Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Swansea 1 - Hull 1 Match Stats and Chalkboards

I usually try and look for the positives in a match but this was a fairly bland performance but at least we came away from it with a point, even if we did use up all the good luck we were due as a result of the Stoke penalty.

It's hard enough playing at home against a team that are organised and probably happy to take a point, it becomes even harder if you concede an early goal which made Hull even more focused on their defensive duties with no shots for a 40 minute period after scoring.
Hull score early (in 9th min) then happy to concede possession but did well to restrict Swansea to a handful of chances
Shots by team - Only 4 attempts on target (2 each) in whole match
People have been rubbishing % possession as a stat in recent weeks (e.g., Spurs had more of the ball vs. Man City but lost 6-0) but it has its place even if it's not the sole determining factor in who 'deserves' to win a match.

Obviously it's not just as simple as who has the ball most wins, but having the ball at least gives you an opportunity to do something with it, which was pretty much lacking from Swansea last night.  Looking at the pass map by half, it's amazing how little activity was down Pablo/Davies' wing in the first half with hardly anything happening further left than level with the edge of the box.
Passes by half: 1st half passing heavily concentrated in middle of the pitch and in a line level with left hand side of 6 yard box downwards
Despite Swansea having most of the ball it could be argued that Hull did more with it when they had it (similar to the Newcastle game, a side counter attacking may have fewer chances but often better quality due to available space):
Take-ons (attempted dribble past opponent) by team - Dyer with 4 from 11 attempts and Elmohamady with 7 from 9 for Hull although any take-on will be easier if just one person to beat and plenty of surrounding space to work with
As well as not being able to get through a crowded defence, Swansea's crossing was also pretty poor not least at corners. I've said it before and even despite the two own goals from corners in the Sunderland game, I don't rate De Guzman's set piece delivery and would prefer Shelvey taking the corners, as happened with the goal (although his other corners were nothing special either, I think generally he is capable of better delivery than De Guzman).

Crosses by side - plenty of balls in to the box from Swansea but generally little to show for it
Given we have another game on Thursday it was weird to see Michu start this game and also to play the full 90 minutes.  Injuries in the squad meant that weren't any real options late on to replace him (I don't think you could replace Michu with Donnelly when only drawing). For me it would have made more sense to start Michu on the bench with a view to having 30+ minutes today and hour or so on Thursday.

My guess is that Laudrup's looking to have him on the bench on Thursday with a view to only bringing him on if the need arises (i.e, If as well as the St Gallen result not being favourable, neither is the Valencia-Kuban game).  If Michu does start on Thursday then surely that would make it hard for him to also start on Sunday vs. Norwich which would be 3 games in 6 days.  

I've addressed the supposed drop in Michu's performance previously, the main issue being that he's not getting the same quality of chances as last season.
Passes received by Michu/Pozuelo: Michu often coming deep increasing congestion in the middle.  Introduction of Pozuelo (and Routledge) resulted in greater balance with more activity down the left
To say that Hull are 'the sort of team you should beat at home' would be doing them a disservice as their a pretty well organised team although their away form prior to this game was pretty poor (3 points from a Win at Newcastle and 6 defeats from their 7 away games).

As well as they defended, there seemed to be a spark missing from Swansea's play that seems to have been missing for a fair proportion of the season but this time last year, Newcastle were 14th possibly in part to Europa League exertions so 10th at this stage of the season is nothing to be too down about even if the bottom half is close enough that anyone from 10th downwards could easily get dragged in towards the relegation zone.

Twitter: @we_r_pl
Match Stats: Created using Statszone , Whoscored  and Squawka
Other Posts: Johan Gudmundsson - a player for January?
Michu - Premier League Shooting analysed
Jacks Away - Online Magazine