Quantcast

Football’s ability to destroy the finest spreadsheets

495

I watched Liverpool lose their fifth consecutive home game in the EPL last night.  One of the best teams in Europe over the last four years, which famously benefits from fan motivation, sit seventh in the table and out of a European spot for next season.

Even on current form, Liverpool would destroy Celtic, but the parallels in the two clubs decline are clear.  Virgil van Dijk’s injury enforced absence at Anfield had as big an impact on Liverpool as Fraser Forster’s loss to Celtic.  Both sides lost significant numbers through injury and, if anything, Celtic fans have a greater reputation for encouraging their team than Liverpool’s.

Jurgen Klopp, the urbane football intellectual, looks lost.  We see unflattering bouts of temper as he struggles to understand where his Midas Touch went.  Jurgen is among the game’s very best; Neil Lennon should take comfort that what happened to him can happen to anyone.

You and I have often said that a team operating at 90% is unrecognisable from the same players at full tilt.  When one or two things go wrong at the margins, an entire edifice can crumble.  Watching Liverpool also suffer does not sweeten the pill, but it is a lesson that football can destroy even the finest spreadsheets.

Click Here for Comments >
Share.

About Author

495 Comments
  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 14

  1. SAINT STIVS on 5TH MARCH 2021 1:57 PM

     

     

    As Spidey101 put it better than I could, some aspects of life can’t purely be stat-driven. Lennon has a better win ratio than Jock Stein. Context is everything – maybe not in your working life but certainly in football.

  2. Celtic40 – I don’t disagree with you, their decline has been Rapid, though not as Rapid as just this season – it was evident after the first lockdown. Where I don’t think we can compare them to us is in the reasons for decline – they are a team that declined because a finely honed system and way of playing that relies on high fitness levels and an intricate symbiosis between players was impacted by COVID and injuries disrupting both their defence and midfield. The lack of training and rest time between matches meant it wasn’t possible to effectively get on track.

     

    They had also reached the goal – the title – which meant that mental and physical exhaustion would kick in without the adrenaline and excitement countering that (and the loss of fans wouldn’t help either).

     

     

    By contrast, our problems stem (in my view) from the fact we couldn’t do the basics well enough (set piece defending, playing players in the right position, knowing what our best system is and how players fit in that) which wasn’t a result of COVID but rather just poor management (at all levels of the club). Combined with that (and partly because of it) some players weren’t happy or performing when they ought to have been motivated by the chance to be legends of the club which, even for those who it didn’t mean much to, would have boosted their profile and attraction to other clubs.

     

     

    Where there is a comparison is that the teams who have flourished (Rangers, West Ham, Man Utd, Liecester City) largely play a reactive game that relies on a solid defence, good use of counter-attacks and set pieces, and is basic enough to be drilled with minimal training time (or is already so set that it just needs reminders).

     

     

    Liverpool we’re always likely to suffer as a result – their entire way of playing is too intense and finely balanced to work with key folk missing and a lack of training/rest time. We didnt need to suffer – we just needed to ensure the basics were sound.

  3. ROLLING_STONE on 5TH MARCH 2021 1:18 PM

     

     

    The comparison isn’t tenuous, comparisons aren’t, you’re suggesting that this is an argument about the relative performances of the two coaches which it isn’t solely.

     

     

    It’s perfectly reasonable to include extenuating circumstances in any explanation but if you fail to take the difficulties we’ve faced into consideration it’s not a fair and balanced comparison.

     

     

    You seem to be suggesting that their problems are all down to bad luck and circumstances beyond their control while all ours are self-inflicted. That can’t be true, there must be some overlap when two clubs go through such similar declines in fortunes

     

     

    Maybe not and Klopp’s just great and gas been unlucky and Lenny’s rubbish and everything is if his own doing?

  4. Spidey

     

     

    They were top of the league at Christmas. They weren’t “in decline”

     

     

    I don’t think Man United have flourished this season. They’re more consistent than last but they’re a long way from improving enough to be as good as they should be. West Ham have flourished but I think that’s largely down to their home form, their away form last season was up there with the best. Not having 50,000 angry east enders shouting at the team and running on the pitch seems to have been good for them.

  5. VINNIETHEDOG on 5TH MARCH 2021 1:41 PM

     

    The huns really do know how important the physical aspect of the game is nowadays …..why are we neglecting this aspect of modern football??

     

     

    VINNIE, after the first St Mirren game where they beat us at Celtic Park a few weeks ago I commented on the size of ALL of their players, not their height, but their build. Every one of them looked like middleweight boxers and it was evident in any physical tussles with our players that they were coming out on top most times.

     

     

    Football ability first and always for me, but you have to be able to compete with your opponents when you have to, to earn the right to showcase your abilities.

  6. !!BADA BING!! on 5TH MARCH 2021 2:08 PM

     

    Wee Nicola positively gushing about the Euros……but she told us she wasn’t remotely interested in football…more faces than the town clock

     

     

    —————————

     

     

    I do think she supports the National team, as was seen by her celbrating the em celebrations when they qualified.

