Rhapsody in Blue: Christian Pulisic at Chelsea

Discussion in 'Yanks Abroad' started by Balerion, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. hava

    hava Member+

    Apr 30, 2016
    Club:
    Borussia Dortmund
    Nope, they had no intention to buy him at all because he wasn't a good fit and was tactically weak. Also, your example about Hudson-Odoi, as an attempt to show that a BL side would spend big on what you describe as a bench player, is quite disingenuous.
     
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  2. TheFalseNine

    TheFalseNine Moderator
    Staff Member

    United States
    Jul 15, 2014
    Norman, Okla.
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think this excellent article by Ryan O'Hanlon in Slate (he's now writing and publishing his own newsletter, "No Grass in the Clouds", and previously worked for The Ringer and Grantland) does a fantastic job of putting CP's last couple of seasons in context. Allow me to post a few of the most interesting bits:

    "Chaos seemed to follow Pulisic the past two years. Last season, Dortmund cycled through two opposite but equally inadequate managers, Peter Bosz and Peter Stöger, which was the philosophical equivalent of going from Mike Martz to Rex Ryan halfway through an NFL season. Despite the upheaval, Pulisic remained a consistent starter under both regimes. In the Bundesliga, he started 12 more games than he did the previous year, and while his total production remained roughly the same (four goals, five assists), his goal-contribution rate (goals plus assists per 90 minutes) dropped (0.59 to 0.35).

    Goals and assists are frustratingly noisy statistics, though, and it might make more sense to consider Pulisic’s “expected” statistics, which take into account how often goal-scoring chances are converted historically. According to FiveThirtyEight, Pulisic’s 2016–17 season was the seventh-best European campaign by a teenage nonstriker this decade (0.52 expected goals plus assists per 90 minutes). His 2017–18 season (0.42) would slot in at 12th on that list." (Bolding mine)

    Go back and read that last paragraph again. That's probably a BIG reason why Chelsea just paid north of $73 million for him.

    Another bit:

    "Halfway through the Bundesliga season, though, Pulisic has started only five games and racked up 483 minutes of playing time—way behind his pace in either of the previous two seasons. He’s struggled with a handful of injuries, but even when healthy, he’s no longer a starter for the Bundesliga-leading team.


    But just because his playing time has been down doesn’t mean his downtrend has continued. Under Favre, Pulisic’s per-minute production is back up to where it was two years ago (0.56 goals plus assists per 90 minutes). And he has been efficient in other crucial areas as well. According to a stat called “packing,” which simply tallies up how many opponents a player bypasses with a dribble or a pass, Pulisic has been a much better outlet for his teammates than he was last year, while his passing and dribbling have remained at roughly the same level of effectiveness.


    The main reason Pulisic hasn’t been seeing the field is that Dortmund has spent this year cultivating its next wunderkind, who has actually been playing better than the American. Jadon Sancho, an 18-year-old England winger, is currently producing for the club at a rate (1.14 goals-plus-assists per 90 minutes) nearly double anything Pulisic has ever done. In fact, only seven other players in all of Europe’s Top 5 leagues are putting up better numbers so far this season. After moving to Dortmund from Manchester City for an 8 million pound fee last year without even having seen any top-flight playing time, he already looks like he might be the best prospect produced by a club that consistently churns out blue chippers.
    " (Bolding mine.)

    Are we sure Sancho is not an alien? I mean, holy wow.

    Last bit:

    '“We still rate [Pulisic] in the top four U-21 players in the world (behind Sancho, PSG’s Kylian Mbappé, and Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz),” said Omar Chaudhuri, head of football intelligence at 21st Club, a consultancy that’s created its own player rating system akin to the NBA’s real plus-minus statistic.'

    So, to summarize: Pulisic is still very young, productive on the pitch (although not as productive as Sancho), and incredibly talented. Let's enjoy it (and hope to the gods he doesn't suffer a serious injury.)

