Monday, 2 September 2013

WBA 0 - Swans 2 Stats and Chalkboards

Had this game not given us a good result, I would no doubt have trotted out the stat again that we only got 1 point from the three equivalent fixtures from last season, that it's a marathon not a sprint etc., but for all the analysis that's done around football it's sometimes the intangibles such as momentum and confidence that can also play a big part.

The thought of being bottom of the table going in to a two week break would start to make some people twitchy.  Aston Villa for example had a relatively decent end to the season, but their early season form meant they spent most of the season looking nervously at the table where Swansea having 7 points from the first three games didn't mean survival was already guaranteed, but meant that whenever there was a wobble, things were still comfortable.

It'd be exaggerating things to say we 'should be beating' the likes of West Brom away, but I am hopeful that the line up on Sunday is the one that'll see us racking up the points against teams who will end up in the lower reaches of the table.

A midfield 3 of Canas/Shelvey/Michu is hopefully a line up that has something for everyone, the wall like defensive qualities of Canas, the range of passing of Shelvey and the attacking threat of Michu.

I think the fact that in the majority of games it'll be 2 from Canas/Shelvey/Britton/De Guzman means that although it's sad to see Ki move on (even if it's just on loan for a few months), it's a sensible decision from a financial point of view and will hopefully also see Ki getting regular playing time and coming back an improved player (or possibly a complete wreck depending on how he gets on with Di Canio).

Canas completed the most passes in the game 84 from 90 attempts and also had the most ball recoveries (11).  I think there's still plenty of games where we'll also need Leon, but Canas is first choice for the defensive midfield spot at the moment.
Passing and Ball Recoveries by Canas
Michu is arguably too good to be played as the front man, especially at Swansea where it's usually the quietest role of any player in the Premier League (I think Danny Graham had the fewest touches per minute of any player in the 2011/12 season) and was also part of the reason why Shechter's time at Swansea was largely forgettable.  It'll also mean there's bound to be times when Bony will be unfairly criticised for 'not doing much' but front man for the Swans is arguably one of the most isolated jobs around even if Swansea have become slightly more direct under Laudrup.

Against West Brom, Michu made the most final third passes of any player and also created 7 chances (i.e., played the pass from which someone then has an attempt at goal) which was 4 more than any other player.
Final Third Passing and Chances created by Michu
It was also good to see Pablo getting a goal and an assist, he tends to get a fair bit of stick, but when what he's trying comes off he's a potent weapon, I don't think I've ever seen someone able to nutmeg a player from such a long distance as Pablo can with some of his passing.

Twitter: @we_r_pl
Match Stats and Chalkboards: Created using Statszone