  7. Spidey

     

     

     

    “Liverpool we’re always likely to suffer as a result – their entire way of playing is too intense”

     

     

    Isn’t that a complete failure of Klopps methods?

  8. GEEBEE1978 on 5TH MARCH 2021 2:08 PM

     

    SAINT STIVS on 5TH MARCH 2021 1:57 PM

     

     

    As Spidey101 put it better than I could, some aspects of life can’t purely be stat-driven. Lennon has a better win ratio than Jock Stein. Context is everything – maybe not in your working life but certainly in football.

     

     

    ——————————————–

     

     

    The only thing that mattered to me was Neil stopped winning matches for a period.

     

     

    What his win ratio compares with Mr Steins is irrelevant, might i even say lacks context ?

  9. BOURNESOUPRECIPE on 5TH MARCH 2021 2:16 PM

     

    That awkward moment when your hear the vaccine is being given at ‘The Ally McCoist Centre’ in EK.

     

     

    —————

     

     

    I think it is a shelter for rescued dugs,

  10. CELTIC40ME on 5TH MARCH 2021 2:18 PM

     

     

    To be fair, West Ham’s recruitment was spot-on this season too….

  11. CELTIC40ME on 5TH MARCH 2021 2:20 PM

     

    Spidey

     

     

     

    “Liverpool we’re always likely to suffer as a result – their entire way of playing is too intense”

     

     

    Isn’t that a complete failure of Klopp’s methods?

     

    ———————————————————————————–

     

     

    To an extent, yes. Guardiola recognised the quick turn around, possible lack of fitness and his team this season has played a far less intense style and has actually grown into the season.

     

     

    For me, if/when City win the league this year, this will be Pep’s best yet.

  12. timmy7_noted on

    SFTB

     

     

    “AllI do know, is from exchanges on here, that whenever the SNP or its leaders are criticised by Paul, there will be a reliable stream of replies from yourself and Timmy7, and one or two others, calling him out for his audacity to criticise this party’s behaviour.”

     

     

    I’ve never seen Paul criticise the behaviour of the SNP, I’ve seen him trying to link the SNP with some anti Celtic, anti Catholic conspiracy. If he genuinely were criticising behaviour I probably wouldn’t be interested however for Paul and the unionist crowd who try to insinuate that a vote for Independence (note independence not the SNP) is anti Celtic then I will comment because its patently a conspiracy theory.

     

     

    When I respond to these ludicrous claims I’ve never once defended the SNP, I’m not a natural SNP voter I have loaned them my vote as a way to achieve independence. If you can find any evidence of my defending the SNP then call me out, otherwise you are just plain wrong.

     

     

    My favourite poster at the Moment is JHB, he doesn’t even know why he hates independence, he even blames the press for it :-)

  13. SAINT STIVS on 5TH MARCH 2021 2:23 PM

     

     

    What his win ratio compares with Mr Steins is irrelevant, might i even say lacks context ?

     

    ————————————————————–

     

     

    Of course it lacks context as I was making a point. Simply posting a person’s win ratio with no other information with it is pretty pointless. I’m not really sure what point you were trying to make.

  14. timmy7_noted on

    ‘The Ally McCoist Centre’ in EK, is a real place? I assumed it was a wind up.

  15. TIMMY7_NOTED on 5TH MARCH 2021 2:43 PM

     

    ‘The Ally McCoist Centre’ in EK, is a real place? I assumed it was a wind up.

     

     

    Next door to the Ted McMinn Portrait Gallery

  16. my point was someone had a rant that Neil is a “lucky” manager, you know he won leagues and cups cos everyone else was shite and we got lucky. Jammy cup final wins.

     

     

    And yet his 70% win rate happened on both managerial terms.

  17. SAINT STIVS on 5TH MARCH 2021 2:53 PM

     

     

    “you know he won leagues and cups cos everyone else was shite and we got lucky. Jammy cup final wins.”

     

    ——————————————————————————————————-

     

    I’m not sure who made that comment but after reading it back a couple of times, I’m not sure what part of that sentence is incorrect.

     

     

    If his achievements of winning trophies with Celtic in that period is truly noteworthy (and I’m not necessarily saying it isn’t) you do have to ask yourself why only a debt-ridden Bolton offered him employment.

     

     

    I might be wrong here but I think his next job (if he continues in management) will either be SPFL or English League One. Clearly, there will be lots of football club chairmen who feel the sentence quoted above has some merit.

  18. St Stivs – the comparison was a clumsy attempt to show that high-level stats like win ratios don’t tell you everything (or even very much) about anything. Some matches mean more than others – Stein won fewer matches, but won a lot more of the important ones!

     

     

    Celtic40me – yes it is damning of Klopp’s system, but given the success he’s brought and that it took a once in a generation pandemic and injury crisis to lead to failure it’s probably on the right side of risk-reward for a team in Liverpool’s situation.

