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duncanjwitham

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About duncanjwitham

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  • Birthday 23/09/1980

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  1. duncanjwitham

    Perhaps we're not as good as we think? Yes it's XG

    Here you go: Maybe not quite as clear a trend as you'd imagine, but there's definitely one there.
  2. duncanjwitham

    Perhaps we're not as good as we think? Yes it's XG

    It's pretty simple - we can just do it better now than they did. A managers job is all about making decisions (who to pick, who to buy, how to set the team up etc), and if they are able to have more information available to base those decisions on, then it's borderline criminal if they don't make use of it. Plus it's pretty much an arms race - every other manager is potentially using these stats to inform his decisions, so you have to. Brian Clough wasn't up against a league filled with managers using data analysts and sports scientists, he was using the same level of info as everyone else. There are 11 players on the pitch for 90+ minutes - that's potentially 16.5+hours of individual performances to watch - there's no way a manager can re-watch all of that for every game, when we're playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday, on top of all of his other duties. If he can sit down and re-watch the game a couple of times with a checklist of all of the things that the stats have highlighted might be of interest, it's a much better use of their time. And for what it's worth, the xG table that was posted mid-season last season was proven correct - we were overachieving based on scoring and conceding at freakishly high and low rates. When those rates drifted back to normal, we started dropping down the table, and only a change of system late on turned it around.
  3. duncanjwitham

    Perhaps we're not as good as we think? Yes it's XG

    These stats aren't supposed to be taken on their own though. You're not supposed to throw a party because you're top of the xG chart. They're supposed to tell you something that you can then go and look at in matches to see what's actually happening. The fact we're scoring a decent number of goals, from a lot of shots, but have a relatively low xG suggests we're creating a lot of low-quality chances. And if you go and look at the shot totals and shot zones (whoscored.com has these), we have the 2nd most shots in total in the Championship, and by far the most from outside of the box. We also have one of the lowest shot counts from inside the 6 yard box. That points to the same conclusion, we have lots of shots, but quite a few of them are pot shots from outside the area. So you go and watch some matches and see why this is happening - and I suspect it will be the games against the likes of Bolton and Rotherham that sway it, where we struggle to break down massed defences and end up shooting from distance. That's maybe not the best example of using these kind of stats, as the conclusion is probably fairly obvious anyway, but there will be plenty of other cases where it can be very useful. I remember a previous manager (can't remember which) talking about a midfielder's yards-covered-per-match having dropped in the previous few matches. That's something you might not pick up from just watching the game (as you can't be watching all 11 players all of the time), so you go and look at the game and see why. Is he struggling a bit with fitness? Are we struggling to get the ball to him, so he can't make forward runs? Is he being lazy and not tracking back enough? Are we playing too many long balls and bypassing midfield so he's not getting involved enough? And once you know why it's happening, you can try and sort it - rest him if he's tired, tell him off if he's being lazy, tweak the midfield shape a bit, or whatever. But without that stat telling you something might be off, the issue might never have been spotted (or at least spotted as quickly).
  4. duncanjwitham

    Perhaps we're not as good as we think? Yes it's XG

    Deciding that is the point of xG though - separating good chances from bad ones, rather than just counting shots. If we have 13 shots from distance and 2 sitters a game, and score 1.5 of them on average, then that is pretty clinical.
  5. duncanjwitham

    January Transfers

    I think we could maybe do with more cover for Mount/Bryson, although Wilsons performances there in the last couple of games might change my mind on that. Aside from that, nothing needs changing.
  6. duncanjwitham

    v Bolton Wanderers (A) Match Thread

    No idea if he's injured, but I don't think it's a case of 'being behind', more like there's about 20 players for 18 spots, so someone's always gonna miss out when everyone is fit. Nugent missed out a few weeks ago, Marriott has missed a few and so on. We just need to get used to it and not turn it into a major incident when someone's not there.
  7. duncanjwitham

    v Bolton Wanderers (A) Match Thread

    We've got no genuine cover at all for the midfield though. The other holding midfielders are nowhere near as effective as Johnson in this system, and there's no cover for Mount either. When Evans gets back, we can maybe fiddle with it a bit, plus there's a few international breaks coming up that we can use to recharge. Some cover has to be the priority in January though.
  8. duncanjwitham

    v Bolton Wanderers (A) Match Thread

    We've literally got no one that can do the job Bryson does. Plus he always plays better if you keep him in the team - he seems to take a while to get going again when he's missed games. Slightly surprised that Marriott hasn't had a chance instead of Nugent though, but can't fault Lampard for keeping it the same.
  9. duncanjwitham

    Phone signal at Pride Park

    My dads on Sky mobile and has the exact same problem. Can't help any more that that, but it's definitely not just you.
  10. duncanjwitham

    Jack Marriott

    That's not quite the case here though, Bird was doing a completely different job. There was no other cover for Bryson and Mount in the 18 - maybe Huddlestone and Holmes at a pinch, but they're not in any way like-for-like.
  11. duncanjwitham

    Jack Marriott

    The big problem that marriott is going to have, is that he's one of the the least versatile players that we have. Bennet and Waghorn can play all across the front 3, Lawrence and Wilson can play either side or as a number 10, Jozefzoon can play either side and so on. That leaves Nugent and Marriott as out and out strikers, and there'll at best be room for one in the squad, as you're limiting our options if both are in there (fitness of other plays permitting etc). And at the moment Nugent is doing a good job and has hold of the shirt.
  12. duncanjwitham

    v Hull City (A) Match Thread

    He was very good, but someone needs to sit him down and teach him how to say Jozefzoon. I think he pronounced it differently every time he said, and not once did he actually say it right.
  13. duncanjwitham

    The loan signing

    Not so much to challenge Bryson, but to be a different option to him. Bryson, Mount and Johnson are all kind of similar in what they do on the pitch (high-energy box-to-box players). We need someone with a bit of composure and creativity in games where we're struggling to unlock a packed defence.
  14. duncanjwitham

    Chris Martin - Signed for Hull City on a season long loan

    We can talk about why on earth we loaned Martin out to another championship club, and when can we have him back...
  15. duncanjwitham

    Max Lowe - joined Aberdeen on loan until Jan

    Makes sense for everyone really. If he's playing well, they can extend the loan, and we can maybe get a bit more cash from them. If he's playing badly or not playing, they get out of the deal and we get to send him somewhere else to have a go.
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