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Motherwell FC - A Thread For All Seasons


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Good to hear that we're time wasting, streetwise, bullies again. When a team who employs Scott Brown compliments you on your use of the dark arts, you know you're doing well.

I'll never understand how our tactics work, and how Alexander has the win record he has. There is an element of playing the percentages there, but there must be a reason teams are generally restricted to shots right at Kelly.

I'm going to be home for three games in December, and I'm torn between wanting to see authentic grezzaball in the flesh and hoping we suddenly become entertaining so that the kids don't hate me. Is the pie selection any good these days?

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We are so horrendous to watch but are 5th in the league? I don't think I'll ever be on board with GA's brand of football but a win against Aberdeen is always worthy of a few beers. 

 

To Kevin van Veen 🍺

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I said this on the Aberdeen game thread a few mins ago but every week the teams we play seem to think it was their best performance of the season. I see it as more to do with the way we let teams have the baw.

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1 hour ago, Desp said:

We are so horrendous to watch but are 5th in the league?  

I'm in the weird, lonely, middle ground where I think statistics like xG can be important over a season and can help show how well your teams performing, while also realising that actual results and goals matter more and teams with poor "underlying" figures will outperform these over a season if they're good enough.

Fortunately some statto geeks I follow on Twitter solely believe the first part, so I suspect if you lads keep this shite up and finish like 3rd or something, the heads gone will be sensational viewing.

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2 hours ago, rowsdower said:

I'll never understand how our tactics work, and how Alexander has the win record he has. There is an element of playing the percentages there, but there must be a reason teams are generally restricted to shots right at Kelly.

It'd genuinely break your brain but if it boils the piss of some of the Scottish Fitba analytics crew and their fantasy "Expected points" pish then crack on Grezza.

To put this witchcraft into a bit of context we're currently only 4 points off our total after 13 games the most recent season we finished 3rd and we've scored the 4th highest number of goals in the league. Not to mention Anthony Paul Watt is currently the league's top scorer on 7 in 13 (so better than a goal every other game). Van Veen's 4 in 11 but on a goal every 188 mins which isn't bad considering he's been bounced in and out the team.

That's on top of the turnaround we saw from Decanter last season.

Overall Alexander has a 43.9% win % but in the league he's P 31 W 13 D 7 L 11 which gives him a 41.9% win rate and we've only failed to score in 5 of his 31. For context Robinson's overall league win record was 36.49% and McCall's was 45.89% (mostly without Rangers in the same league).

All this is obviously easier to post after we've just beaten Aberdeen 2-0 but it still feels...weird in the sense that despite all that the points that have been flagged through recent weeks are still remain completely valid.

Murderball eh? What a carry on.

Edited by capt_oats
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FWIW I made this earlier and it includes you lot so might aswell share it.

Presumably Alexander's page on "final third play" in his tactical box simply reads "Nae fucking about".

FDh-H_-XMAQSlFG.thumb.jpeg.073559b491fe2284c394892811e56ab9.jpeg

Top row is where passes within the final third start. Bottom row where they end. Every dot the location, with the % showing how many of the total was in that "section". So 28% of your passes in the final third end in the box.

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6 minutes ago, RandomGuy. said:

FWIW I made this earlier and it includes you lot so might aswell share it.

Presumably Alexander's page on "final third play" in his tactical box simply reads "Nae fucking about".

FDh-H_-XMAQSlFG.thumb.jpeg.073559b491fe2284c394892811e56ab9.jpeg

Top row is where passes within the final third start. Bottom row where they end. Every dot the location, with the % showing how many of the total was in that "section". So 28% of your passes in the final third end in the box.

Do you have dots for free kicks on the half way line and where they end up two passes later?  (Clue : look behind you)

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37 minutes ago, RandomGuy. said:

I'm in the weird, lonely, middle ground where I think statistics like xG can be important over a season and can help show how well your teams performing, while also realising that actual results and goals matter more and teams with poor "underlying" figures will outperform these over a season if they're good enough.

Fortunately some statto geeks I follow on Twitter solely believe the first part, so I suspect if you lads keep this shite up and finish like 3rd or something, the heads gone will be sensational viewing.

I like xG as an overview for broad trends, and I think it does tend to be proven pretty accurate over the course of a season, but I think lots of its biggest adherents seem to end up viewing football as a game played primarily in the middle third and chalk up goalkeeper saves/mistakes and forwards' finishing to down to statistical variance rather than, eh, quite an important part of the sport. Something that always sticks out is St Mirren fans earlier in the season using their "underperforming" xG as evidence that they were a better team than their points tally as if that isn't a direct consequence of employing Curtis Main and Eamon Brophy as a strike partnership.

