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The Pearson effect - is it happening?


mightyreds89
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There was a post yesterday that for me thinking about Nige & his influence for me it feels like there are signs it’s on the up he seems more relaxed and confident in interviews, the players over the last 5/6 weeks seem to have improved desire, commitment and understand the expectation bar Sheff Utd away. I do feel like there are some green shoots of small steps forward. 

I then started to think why might this be? Initially I thought maybe Nige is and hopefully feeling better following his illness he has more energy and passion for the role which led me into thinking what else has changed… the coaching staff there are fewer with Downing & Simpson now gone maybe he’s starting to become his own man, more involved in the coaching?! He has to be surely? Less voices for the players to hear one constant and steady view. He’s also now fully in control of managing upwards. I thought I’d look at the stats with and without the now departed coaches and as expected some positive signs especially when you consider it’s early days without them the main highlights are below, 

With Simpson & Downing,

P 14 W4 D4 L6 - points 16 ave Pts per game = 1.14 

Win rate 28% 

Goals for 15 average goals for per game 1.07.

Goals against 22 ave per game 1.57 

 

Without Simpson & Downing 

P11 W4 D2 L5 points 14 ave pts per game 1.27

win rate 38%

Goals for 15 ave per game = 1.36 

Goals against 15 ave per game = 1.54 

Overall,

We’ve found a way of increasing our ave pts per game, our average goals scored and slightly improved our ave goals against so certainly and improved balance of not conceding any more than before but scoring and creating more. In essence we’ve turned what may have been a few draws previously into wins since their departure and draw on average less. Over a season that’s an extra 12 -14 points. 

Whilst in recent games we’ve also had improved possession stats (from memory) I haven’t gone through this game by game but have noticed post game that shots and possession are improved certainly feels like progress. Hopefully this momentum continues over as perusing of games and we can secure a position of 12th-14th by end of the season which for me would be a decent effort give the circumstances. 

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I am still not convinced by NP. Last couple of games have been better and personnel play a part in what we can realistically expect in a game. I still feel we haven’t seen the type of performances that will give me hope of a playoff push when we get the players in. Or should I say enough of the performances as 3 out of the last 4 halves have been respectable in an attacking sense. 
 

That said, I think it has been enough to continue with him. I understand the task he has been asked to oversee and it isn’t easy. Think to be convinced he needs to keep us comfortably clear of the relegation spots this season which should be relatively simple considering Derby and Barnsley. Then going to want to see a big improvement the first half of next season.
 

The Atkinson situation worries me as we aren’t in the position to get a 1.2m signing wrong. Hopefully it was just to send a message or something simple. 

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The last two games when watching have actually felt like we may create a number of chances in one match rather than 1 or 2. I think the next 7/8 games will be interesting because Fulham aside, they are teams I would be expecting us to compete against.

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15 minutes ago, JoeAman08 said:

I am still not convinced by NP. Last couple of games have been better and personnel play a part in what we can realistically expect in a game. I still feel we haven’t seen the type of performances that will give me hope of a playoff push when we get the players in. Or should I say enough of the performances as 3 out of the last 4 halves have been respectable in an attacking sense. 
 

That said, I think it has been enough to continue with him. I understand the task he has been asked to oversee and it isn’t easy. Think to be convinced he needs to keep us comfortably clear of the relegation spots this season which should be relatively simple considering Derby and Barnsley. Then going to want to see a big improvement the first half of next season.
 

The Atkinson situation worries me as we aren’t in the position to get a 1.2m signing wrong. Hopefully it was just to send a message or something simple. 

Have you considered the possible fact that Atkinson had a dose of Covid and is taking time to recover? I don't have any inside info but just think that a very promising and relatively inexperienced centre back has not lost it completely in a few weeks. Even if it's just a loss of confidence because of the pressure that other teams have hit us with, surely it's temporary?

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18 minutes ago, mightyreds89 said:

Your issue here is you’re already thinking about play off push! That won’t be this season or next it’s about comfortable mid table this year, the hope of breaking the top 10 next season and then a possible push in 22/23 season. 

