Stewart vs Olsen

Discussion in 'D.C. United' started by kravi, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. kravi

    kravi Member

    May 3, 2004
    Section 134
    Okay, I've got a question for you all. I hear everyone raving about Olsen (I like him too) and complaining about Stewart. Everyone says that Stewart doesn't have the numbers to back him up, and that he's a waste of space. And everyone loves Benny for his hustle and playmaking abilities. But according to the numbers, Stewart and Olsen are evenly matched, and they both hustle and have good playmaking abilities. So what's the deal? Is it all perception? Because I think Stewart plays 100% every game, he makes good defensive plays and keeps pressure on the opposing midfield. And though he hasn't scored alot, he has scored (and assisted) as much as Olsen.

    Ben Olsen 25 25 2046 3 4 10 41
    Ernie Stewart 26 23 2093 3 4 10 33

    So what's up? Is it maybe because Ernie earns a max salary (I'm not sure he does)?


    P.S. Please understand, I like Ben Olsen. I'm interested because he is "universaly" popular, while Stewart seems to be lacking that, ahem, love.
  2. neilgrossman

    neilgrossman New Member

    May 12, 2000
    Hoboken, NJ
    Olsen had a poor season. He didn't get many goals or assists. I think this is a below par season for Olsen, but a typical season for Stewart.

    Also, these stats do not include touches. I'm sure that's where the real difference is. Olsen is constantly involved. Stewart dissapears for long stretches.
  3. Primate

    Primate Member

    Sep 17, 2002
    DC United
    Also, my impression of the system is Olsen is playing more like a DMid shutting down the opposition and then starting the attack. Stewart is supposed to be a winger putting crosses in and occasionally coming inside and letting a shot go.
    Stewart should have more goals and assists.
    I would say Olsen's stats should be compared more to Carroll's and Stewart's to Kovalenko's.
  4. Detective40oz

    Detective40oz Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Fairfax, VA
    DC United
    Olsen is essential and critical to our midfield's success...Stewart is not...that is the difference. Stewart being max salary also doesn't help his cause.
  5. TEConnor

    TEConnor New Member

    Feb 22, 1999

    Ben Olsen had a superb season, from my perspective. As a defensive midfielder for most of the games he did his job incredibly well. Sure he didn't score that much or get too many assists, but he was ferocious in midfield, a true work horse, and fantastic and getting our possession and attacks going. I wouldn't trade Ben for any other d-mid in the league at this point, including Clark and Armas.

  6. Sundevil9

    Sundevil9 Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    Reston, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Dema Kovalenko 25 25 2163 2 10 14 37
    Earnie Stewart 26 23 2093 3 4 10 33

    OK, comparing Dema to Earnie -- Earnie's a little short on the assists. But he's still in the same points range. And Dema has probably missed half as many sitters as Earnie.

    I think the tone that Earnie recieves here would be reduced by 75% if he had just converted on just half of the sitters.
  7. Tweaked

    Tweaked Member

    Jan 30, 2003
    The Hill
    In addition to the stats above, Earnie has a long storied career with the USMNT and a lengthy European resume (although Benny probably would by now as well if he hadn't sustained his injuries) therefore there is a perception of Earnie as a higher caliber player who should be scoring more and having a greater influence on the field. Plus Earnie missed god knows how many sitters in front of the goal.

    These days Benny and Dema are perceived as the nitty gritty, stick their noses into it kind of role players that every team needs to be successful. For the most part their play on the field matches that perception.
  8. ignatz

    ignatz New Member

    Jun 3, 2001
    Washington, DC
    I think this is right on. Earnie came here as one of our two allocations two years ago -- and an allocation is, theoretically at least, for an impact player. Earnie has not been the kind of impact player who can carry much of the team, a la Jaime. Neither was our other allocation that year, Galin Ivanov.

    Both Earnie and Ivanov can be described accurately, I think, as playing at the level of MLS journeymen. They are (were in the case of Ivanov) criticized severely because allocations aren't for journeymen.
  9. Cweedchop

    Cweedchop Member+

    Mar 6, 2000
    Ellicott City, Md
    I'm with you Tim.. I just can't fathom how anyone can summise that Olsen is having a poor season.. He has taken to the holding midfield role with applomb and is now starting to branch out a little more and starting to get more upfield as well..

    As to the original posters question, it's an apples and oranges type of thing.. What Nowak is asking of Stewart and Olsen are different things.. Stewart obviously isn't worth a max salary, that much is painfully clear, but his defensive work and attitude have been first rate (as compared to other recent high salaried players) and he happens to knock in the odd goal every now and then..

    Ben Olsen's offensive game has taken a backslide due to his increased defensive responsibilities, but if you notice in recent weeks, he is getting farther upfield and more involved in our good scoring chances..
  10. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    I have nothing to add to this post but concur 100 percent.
  11. neilgrossman

    neilgrossman New Member

    May 12, 2000
    Hoboken, NJ
    I wouldn't trade Olsen either. He's one of my favorite players. I just thought his offensive production was below normal for him. (His bad years is statistically equivalent to Stewart's typical year.)

