Just Shoot Me or Why'd Magath Pick Bent and Dempsey

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by AggieMatt, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. AggieMatt

    AggieMatt Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Alamo City, Texas
    There seemed to be fairly universal displeasure and confusion over Magath's lineup selection for Chelsea. Why would he play Dempsey and Bent and sit Holtby? Now Magath has come out and said Holtby isn't a fighter, and maybe that's all there is to it. Or maybe it's something more obvious.

    We don't score. Not only that, we don't shoot much either. We've been most effective when we've moved the ball down the wings with pace. We've been far less effective trying to go through the middle. We haven't shown that any of our strikers are capable of producing as the lone man up top this season. So it would make sense to implement a gameplan of attacking down the wings and playing the ball into the box where you have two reputed poachers looking to get onto the end of things. Now the plan falls apart a bit when you look at recent form. Bent's last 2 seasons have been nothing to write home about and Clint's form has been a bit of a mystery since leaving England. However, both have a history of taking shots, putting them on net and making them.

    In 2011/12, Bent made 21 appearances. He took 43 shots, put 26 on target and scored 9. The year prior, he took 100 with 40 on target and 17 goals in 36 appearances. That's 2.05 and 2.78 shots per game, 1.24 and 1.11 shots on target per game, and .43 and .47 goals per game.

    Looking at Clint's last 2 years at Fulham, he made 37 appearances each year. He took 146 shots with 58 on target and 17 goals in 11/12 and 131 shots with 44 on target and 12 goals in 10/11. That's 3.95 and 3.54 shots per game, 1.57 and 1.19 on target per game and .46 and .33 goals per game.

    This season, Fulham's top 5 offensive players (by shots) have been Sidwell, Kasami, Berbatov, Taarabt and Bent. Combined, they have 102 appearances. Total shots? 160. 64 on target. 16 goals. That's 1.57 shots per game, .63 on target per game and .1 goals per game. That's brutal. How brutal? 2011/12 Clint (by himself) took more total shots than our top 4 from this year. He put more total shots on target than our top 4. And he scored more goals than all 5 of them have. Even the 10/11 version outshot, out targeted and outscored our top 3 combined from this year. And in almost a 1/3 fewer appearances in both cases. :shock:

    Lewis Holtby is a nice player and very creative. So was Bryan Ruiz. Holtby doesn't get caught on the ball as much and has shown more energy and workrate on the pitch. However, he's not a goal scorer and he doesn't shoot. In 5 appearances for Fulham, he has 7 shots, 1 on target. Looking at his numbers since moving to the Prem, he has 22 appearances with Spurs and Fulham and he's taken 37 shots (1.68/g), put 7 on target (.32/g) and scored 1 goal (.05/g). That's worse than our already anemic offense. And he only has 3 assists in those 22 matches, 1 from his 5 appearances at Fulham. Even if you add in his numbers from Bundesliga matches, the rates pretty much stay the same. Goals goes up to .14/g (11 from 79 matches). Now Holtby is only 23 and there's time for him to develop that part of his game. I'm sure he will and Spurs will own a very good player. But in the here and now, if we don't have 1 good forward who can score, what good does Holtby do for our scoring woes and how exactly does his exclusion really hurt us?

    Now, in hindsight, current form won out with both players and it didn't work. But looking at the numbers, I can see why Magath would try it with two guys who just 2 years ago looked like Messi and Ronaldo compared to the current collection of clowns running around in white and black.
  2. timmyg

    timmyg Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Good stuff Matt.

    It's become readily apparent that since Rene got canned and Felix took over, the squad simply isn't good enough. Yes, Jol was crap toward the end and not helping matters. But it went beyond him, and short of Jesús Cristo or someone of that ilk taking over this club, we're totally doomed.

    Therefore I'm beyond being upset at seeing Bent or Dempsey in the lineup.

    Now, Parker & Sidwell.....
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