Another season over; the Champions League final signaled the ‘official’ end to another football season, and I already hate the transfer window – and Sky Sports’ relentless coverage. This morning was a prime example – I had SSNHQ on as Bilic to WHU was confirmed.. Literally about 5 minutes before they had spent a good 5 minutes telling viewers about him, and as it was announced the exact same profile was regurgitated by the female co-‘anchor’. Like, I’m not expecting MNF levels of interest, but they love to make everything into a massive deal, don’t they?
Anyway, you can keep your Jim White, your bets on who will go where – for me, I want to see a team get their business done early, keep an eye on players who might become available and focus on building teams who work together and promote a squad feeling. Which brings me nicely to Ipswich.
Transfer window or not, rumours of Ipswich signing people have been flying – from Darren Pratley, to Ben Pringle right the way round to James McClean. I couldn’t care less until the club announces. I do, however, like playing with data.
Tableau’s been an arse to me when I’ve tried to embed, so here’s a screenshot with annotations – the y-axis shows the Key Pass + Assists per 90 mins played; so the chances created & converted. Along the bottom is Goal Contribution – so this is Non-penalty Goals + Assists per 90 mins played.
As you can see, the Anderson/Tabb axis of earlier on this season actually created quite a few chances – But more importantly, the position of Ben Pringle. Perhaps a reason that the backroom staff at ITFC like him. He’s a talent for sure, with a dominant left foot (90% of shots with it). He also like to cross the ball, so that could be a contributing factor.
Darren Pratley seems a weird one in my opinion; he’s a bit average in terms of goals production, and isn’t really that overwhelming in terms of chances created. A good squad player, especially give Ipswich’s current squad size (further trimmed after the summer cull)
I’m sketchy on James McClean – He can hold onto the ball but this next graph is what worries me.
Turnovers per 90 are being dispossessed or unsuccessful touches – Tackles+Interceptions are basically recoveries – so losing the ball, and recovering it. Pratley seems to do both, Pringle is below the grafters Anderson/Tabb (who are remarkably similar – perhaps further highlighting why MM/TC persisted with those two on the wings)
Another interesting point (apart from King Cole up in the top left) is the strikers vs centre-backs (Chambers is one, and plays like one – Mings is over above Anderson and Tabb, but below Bru). This could be the way the team set up (please take into account that Wigan/Rotherham were both struggling teams too, I just don’t really know how I’d quantify that)
And finally, those absurd Daryl Murphy to Cardiff rumours.
If Vincent Tan honestly wants to look at the top scorers list of the Championship and buy the fella at the top, be my guest. For a 32 year old striker £4m would turn my head and then some. Ipswich cannot say no to that level of money. Of course, you have to take into account the fact he has a family who are settled, that he’s enjoying his football and the fans adore him – it wouldn’t make sense for him at this stage in his life; but money (and agents) talk.
I proposed on Twitter earlier this evening, that James Vaughan is the perfect replacement. Let me show you why.
That cluster is players like Murphy. I’ve assumed that Murphy’s key characteristic is winning the ball in the air, but I’ve also included ball recovery, as that’s a very MM thing (I think, anyway). Bubble size, as the image says, is goal contribution. I’ve ignored the likes of Ishmael Miller and Steven Davies who are above 30 now, as is Glenn Murray – Pardew’s man monster.
Jordan Bowery is one I didn’t expect – The one time Aston Villa striker is young, and has a similar number of aerial duels won as Murphy. James Vaughan is one that Ipswich fans may wince at, given his Norwich link (though he only made 5 appearances…), but the kid definitely has talent, and in my eyes could be one to be as good as if not better than Murphy in our current system.
As ever, get involved and give me any feedback, questions/comments on Twitter @Scribblr_42. I’m hoping to post fairly regularly, before I start my new job in a few weeks!