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Kingston Bee

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Here's the data... on (infogol) xG we "should" be 5th not 14th, because Christian "should" have three goals rather than one, Bryan three or four rather than two and Ivan three rather than two... and that's the four goal "shortfall" in goals for. Our goals against is bang on. Which is pretty much what we all know with our own eyes: Christian's been unlucky, Bryan's finishing has been poor by PL standard and Ivan's not quite at his usual high standard.

Last year Brighton were the great xG underperformers, which is why they were heavily touted to do better this year. This year they're five places higher than they "ought" to be (as we know from the game at BCS). If you read one of Rasmus's books, he gives a great example of how Newcastle dramatically outperformed their xG a few years back. In the first half of one season (2012, I think), one of their centre forwards basically took every chance going going to a ridiculous level, and then in the second exactly the same happened with forward #2. As a result, they finished 5th when they "should' have been 5th from bottom or some such. The next year they duly finished 16th.

Eventually the law of averages catches up... so keep backing Bryan to score and Bees to win ;)


View attachment 28344
Was thinking the same. The Newcastle and Brighton examples prove that over time it all levels out. Hopefully we won't be over performing next season in the Championship!
 

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We'll likely always underachieve for our xG, as it's the main metric we're trying to increase so will always perform well there. Pesky things like wayward finishing and defenders switching off for a brief moment can undo a lot of good work sometimes!

Game state is also a large factor in this, where you are more likely to be creating xG compared to the other team if they're 1-0 up and sitting back with everyone behind the ball, while you're creating attacks against it.

In football it's very easy to view things from a very short term point of view. A month ago a top half finish looked like a decent shout! Now people are looking over their shoulders. 538 have us at a 12% chance of relegation. Once injuries and probably a bit of confidence returns, we'll hopefully get back to our former levels.

Saturday was frustrating, but there's no point saying (as someone wrote above) that we should stop focussing on xG. It's got us where we are remember...
 

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The reason we won't achieve our xG is because we have the lowest budget in the league and our players are not capable of producing worldies on a regular basis.
The goal that Tielemans scored against us was an absolute belter, and he's capable of doing that from time to time. I don't see any of our midfielders doing that more than once a season, let alone Tielemans doing it twice in a month (against Man U and against us). But that's the difference between most other Premier League teams and ourselves.
That's why we rely on a lot on teamwork, workrate, and hoping that we create sufficient chances for us to convert them. Don't forget, we've clearly focused on set-pieces, because the management will have looked at our squad and seen that our ability to convert chances in the Prem will be lower than in the Championship.
It's great that we have a team that works so hard, plays some decent football, and does create chances, but we're not going to convert chances in the same way that we did in the Championship.
Toney is learning his trade against superior defenders, Mbeumo's not the best finisher but his movement is excellent, and our midfielders aren't regular goalscorers, so we will struggle for goals.
So long as keep creating chances, we give ourselves more of a chance of getting some kind of result, and I suspect that by the end of the season, we will have converted enough of those chances to stay up. If we can keep on improving the squad, then who knows what will happen next season?
And that's why xG is important. It's a measure of performance, and an indicator of what we might achieve given a level playing field. Our recruitment team will be looking to close the gap between our results and our xG, focusing on converting chances, and then we'll be able to dream of a European tour.
 

AB

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The reason we won't achieve our xG is because we have the lowest budget in the league and our players are not capable of producing worldies on a regular basis.
The goal that Tielemans scored against us was an absolute belter, and he's capable of doing that from time to time. I don't see any of our midfielders doing that more than once a season, let alone Tielemans doing it twice in a month (against Man U and against us). But that's the difference between most other Premier League teams and ourselves.
That's why we rely on a lot on teamwork, workrate, and hoping that we create sufficient chances for us to convert them. Don't forget, we've clearly focused on set-pieces, because the management will have looked at our squad and seen that our ability to convert chances in the Prem will be lower than in the Championship.
It's great that we have a team that works so hard, plays some decent football, and does create chances, but we're not going to convert chances in the same way that we did in the Championship.
Toney is learning his trade against superior defenders, Mbeumo's not the best finisher but his movement is excellent, and our midfielders aren't regular goalscorers, so we will struggle for goals.
So long as keep creating chances, we give ourselves more of a chance of getting some kind of result, and I suspect that by the end of the season, we will have converted enough of those chances to stay up. If we can keep on improving the squad, then who knows what will happen next season?
And that's why xG is important. It's a measure of performance, and an indicator of what we might achieve given a level playing field. Our recruitment team will be looking to close the gap between our results and our xG, focusing on converting chances, and then we'll be able to dream of a European tour.
Yes to all this. With the additional important contextual information that Tielemans cost £32m in 2019. Or in Brentford terms, Toney, Mbeumo, Norgaard, Raya, Janelt, Henry, Jansson and Pinnock. Or our entire summer first team spend this year.
 