    I'm not saying Olsen had a bad season compared to other players in the league. I'm saying he had a bad season compared to what he showed before he was hurt. Usually he's a big contributor on defense and offense. This year, he was an excellent playing defense, but not his best playing offense.
  12. kravi

    kravi Member

    May 3, 2004
    Section 134
    I read the Barra Brava's interview with Stewart on their web page, and this is what I got.
    It seems to me that fan dissatisfaction is more because of the role he's been asked to play, rather than his performance. He plays his role (defensive, aggressive, ball-stealing midfielder) very well. Should we be upset with him for not playing a more offensive game when he's been tasked with another job?

  13. GoDC

    GoDC Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    Hamilton, VA
    I think the disappointment with Earnie is that he may not be playing the position he is used to but when he has been put into good spots over the 2 years, he has not converted. He has consistently missed good chances without even putting the ball on the frame of the goal and this year his free kicks and corner kicks have been much less than threatening. I understand he is playing a more defensive role than he wants to but he still has had chances and has not come through.
  14. Jegao Paraiba

    Jegao Paraiba Member

    Aug 6, 2004
    Morgantown, WV
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm deeply conflicetd about Earnie.
    I think he's a consummate professional, a great leader and has a wealth of experience and I think these attributes are very important.
    But I've been less than inspired by his play of late. I can't put my finger on it. Age, position and just dumb luck all probably contribute to this vague impression that I have.
    Could/would he take a pay-cut to stay?
    There are probably better values out there than paying top dollar to make a great player play out of position.
    But it would sadden me to see him go.

    Olsen has similar attributes on the character side and I think he is on his way to approximating the player everyone thought he could be before his injury.
  15. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

    Real Madrid, DC United, anywhere Pulisic plays
    Aug 3, 2000
    Proxima Centauri
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Stewart was probably the most consistent national team player from 1994-2001. In the past 3 years, he has faded a bit, mostly because of father time. He is still a valuable player, but people's expectations are too high. Perhaps his salary is too high at United.
  16. dcc134

    dcc134 Member+

    Liverpool FC
    May 15, 2000
    Hummelstown, PA
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Olsen's stats are lower this year because he is playing a different position. End of story.
  17. Daniel le Rouge

    Daniel le Rouge New Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    under a bridge
    It's all about expectations. Earnie cost an allocation and max salary. He was always good for 8-10 goals in the Dutch League.

    We were looking for borderline MVP production, when Earnie has always been best as a complementary player. It's not fair to him, and frankly it wasn't really fair to us to project that kind of thing on him.

    Does he miss too many sitters? Hell yes! That's a big part of the problem. But he created a bunch of goals (many that didn't come out in the stats) and is consistently dangerous, always works hard no matter what blind boy says, and provides an outstanding example. Do I want him on my team? Absolutely. Is his contribution worth max salary under a tight cap with no relief? ... ummm ... maybe it was this year. It won't be next year. If we can finagle a way to hide some of his pay off the cap, then I'm all for keeping him, but as it is, I don't think there's any doubt that he's on the unprotected list.
  18. scarshins

    scarshins Member

    Jun 13, 2000
    I wouldn't either, but I think Zavagnin and Sanneh are the league's best at that position now...with Olsen under consideration for what he has done the last 10 games or so.
  19. elconejito

    elconejito Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Where Homer Lives
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    i would attribute this to carroll's resurgence at the DM position which allows benny to travel a little further without having to worry about whats going on behind him.

    in regard to benny vs earnie, there are alot of reasons, but if i were to pinpoint it to just one, I would say benny has exceeded expectations, while earnie has not lived up to his.

    benny was a natural winger for many years and has taken to his new HM role like a fish to water. his goals and assists have dropped because he isn't near to the goal as much. but he has taken advantage of his limited shot opportunities and scored 3 goals.

    earnie (in my mind) is a natural center midfielder, but not a true AM or DM or even FW like was expected when he came here. i picture him as having success in a flat 4 midfield, which we have never played here in DC. he attacks and defends equally well, IMHO. he also has 3 goals, but has had many more chances to convert, most of which were the simple variety. i think he has missed breakaways by every means imaginable - shot at the keeper, skied the shot, missed a little wide, missed alot wide, passed when he shoulda shot, shot when he shoulda passed. all in a variety of positions that should have been certain goals. in many of those games we could have won or tied instead of losing *if only* earnie could have converted.

    if earnie was a low-salaried young player like gros or namoff, everyone would be saying how great his workrate, and see how well he gets himself into position to score, the finishing will come with experience, etc. but unfortunately, he is a high-salaried older player who had tons of expectations piled on him when he walked thru the door and hasn't lived up to them.

