Substitutions and Why We Make Them

Banana

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In a small quest to understand what is transpiring re our subs, I have made some enquiries today. Nothing here is sensitive or secret, but I thought that it might be informative to us all.

The key reason why we see substitutions made isn't necessarily for tactical reasons (half-time at Stoke being an obvious exception), it's actually to protect players in helping them avoid injuries.

Toney, for example, wouldn't be substituted if it was the final game of the season, but with 3 games a week for the next few months, and playing in a new high tempo, pressing system (to him) is a increased strain on his body. Especially when you factor in that he hasn't played since March. The numbers says that if a player stays on for last 15 minutes when already fatigued that hugely increases the chances of injury in that game, or subsequent games.

Likewise with other players, no-one has disputed that we are better off with our strongest players on the pitch than on the bench after 60 minutes. However not all players can get through three 100 minute games a week, so substitutions are more about injury prevention than tactical changes or giving squad members game time. This is going to be especially true over the next few weeks for reasons stated above - the sheer number of games which is unprecedented - probably in any football competition.

Information on whom needs to have their load lightened is discerned from closely monitoring the players. They are physically screened every morning, including having blood tests etc. So the clever people at Jersey Road know who is closer to the edge than others. They also get a lot of info from technology that is used in training, including from the GPS trackers. For example, if a foot is in contact with the ground for longer than usual for that player then it means that player is fatigued (and you thought you were monitored at work!) Those closer to the edge are ear-marked to play fewer minutes in a game if circumstances permit (and I don't mean the scoreline, I mean if other substitutions means that well-laid plans have gone out the window)

So that's the bigger picture. Especially so that we now have 3 players out with long-term injuries, we simply can't afford to lose more so we need to protect players from injury with so many games being played.
 
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jlove

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Good intelligence... follow the science.
 

ruislip bee

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In a small quest to understand what is transpiring re our subs, I have made some enquiries today. Nothing here is sensitive or secret, but I thought that it might be informative to us all.

The key reason why we see substitutions made isn't necessary for tactical reasons (half-time at Stoke being an obvious exception), it's actually to protect players in helping them avoid injuries.

Toney, for example, wouldn't be substituted if it was the final game of the season, but with 3 games a week for the next few months, and playing in a new high tempo, pressing system (to him) is a increased strain on his body. Especially when you factor in that he hasn't played since March. The numbers says that if a player stays on for last 15 minutes when already fatigued that hugely increases the chances of injury in that game, or subsequent games.

Likewise with other players, no-one has disputed that we are better off with our strongest players on the pitch than on the bench after 60 minutes. However they not all players can get through three 100 minute games a week, so substitutions are more about injury prevention than tactical changes or giving squad members game time. This is going to be especially true over the next few weeks for reasons stated above - the sheer number of games which is unprecedented - probably in any football competition.

Information on whom needs to have their load lightened is discerned from closely monitoring the players. They are physically screened every morning, including having blood tests etc. So the clever people at Jersey Road know who is closer to the edge than others. They also get a lot of info from technology that is used in training, including from the GPS trackers. For example, if a foot is in contact with the ground for longer than usual for that player then it means that player is fatigued (and you thought you were monitored at work!) Those closer to the edge are ear-marked to play fewer minutes in a game if circumstances permit (and I don't mean the scoreline, I mean if other substitutions means that well-laid plans have gone out the window)

So that's the bigger picture. Especially so that we now have 3 players out with long-term injuries, we simply can't afford to lose more so we need to protect players from injury with so many games being played.
Thanks Nana. That is exactly what I thought. Good to see it confirmed. I still wouldn't have brought Canos on though...........
 

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I suggest the players increase their Weetabix intake. Bunch of wimps.
 

Beesfan

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In a small quest to understand what is transpiring re our subs, I have made some enquiries today. Nothing here is sensitive or secret, but I thought that it might be informative to us all.

The key reason why we see substitutions made isn't necessarily for tactical reasons (half-time at Stoke being an obvious exception), it's actually to protect players in helping them avoid injuries.

Toney, for example, wouldn't be substituted if it was the final game of the season, but with 3 games a week for the next few months, and playing in a new high tempo, pressing system (to him) is a increased strain on his body. Especially when you factor in that he hasn't played since March. The numbers says that if a player stays on for last 15 minutes when already fatigued that hugely increases the chances of injury in that game, or subsequent games.