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Very quick answer, I reckon it is because we are using xG (or similar) as a measure of how well we are doing. So we put emphasis on creating chances, which we do well.

The old adage of "if you measure something then you change it" applies here.
I suspect there is probably a lot of truth in that!
 

Rob-BEE

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In the Championship I think we may have stuck out a bit on the stats approach, but in the Prem my sense is that it's all standard now.

But there's an interesting wrinkle in what you're saying that maybe my earlier way of framing it is missing, which is that you can ignore the between-club comparisons and ignore the under/over performance stuff and just take your starting lineup+bench+formation as a fixed thing, and ask "How do I maximize the xG over season with these players?" That's probably closer to what TF's remit is, and I do see a risk of what you say, i.e. "when your measurement becomes the target, it's no longer measuring"

Would explain why we put *so much work* into innovating on set piece routines, long throws, cutbacks, committing more men forward etc. We can raise xG here since we actually control these parts of the game through coaching and strategic data analysis, whereas we probably can't expect to raise xG just by getting more open-play shots from better locations without player upgrades. I've heard Klopp say something to that effect so I'm sure it's well-known but we do seem to be quite good at it even in PL level.
Also well put. There is little value in encouraging our players to take 25 yard shots when we know our chances of scoring from them are very low. You have to work with what you've got and it's clear to see that's what we're trying to do.

Given how blunt an instrument xG is and the variability in shooting ability between the very top players and our squad, it's worth considering that maybe we need to be, on average, say 0.5 xG ahead of our opponents to give ourselves a better than evens chance of winning. It could easily go to explain why we consistently under achieve relative to xG; in a way it's exactly what you would expect us to be doing.
 

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The boy and I have our own metric which is of we dont concede in the first 15 minutes we get a result. Pretty much rings true.
 
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HaylingBee74

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I have a fundamental problem with xG, if you give different players identical goalscoring opportunities how can you correctly work out what their xG is? You don’t even know where they are aiming

I didn’t know so I looked this up…
A penalty xG value is fixed to 0.76.

How can this be a stat worth relying on if Ivan Toney or say Joe Bloggs picked at random from the crowd is taking it, both get the same xG?
 
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I have a fundamental problem with xG, if you give different players identical goalscoring opportunities how can you correctly work out what their xG is? You don’t even know where they are aiming

I didn’t know so I looked this up…
A penalty xG value is fixed to 0.76.

How can this be a stat worth relying on if Ivan Toney or say Joe Bloggs picked at random from the crowd is taking it, both get the same xG?
It’s based on the percentage chance of a premier league player scoring from a position based on what has happened in past games. It seems 76% of penalties are scored. It doesn’t matter who the chances fall to, the xg is the same.
 

Rob-BEE

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If Ivan is taking the penalty, the xG should be 0.99!
Isn't this just another way of expressing why we may not be performing exactly to expectations on xG? If we'd won 10 penalties this season I imagine we would be far exceeding our xG! However, given some of our highest xG chances have fallen to Pontus and Norgaard, it's pretty obvious why we we're under performing!
 
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Thomas Bathurst

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Isn't this just another way of expressing why we may not be performing exactly to expectations on xG? If we'd won 10 penalties this season I imagine we would be far exceeding our xG! However, given some of our highest xG chances have fallen to Pontus and Norgaard, it's pretty obvious why we we're under performing!
Although we won loads of penalties last season and still underperformed xG ...
 