Not at all. I am looking for a style that most successful sides possess. Be it a high pressing side who forces opposition into mistakes in their half. Or a more creative possession based side. Not only do we not do both I am not sure what players we have who could adapt to one of those. Which is why I have said I want to see more tactically from NP. Think he has done a good job coping with having to lose so many players and having basically nothing to replace them. Now I want to see more on the pitch. The last two a good step but would like to see us show a bit of consistency and see if we can get a little run going at some point. 

4 minutes ago, cidered abroad said:

Have you considered the possible fact that Atkinson had a dose of Covid and is taking time to recover? I don't have any inside info but just think that a very promising and relatively inexperienced centre back has not lost it completely in a few weeks. Even if it's just a loss of confidence because of the pressure that other teams have hit us with, surely it's temporary?

Haven’t considered anything because I am not sure. Just seemed strange for Towler to start and Atkinson be available and not get a minute. Hopefully is something as you said but NP has singled him out recently and I do not recall much treatment like that for anyone else. 

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1 hour ago, JoeAman08 said:

still feel we haven’t seen the type of performances that will give me hope of a playoff push when we get the players in.

Surely we won’t see those performances consistently at least  until we get better players in. I see a improvement in our general play which will become more fluid as the players get better 

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1 hour ago, JoeAman08 said:

I am still not convinced by NP. Last couple of games have been better and personnel play a part in what we can realistically expect in a game. I still feel we haven’t seen the type of performances that will give me hope of a playoff push when we get the players in. Or should I say enough of the performances as 3 out of the last 4 halves have been respectable in an attacking sense. 
 

That said, I think it has been enough to continue with him. I understand the task he has been asked to oversee and it isn’t easy. Think to be convinced he needs to keep us comfortably clear of the relegation spots this season which should be relatively simple considering Derby and Barnsley. Then going to want to see a big improvement the first half of next season.
 

The Atkinson situation worries me as we aren’t in the position to get a 1.2m signing wrong. Hopefully it was just to send a message or something simple. 

What have I missed with ‘the Atkinson situation’?

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8 minutes ago, steviestevieneville said:

Surely we won’t see those performances consistently at least  until we get better players in. I see a improvement in our general play which will become more fluid as the players get better 

If they can do it against a good QPR side and another half against a solid top half Millwall, why can’t they take that into the next few or at least 3-4 times out of the next 5? The players aren’t awful. Perhaps not pieced together well but found a good mix last couple. Not saying we should see it at that level or better the entire rest of the season but that we should see this more often than we did the first half of the season. 

5 minutes ago, DOZZYBCFC said:

What have I missed with ‘the Atkinson situation’?

Maybe situation was wrong word. Just not sure why he didn’t play when on bench but played Towler who was at conference level a few weeks ago. 

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There’s definitely an improvement in how dangerous we look at home now, since we got the monkey off the back. That to my mind is also down to Semenyo playing up front - he still lacks composure but he pulls defenders out of place with his pace. Martin has attributes but he is easier to defend against I think.

As for Pearson I think he’s probably realistically doing as well as he can, given the squad he has and our financial situation. I certainly think progress has been made since last season, especially given the younger players developing with more game time. He still doesn’t know his first choice side (or formation) but he’s becoming clearer on who he doesn’t want, which is arguably half the battle. I suspect we’ll finish where most thought we would, bottom third (but safe), and that’s ok for now.

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1 hour ago, JoeAman08 said:

Not at all. I am looking for a style that most successful sides possess. Be it a high pressing side who forces opposition into mistakes in their half. Or a more creative possession based side. Not only do we not do both I am not sure what players we have who could adapt to one of those. Which is why I have said I want to see more tactically from NP. Think he has done a good job coping with having to lose so many players and having basically nothing to replace them. Now I want to see more on the pitch. The last two a good step but would like to see us show a bit of consistency and see if we can get a little run going at some point. 

With the starting XI yesterday having an average age of 23, the only thing I expect for the rest of this season is for us to be consistently inconsistent and that’s why I’m remaining patient and urge others to do likewise. If we finish above 18th, they’ll have outperformed my expectations.

