Jordan Pickin’ ’em out?

So we’ve all seen one or two of these and appreciated them on social media:

But you’ve not seen my passing model outputs which suggest Pickford’s kicking has been absolutely terrible overall this season. Like nearly worst in the league terrible.

I’ll wait for the collective gasp to die down…

Exhibit One

Pickford’s distribution map for the first three games. The red lines are unsuccessful attempts. Nearly everything beyond the half way line, then:

Exhibit Two

City away was particularly bad:

Looking back at my twitter feed, unlike most of my fellow Evertonians, I was pretty ok with the nights work and the approach:

 

 

So, confused after vizzing up those passes above, I went back to the video of the first half, mostly expecting something horrendous to appear that I’d missed watching first time round.

Turns out the football was horrendous, but in the main, the outcomes weren’t.

Have a watch. You’ll see Everton regaining possession after a lot of ping pong, City uncomfortable with it, Everton creating the odd chance with it, Everton gaining ground with it. And it led to Walker’s red card too:

I have no idea whether this was a concious tactical decision by Koeman and co in order to break the game up.

The Lessons

Measuring keeper distribution by simple success rates or even with an expected passing model like mine which takes into account pass difficulty is a business fraught with danger.

Your clubs keeping coach probably uses some bollocks metrics right now. Watch the video. Are you measuring what you think you’re measuring?

Even if you are, does it tally in with what the manager/coach wants the players to do?

Need a consultation for your club’s data processes? Get in touch: differentgameanalytics@gmail.com

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