Likewise with other players, no-one has disputed that we are better off with our strongest players on the pitch than on the bench after 60 minutes. However not all players can get through three 100 minute games a week, so substitutions are more about injury prevention than tactical changes or giving squad members game time. This is going to be especially true over the next few weeks for reasons stated above - the sheer number of games which is unprecedented - probably in any football competition.

Information on whom needs to have their load lightened is discerned from closely monitoring the players. They are physically screened every morning, including having blood tests etc. So the clever people at Jersey Road know who is closer to the edge than others. They also get a lot of info from technology that is used in training, including from the GPS trackers. For example, if a foot is in contact with the ground for longer than usual for that player then it means that player is fatigued (and you thought you were monitored at work!) Those closer to the edge are ear-marked to play fewer minutes in a game if circumstances permit (and I don't mean the scoreline, I mean if other substitutions means that well-laid plans have gone out the window)

So that's the bigger picture. Especially so that we now have 3 players out with long-term injuries, we simply can't afford to lose more so we need to protect players from injury with so many games being played.
I’m sure all makes sense but bore the **** right off!! I’d rather have the points in the bag than take JD off because there is a risk he might get injured. Players have been playing with fatigue for years, it’s nothing new.Seems to me it sports science gone too far...and if we continue with this philosophy then we can kiss goodbye to getting promoted this season. You step foot into the pitch there is a risk you might get injured...
 

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Interesting. It’s not generally three games in a week though, is it? It’s two - appreciating last week was an exception.
 

HaylingBee74

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I know IT made a tackle near the touchline (in front of the camera) just before his substitution and he slid into an awkward position on his knees. I thought he looked tired then
 
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Banana

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Interesting. It’s not three games in a week though, is it? It’s two.
Wednesday, Saturday, Tuesday is three in a week. Anyway, you understand. Whether it's 2 or 3, we all know what it is, pedantic postulating isn't the point. The point is that we are reducing the risk of player injuries the risk of which is materially increased by playing so many matches.

Three long-term injuries already might give this approach some credence.
 

Lionel Bart-At

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I’m sure all makes sense but bore the **** right off!! I’d rather have the points in the bag than take JD off because there is a risk he might get injured. Players have been playing with fatigue for years, it’s nothing new.Seems to me it sports science gone too far...and if we continue with this philosophy then we can kiss goodbye to getting promoted this season. You step foot into the pitch there is a risk you might get injured...
You might not be saying this later in the season when we are hitting our straps as we usually do whilst key rivals are decimated by injury. ;)
 

Guildford Bee

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Wednesday, Saturday, Tuesday is three in a week. Anyway, you understand. Whether it's 2 or 3, we all know what it is, pedantic postulating isn't the point. The point is that we are reducing the risk of player injuries the risk of which is materially increased by playing so many matches.

Three long-term injuries already might give this approach some credence.
I guess we’ll find out in the spring whether it’s worth the points it’s cost us.

We were happy enough to keep Watkins on the pitch after the lockdown for 90 minutes in games that were clearly already won.
 
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Banana

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I guess we’ll find out in the spring whether it’s worth the points it’s cost us.
Or gained us. But unfortunately I don't think a double-blind experiment is going to work here.
 

TorbayBee

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I’m sure all makes sense but bore the **** right off!! I’d rather have the points in the bag than take JD off because there is a risk he might get injured. Players have been playing with fatigue for years, it’s nothing new.Seems to me it sports science gone too far...and if we continue with this philosophy then we can kiss goodbye to getting promoted this season. You step foot into the pitch there is a risk you might get injured...
Yeh, in the old days players would regularly lose a testicle but a rub down with a cold sponge and a slap on the back would soon have them up and running.
Your approach woukd see us win the next 3 games then for the rest of the season be forced to put out a side containing John Varney, the 10th Brentford Scouts and 2 programme sellers.
 

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Is the LR pitch more tiring and injury inducing than GP? It doesnt appear to be a possible cause with Shandon’s latest injury.
How close did we try and recreate the Wembley pitch which is renowned for injuries
Also we have had Goode injured before kick off and now a Norwich player too
 

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Thanks for this, confirms more or less what I suspected was the case and makes perfect sense to me, to try and manage limited resources to the best extent that you can. Won't stop all the haters hating and getting vexated but what can you do?
 

AB

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I guess we’ll find out in the spring whether it’s worth the points it’s cost us.

