|One of the commenest of football commonplaces is that you’ve got to win your challenges and maintain possession of the ball to have success.
It’s the sort of thing pot-bellied fathers love to yell at their progeny on the pitch in youth leagues, and habits once learned are hard to break – even when coaches make it up to the top divisions of the professional game.
But a quick look at statistics provided by www.wahretabelle.de (the Bundesliga nerd’s best friend), gives the lie to all the adages about getting boots stuck in and the like.
According to their reckoning, the league side that’s third best in winning challenges is Mönchengladbach. And where were The Foals in the table after nine rounds? Yep, third from bottom.
Schalke, meanwhile, are only fourteenth in this category, winning less than half of their challenges. Hasn’t seem to have hurt them – they came into Saturday as the league’s third-best team.
And where were Schalke in terms of ball possession? Dead last. (Bayern Munich are way ahead in first.) So much for the theory that you need to have the ball a lot to score.
Anyone who knows Schalke coach Felix Magath knows that he tolerates no slacking in his squads. Clearly, the Royal Blues statistical “deficiencies” are not the result of lack of effort. In fact, they don’t seem to matter at all.
So if you’re team is flailing, as mine is this season, don’t necessarily trust all the numbers when you’re looking for a reason.
|It's hard to pin statistics on football. Just when you think you've got it, the players go and do something and completely mess up all the numbers.|
|Abby | Homepage | E-Mail | 24.10.2009, 20:48|