A fully-fit Williams should help on the consistency front, as would Semenyo learning how to finish clinically. But we still have weak links like Vyner, Bakinson and KP, plus the teenagers (Scott, Benarous) and novices (Tanner, Atkinson) learning on the job, and that’ll prevent us from being in the play-off picture both now and probably next season IMO. Things are improving, though.
 

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26 minutes ago, JoeAman08 said:

If they can do it against a good QPR side and another half against a solid top half Millwall, why can’t they take that into the next few or at least 3-4 times out of the next 5? The players aren’t awful. Perhaps not pieced together well but found a good mix last couple. Not saying we should see it at that level or better the entire rest of the season but that we should see this more often than we did the first half of the season. 

Maybe situation was wrong word. Just not sure why he didn’t play when on bench but played Towler who was at conference level a few weeks ago. 

My point being joe. You said you haven’t seen the performances that makes you think we can challenge for the play offs with better players. I genuinely do . The football we’ve played the last few games  , barring the Huddersfield defensive display have made me wonder what football we could actually play with a few better players. While we’re having to field one or two that perhaps ain’t good enough plus also playing a lot of kids who by nature will be inconsistent means our form will be up & down . 

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36 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

We passed it better yesterday (bar a sloppy 15 minutes mid first half).  We made 486 passes, 85 more than in any game this season.  We had our best pass success percentage (83.13).  We made 3.98 passes per possession, our highest of the season, and it was the first time our long passes were less than 10% of all passes.  For much of the second half we had >60% possession.  Between 61-75 mins we had 71%!

Cheers Dave , good stats . I’ve genuinely been really happy with our football recently & this proves it .

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2 minutes ago, steviestevieneville said:

My point being joe. You said you haven’t seen the performances that makes you think we can challenge for the play offs with better players. I genuinely do . The football we’ve played the last few games  , barring the Huddersfield defensive display have made me wonder what football we could actually play with a few better players. While we’re having to field one or two that perhaps ain’t good enough plus also playing a lot of kids who by nature will be inconsistent means our form will be up & down . 

Think maybe where it is confusing. Think in my original post I ended up putting not enough of the performances. So if we can play similarly to the last couple in more games the last half of the season it will get me more on board.

I have been pretty consistent this season that we can get more from this squad imo. As someone said, the average age of the squad was 23 yesterday. For me that means plenty of room to grow. Sure there will be growing pains like yesterday but was still quite a young squad second half if a bit older. So I agree there are signs just personally like to see it a bit more to finish the season. And for me isn’t necessarily a points thing either. We could get 25-30 points the second half of the season which would be less to same amount. If we perform a bit more consistently I’d view it as momentum for next season. 

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2 hours ago, mightyreds89 said:

There was a post yesterday that for me thinking about Nige & his influence for me it feels like there are signs it’s on the up he seems more relaxed and confident in interviews, the players over the last 5/6 weeks seem to have improved desire, commitment and understand the expectation bar Sheff Utd away. I do feel like there are some green shoots of small steps forward. 

I then started to think why might this be? Initially I thought maybe Nige is and hopefully feeling better following his illness he has more energy and passion for the role which led me into thinking what else has changed… the coaching staff there are fewer with Downing & Simpson now gone maybe he’s starting to become his own man, more involved in the coaching?! He has to be surely? Less voices for the players to hear one constant and steady view. He’s also now fully in control of managing upwards. I thought I’d look at the stats with and without the now departed coaches and as expected some positive signs especially when you consider it’s early days without them the main highlights are below, 

With Simpson & Downing,

P 14 W4 D4 L6 - points 16 ave Pts per game = 1.14 

Win rate 28% 

Goals for 15 average goals for per game 1.07.

Goals against 22 ave per game 1.57 

 

Without Simpson & Downing 

P11 W4 D2 L5 points 14 ave pts per game 1.27

win rate 38%

Goals for 15 ave per game = 1.36 

Goals against 15 ave per game = 1.54 

Overall,

We’ve found a way of increasing our ave pts per game, our average goals scored and slightly improved our ave goals against so certainly and improved balance of not conceding any more than before but scoring and creating more. In essence we’ve turned what may have been a few draws previously into wins since their departure and draw on average less. Over a season that’s an extra 12 -14 points. 

