Statistics don’t always back up the reality of a situation however, they can, if you are so minded, serve as a useful guide or indicator? As newspapers take stock of the season so far and where us, and others, might go The Guardian, a few days ago, published a whole raft of them, I’m assuming they are from Opta, which serve as interesting indication, if not a definitive guide or irrefutable proof, of where we are?
BR, in his seeming never-ending quest to wring anything positive from even the most adverse of circumstances, will no doubt seize on the fact that we are fifth in the table of “most passes made” sadly however we are one place behind his old club, Swansea. In terms of pass accuracy we are also fifth in the table with 85.2% however sadly we are one place behind his old club, Swansea!
Continuing with the stats (I promise this will be the last) perhaps the most telling message is that we are second in the table of “most shots made” yet fail to make the top six of the “most goals scored” table. View this stat in terms of the fact that Luis Suarez is top of the table of most shots by an individual player by a considerable distance, 82 to Demba Ba’s 65 and second in the “most chances created” table. Proof that we have an issue taking our chances and are reliant on the tenacity of one man or just bulls*it? Make up your own mind.
At Anfield we are told the “Moneyball” method is now used as part of our reasoning for selecting players. This is based on a stats based process garnered from American baseball … OK, lets stop there and move on I can feel the “heating element” in my brain beginning to kick in ……!
I doubt stats will be a major influence in the team talk or the match tactics for today’s game at QPR who given the recent new self styled categorization of clubs will henceforth be known as a “wee club” from West London! Add to this the recent nonsense re life threatening balls in the head and one can only assume that someone has put ketamine in Fergie’s mince pies! However because he is who he is, people tolerate and seriously debate this loop the loop nonsense!
QPR aren’t the sort side we want to be meeting at present but, then again, who is? I can’t get away from last seasons game where we played some decent stuff but took our eye off things and let then back into the game and then, inexcusably, let them go on to snaffle three points.
Although they are still bottom QPR are showing some signs of rallying and we could be just the sort of hapless suckers that will enable them to take a another step on their quest for survival. No doubt everyone, if we lose, will speak in terms of it being a major surprise however can we really say that now? I suppose, at this stage of the season, we should be confident of beating sides like QPR however, like a drunk on New Year’s Eve, we lurch from one side of the payment to the other then appear to be walking with a purposeful straight stride for a while before tripping up and falling into the nearest bush!
Team wise it seems that Luis Suarez will be fit enough to play despite clashing with Stoke’s keeper and hurting his ankle. I guess it remains to be seen if Allen gets a recall or whether Sterling will start against his old club?
If both play then presumably this means Stuart Downing won’t. However if he does I hope if he scores (I’m not holding my breath) we don’t see a repeat of the ar*sy, “aren’t I clever” sssssssssh finger to the lips “celebration” we saw after he netted during the Fulham game. I only noticed this a few days after the match and I’m assuming this was Downings’ ill thought out crass and tactful response to those fans (and there are many) who have criticised him since he joined.
I don’t think Downing given the wages he is paid and, more importantly, the games and chances he’s been given to show us what he can do during the eighteen months or so he’s been with us, is in any position to make such comments or gestures. He has, rightly, been criticised for consistent poor form but not, as far, as I can make out, been barracked from the stands more than any other player? If Downing thinks a goal against a lackluster Fulham is a appropriate answer to his critics for eighteen months of insipidness then he is utterly delusional. Surely he isn’t that stupid or does he just have low standards, Christ I wish I could do one good thing in my work and think I was walking on water to the extent I could ungratefully take the p*ss out of those who had supported me! Regardless of the circumstances such an arrogant, gesture to paying fans is simply inappropriate and should, if he does move, be saved for other club’s fans who are prepared to put with such infantile nonsense. If he repeats it then I suggest the appropriate response to Downing would also involve fingers however, this gesture involves more than one – two, and may be, if we are lucky, five in a waving motion, as he leaves L4 in a taxi.
Prediction for today? My head, and probably everyone else, says a Reds win however, I’ve a feeling QPR might turn in a punchy performance and really give us something to think about. 2-2? No, I can’t go for such a result against bottom of the league 2-1 to us but little to get excited about.