AB

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Although we won loads of penalties last season and still underperformed xG ...
There’s almost certainly data for individual players’ personal actual v population xG which clubs use to help with development and tactics, at least for players who’ve taken a statistically relevant number of shots from different situations. It’d explain why Jensen rarely shoots- he can score 0.1xG screamers but might take much more than 10 attempts for each one that goes in. Whereas if say 50% of the time he could have had a shot he instead gets off a pass leading to a 0.3xG effort by another player, it’s a better option to look for the pass, particularly if it goes to a player who has a higher than xG conversion rate.

Before his injury Sergi had a huge number of shots without scoring, so again it made sense to get him doing other things and being more selective about his efforts. There’ll also be more sophisticated measures like goals scored by the team from particular phases- eg on pure actual v xG you’d tell Pontus not to bother but the far post overloads where he’s had shots and headers have quite often led to another player scoring. But these are fiddlier data sets needing careful use and not obviously publicised as standard measures.
 
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I wonder how far back teams take it when looking at stats. If you take the typical Man City goal (brilliant threaded ball to the byline, which is then crossed along the ground for Sterling to tap into an empty net from six yards), the xg for the chance is probably .90 but the creation of the chance is harder to execute than knocking the ball 5 yards sideways for someone to have a pop at goal from 25 yards.
Basically do stats tell us if Jensen should keep trying the difficult ball (and stand out one way or another) or just knock it sideways and keep the posts on his thread down to a minimum.
 
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AB

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I wonder how far back teams take it when looking at stats. If you take the typical Man City goal (brilliant threaded ball to the byline, which is then crossed along the ground for Sterling to tap into an empty net from six yards), the xg for the chance is probably .90 but the creation of the chance is harder to execute than knocking the ball 5 yards sideways for someone to have a pop at goal from 25 yards.
Basically do stats tell us if Jensen should keep trying the difficult ball (and stand out one way or another) or just knock it sideways and keep the posts on his thread down to a minimum.
I’d expect they look at this. Norgaard and Janelt are much more focused on the short recycling passes. Jensen and Ghoddos are tasked with the more directly attacking pass for an assist or set up.
 
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I have a fundamental problem with xG, if you give different players identical goalscoring opportunities how can you correctly work out what their xG is? You don’t even know where they are aiming

I didn’t know so I looked this up…
A penalty xG value is fixed to 0.76.

How can this be a stat worth relying on if Ivan Toney or say Joe Bloggs picked at random from the crowd is taking it, both get the same xG?
it is the 'quality' of chance, not the one who is taking it
 

Tunis Bee

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it is the 'quality' of chance, not the one who is taking it
If I am understanding it correctly, I guess that is the main problem with xG. I imagine they come up with the number for each different type of chance based on how often an "average" player would score in that position. If that is based on the average Premier League player, or the average Premier League striker, I would expect teams like ours to regularly underperform our xG on the basis that our players are below average (not a dig, just simply where we are currently, and what our means afford).

For example, I would expect someone as clinical as Salah would consistently outperform xG, and Mbuemo to underperform xG, the difference between the two you would see in their respective values.
 

jbee

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I have a fundamental problem with xG, if you give different players identical goalscoring opportunities how can you correctly work out what their xG is? You don’t even know where they are aiming

I didn’t know so I looked this up…
A penalty xG value is fixed to 0.76.

How can this be a stat worth relying on if Ivan Toney or say Joe Bloggs picked at random from the crowd is taking it, both get the same xG?

I suppose it depends on whether you want a stat that measures the quality of the chances you create or the quality of your players? In reality I think stats suggest that differences in finishing ability between players are not as wide as generally assumed.

Players who regularly overperform their xG are rare and valuable. If you have one then obviously it makes sense to allow him a bit more leeway on terms of the shots he takes on.
 
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If I am understanding it correctly, I guess that is the main problem with xG. I imagine they come up with the number for each different type of chance based on how often an "average" player would score in that position. If that is based on the average Premier League player, or the average Premier League striker, I would expect teams like ours to regularly underperform our xG on the basis that our players are below average (not a dig, just simply where we are currently, and what our means afford).