    Full article here (and it's a good one, give it a read and subscribe to Ryan's newsletter here): https://slate.com/culture/2019/01/christian-pulisic-usmnt-chelsea-soccer-winning.html
     
  3. AngelaMerkin

    AngelaMerkin Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    #22278 AngelaMerkin, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    and let's not forget for the stats listed above... Pulisic's teammates have a very funny ability to inexplicably miss some absolute sitters he has set them up with over the past 3 years. I can think of at least 5 from Aubameyang. There were a few last year and i think there was at least 1 i've seen this year and I haven't watched a ton of BvB the past couple years due to kiddo duties. CP has been denied a couple times by teammates when he was wide open and they chose the shot themselves. This is an across the board issue on every team, so CP isn't unique in that, but it seems Sancho has actually been the benefit of a couple of those so far. Good on Sancho for getting in those positions.
    Also, last season, CP seemed to have a lot more defensive responsibility in some games which would manipulate those attacking numbers.
    Once again, hopefully the back half of the season sees him win back his left wing position (where he is, by my estimation, more effective) over JBL and get back to getting some assists and a few goals.
    In a couple years, these growing pains will hopefully be behind him and he'll be celebrated by those in London that support Chelsea.
     
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  4. Sufjan Guzan

    Sufjan Guzan Member

    Feb 13, 2016
    To support him, a big reason why you can make this argument is due to fixture load as well as league strength. Simply put, Chelsea would dominate the Bundesliga year in year out in a way that Dortmund couldn't match. It would be a two club race with Bayern each year. Chelsea really maybe wouldn't be doing as well in the Bundesliga than what BVB is doing, but I can promise you BVB would not be having the same year in the Prem that Chelsea is...

    Does that make sense?
     
  5. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    EPL fans were touting their league as the best in the planet even when not a single one of their teams made the Champions semis.

    Now that they're back at it, they're going to be impossible.
     
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  6. Yup.
    BuLi club did that with Kevin de Bruyne.....look who was laughing all the way to the bank...
     
  7. taylor

    taylor Member+

    Jun 9, 2000
    Fav team: FC CARL ZEISS JENA
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Bvb play in an hour. Qould be very surprised if he started. Will have the game on in the background.
     
  8. TheFalseNine

    TheFalseNine Moderator
    Staff Member

    United States
    Jul 15, 2014
    Norman, Okla.
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  9. largegarlic

    largegarlic Member+

    Jul 2, 2007
    I also read an article a while back on fivethirtyeight.com where they were saying that the way Liverpool decided to buy Salah was through looking at expected goals/assists compared to his actual goals/assists. They bet that his actual production would catch up to expected production sooner or later, so they bought relatively low, and it obviously worked out in a huge way for them.
     
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  10. EruditeHobo

    EruditeHobo Member+

    Mar 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    To be fair Salah was already a guy with 30 goals and assists in all comps when he was bought. But it's true that any top club buying a player these days will know stats like xG and xA.
     
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  11. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    Every season fans have been saying, "this is the one when Salah completely flops, he's been lucky so far." Every season he proves them wrong. The guy looks ill-fitted for the Premiership, 5'8" and slight of build, yet his positional sense is amazing. He's always right where he should be.
     
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  12. deejay

    deejay Member+

    Feb 14, 2000
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Club:
    Jorge Wilstermann
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
  13. EruditeHobo

    EruditeHobo Member+

    Mar 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That's an encouraging analysis, but the issue that remains despite the numbers is directly pointed out in the piece -- will CP actually deliver like many of those other talents, or not? Lots of those guys made big leaps after turning 21, and often the ones that didn't had pretty good reasons for their decline. They brought up the Lamela example, who has struggled overall for minutes when Spurs are healthy and it makes sense he wouldn't maintain his level.

    So the concern remains; did CP, maybe like Lamela, move either at the wrong time or perhaps to the wrong club or both? And what effect will that have on his production/play/growth overall.

    The article would have you believe it will be fine, I'm not so sure personally. But if he's a foil for 2 much more established attackers, as in if they buy Higuain and keep Hazard, there's certainly no reason to think he won't do well. I just don't know how likely that is, overall.
     
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  14. deejay

    deejay Member+

    Feb 14, 2000
    Tarpon Springs, FL
    Club:
    Jorge Wilstermann
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    We'll sure, you are right. However, to me the main point is that BVB is not the right place for him anymore.
     
  15. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    Well no one can say Pulisic didn't take his risks. The EPL is a physical league, he's moving to a team not known for its attacking prowess, and if things are not working they won't have a chance to fix it if under a transfer ban.