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1 minute ago, YassinMoutaouakil said:

I like xG as an overview for broad trends, and I think it does tend to be proven pretty accurate over the course of a season, but I think lots of its biggest adherents seem to end up viewing football as a game played primarily in the middle third and chalk up goalkeeper saves/mistakes and forwards' finishing to down to statistical variance rather than, eh, quite an important part of the sport. Something that always sticks out is St Mirren fans earlier in the season using their "underperforming" xG as evidence that they were a better team than their points tally as if that isn't a direct consequence of employing Curtis Main and Eamon Brophy as a strike partnership.

A lot of folk forget it's based on an "average", and "above/below average" players/sides exist, I think.

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It's abundantly clear that allowing crosses, particularly from the by-line, is a key part of '21-'22 Grezzaball. It seems instinctively wrong, but from a statto point of view I guess they are 'low percentage' chances, and all our centre backs (all 6 of them during the last ten minutes of some games) are good in the air. And it encourages opposition full backs and wing backs to bomb up, leaving space for the front 3, arguably the strongest area of the squad. So I get the theory, but it's tough to watch, and can go very wrong, as it did against Rangers.

The obvious alternative is to rely more on the midfield to break up the play and cover the centre of the park though - fine if Campbell was still in the squad, but not with the players we have available imo. So with me it's a case of grin and bear it, because it is getting results. I get that other fans will hate it because it's no fun to watch, which is fine too.

But it has been boiling the piss of every opposition fanbase we've played, which has to be a positive

Edited by For Your Pies Only
Can't spell
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44 minutes ago, For Your Pies Only said:

It's abundantly clear that allowing crosses, particularly from the by-line, is a key part of '21-'22 Grezzaball. It seems instinctively wrong

Aye, I agree that it feels wrong to allow and I guess occasionally it's going to go pretty spectacularly wrong. 

That said, the centre half's he recruited are specifically with that in mind. Had a look at the stats they stood out in when they arrived (I think ya boy Random may have done graphs as well) and it was very much 'HEEDERS'.

It probably highlights O'Donnell's relative weakness as well whereas Mugabi there is just doing what he'd be doing anyway.

I am regularly surprised at quite how many bodies we have in the six yard box as well.

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17 hours ago, MP_MFC said:

Ojala seems very injury prone. Hopefully it’s nothing serious but may be enough to keep him home this week as I’m sure he could do with a rest.

Aye, he seems to struggle to finish 90mins. I don't know if this has been a feature before he joined us, or if he's just had a bit of bad luck since he came.

Watching him though, he does win a lot of balls on the stretch/lunging forward low to nick it off forwards toes. Kind of challenges that could lead to wee tweaks or niggles.

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4 hours ago, 'WellDel said:

Aye, he seems to struggle to finish 90mins. I don't know if this has been a feature before he joined us, or if he's just had a bit of bad luck since he came.

Watching him though, he does win a lot of balls on the stretch/lunging forward low to nick it off forwards toes. Kind of challenges that could lead to wee tweaks or niggles.

It's mental just how often our defence changes - with the exception of Lamie - it's been injuries and suspensions ahoy.

I really like Ojala for the reason you mention - he's brilliant at nicking the ball off players - top notch penalty box defender. I'd love us to get a run of unchanged defence for a month as I think it would help..

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6 hours ago, thisGRAEME said:

That said, the centre half's he recruited are specifically with that in mind. Had a look at the stats they stood out in when they arrived (I think ya boy Random may have done graphs as well) and it was very much 'HEEDERS'.

It probably highlights O'Donnell's relative weakness as well whereas Mugabi there is just doing what he'd be doing anyway.

 

Aye for all I have mixed feelings about the approach, Alexander and the recruitment team have been consistent about bringing in defenders that fit the system, which I appreciate. At least there is a plan there, in contrast to the past few years.

And I agree completely about SOD - it suits big Bevis to be playing essentially as a CB sitting a bit wider, but that isn't SOD's skillset at all.

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With O'Donnell - the rules should be the same as they seemingly are with Mcginley/Carroll  - Carroll has been getting splinters on his arse since his daft sending off - O'Donnell's was no better and with Mugabe rarely letting us down at RB so far, he's in possession and O'Donnell will be getting a spell on the bench.

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