Thursday, July 25, 2013

Exploring The Wrong

Worked through Opta activity for Columbus Crew holding midfielders for Massive Report and found a mess of interesting things. I tried to keep it pretty focused over there and not get lost in trying to explain information. Pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Among the things that I wanted to get across was how often a player did something wrong. The reason I took the negative approach was because it seems like the only time we really hear about a player doing well is if they are A) New or B) They score.


Poking around the data I found that saying '79% of a players touches are positive' was misleading because I found myself thinking, 'well, that's fine. He's doing alright'. It really minimized the impact of a bad pass, turnover or bad shot.

All things that give possession away are why players train all those hours. "The Wrong" gives the opposition an extra chance.

Mistakes, no matter how small, should absolutely be tracked, measured and monitored. Especially for a team with a lot of young players


I looked at all the players for the Crew but only published the holding mids in the Massive Report post to keep it simple. Also, what applies as bad or wrong for one position doesn't necessary apply to another position.


25% Eric Gehrig
21% Josh Williams
19% Gláuber
19% Tyson Wahl
15% Chad Barson
15% Chad Marshall

It bothers me that Josh Williams is high up on this list, but his Turnover and Dispossession rates are high. Also, his passing is fairly average. Not sure if it is a case of trying to hard or being frustrated.

Josh is like my bellwether for everything. I've tossed out so many misguided metrics because his performances always have me going back and taking a second look.

That said, none of the Crew defenders seem to be in the 'wrong' that much. The Crew have an above average backline in MLS. These guys (including Gehrig) are good players.


41% Ethan Finlay
26% Ben Speas
24% Bernardo Anor
21% Eddie Gaven
21% Federico Higuaín

I peeled off bad shots for the midfielders. They should be ripping off shots. You can see the impact that the loss of Gaven probably plays with this year's team. The Crew would absolutely be better off if they had Eddie but I don't think it is the reason the Crew are this far down the table.


61% Ryan Finley
49% Aaron Schoenfeld
40% Justin Meram
34% Jairo Arrieta
33% Dominic Oduro

Not really surprising, here. What was surprising though was when I included errant shots... it completely flipped.

70.0% Jairo Arrieta
66.1% Dominic Oduro
60.8% Justin Meram
53.3% Aaron Schoenfeld
35.9% Ryan Finley (incorrect will have to update)

All of them jumped, of course, but Schoenfeld and Finley come out looking better. Most of that has to do with them only taking a few shots but I also think that both these players are more accurate than Arrieta and Oduro. Both of them can be magical when on target but also disastrous when off (which is probably why they find themselves with the Crew).


To sort of tie this all up... I like what I found in looking at things this way. I focused on the holding mids with the Crew at Massive Report because I felt that the position is the most important on the team this year.

Should be interesting to see how this plays out the rest of the year.

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