    I don't expect Puli's stats to explode, not with this Chelsea, but the point is winning games, not scoring a lot of goals. I can see him becoming valuable at keeping the scores low, helping lock down his side, and being an important part of keeping possession.

    Chelsea players are seldom up there in the goals/assist table, beyond Hazard, their #2 is Pedro with an unimpressive 6G, 1A in 943'.

    In short, it'd be unlikely for a guy who wasn't scoring/assisting much with Dortmund to do it more often with Chelski. The game is not just those two stats. Pulisic is going there to help them keep possession, to be a constant dribbling threat, and hopefully to be 100% a team player.
     
  16. EruditeHobo

    EruditeHobo Member+

    Mar 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, this is interesting... for me it's hard to tell if this was a natural evolution of BVB over the last 3 years, or if it's simply a logical byproduct of CP's own desire to leave & the resulting treatment of him as a depreciating asset by the club. For instance, where does Sancho rank in these same tables? I mean, we can't know because they are tables constructed for Pulisic to stand out as a teenage attacker moving into his 20s, and that simply doesn't apply to Sancho for a couple more years.

    But BVB are probably pretty happy with Sancho's touches around/in the penalty box, for instance, which is a table used to show simultaneously how elite CP's positioning is but then later it's said BVB don't make many of these kinds of passes per match... and that's the same club that may "not be the right place" for CP, but remains the same club at which Sancho is flourishing.

    Frankly I'm not even sure I understand the value of "passes received inside the box", for someone that's not a striker/goalscorer first and foremost. I'd be much more concerned with CP's touches in the attacking 3rd/touches near the box, and how that compares to his successful forward passes/through balls in the attacking 3rd.

    In fact, if CP's touches in the box are up there with Mbappe, Icardi, & Rashford and above Jesus, Dybala, Werner, and even Lukaku (altho this specific example is more understandable), etc.... those guys are basically all wing-forwards or out-and-out strikers. So if he has those touches but doesn't have similar goals scoring or xg90, isn't that a bad thing?

    I'm rambling, sorry, I just think it's interesting. Thoughtful article in any event.
     
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  17. Inca Roads

    Inca Roads Member+

    Nov 22, 2012
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    My only real take on the CP/Sancho thing is that Dortmund have struck gold and they know it. If Pulisic, as a frankly non-essential player, goes for what he did, what do you see with Sancho, being that he is arguably significantly more impressive, younger, and English? I don't think even Icardi will carry the price tag that Sancho will, unless his form just plummets despairingly.
     
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  18. Tmagic77

    Tmagic77 Member

    Feb 10, 2003
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Mbappe might be the only player that's has as good teenage years as Sancho since Messi. If he doesn't stall out, he'll go for $150M+ in a couple years.
     
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  19. Jazzy Altidore

    Jazzy Altidore Member+

    Sep 2, 2009
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    He's English. He will break Neymar's record if he's Mbappe level.
     
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  20. Dr.Phil

    Dr.Phil Member+

    Jan 18, 2004
    Club:
    FC Bayern München
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It will be fun to watch when Man City are the ones that pay it
     
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  21. smokarz

    smokarz Member+

    Aug 9, 2006
    Hartford, CT

    I won't be surprised.

    ManU paid 100M+ to bring Pogba back.
     
  22. smokarz

    smokarz Member+

    Aug 9, 2006
    Hartford, CT
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  23. smokarz

    smokarz Member+

    Aug 9, 2006
    Hartford, CT
    Watching Chelsea/Newcastle game right now. Not sure I am that impressed with Sarri's ball. A bit over hupe maybe? Or he doe not yet have the right players?

    Willian and Pedro looks very averge, besides that Pedro goal (in which the long pass from Luis' is just superb).
     
  24. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    #22299 Suyuntuy, Jan 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
    Chelsea is a low-scoring team that is used to winning games by a single goal. They have fewer goals scored than United, and the reason they're #4 and not #6 is because they concede few.

    PS: And Willian just scored a superb curve ball goal. So today both he and Pedro did their duty.
     
  25. nycfc919

    nycfc919 Member

    Aug 17, 2015
    Great goal from Willian just now.
     

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