The TIVO Challenge: reassessing Marvelle Wynne's game

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Michel_Platini, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. Michel_Platini

    Mar 21, 2005
    I was intrigued by some of the criticism of Marvelle Wynne, especially given how much criticism there was to go around.

    So, I watched the game again on TIVO alternating amongst realtime, 4X speed, and 8X speed, and tracking measurable things.

    The challenge about doing this was not everything was quantifiable. So I gave it my best shot.

    Turnovers (harmless): 5
    Turnovers (non-qualified): 1
    Turnovers (dangerous): 1
    Completed Passes: 27
    Gave up a cross: 1
    Foul (Dumb): 0
    Foul (average): 1
    Foul (good): 2
    Cross (good): 1
    Cross (decent): 3
    Cross (crap): 2
    Cornerkicks (won for US): 2
    Cornerkicks (given to ES): 1
    Non called handball: 1
    Got beat on the back post: 1
    Beat on a combo: 2
    Missed tackle: 2
    Won tackle: 2
    Won throw in: 4
    Won ball: 5
    Won free kick: 1

    Crosses were not counted as turnovers. A crap cross was one that went out of bounds or didn't clear the first defender. A decent cross was one that 'got in the mixer'. A good cross was a bit more dangerous than a decent cross.

    Turnovers were quantified as follows. A 'harmless' turnover was one that did not put his team instantly into a defensive transition with questionable numbers. Most of these turnovers were balls played directly into the corner for our 'speed options' to run onto. A dangerous turnover was the one he got caught in possession on the touchline in a one v two and he (and the team) had to sprint quickly back towards the US goal. The other one was somewhere in between.

    One thing I did not track was how many throw ins he took. As I was not tracking them, I realized that every throw in on his side of the field was much like a free kick. The guy has a lot of distance on those and these resulted in possession most of the time. I didn't count these in 'completed passes' much like I didn't count crosses as turnovers.

    On the second goal, he missed a tackle, got back just in time for his mark to switch the attack. Honduras was attacking 2 v 5 (Perkins, Marshall, Rogers, Bornstein, Beckerman). So hard to put this one on him, especially since Bornstein--who received a lot of accolades for the game, was marking no one at the near post, and ended neither pressuring the crosser or helping Marshall.

    Third goal ultimately the goal scorer snuck behind him. However, for the previous 10 seconds he was defending 1 v 3 with limited help from Benny, Sasha, or Marshall.

    And it was he who won the cornerkick that led to the goal.

    Subjectively, communication looked like it was missing--both between him and the centerbacks and he and the midfielders. His man to man spacing was questionable--sometimes maybe too tight and others not enough.

    For the first 25 minutes of the game, Honduras could not get anything going on the left side. They kept going at Bornstein on the right. It was hard to find much wrong with Wynne's first 25 minutes.

    He never lost a challenge in the air, and won more cornerkicks than he conceded. The one he did concede was one where he cleared a ball into the shins of a Honduran, it deflected behind him and put the Honduran off to the races. He tracked back, with speed and blocked the cross which deflected for a corner kick.

    Given our B options at defence, I think the guy deserves another call up. This time with out Marshall or Conrad please.
  2. Who is this guy?

    Dec 13, 2009
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Theres one problem hes suppose to be a wing back and he cant cross? how long is he going to horribly shank crosses, its been a problem for a while. I say on to the next one, theres other more deserving players to use a cap on.
  3. Golazo

    Golazo Member+

    Apr 15, 1999
    Decatur, GA USA
    Paging Dr. Hejduk. Paging Dr. Hejduk.
  4. SamsArmySam

    SamsArmySam Member+

    Apr 13, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    Appreciate the analysis.

    But the bolded parts above are pretty damning. Odds are one of those four mistakes gets punished for a goal at the World Cup. If not more.
  5. Michel_Platini

    Mar 21, 2005
    The dangerous turnover didn't cause a direct threat on goal: it was still a middle of the field turnover on the touch line that left at least 5 US players goalside.

    The one he got beat on the back post was that play when everyone stopped for a moment because Benny had gotten kicked in the face. Still a problem.

    The missed tackles were both in the middle of the field--not last defender types--that should have not resulted in anything serious.

    But point taken. It only takes one mistake.

    How would you rate Wynne's performance against Honduras versus Bornstein's performance in Salt Lake against El Salvador?

    On the whole, I would rate Wynne's higher. El Sal was picking on Bornstein that night, and his bad clear led to the goal. Yet Bornstein seems to be a lock for SA 2010, even when he was completely useless on the second goal against Honduras--standing in no man's land.
  6. cairodog

    cairodog New Member

    Nov 11, 2009
    Seattle Sounders
    finally, some sanity...

