The Unhappy Return of "The Goals Will Come Era"

Discussion in 'Columbus Crew SC' started by hangthadj, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. hangthadj

    hangthadj Member+

    A.S. Roma
    Mar 27, 2001
    Beacon, NY
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Warning... long depressing stat heavy post incoming:

    We've talked a little bit about this throughout the season. The nefarious numbers runner @zman31 has alluded to our goal scoring problems in multiple game threads. We see only Zardes and Higuain with more than one goal this season on our roster. Of Higuain's 4 goals, 3 have come the penalty spot. Only Zardes has more than one goal from open play on this team.

    We have 33 goals on the season. Of teams in playoff positioning only Seattle has less with 32. They have played one less game. Our overall goal difference on the year is zero after 26 games. While our defense has improved our inability to score makes any error by Mensah, Abubukar, Williams or Steffen that much more glaring.

    I know xGoals are a bit of a controversial stat. Nonetheless I looked at how the indiviuals on the team were performing vs their xGoals at American Soccer Analysis.

    https://www.americansocceranalysis.com/player-xg-2018/

    As a team Columbus has 37.3 xGoals this season. So we are underperforming that by about 4 goals. That 37.3 number is about mid table in the league (11th) behind such juggernauts as the Philadelphia Union.

    The only players that are out performing their xGoals are Grella (1goal, .70 xGoals), Trapp (1 goal, .09 xGoals), and Mullins (1 goal, .48 xGoals).

    Everyone else is underpreforming, even Zardes (15 goals, 15.63 xGoals). Other notables include Higuain (4 goals, 5.26 xGoals), Santos (1 goal, 3.03 xGoals), mod favorite Niko Hansen (1 goal, 2.88 xGoals), Afful (1 goal 2.08 xGoals), and Artur (0 goals, 1.97 xGoals).

    This depressing reading brought up a few questions for me....

    1. Has Berhalter's system been found out a bit? In past years we talked about how many chances we created and how the attractive soccer leads to goal scoring opportunities. This season we not only are not scoring, we are not creating scoring opportunities like in years past. We are very middle of the pack.

    2. What on earth does Pedro Santos bring to this team? How on earth a DP winger who is almost never substituted has only one goal, and only 3 xGoals in that stat is shocking. I can't wrap my head around why he is a first choice player for us, or any team in this league.

    3. Is Meram the answer? It's difficult to say. He's been poor this season 1 goal vs 4.35 xGoals. Hopefully a return to Berhalter's system energizes him and the team.

    4. When will we see new blood? The dearth of scoring chances and the inability of Higuain (or anyone else not named Zardes) to actually score from open play screams for a new playmaker to come into the fold. It won't happen this season. But, Lord Guillermo willing, if the Crew remains in Columbus next season it's probably time to take the keys from Higuain and give someone else a chance to drive.

    This has been, and will continue to be, The Unhappy Return of The Goals Will Come Era.
     
  2. puttputtfc

    puttputtfc Member+

    Sep 7, 1999
    You've answered plenty of your own questions. The problem is our wingers aren't producing. Santos is bad, the other wingers inconsistent and I don't think anyone else can handle Pipa's responsibilities in the middle. Going to a 3-5-2 would be impossible because our wing backs shrug their defensive duty. Only one solution in my mind. Ice, gin, tonic and lime. Still works, I tell you.
     
    hangthadj repped this.
  3. Big J 0526

    Big J 0526 Member+

    Columbus Crew SC
    United States
    Sep 8, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Honestly, because of the lack of production, we should go to a narrow diamond 4-4-2.

    st: zardes
    st: mullins
    cam: pipa
    lcm: artur
    rcm: sosa
    cdm: trapp
    rb: afful
    rcb: crognale
    lcb: sauro
    lb: valenzuela
     
  4. Ch(Elsey)

    Ch(Elsey) Member+

    Columbus Crew
    United States
    May 2, 2003
    Green, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  5. hangthadj

    hangthadj Member+

    A.S. Roma
    Mar 27, 2001
    Beacon, NY
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    The man with one goal this season and the worst goals to xGoals ratio of any attacking player in the Crew team.
     
  6. Ch(Elsey)

    Ch(Elsey) Member+

    Columbus Crew
    United States
    May 2, 2003
    Green, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You wanted more goals. He is the answer. I apologize if you were looking for a different answer, prof hang.
     
  7. hangthadj

    hangthadj Member+

    A.S. Roma
    Mar 27, 2001
    Beacon, NY
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    He might be the answer, he can't be *that* much worse than what we have thrown out there. But he's been abysmal this season. He has as many goals as Harrison Afful.

    He needs to earn a spot on merit as opposed to sentimentality.
     
    Draghignazzo repped this.
  8. Big J 0526

    Big J 0526 Member+

    Columbus Crew SC
    United States
    Sep 8, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sorry to disappoint you and markus. But I don't think he would be a good fit in a narrow lineup. Now in a straight 4-4-2 he would be a starting winger.
    Hes tied for 3rd on our team in goals. he can't be that bad!!
     
  9. Ch(Elsey)

    Ch(Elsey) Member+

    Columbus Crew
    United States
    May 2, 2003
    Green, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Apology accepted.
     
  10. ibrew

    ibrew Member+

    Feb 3, 2008
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Setting aside stats, when I watch our play, the word I would use to describe it is ponderous. We do one touch passing in the defensive third where the risk reward is unfavorable, yet in the offensive third we become timid. Just as we are approaching the offensive third we love, love, love to cycle it back to our Dmids and deep lying outside mids/backs rather than attempting a pass that improves the offensive position. It keeps our passing stats artificially high with the kind of low risk passing that opposing defenses love. We have a lot of possession that is strictly defensive in nature, and serves only to keep the other team off the ball.

    Nobody consistently breaks down a D with a pass, and nobody has been doing it at all on the dribble. I was hoping Grella and Meram would bring that dynamic back. Even as raw as he is, I now think I'd start Opoku long term and see if he can develop. He has the ability to put opponents on their heels. No one we have right now is doing that.
     
    hangthadj repped this.
  11. zman31

    zman31 Member+

    May 5, 1999
    Columbus, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It seems nearly impossible to find ourselves this late in the season with exactly 1 multi-goal scorer from the run of play.

    I wish some of the numbers on xG told us more. If Santos had 3 goals, Artur 2 and Hansen 2 we'd likely still be having this discussion. The players are underperforming in both G and xG if you ask me.

    Why? That's the real conundrum. I think lack of talent from our wingers is part of it for sure. I think Artur has had a rough season in the attacking half of the field. I don't have access to the numbers, but he just seems to not be able to find the quick forward pass, especially in transition. That's compounded by none of our wingers being particularly speedy (except Opoku). They aren't getting wide and deep into space quickly enough for Artur to get them the ball in the open.

    We loaf it to midfield, wait for Afful to move forward and be our creative force while the attacking 4 work against 8 defenders. Drop it back to Trapp and repeat.

    We're also not getting many crosses from our wingbacks when we have numbers in the box. I know Higuain, Santos, Zardes and Other Winger aren't much of an air threat. But you get all 4 of them in the back and serve a ball and you've got a chance for something. I don't remember that happening very much. One, 2 or maybe 3 of them, but not all 4.

    Or, forget all that stuff. We suck.
     

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