Whilst in recent games we’ve also had improved possession stats (from memory) I haven’t gone through this game by game but have noticed post game that shots and possession are improved certainly feels like progress. Hopefully this momentum continues over as perusing of games and we can secure a position of 12th-14th by end of the season which for me would be a decent effort give the circumstances. 

One of the best and most sensible posts I've seen on here in a long time. Great analysis. 

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6 minutes ago, JoeAman08 said:

Think maybe where it is confusing. Think in my original post I ended up putting not enough of the performances. So if we can play similarly to the last couple in more games the last half of the season it will get me more on board.

I have been pretty consistent this season that we can get more from this squad imo. As someone said, the average age of the squad was 23 yesterday. For me that means plenty of room to grow. Sure there will be growing pains like yesterday but was still quite a young squad second half if a bit older. So I agree there are signs just personally like to see it a bit more to finish the season. And for me isn’t necessarily a points thing either. We could get 25-30 points the second half of the season which would be less to same amount. If we perform a bit more consistently I’d view it as momentum for next season. 

As you say it's a young squad that should grow. With Atkinson it could be as simple as it being his first season at this level, he's a young player who is going through a rough patch of form and Nigel is trying to keep him around the squad on the bench so he doesn't feel discarded whilst also taking him out of the direct firing line rather than continuing to hammer the lad's confidence. We bought him as much for his potential as what he could immediately bring to the side in my opinion.

 

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2 hours ago, mightyreds89 said:

With Simpson & Downing,

P 14 W4 D4 L6 - points 16 ave Pts per game = 1.14 

Win rate 28% 

Goals for 15 average goals for per game 1.07.

Goals against 22 ave per game 1.57 

 

Without Simpson & Downing 

P11 W4 D2 L5 points 14 ave pts per game 1.27

win rate 38%

Goals for 15 ave per game = 1.36 

Goals against 15 ave per game = 1.54 

Interesting. I have some different figures though. From this it looks like you are counting the West Brom game on 23 October as the final game "with Simpson and Downing". I think that's correct. The OS press release for Dowing leaving is 27 October https://www.bcfc.co.uk/news/downing-leaves-city/ meaning that Barnsley at home on 30 October was the first game for which neither Simpson nor Downing were on our staff.

I disagree with your goals against figures though. I have us conceding 20 in the first 14 games, and 19 in the subsequent 11. That's 39 in total, which is what we have conceded...you have us conceding only 37 overall? Goals for is 15 in each set as you say.

It doesn't really affect the conclusion though. We've improved, and actually the biggest improvements are in reducing the effectiveness of our opponents.  In the last 11 games goals against, shots against, shots on target against, and xG against are all about 15-20% better than in the first 14. In contrast shots taken and goals for are up.

All moving in the right direction.

image.png

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2 minutes ago, Alessandro said:

I’ll say again what the majority were saying in the summer:

“I’d be happy to stay up this year”

I’ve said it over and over - it’s a massively transitional, re-building season.

We wanted mid-table, we wanted signs of improvement, we wanted player development and we wanted less injuries = for me, we’re seeing all of these things.

I do try and see other people’s view points, but I honestly find it hard to grasp those who want Pearson out given all the circumstances we’re in as a club. 
 

For me he’s done very little wrong since he’s come into this club. On and off the pitch.

I don't know whether it's an OTIB thing, or a football fan thing, or a human nature thing but people seem to get so so low after a loss and equally can get quite carried away with a victory. What people don't seem to do as easily is step back and reflect on the overall league position and/or take a GJ approach with blocks of 10 games etc and assess what the trends are. There was a ground swell of support for a lower midtable finish at the start of this season and yet if you were to read the matchday threads whenever we concede, anyone would think we were rooted to the bottom of the league and not...could we imagine it...just as predicted....in lower mid table!!!

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9 minutes ago, Alessandro said:

I’ll say again what the majority were saying in the summer:

“I’d be happy to stay up this year”

I’ve said it over and over - it’s a massively transitional, re-building season.

We wanted mid-table, we wanted signs of improvement, we wanted player development and we wanted less injuries = for me, we’re seeing all of these things.