We were happy enough to keep Watkins on the pitch after the lockdown for 90 minutes in games that were clearly already won.
It is possible his diagnostic info was showing he was fine.
 

westendbee

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I fully understand the substitutions reasoning : what i can’t quite get my head around is the decision to run (until the beginning of January at least) with just a 23-man senior squad which includes 3 goalkeepers. To my untrained mind, we would have been better off having the likes of Zamburek and Dervisoglu available to play for us during this unrelenting run of Saturday - midweek - Saturday matches which we have all the way through to the New Year (apart from the international breaks, obviously). Even if they were only playing every 3rd or 4th match, it would help to keep the other players fresh.

And i know you can’t legislate for injuries like Norgaard’s ... but with the schedule we have, you have to expect a certain number of players unavailable at any time.
 

jlove

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I fully understand the substitutions reasoning : what i can’t quite get my head around is the decision to run (until the beginning of January at least) with just a 23-man senior squad which includes 3 goalkeepers. To my untrained mind, we would have been better off having the likes of Zamburek and Dervisoglu available to play for us during this unrelenting run of Saturday - midweek - Saturday matches which we have all the way through to the New Year (apart from the international breaks, obviously). Even if they were only playing every 3rd or 4th match, it would help to keep the other players fresh.

And i know you can’t legislate for injuries like Norgaard’s ... but with the schedule we have, you have to expect a certain number of players unavailable at any time.
I would expect there were very specific reasons for those two. I'm guessing that Jan has a development plan that included first team exposure in L1 and that Halil was not settling and a return to NL was seen as the best step. At that point, the squad depth and recruitment plans were probably considered sufficient.
 

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It’s understood but frustrating. Only 3 starters have been available for us throughout the entire campaign so far and we are only 8 games in.

Situations like this is where you want to be able to rely on the B team. In problem positions, we have Stevens, Maghoma, Hammar. Probably a bit early for them - but due to circumstances it might be useful to start rotating these guys in a little bit from the bench.

You never know who might get injured or suspended in the next game.
 

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There's no way you can say that JDS can go from being a rotational player out of necessity 12 months ago, to playing three 90 minutes in one week with no issues a year later. He's taken massive strides, but we still need to be slightly careful and still give him a breather every once in a while.

Time management of our players was one of the reasons we suffered burnout at the end of last season, we just didn't do it then and from Preston onwards it showed. I'd much rather us take a pro-active approach to keeping players fit, especially when we have a couple of very hectic months this year. Even if I'm not sure about a sub I will usually assume there are fitness reasons around it if not tactical, we have to assume things will be different this year.
 

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I’m sure all makes sense but bore the **** right off!! I’d rather have the points in the bag than take JD off because there is a risk he might get injured. Players have been playing with fatigue for years, it’s nothing new.Seems to me it sports science gone too far...and if we continue with this philosophy then we can kiss goodbye to getting promoted this season. You step foot into the pitch there is a risk you might get injured...
Well informed post. Sports science gone too far just the same way that political correctness went too far in the past. Whatever next? Freeing the slaves? Taking the knee?
 

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Well informed post. Sports science gone too far just the same way that political correctness went too far in the past. Whatever next? Freeing the slaves? Taking the knee?
Maybe it’s just my own creakiness but I wonder whether taking the knee will over the season manifest itself in a higher than usual number of knee injuries across the league.
 

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....so let me see...its the BFC scientists using tech who inform TF that someone may be struggling....so do those same scientists tell TF just exactly WHO should replace....lets say JDS....if so...has TF become obsolete. 🤔
 

hairman

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Maybe it’s just my own creakiness but I wonder whether taking the knee will over the season manifest itself in a higher than usual number of knee injuries across the league.
It's probably your own creakiness.;)
 

grepo

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Maybe it’s just my own creakiness but I wonder whether taking the knee will over the season manifest itself in a higher than usual number of knee injuries across the league.
Hasn't the point been made and now losing any impact. Probably not the knee joint healthiest position to adopt immediately before kicking off.
 

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Although it makes a lot of sense to me....

Would the statistical analysis say it is best to have your strongest team play each Saturday for full 90 mins than a bit part strongest team for 55/60 minutes in Sat/Tues/Sat because it clearly makes us disjointed.

I’m a believer of having a better “B” squad (the fringe cover players) to play every game where the first team need a rest. But maybe I’ve been playing too much football manager.
 

AB

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Although it makes a lot of sense to me....

Would the statistical analysis say it is best to have your strongest team play each Saturday for full 90 mins than a bit part strongest team for 55/60 minutes in Sat/Tues/Sat because it clearly makes us disjointed.