For example, I would expect someone as clinical as Salah would consistently outperform xG, and Mbuemo to underperform xG, the difference between the two you would see in their respective values.

1636458693165.png
 
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Vardy also outperforms his xG too because he is a really good finisher. The xG stat doesn't take into account the player so if a player is a clinical finisher then you can expect them to outperform their xG.
 

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Vardy also outperforms his xG too because he is a really good finisher. The xG stat doesn't take into account the player so if a player is a clinical finisher then you can expect them to outperform their xG.
So I check xG on the stats of a French striker, Mohamed Bayo I am watching closely…


His 7 goals exceed his xG by 1.64…..impressive
 

Adam

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I have a fundamental problem with xG, if you give different players identical goalscoring opportunities how can you correctly work out what their xG is? You don’t even know where they are aiming

I didn’t know so I looked this up…
A penalty xG value is fixed to 0.76.

How can this be a stat worth relying on if Ivan Toney or say Joe Bloggs picked at random from the crowd is taking it, both get the same xG?
There are a lot of potential flaws in Xg:
  • The pitch conditions
  • View of goal - i.e. are there defenders blocking the view of the striker, meaning he has to re-angle his shot (a 0.15 shot actually becomes 0.05 Xg)
  • Goalkeepers view of the shot - i.e. is his view obstructed making the chance easier.
  • Quality of the assist - i.e. does the ball it up perfect for the volley, or does it have spin on it
  • Game dynamics - e.g. our Xg was higher than Chelsea's, however, if we had scored in the 50th minute in that game no doubt Chelsea start to dominate and would have won on Xg if we managed to hold on for a draw. Our Xg was only became so high because we couldn't take the early chances
  • And like you say quality of the individual involved.
I imagine a lot of these stats websites use very basic formulas not accounting for these variables. Given that Xg has made MB millions (if not billions), I imagine his formula is much more in depth and not for public consumption.
 

Bangor Bee

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I think our superior xG performance simply indicates that we haven't been clinical in sticking our chances away, plus, as someone mentioned above, we don't really have the players who produce 'worldies' from distance.
 

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The Brentford xG page as well as having the breakdown for each player has some very interesting other splits.


1. Situation
Open play….xG +4.2
Corners
Set Pieces
Direct Free Kicks
Penalties
2. Formation
3. Shot Zones
4. Timing
5. Attack Speed
6. Result, interesting showing that our 7 shots that have hit the post were only rated at 0.95 xG. So the positions were hard to score from.
Missed, saved & blocked shots help indicate if shots are too early, too late.

The player split highlights that Ivan is getting far too few chances just 2.72 xG from 11 games, while Christian has 3.14 xG.
I wonder if from this stat alone Ivan should wander ten yards outside the box before corners to make a late run into the box as the corner is taken.
 
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Toney v Norgaard shot map. Interesting Norgaard has had more 'shots' inside the 6 yard box than Toney but then these have come from corners and set pieces.

Green = Goal
Red = Missed shot
Purple = Blocked shot
Blue = Saved shot

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jlove

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Toney v Norgaard shot map. Interesting Norgaard has had more 'shots' inside the 6 yard box than Toney but then these have come from corners and set pieces.

Green = Goal
Red = Missed shot
Purple = Blocked shot
Blue = Saved shot

View attachment 28378

View attachment 28379
I think this illustrates the value of set pieces, when there’s more attacking players in and around the box with a known plan.
 

shaun

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Isn't this just another way of expressing why we may not be performing exactly to expectations on xG? If we'd won 10 penalties this season I imagine we would be far exceeding our xG! However, given some of our highest xG chances have fallen to Pontus and Norgaard, it's pretty obvious why we we're under performing!
Or it reflects our style of play and reliance on set pieces?
 
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What happens if there are several good chances to score in the same sequence of play. Can more than 1 be added to the team xg even though only one goal could have been scored?
 

AB

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What happens if there are several good chances to score in the same sequence of play. Can more than 1 be added to the team xg even though only one goal could have been scored?
They all count- which is one of the reasons we got so high xG against Chelsea.
 