    For some reason, Marvell Wynne is everybody's favorite whipping boy--I guess it's because he has more unrealized athletic potential than many of the players in the US pool...
    But he was not the worst player on the field vs. Honduras, and was, I would argue, better than most. It's true, he can't cross the ball (for whatever reason, very few Americans have mastered this relatively mundane skill), but he played really hard, advanced the ball into the offensive side of the field, and challenged the Honduran defense on more than one occasion. On a team that rarely pushes the pace and rarely makes hard tackles, Wynne's hustle and aggression stood out. Moreover, he's so fast that any of his mistakes outside the 18 he often is able to clean up himself. Mistakes around the 18 are, unfortunately, another matter, but name a US defender with an impeccable record in this regard.

    I can't imagine that he'll be on the team that goes to South Africa, but he remains a player worth watching. If he ever gets better at positioning and crossing, he'll be an important player in the US pool. People forget he's still a pretty young dude. And I refuse to bash a guy who works as hard and aggressively as he does--especially when his teammates seem to be lacking in these qualities...
  7. Sachsen

    Sachsen Member+

    Aug 8, 2003
    Broken Arrow, Okla.
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  8. Autogolazo

    Autogolazo BigSoccer Supporter

    Feb 19, 2000
    Bombay Beach, CA
    I notice there was no "got caught upfield out of position while Honduras rammed a counterattack down his flank." There were several of those in the first half alone.
  9. SFEarthquakes

    SFEarthquakes Member

    Dec 30, 2005
    I agree, It seemed like Honduras was flying down our left flank at will and Wynne was hopeless to stop it. Also on at least one goal his man passed into the middle and he chased the ball only to have the ball played in behind him to that same man who scored. Stay with the runner is what I worked on with my sons U12 rec team.
  10. Michel_Platini

    Mar 21, 2005
    Watch it again.

    That is why I called it the TIVO challenge, even if I misspelled Marvell's name.

    For the first 30 minutes, except for the one cross, all of Honduras' attack was down the right, not the left.

    And on the goal you mention, yes the man slipped behind him.

    But his man?

    Sasha and Benny just let their men run by and jogged while the Hondurans ran an old school basketball 3 man weave drill on Marvell. He was literally defending 1 v 3 until the play had moved to the to top of the box at which point Beckerman joined in. No help from the center backs with the line or pressure.

    I suppose if any of those 3 guys had scored, they all would have been Wynne's man as he was the only guy marking them for about 30 yards.

    Your stay with the runner coaching is absolutely spot on. So if your U12 midfielders ignore this coaching and two of them let their two marks go by and it is 3 v 1 on the defender, who do you have words with at half time?

    And again, having rewatched the entire game, Honduras attacked up the right more than the left, especially in the beginning.
  11. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

    Oct 14, 2004
    Most of those were off "wall passes", a simple 1-2 - a forward checked back, the midfielder continued his run and got the back back from the forward in full stride while everyone on the US backline watched in amazement.
  12. Michel_Platini

    Mar 21, 2005
    That is why I call it the TIVO Challenge. Watch the first half again.

    After 30 minutes into, I am thinking Wynne is having a decent game.

    I didn't see him getting caught up field out of position. I did see him get beat on some combo plays and misstimed tackles.

    He won two corner kicks and gave up only one. Surely this is a positive stat to have from your right back, no?

    However, in general, defensively his timing, positioning, and tactical awareness were not optimal. But Bornstein committed more egregious offences in this category: not keeping the line high on the 3rd goal or getting help to pressure the ball on the near side. Hanging out in no man's land on the second goal---neither applying pressure to the ball or helping cover the only attacker anywhere near the goal. I won't even mention Conrad.

    I suppose I am making the case that of the 4 defenders that started, he deserves the least criticism.
  13. Michel_Platini

    Mar 21, 2005

    I swear I am suffering from Adult Onset Message Board Induced Dyslexia--the more time I spend on blogs and message boards, the more my spelling becomes some memory influenced phonetic hybrid.

    What's in a name?

    That which we call a Marvell
    By any other name would be argued about just as much on a BS board.
  14. Grumpy in LA

    Grumpy in LA Bringing It Since 1807™

    Sep 10, 2007
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree with these points (I made similar ones in the post-game thread)

    But I also agree with these points:

    I was sitting on the right side of the US' defense half of the field for the first half of the game. During that time Wynne got beat often by simple combination plays and put the team in a really dangerous position several times. He has a history of doing that. Until he can stop doing that, I think he's a liability at the international level, no matter how much other stuff he does right (and he does a lot of stuff right).
  15. TabLalas

    TabLalas Member+

    Mar 29, 2007
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The only way Wynne was going to make the roster was if he beat out Cherundolo and that was probably not going to happen anyways so, moot point.
    Wynne, like Adu, Cooper, Marshall, Rogers, Marcus Tracy etc. will be a guy to keep an eye on going into the 2011 Gold Cup.
  16. tbgh

    tbgh New Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    One other unlikely scenario had him making it. Spector as starting LB and Wynne replacing one of Bornstein/Pearce. This was more likely when it didn't look like Gooch would make it back and we'd need Boca or Spector at CB. I don't think it will happen now, but that's a recent development.