     

    The point I’m largely making here is that most of our problems are self-inflicted and, while the circumstances may have had an impact, it’s not comparable to the impact on Liverpool. Even the most significant impacts of COVID – Bolingoli and suspended fixtures and the isolation of most of the squad post-Dubai – could have been avoided but for bad decisions by individuals within the club.

  19. John Barnes had a better win ratio than Wim Jansen. Again, without context, I’m not really sure what this “data” means or how it is relevant.

  20. excuses , excuses and no comparison , we sh** the nest , our biggest season and we blow it.

  21. Neil just lost his Mojo and in turn he lost the dressing room.

     

     

    Players did not do him any favours either, they need a good look at themselves.

     

     

    D :)

  22. get BIG Jack Hendry back , he has served his time ‘on loan’ development period and it is now time to get him either paying right back or centre back.

  23. St Stivs – I don’t think Lennon was a lucky manager. He was good but not great and achieved what a good but not great manager ought to achieve with the inbuilt benefits of managing us at the time he did.

     

    However, Rodgers time showed us that as a club we were under-performing as a club. Lennon (good) and Delia (ok) did ok. Having a second tier (top tier would be the likes of Peo, Klopp, Ancelotti) coach showed us what we could achieve – every domestic trophy, an invincible season, CL twice in three years (should have been 3 but for Boyata’s tantrum/strike) and an ability to get back on track quickly when things weren’t going well (remember how poor we were for a while until he put in a middle 3 of CalMac, Christie and Rogic?).

     

    Not bad, not lucky, not great – just good but not good enough…

  24. GB and Spidey, I aint arguing any points, I like data, and again the only thing that is relevant to me is Neil Lennon did win 70% of the football matches that he took charge in.

     

     

    Whether it was great football, high scoring, memorable, what ever is all down to personal feelings.

     

     

    I dont think we got lucky in those cup finals bar one.

     

     

    The Bolton experience is brought up all the time, i have not got a clue why Neil took that job, it was a no win situation.

     

     

    I dont really care where he lands next, wherever it is, for sure it wont be with a top club, simply because he is not got the skill set to manage at the very highest levels.

     

     

    What does it matter to the here and now for our next move ?

  25. I agree, that was a good summation, 2nd teir, not bad, not lucky, but good enough to keep us winning until he didnt.

     

     

    Rodgers performances were a high watermark, the unbeaten run and what we won inside that time just incredible.

  26. St Stivs – I like data too. I think what GeeBee and I are saying is that presenting a stat like that in isolation doesn’t say much. Here’s an example:

     

     

    In season 2018-19, Klopp had a 80% win ratio and a point haul that had never previously been reached. Sounds great right?

     

     

    Trouble is in the same season Pep had a 85% win ratio and a points haul that has never been reached, so Klopp ended up with nothing to show for his efforts but a cool stat.

  27. Anyway st Stivs – I think we’re broadly of the same mind. He was good, but ultimately didn’t over-achieve and we could and should have done better (or done more to help him get better).

  28. Liverpool were the best team in the world last season.Their collapse has been staggering our downfall this season coincided with the arrival of Duffy into the team.,theirs with the loss of VVD.We were winning,not brilliantly,until the Rangers game,when he had his first real howler.Regulars dropped to play him,IMHO,started the morale collapse.

     

    Anyone saying Paul was comparing managers has their head up their ass.Grow up.

  29. Weebobbycollins on

    Spidey101…”we could and should have done better (or done more to help him get better).”

     

    Like giving him his own coaching team?

  30. WeeBobbyCollins – yes but more than that. Rodgers set up a more modern sports science and data analytics capability which apparently has gone unused. Partly that would be because Rodgers took the staff with him but we ought to have replaced those staff and ensured we provided Lennon with reports to help him use it (and training too). A recruitment process which focussed on how he wanted to play would have helped too.

     

    Works both ways though – would he have taken all that on board and run with it? Not so sure.

     

     

    I’ve set out before, I’m a fan of the DoF model which prevents the sort of chasm that emerges when the manager leaves and ensuring we don’t swing wildly between styles and outlooks. For me, having had Delia try to modernise things and Rodgers supercharge that, Lennon was the wrong choice at the time, his own back room team or not.

  31. RC – the rumours suggest that EH doesn’t have a coaching team anymore as they fell out when Tindall took the Bournemouth job. Don’t know if it’s true mind, but we could see Kennedy and Strachan assisting Howe…

  32. If we dont have an analytics and sport science department, what are strachan and kennedy looking at on their tablets that has evryone going daft about

  33. GEEBEE1978 on 5TH MARCH 2021 3:02 PM

     

     

    John Barnes had a better win ratio than Wim Jansen. Again, without context, I’m not really sure what this “data” means or how it is relevant

     

     

    *barnse won the December manager of the month award and we looked in good shape, we then went away on winter break, which the smsm said it had come at the wrong time for us, something happened there where he seemed tae lose the dressing room, on return we threw away a goal lead tae tie 1-1 down at kilmasonic then the following week a 2 goal half time lead was also thrown away as we lost 2-3 tae the calvinists and as we know the rest is history

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 14