    Were i the GM of some team, I would take earnie in a heartbeat... just not as a max-salary player....
  20. Topo

    Topo Member

    Feb 15, 2001
    Here's a blast from the past (at least, the beginning of the season).

    If they're evenly matched, then why does Earnie cost $120,000 more? Why is Earnie earning so much more?

    Also consider such things as which one you see signing more autographs after games and things like that to see why one might be more popular than the other. On the field performance is a limited indicator of who is the most popular player (which often colors perception of their on-the-field performance).

    D.C. United
    Stewart, Earnie $285,000 $285,000
    Kovalenko, Dema $150,000 $176,000
    Petke, Mike $135,000 $165,000
    Cerritos, Ronald $147,000 $162,000
    Olsen, Ben $135,000 $161,000
    Convey, Bobby $140,000 $143,000
    Reyes, Milton $108,900 $112,650
    Quaranta, Santino $85,000 $95,000
    Nelsen, Ryan $80,554 $90,554
    Rimando, Nick $80,000 $86,000
    Barclay, Devin $75,000 $83,916.66
    Eskandarian, Alecko $60,000 $80,500
    Prideaux, Brandon $66,550 $69,050
    Quintanilla, Eliseo $54,000 $54,000
    Carroll, Brian $31,500 $34,000
    Martins, Thiago $32,500 $32,500
    Stokes, David $28,350 $30,850
    Alegria, Jose $27,783 $27,783
    Namoff, Bryan $27,780 $27,780
    Warren, Doug $25,200 $25,200
  21. Sundevil9

    Sundevil9 Member

    Nov 23, 1999
    Reston, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There's a conception that Olsen's stats are 'down'

    From United's website

    Year  Team        GP  GS  MIN  G  A  PTS  SHT  SOG
    1998 D.C. United 31  24 2,107 4  8   16    44    25      
    1999 D.C. United 28  26 2,292 5 11   21   43    26      
    2000 D.C. United 13  13 1,020 1  3    5    19     9       
    2001 D.C. United 0    0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 
    2002 D.C. United 10  7   718   0  1    1    12     8       
    2003 D.C. United 26  26 2,239 4  7   15    31   13       
    2004 D.C. United 25  25 2046  3  4   10    41   26       
    Benny's 98,99,03, and 04 stats seem pretty much in line. He's maybe a goal, and 3 or 4 assists off his averages, but it's not like he dropped from a 10-15 goal guy to a 4 goal guy.
  22. neilgrossman

    neilgrossman New Member

    May 12, 2000
    Hoboken, NJ
    I think a lot of people expected Olsen to improve from his 15-point season last year to something similar to his 21-point season.

    Instead of getting more points than last season, he had a third less.
  23. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    I have found Earnie to be quite disappointing. I've seen him slow down the offense at times when we didn't need it, as well as muffing some obvious sitter shots and a few really muffed final passes.

    But what disappoints me more is that the overall organization of the attack didn't improve with Stewart on the field. What makes this obvious to me is how mucht he team immediately improved with the addition of Christian Gomez.

    Anticipating the next comment, that Stewart's role and Gomez's role are not the same, I acknowledge the point, but my point is to question whether Stewart's is neccessary for a winning team. We have an aggressive, ballwinning defensive midfielder in Kovalenko. We have an organizing, attacking midfielder who also scores and sets up goals in Gomez. Why do we need something in between the two? Especially at those prices.

    A truly influential player should play a little 'bigger than his position' anyway, e.g. a winger who comes into the middle to crack defenses. My opinion is that Kovalenko and Gomez have both been doing that, and Earnie hasn't.

    I think we should leave him unprotected in the expansion draft. Though, playing GM at RSL/Chivas, you have to strongly consider taking him. Using him in a different system, and/or a different role, a player of that experience and craft could have a resurgence at any time.

    But probably not for us.
  24. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    One other point:
    -------Shots---SOG---Percent OG

    I think you can statistically say Olsen's shots this season have been more accurate, even if his tally has nothing to show for it. And I'd argue that when you force the GK to make saves, good things can happen. Maybe he punches one out for a corner that you score on, or maybe you just get three or four corners in a row and extend possession. But good things happen. If you told me, "you can take ten more shots and they'll all be on goal" I take that deal.
  25. nick

    nick Member+

    Nov 23, 1998
    Potomac Falls, Va
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If you consider contributions vs salary or value for money some players really stand out.

    Snap em up
    Namoff at 28k, Carroll at 32k,
    Gros ?,

    Eski at 60k, Nelsen 80k.
    Moreno??, EZ??, Perkins

    Good Value/About Right
    Rimando 80k. Olsen 135k, Prideaux 67k, Q2 54k

    Getting Pricey
    Kovalenko 150k, Petke 135k, Quaranta 85k

    Way Over Priced
    Stewart 285k

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