I do try and see other people’s view points, but I honestly find it hard to grasp those who want Pearson out given all the circumstances we’re in as a club. 
 

For me he’s done very little wrong since he’s come into this club. On and off the pitch.

My sentiments exactly 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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25 minutes ago, ExiledAjax said:

Interesting. I have some different figures though. From this it looks like you are counting the West Brom game on 23 October as the final game "with Simpson and Downing". I think that's correct. The OS press release for Dowing leaving is 27 October https://www.bcfc.co.uk/news/downing-leaves-city/ meaning that Barnsley at home on 30 October was the first game for which neither Simpson nor Downing were on our staff.

I disagree with your goals against figures though. I have us conceding 20 in the first 14 games, and 19 in the subsequent 11. That's 39 in total, which is what we have conceded...you have us conceding only 37 overall? Goals for is 15 in each set as you say.

It doesn't really affect the conclusion though. We've improved, and actually the biggest improvements are in reducing the effectiveness of our opponents.  In the last 11 games goals against, shots against, shots on target against, and xG against are all about 15-20% better than in the first 14. In contrast shots taken and goals for are up.

All moving in the right direction.

image.png

One of the interesting things from that is we are conceding more (1.7 v 1.4), although the xG against has dropped (1.5v 1.8).

Kind of tallies with the gut feel many had from the end of last season that we were getting ‘lucky’ results, with the other team missing a fair number of chances, supported by some very good saves. Currently it seems to have turned around with the other sides scoring more of their good chances, with it being much rare that I recall they miss a hat full.

Not sure what it means, but results at the moment are less dependent on the other side forgetting their shooting boots. 

 

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The QPR game was where I saw green shoots. Quick intricate play, good movement, creating chances, good passing etc. 
 

The signs are definitely there. We just need that self belief to go on and finish the opposition when on top.

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30 minutes ago, GlastonburyRed said:

I don't know whether it's an OTIB thing, or a football fan thing, or a human nature thing but people seem to get so so low after a loss and equally can get quite carried away with a victory. What people don't seem to do as easily is step back and reflect on the overall league position and/or take a GJ approach with blocks of 10 games etc and assess what the trends are. There was a ground swell of support for a lower midtable finish at the start of this season and yet if you were to read the matchday threads whenever we concede, anyone would think we were rooted to the bottom of the league and not...could we imagine it...just as predicted....in lower mid table!!!

The bit in bold is what I've found most mystifying about some of the reactions on here this season - what seems like an inability to grasp that this lower midtable finish that is deemed acceptable still involves losing plenty of matches, given that every setback is met with a meltdown from certain sections of the fanbase.

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18 minutes ago, Lew-T said:

The QPR game was where I saw green shoots. Quick intricate play, good movement, creating chances, good passing etc. 
 

The signs are definitely there. We just need that self belief to go on and finish the opposition when on top.

Which I am convinced we would have done if the pen on Scott had been given. We would have won that game something like 3-1

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1 minute ago, Northern Red said:

The bit in bold is what I've found most mystifying about some of the reactions on here this season - what seems like an inability to grasp that this lower midtable finish that is deemed acceptable still involves losing plenty of matches, given that every setback is met with a meltdown from certain sections of the fanbase.

It`s what they`ve changed to wetting themselves over now we`ve started winning at home.

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1 minute ago, Lanterne Rouge said:

Which I am convinced we would have done if the pen on Scott had been given. We would have won that game something like 3-1

Same v Forest, Scott gets brought down, no pen given…should’ve been 2-0.

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21 minutes ago, Lew-T said:

The QPR game was where I saw green shoots. Quick intricate play, good movement, creating chances, good passing etc. 
 

The signs are definitely there. We just need that self belief to go on and finish the opposition when on top.

Yes, me too,, its not chris martins fault hes been flogged for 5 months, but having semenyo back suddenly gives us energy going forwards that can almost match weimanns, and must be a nightmare to play against! Shame about joe williams, and the money pissed up the wall by previous regimes, but relying on youth players has enabled us to stumble across some energy and passion… now if we could just get some defensive organisation going….

 

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