Who or what is at fault for most of our goals?
Plenty of goals at either end for Swindon Town have generated plenty of pulsating football for the neutral, however, are too many being conceded and is anyone or anything to blame. Asks Ron Smith?
Last season Swindon Town recorded a superb 20 clean sheets (36%) in 55 league and cup games; as well as conceding more than once in a match on just nine occasions (16%).
Compare this record to the 12 games so far in 2013/14. While Town have recorded a similar percentage of clean sheets with four games in which Wes Foderingham hasn’t been beaten, the opposition have scored more than one goal in six from the remaining eight games.
Yes, Town don’t have a disciplinarian Italian marshalling the defence. Yes, we are playing a different style of football, yes we have a new younger side, and yes we played Chelsea, but are these really excuses or is someone, something at fault?
The reason for posing this question is simple, the abuse from some about Jay McEveley’s recent performances. The left-back conceded a comical own goal at Preston North End and has been criticised for his perceived lack of contribution to the attacking plays. However, looking (below) at the opposition’s route to goal this season, only one goal has been conceded via McEveley’s flank (the opposition’s right).
Hopefully the above graph paints a picture of the broad positions where our goals have been conceded (six-yard box, box left, box right, penalty spot or out-of-box) and the route to goal (via the left wing, middle, right wing, free-kick, penalty spot, throw, long corner or short corner).
In terms of Jay, if you’ve studied the graphic you would’ve notice that, unfortunately for him, 40% of goals conceded have been within the opposition’s right side of the box, not to mention you would’ve come to the conclusion that McEveley has played in only six of the 12 games and that the goal conceded via his flank was on his watch (versus Bristol City).
Anyway… what for you has contributed to Foderingham picking the ball of of his net so frequently this season, particularly throughout September in which he failed to keep a clean sheet?
Is is a dip in form for Wes; or it the defence through Grant Hall’s poor positioning, Darren Ward’s age or just that you don’t like Jay; or are the midfield not contributing enough to cover the rampaging Nathan Thompson runs down the right; or do you lay the blame at Mark Cooper, Jed McCrory or no blame at all?
Tell us what you think and what you’d do to fix the leaky defence in the comment box below.
Don’t forget to add your comments below the line as we’ll be talking about this and reading out the best of the comments in TheWashbag podcast to be recorded this Sunday and available for download later that evening; probably now after a clean sheet against Tranmere Rovers…