've had a big turnover of key players out (Jota, Dean, Colin), with predominantly young/inexperienced players to replace them (Watkins, Maupay). Not only that, but those players who were thinking of leaving were probably distracted, to one degree or another. And this difficulty was exacerbated by injuries or unavailability of certain other key players (eg Woods, McEachran). So with all this uncertainty and chopping and changing etc, it is hardly surprising that we've had a tricky start.

Oh, and I suggested two reasons, now what could the other have been?

Oh yeah, he's talking after seven games. Now I'm no statistician, but even I know enough to know that that's hardly a wide enough sample size to state anything definitively.

Indeed, even nine games is insufficient, i.e. the number of games Bees have actually played this season.

I wonder why he left the other two out? :scratch:


* - Perhaps TK's angling for a position on the MOTD settee, where he's at least more perceptive than dickheads like Shearer or Sutton? Just.
 

BFC1997

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Data is used at BFC to better predict things. Such as the ability of a potential new signing.

Certain metrics can also help differentiate between an obviously bad performance and an obviously good one.

However, that article from Ted Knutson is choc-full of outcome bias and smacks of bitterness. The data he's quoting is a symptom of bad luck and tough opposition. It isn't a cause of it.
 

BerksBee

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But Knuttson's argument falls down on one key point. He notes that:
"What was cool is that [generating high quality shots] actually seemed to work. Brentford’s open play xG per shot went from around 11% under Warbs in 14-15, and up to 12.2% under Dean Smith last season, which is very good for the Championship. Shots were generally getting closer to goal, and the attack was consistently very good."
I don't think his argument falls down at all, it self-reinforces.

What he's saying here is, the plan put in place was working at the end of last season. The high xG shots were increasing and the goals scored and points received were consistent with that. We all know how well we played at the end of last season and the stats back this up.

Of course, TK tries to slide away from the apparent contradiction between DS-2016/17 and DS-2017/18 by observing thus:
"Someone on a Brentford forum recently noted that even at Walsall, Dean Smith was considered a 'streaky' manager."
Yet he doesn't quote any statistics to back up this assertion.
How does he slide away from it?

He talks about shot variance (for and against) and a good managers ability to implement tactics to reduce it:

Someone on a Brentford forum recently noted that even at Walsall, Dean Smith was considered a “streaky” manager. That’s certainly been true in his time at Brentford, where his teams have combined prolonged losing and winning streaks each season to eventually land mid-table. However, as shown above… there might be a reason for that.

The best coaches implement tactics that help control for variance. They can’t eliminate it completely – football is a low-scoring, and inherently variable game. However, coaches that focus on the details and prepare their teams to handle them consistently seem to do better in the league table. For whatever reason, this season Brentford have embraced the opposite. They are highly variant on both sides of the ball right now, underperforming a lot in attack, and currently paying the price.
What he's saying here is, what an awful lot of us have also said but in a different way: why doesn't Smith modify his strategy/tactics/setup depending on the side he's playing and their own strengths and weaknesses? Is it right to to play exactly the same way, employ the same tactics and strategy regardless of the strength of the opposition and regardless of how strong a side you can put out against them? Is it right to continue to play the same way when our attacking front three are all relatively young and inexperienced and the stats are showing are producing a lot of low xG goal attempts and subsequently scoring very few goals? Might it be better to become a little more defensive and reduce down the number of high xG shots on goal we're conceding? Or simply relinquish some possession and play a more counter attacking game.

I certainly agree with Knutson here, because it's something I've seen and said myself. Smith sets his sides up and plays in exactly the same way against all opposition regardless of whether he has the quality of players to implement that style of play.

Is it right to play the same way with e.g. Clarke, Maupay, Watkins as a front three as it was with Canos, Vibe, Jota? I'm not so sure it is. And the results so far seem to bear that out.

In fact, were I a self-styled expert statistical football analyst etc, I'd be rank embarrassed to base my theories on what "someone on a [fans] forum recently noted"...
I'd be more embarrassed by the fact you've not interpreted what he's said correctly.
 

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I'd be more embarrassed by the fact you've not interpreted what he's said correctly.
Then tell me which of the two has changed from last season, when the team was doing well, Dean Smith or the players?

The jist of your argument is that the manager should adjust his tactics and formations to suit the opposition, whilst doing so with several new players. Which might be fair enough had we recruited eg a Warnock or an Allardyce and given them the freedom to sign players of the type they prefer. But I am sure that the players we actually did sign were identified precisely because of their suitability to fit into the (pre-existing) Brentford House Style.

So if that is the case, why change the style of play to something they weren't recruited for? Why not instead just persevere and give them the time they need to adjust to a new club, in a new city, at a new level etc?

And as for concentrating on defence, well obviously it's not something any team should ever neglect, Kevin Keegan-style. But in the end, during the last three or four largely successful seasons we've seen at BFC, defence has never been our strong suit. Rather, we have thrived by concentrating on developing a passing, attacking brand of play which "out-footballs" (ugh) the opposition.

But maybe you, too, imagine that DS should be able to accommodate new personnel AND change the tactics, even the ethos, of the club, all within the space of seven League games at the start of a new season?
 

FlyBee

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People seem to be queuing up to have a pop at us. We must be doing something right :)
 

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