Geregistreerd op: 10 Apr 2017
|Geplaatst: 11-04-2018 01:49:47 Onderwerp: Numbers game fails to add up
|Long before he forged a reputation as a one‑man insurance policy against relegation, Sam Allardyce was known for his fondness for facts and figures. He played the percentages in an essentially risk-averse brand of football. He has sought solace in the statistics. He still presents himself as a blend of old and new, traditional judgment and Moneyball-style metrics. “That’s the beauty of our matrix of statistics today, which backs up your eye,” he said.
His notion is the numbers support his case. His programme notes for last month’s defeat by Manchester City amounted to a blizzard of self-justifying statistics. It seemed a selective interpretation John Collins Youth jersey of the data available because after Saturday’s Merseyside derby stalemate made him only the third manager to register 50 goalless draws in the Premier League – and at times Liverpool Claude Giroux Jersey threatened to render him only the second to suffer 200 defeats – other numbers were more unflattering.
Everton had four touches of the ball in the Liverpool box in the opening hour. They have mustered a solitary first-half goal since January. Under Allardyce, they have hosted Chelsea, both Manchester clubs and Liverpool. Over 360 minutes, they have recorded only three shots on target and one goal.
All of which suggests either a lack of quality, a surfeit of timidity or both. A £200m outlay in the past 12 months ought to have injected ability, even if three-quarters of the spending preceded Allardyce’s appointment. Yet the fearful football that an often outspoken character has overseen may highlight his innate caution.
“It could have been that in the first seconds and boosh. The crowd get up,” Jürgen Klopp said, trying to mimic the blood and thunder of a stereotypical derby; this rather placid affair had insufficient thud, even if there were a Anthony Zettel Jersey few blunders as Everton mislaid a third of their passes and Curtis Lazar Youth jersey misdirected a couple of late attempts to break the deadlock.
“Let’s face it, they have got a terrific team, haven’t they?” Allardyce asked and when Liverpool are at full strength, the answer would be in the affirmative. Yet their front three included Danny Ings, whose last goal came more than 900 days ago, and Dominic Solanke, whose 23 Liverpool appearances have yet to produce any. Their full-backs were Nathaniel Clyne, making his first appearance of the season, and the out-of-position central defender Ragnar Klavan, who Klopp thought had never even played on the flank in his four-year Bundesliga career, let alone for Liverpool.
His immediate opponent was Theo Walcott who, for 80 minutes, did his best work as a supplementary right-back before belatedly running at Klavan. A Liverpool team who had never played together before – and probably never will again – http://www.bearsfootballproonline.com/Hroniss-Grasu-Jersey showed more cohesion and perhaps the most meaningful game of http://www.pittsburghpenguinsofficialonline.com/Adidas-Chad-Ruhwedel-Jersey Everton’s campaign served as a microcosm for much http://www.authenticoilersshoponline.com/authentic-29-leon-draisaitl-jersey.html of it: slow starters lost their way in the middle before seeking an uplifting ending. It eluded them.
A complication, on the day and over the campaign, has been the presence of Wayne Rooney. The Evertonian is nonetheless the top scorer and struck away from home against Liverpool and Manchester City. However, he is yet to find the net in 2018 and completed a different double, substituted in the 57th minute on successive Saturdays. Rooney’s reinvention as a midfielder has been a mixed affair, and he laboured again while Everton looked underpowered and poor in possession. Allardyce was asked if it is a concern the 32-year-old now struggles against the best opposition. “I can agree with you to a certain degree,” he replied.
It poses a question if Rooney’s appearances are rationed, if Everton’s biggest name is brought out only for the smaller games. They only gained a foothold in midfield when the more energetic Idrissa Gueye replaced him, a solid platform enabling them to spring Leighton Baines and Séamus Coleman forward on the flanks. Briefly, Everton resembled the side who had taken many a major scalp at Goodison Park before their 15-month drought.