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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Whose Playing Who?

A very wet Thursday morning in Spain, so I thought I'd play around with one of those spreadsheet jobbies that I used to be so fond of. And what better thing to do than try to figure out what Monica's been doing with his team selection over the last 8 games.

So here are the total minutes played, per player, for what its worth.

Goalkeepers - 1
Carson 720 minutes played (out of 720 total)

Defenders - 7
Young 720
El Karkouri 720
Hreidarsson 626 - one Red Card
Fortune 315
Traore 165 - one Red Card
Diawara 142
Sorondo 61

Midfield - 9
Faye 667
Hughes 593
Ambrose 372
Rommedahl 338
Reid 306
Holland 292
Kishishev 219
Pouso 57
Thomas 18

Strikers - 4
Darren Bent 720 - 5 goals scored
Hasselbaink 626 - 1 goal scored
Marcus Bent 165
Lisbie 100

Players Used:21 - Injured Players ( and suspensions) - 10

So it terms of our 8 games so far the "usual team" has been:
Carson, Young, El Karkouri, Fortune, Hreidarsson,
Rommedahl, Faye, Hughes, Ambrose, Hasselbaink, D.Bent

The most interesting facts are the number of players used and the lack of goals from anyone else other than Darren Bent. And while the defence has at least been "settled", the midfield has 7 players having played over 200 mins showing how unsettled it has been. there's also the fact that, judging from the fans, there are in the "usual team", three players who are not really good enough, or not playing well enough at the moment, and in the Premiership thats probably 3 too many.

Its also interesting to compare this line-up with what Curbs was doing last season. In our first 8 games the team was:

Anderson, Young, Hreidarsson, Perry, Powell, Rommedahl, Murphy, Kish, Smertin, Thomas, D.Bent

with only three other players having a single game each, Ambrose, Hughes and El Karkouri, so only 14 players used against Monica's 21 and Perry, Rommedahl and Murphy had also scored.

It all goes to show the effect that a difficult start in terms of fixtures, a plague of injuries leading to forced changes, plus a changed squad trying to familiarize itself with the play of the others can do to results.

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