- Mar 12, 2020
I will never get over December and January, the absolute jubilance and good memories of such a great month of December, playing 4 at the back, winning match after match, scoring goals, all during an embargo as well, just to change it all to 5 at the back in January because he looked at some random statistics from his 'analysts', it genuinely baffled me, yes his hands were tied in various different ways, but he will never be forgiven after that January, and god forbid he does the same at Aldershot. You should never rely on stats in football, because sometimes you just have to play classic football.
Do you have any inside knowledge that “random” stats from his analyst determined his tactics in January? Or is that just a theory that suits your own narrative? Even if he did use some form of match analysis or player stats (which is highly likely) it’s highly doubtful they were “random” and given Southend’s squad size and player availability it’s highly unlikely they were the driving force behind key tactical decisions like formation. It’s much more likely that was determined by availability and opposition analysis.
I’d guess that just about every club in the world who play at an equivalent level of national league or above use stats. The most successful clubs / managers use them more than most. They have a ‘live’ reading in game that helps them make decisions tactically and physically for substitutions. Denis Bergkamp was regularly substituted by Arsenal Wenger late in games as his ‘stats’ clearly demonstrated he tired considerably, made less sprints and less runs resulting in less passes or game involvements. The same is the reason why Lacazette is substituted on or around 70 mins most weeks…his physical condition deteriorates rapidly at this point.
Involvements, movements, weaknesses, strengths, speeds, distances, players loads, fatigue are all measured and used by all clubs to determine training schedules, training focus, selections, rotations, formations…etc etc etc.
Whether Southend have access to that kind of expertise is another matter. Having the technology is one thing, but having the expertise to interpret it accurately or usefully is another matter, but I do know they have GPS data for all players that will give physical performance from games. However I also know there was a period when their access to Hudl (a game analysis tool) was denied during a difficult financial period
However to simply blame results on an unfounded accusation that he used “random” stats to pick the side is ludicrous. Go back to that time and look at the squad size, the quality available to him, the injuries / availability during a busy Xmas / new year schedule and I think you’ll see far more obvious reasons that drove selections and tactics….