I’m a believer of having a better “B” squad (the fringe cover players) to play every game where the first team need a rest. But maybe I’ve been playing too much football manager.
Each game has the same points available. If our full first choice XI (a) is 100% strength, taking three out on 60 mins for non-tactical reasons (b) makes it overall 75% strength and playing a B team with 3 first choice subs (c) 50%, it is pretty obvious that playing (b) throughout is better than alternating between (a) and (c) if (b) is still good enough to be capable of getting a result against all teams. Our (b) is still very good. Our (c) would be about as good as Wycombe.

Predicting which opponents we could play a weak team against and which to play strong is hard. To maximise points we’d pick the best against Luton and the weakest against Norwich. Does anyone really want to see that? Particularly if we fail to win some of the “easy” games and start the hard games having conceded defeat.
 

Nada Bee

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Each game has the same points available. If our full first choice XI (a) is 100% strength, taking three out on 60 mins for non-tactical reasons (b) makes it overall 75% strength and playing a B team with 3 first choice subs (c) 50%, it is pretty obvious that playing (b) throughout is better than alternating between (a) and (c) if (b) is still good enough to be capable of getting a result against all teams. Our (b) is still very good. Our (c) would be about as good as Wycombe.

Predicting which opponents we could play a weak team against and which to play strong is hard. To maximise points we’d pick the best against Luton and the weakest against Norwich. Does anyone really want to see that? Particularly if we fail to win some of the “easy” games and start the hard games having conceded defeat.
see your point. Not something I would ever consider with games only on Saturdays but given the intense schedule the first two months - would it of made any difference to our current points tally? Who knows.
 

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....so let me see...its the BFC scientists using tech who inform TF that someone may be struggling....so do those same scientists tell TF just exactly WHO should replace....lets say JDS....if so...has TF become obsolete. 🤔
No but at the moment the fans are
 

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I’m sure all makes sense but bore the **** right off!! I’d rather have the points in the bag than take JD off because there is a risk he might get injured. Players have been playing with fatigue for years, it’s nothing new.Seems to me it sports science gone too far...and if we continue with this philosophy then we can kiss goodbye to getting promoted this season. You step foot into the pitch there is a risk you might get injured...
I just want to apologise for this post, totally uncalled for and I’m embarrassed, first time I’ve come back on since then. Don’t want to make excuses but it’s fair to say I’d had had one too many at the time of writing this. Working from home these past 7 months is taking its toll a bit...apologies once again.

It’s a load of nonsense that I’ve put as well, this wonderful club have proved time and time again that they know what they are doing.
 

Ruislip_Rich

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I just want to apologise for this post, totally uncalled for and I’m embarrassed, first time I’ve come back on since then. Don’t want to make excuses but it’s fair to say I’d had had one too many at the time of writing this. Working from home these past 7 months is taking its toll a bit...apologies once again.

It’s a load of nonsense that I’ve put as well, this wonderful club have proved time and time again that they know what they are doing.
Don't beat yourself up mate. We all have silly moments. It's a way of letting off steam.
I hope you are ok.
 
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Banana

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I just want to apologise for this post, totally uncalled for and I’m embarrassed, first time I’ve come back on since then. Don’t want to make excuses but it’s fair to say I’d had had one too many at the time of writing this. Working from home these past 7 months is taking its toll a bit...apologies once again.

It’s a load of nonsense that I’ve put as well, this wonderful club have proved time and time again that they know what they are doing.
I did wonder 🤣
 

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Perfect subs today.

question has there ever been a quicker assist and goal from 2 subs from open play?
 

TW3Bee

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Couldn't have gone much better today.
 

liverbee

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I just want to apologise for this post, totally uncalled for and I’m embarrassed, first time I’ve come back on since then. Don’t want to make excuses but it’s fair to say I’d had had one too many at the time of writing this. Working from home these past 7 months is taking its toll a bit...apologies once again.

It’s a load of nonsense that I’ve put as well, this wonderful club have proved time and time again that they know what they are doing.
I took your original post as fine satire ( which rarely works on social media, because people are too wound up). How disappointing.
 

Mr Cynical

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Interesting to see in Nathan Jones post match interview he mentions one of their players playing with an issue he 'hadn't mentioned' and getting caught by Mbeumo because of it..
 

Simon C

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Interesting to see in Nathan Jones post match interview he mentions one of their players playing with an issue he 'hadn't mentioned' and getting caught by Mbeumo because of it..
Whereas our players don't need to mention an issue as we are tracking their stats
 

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