    [threadjack]And for the record, the idea of Cherundolo and Boca as starting outside backs in the 2010 WC give me indigestion. They both have looked old the last couple times I've seen them play. I just hope Gooch and DeMerit are able to replicate their Spanish performance and clear all the crosses we're likely to give up.[end threadjack]
  17. beamish

    beamish Member+

    Jul 6, 2009
    After you pick the obvious six (Onyewu, DeMerit, Bocanegra, Spector, Cherundolo, Bornstein) and another CB (Goodson, say), the team would be 2 deep at RB, 3 deep at LB, and 5 deep at CB. I don't count Beasley or Rogers as possible left backs or Bornstein or Edu as possible centerbacks. (Bornstein at CB! Who knew?)

    If you take a 8th defender in case of emergency, he ought to be able to play right back. Who is the third best right fullback in the pool?
  18. Dr Jay

    Dr Jay BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 7, 1999
    Newton, MA USA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Alston ;)
  19. Adam Zebrowski

    Adam Zebrowski New Member

    May 28, 1999
    i agree, alston has far more a future than wynne...

    wynne soccer iq, after how many years as a pro, will be make a sudden recognition of how to play a more sophisicated game...
  20. Reccossu

    Reccossu Member+

    Jan 31, 2005
    I appreciate this kind of effort. Thanks to the TS. It is never simple to ascribe credit or blame in a fluid game like soccer with either your eyes or with numbers.

    My gut tells me Bornstein had a better game than Wynne. But it also tells me that Wynne is over-criticized.
  21. Michel_Platini

    Mar 21, 2005
    criticisms in this thread are valid:

    getting beat on combos. Not stopping combos. To be a great defender, it is simply not enough to 'stay with your man.' You have to stop some of these combos and win the ball.

    Wynne did not do this. Honduras figured him out. He won everything played in the air, so they went at him with a short passing game that he and his midfielders couldn't stop.
  22. Grumpy in LA

    Grumpy in LA Bringing It Since 1807™

    Sep 10, 2007
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It can happen. Eddie Johnson certainly seems to have done it. Brek Shea seems to be in the process of doing it (yes, I know, he's much younger).

    Too many American coaches let great athletes develop bad habits during their formative years. Or, well, too many bad coaches do. And it's not like Wynne has brilliant club coaching to help him out. I mean, he spent a good chunk of time at Toronto FC "learning" from John Carver. I'll be curious to see how he gets on with Preki.
  23. GVPATS77

    GVPATS77 Member+

    Aug 18, 2008
    Fullerton, CA
    The problem with statistics is they can be skewed to prove any point a person gathering the statistics wants to make. Especially when the statistics are based on the subjective opinion of the guy compiling the stats.

    I don't need a bunch of statistics to see that Wynne was constantly caught up field and out of position. I don't need statistics to see that once Honduras realized that Bornstein was playing well on our left, they exclusively attacked our right flank. I don't need statistics to see that Wynne didn't play a single dangerous ball on any of those runs forward that he made that had him caught out of position constantly.

    And I definitely don't need statistics to see that just because a guy can run really really really fast in a straight line it doesn't mean he has the positional sense, or technical ability, or soccer IQ to ever become a top quality professional or legitimate international caliber player.
  24. minya

    minya Member

    Mar 27, 2008
    san diego, ca
    Sorry, it never happens. Exactly as nobody becomes faster all of a sudden, or taller. If EJ had any resemblance of soccer IQ, he would be starting for Fulham. Brek Shea is much younger. And I'm still extremely doubtful about him. It's just that sometimes people don't appreciate how intelligent some players are. The best examples would be Beasley and Kobe Jones who have been perceived as pure speedster while being extremely intelligent players, or Dempsey whose fluky goals are also results of ability to read the game.
    But if somebody is definitely dumb (as a soccer player) he stays dumb for a long long time.
  25. GVPATS77

    GVPATS77 Member+

    Aug 18, 2008
    Fullerton, CA
    Good post in general, but its Cobi. Kobe is the anal rapist that plays for the Lakers.

Share This Page