Goals

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JohnC
Posts: 1080
Joined: 31 May 2011, 21:48

Goals

Post by JohnC »

I fear that the understandable preoccupation with our tendency not to shoot on target has tended to obscure the real problem. To paraphrase Bill Clinton’s campaigning slogan: ‘It’s the defence, stupid.’

We have the worst defence in the division; if we carry on at this rate – and conceding six goals in our last three games isn’t indicative of any significant change – we’ll concede eighty-five goals. Last season’s worst defence belonged to Huddersfield, who leaked seventy-one.
In 2010, we finished bottom, scoring forty-six goals but conceding eighty.

Apparently, you can finish in the top half of this division by scoring less than a goal a game. If we carry on at our present rate, we’ll score fifty goals this season. Last season, thirteen teams failed to better that total.
This season, Millwall are in twelfth place with thirteen goals, one fewer than we have managed – but they’re eight points better off.

Last season, Derby finished one place above the relegation zone, scoring thirty-six goals, with their top scorer bagging eight goals. Luton finished twelfth, with forty-one goals. Millwall were one place above them, with 47 goals.

Of the bottom nine clubs, only Bristol City had a top scorer in double figures.

In a slightly capacious nutshell, then: why are we agonising about our perceived goal-scoring shortcomings when our defence is on course to concede more than we did in our worst-ever Championship season?

(Memo to management: have a look at what Millwall have been doing in the last couple of seasons.)
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ashman
Posts: 19583
Joined: 07 Aug 2005, 08:51

Re: Goals

Post by ashman »

Beevers has been a very bad miss for us. The other injuries to the squad have also added to this situation. Remember that defending begins with the forwards, continues through midfield and finally ends up the concern of the defence and goalkeeper.
My take on it is that it is taking us time to adjust to a whole new experience of the Championship. Comparing this season to the previous time in the championship is nonsensical because the players involved this time are completely different. Slowly we are beginning to show signs of improvement. We have only played 13 of the scheduled 46 games for the season, leaving another 99 points to squabble over from the remaining 33 games!
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JohnC
Posts: 1080
Joined: 31 May 2011, 21:48

Re: Goals

Post by JohnC »

Defending can indeed begin with the forwards in some cases; how frequently, though, I couldn't begin to guess. There are numerous situations -- defending corners and low throw-ins, for example -- when defending begins with the defenders. When I look at the (non-existent) marking for the Hull goal, I blame the defenders. Whether the cross could/should have been blocked (by defender Knight) is a separate issue, but defenders leaving a forward unmarked in the six-yard box is asking for trouble.

I consider comparing this season to our previous seasons is eminently rational; the players are different, inevitably, but the manager is not, and the situation (a Championship campaign) is the same.

Winston Churchill observed,
' We must always look forward, but we have to understand our history in order to not repeat the mistakes of the past. I have seen too many instances where people continue to pursue wrong courses of action because they do not take the time to think critically about what has happened in the past.'

I'd be a little circumspect in using the term 'nonsensical' if I had saluted our recently setting the worst playing record in the division with these words:
'Darren Ferguson is doing an admirable job, considering the squad we have assembled....
....we are doing an incredible job by playing good quality football which hopefully will expand into acquiring some useful points as the season progresses.'
An 'admirable job'....'an incredible job'....'useful points'
. What do we do with the useless points; throw 'em back in?
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