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I think trying to second guess our owner and analytics team is a fools errand. Seven years ago we were mocked for introducing our approach; since then Tuchel, Klopp and a lot of highly respected people have taken interest or been to visit. Surely we have to back the club on this.

On the question of XG and players it is definitely accounted for in the more sophisticated models. The value of each chance is adjusted based on each players previous scoring record. I would also add that when you look at player data over a long enough sample, very very few players have a massive differential between actual and expected goals, which is why in the long run, it works

Finally, there are players who are better at long range shooting. And yes, we have been burned by this three times this season. But look at Said. We loved his long range goals but how many more times did we get frustrated when he blasted it wide/over when we were chasing a game? Having said that, we do miss JDS in this regard as the odd long shot tends to draw defenders out and create more space in the box.

I suppose the point is to accept that our club is at the forefront of this and our models will be being constantly refined. Whenever there is a bad run of results this question comes up but the whole point is that bad luck/form happens. Trust.
 
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What happens if there are several good chances to score in the same sequence of play. Can more than 1 be added to the team xg even though only one goal could have been scored?
Strangely this happened on Sunday. Pontus had our best chance after the foul but before the penalty was eventually awarded. In theory it shouldn’t be counted but looking at the xg totals for the game I think it must have been.
 

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Experimental 361 only counted the pen in that incident (0.8xG). Then we just had a splatter of smaller chances. A 1-1 draw would have been more fair according to the model.

2021-11-28-brentford-everton.png
 

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I think trying to second guess our owner and analytics team is a fools errand. Seven years ago we were mocked for introducing our approach; since then Tuchel, Klopp and a lot of highly respected people have taken interest or been to visit. Surely we have to back the club on this.
This. In fact, if Mr. Benham ever looks at some of these xG tables you see reported in the papers/online (which is doubtful), then I'm sure he just laughs at how simplistic they are.

And speaking of "simplistic", my own take on this is that Ivan's changing role this season from last must be having a significant effect on our xG chance conversion. E.g. against Everton, his only touch in their penalty area was the penalty, while his touch map on MOTD showed that he covered every other area of the pitch.

Doubtless the coaches and analysts are well aware of this and reckon his overall contribution elsewhere outweighs his ability to convert chances by getting him into the box, so I'm not going to gainsay them.

Meanwhile, I suspect that they were hoping that Bryan would convert the chances which Ivan is no longer getting, but as we know, he's already hit the woodwork 6 times this season, which is twice as much as any other PL player. Surely he's got to get a break so long as he can keep his performance levels up?
 

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This. In fact, if Mr. Benham ever looks at some of these xG tables you see reported in the papers/online (which is doubtful), then I'm sure he just laughs at how simplistic they are.

And speaking of "simplistic", my own take on this is that Ivan's changing role this season from last must be having a significant effect on our xG chance conversion. E.g. against Everton, his only touch in their penalty area was the penalty, while his touch map on MOTD showed that he covered every other area of the pitch.

Doubtless the coaches and analysts are well aware of this and reckon his overall contribution elsewhere outweighs his ability to convert chances by getting him into the box, so I'm not going to gainsay them.

Meanwhile, I suspect that they were hoping that Bryan would convert the chances which Ivan is no longer getting, but as we know, he's already hit the woodwork 6 times this season, which is twice as much as any other PL player. Surely he's got to get a break so long as he can keep his performance levels up?
They’re quite different sorts of forward but I think the loss of the non-goal impact of Bamford at Leeds is the reason they look a shadow of their team last season. So all the other work Toney does is key to how well we’ve generally played as a team. We’ve scored reasonably well even though he’s only got 4 and Mbeumo has had an enduring love affair with the woodwork while also working very hard and causing defences problems. The goals will come for both of them and if not, from a wide range of others - I’m not sure we’ve had such a wide spread of scorers for a long time and both City and Chelsea (!) have also not relied on strikers for their goals. But we need that heavy work around the pitch from Toney and Mbeumo just as Leeds needed Bamford’s.
 

