Monaghan Vs Antrim

Team Possessions Shots Shot Rate Scores Success Rate Return Vs Expected
Monaghan 37 26 70% 13 50% +0.30
Antrim 30 20 67% 10 50% +1.22
avg 41.8 28.3 67.7% 14.1 49.8% 0.00

Watching this game I expected some atrocious returns. At one stage in the 1st half there was a c12 minute period where there wasn’t a shot taken let alone a score. Stevie McDonnell put it best when he said that “if we’re not careful a game of football will break out”.

A game of football did eventually break out and surprisingly the shot rate & success rates were as bang on average as you’ll find. The problem (mainly Antrim’s) was the actual volume of shots taken. An average game should have 57 shots – this one had 46. Antrim’s 30 shots were the lowest charted to date; if you’re going to have that few shots the success rate has to be way above average to compensate.

In the first half especially Bradley’s plan appeared to be an ultra conservative defensive shield with long shots (outside the 45m line) taken on sight. The purists will wail but I have no problem with the plan. The problem comes with implementing a plan that doesn’t suit your players. By shooting on sight you have to have excellent point takers as you are robbing your team of the ability to take easier shots inside. Also, and more importantly, you are depriving your team the chance of easy scores from frees inside.

Baker Bradley’s plan, whilst limited, is not wrong for the reasons the pundits will offer (“ultra defensive”, dare I say it “puke football”). It is wrong because he plainly doesn’t have the players to hit enough scores from the 45m line. Yes he’s limiting the opponent but he’s just not giving his team enough of a chance to win.

From play

Team Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
Monaghan 17 9 53% +1.46
Antrim 16 8 50% +1.39
avg 21.1 9.3 44.0% 0.00

From deadballs

Team Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
C McManus (Mon) 6 2 33% -1.10
K Hughes (Mon) 2 1 50% -0.52
P Cunningham (Ant) 3 2 67% +0.69
P Finlay (Mon) 1 1 100% +0.49
T McCann (Ant) 1 0 0% -0.86
game avgs 7.3 4.8 66.5% 0.00

Perhaps what coloured my expectations on the returns whilst watching the game was the poor free taking. Converting 6 out of 13 deadballs is verging on atrocious. Monaghan should be able to improve on this if Finlay returns and now that McManus has a game under his belt. If they don’t they won’t progress.

McCann missing one of the few easy frees Antrim did get kind of undermines my earlier arguement but I still contend that they do not have the shooters to operate the game plan Bradley lays out for them.

Players with >= 2 shots from play

Shots Scores Success Rate Vs Expected
P Cunningham (Ant) 5 2 40% -0.12
M McCann (Ant) 3 3 67% +0.95
O Lennon (Mon) 3 1 33% -0.20
D O’Connell (Mon) 3 1 33% -0.67
T Freeman (Mon) 2 2 100% +1.17
D Clerkin (Mon) 2 2 100% +1.11
J Loughrey (Ant) 2 1 50% -0.08
C Murray (Mon) 2 0 0% -0.64

Monaghan’s experienced players stood up when required with Freeman & Clerkin both popping over inspirational points. This is something that we cannot measure – momentum & the psychological benefit of your big men getting big scores.

A negative return on O’Connell seems harsh given that he scored a goal from the half back line however we mustn’t forget that his first shot was saved – he was fortunate in some ways that the ball broke to him for a second bite at the cherry.

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2 Responses to “Monaghan Vs Antrim”

  1. Emmet Ryan Says:

    Interesting reading. How big a sample did you use to get the typical number of 57 shots and is that per 70 minutes or per 60?

    • dontfoul Says:

      Hi

      Thanks for reading. The data populating the average comes from 36 games charted in the 2010 Championship (“life” got in the way of 2011!!) – so it’s from 70 minute games at the top level.

      Once I have a sizeable chunk from 2012 I’ll incorporate them in and amend the averages where appropriate – might make for a nice article on the changing nature of football over just two years

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