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They’re quite different sorts of forward but I think the loss of the non-goal impact of Bamford at Leeds is the reason they look a shadow of their team last season. So all the other work Toney does is key to how well we’ve generally played as a team. We’ve scored reasonably well even though he’s only got 4 and Mbeumo has had an enduring love affair with the woodwork while also working very hard and causing defences problems. The goals will come for both of them and if not, from a wide range of others - I’m not sure we’ve had such a wide spread of scorers for a long time and both City and Chelsea (!) have also not relied on strikers for their goals. But we need that heavy work around the pitch from Toney and Mbeumo just as Leeds needed Bamford’s.
I'm sure you're right about Leeds missing Bamford, but I suspect their present problems go beyond that. My mate subscribes to the "three seasons" theory, which holds that that is the maximum any team has in its tank before it needs to be rebuilt with new players etc.

Which probably reflects the idea which Mr. Benham has expressed, namely that the "best" team does not always win the league, i.e. you need 100 games to determine just how good a team really is.

And for all that people laud Bielsa as a "genius" etc, he's never stayed more than 3 years at any of the 10 league clubs he's managed. Now granted he's walked out on a few early, alleging that they weren't giving him the support they'd promised. Which may be true enough, but it may also be disguising a flaw in his management, which is that while he can build a team with the best of them, he can't then refresh and rebuild it over a longer period?
 

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I'm sure you're right about Leeds missing Bamford, but I suspect their present problems go beyond that. My mate subscribes to the "three seasons" theory, which holds that that is the maximum any team has in its tank before it needs to be rebuilt with new players etc.

Which probably reflects the idea which Mr. Benham has expressed, namely that the "best" team does not always win the league, i.e. you need 100 games to determine just how good a team really is.

And for all that people laud Bielsa as a "genius" etc, he's never stayed more than 3 years at any of the 10 league clubs he's managed. Now granted he's walked out on a few early, alleging that they weren't giving him the support they'd promised. Which may be true enough, but it may also be disguising a flaw in his management, which is that while he can build a team with the best of them, he can't then refresh and rebuild it over a longer period?
Even if a team has a cycle of 3 years, that can’t be formed in 1 or even 2 windows. It is a constant process of snipping the ageing parts and introducing new shoots like gardening. I think several larger clubs in Premier League have really struggled with this over the last 3 years. Arsenal, Spurs and Man U all have made ‘marquee’ signings but have sat on the deadwood in their squads for way too long.

Then when managers changed, those problems were passed on and needed brutal decisions of who to get rid of. Most new managers fear alienating fans and media so find making those tough decisions even more difficult.

How long did it take Arsenal to get rid of Mesut Ozil?? He should have left in 2017 when he had a year left on his contract, a few good games meant he stayed 4 more years. Crazy
 

Invipai

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I know the changing of the squad is something we take in mind, I think Rasmus spoke about it one time. Players effectively lose their motivation/desire after a period of time from being too comfortable, and dressing rooms with more turnover perform better (not too much in one go mind). The key is to change as you go, rather than needing to do big squad overhauls every few years. Certain clubs fall into the fallacy of thinking their squad is good, so don't prepare for beyond that.

Leeds, despite their signings, have felt very similar to the last two years. I can't fully pinpoint why it's not working for them this year (Bamford missing, other teams working them out etc) but they are struggling to do much. I don't think they will go down, but I think they'll stay about where they are now.
 

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Over the season to date (infogol data), Palace, ourselves and Everton are the three teams with the biggest real vs. xG points shortfall... all five places beneath where we "should" be. Just shows the difference of literally 2-3 goals in 13 games. Interestingly, Spurs are the big over-achievers: on xG they'd be 15th rather than 7th, having rattled in 4.3 goals more than they "ought".

Screenshot 2021-11-30 at 15.03.42.png
 
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Meanwhile, I suspect that they were hoping that Bryan would convert the chances which Ivan is no longer getting, but as we know, he's already hit the woodwork 6 times this season, which is twice as much as any other PL player. Surely he's got to get a break so long as he can keep his performance levels up?

According to this site it's seven and from my fading memory I think they're right -

Is Mbeumo the unluckiest Premier League player?

I am half expecting him to hit a shot that bounces off both posts click for youtube examples before the season is up. Hope I'm wrong and he hits the goal a lot more this season.
 
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