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Clean Sheet Table - Norwich Bottom

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A couple of things stand out for me from this clean sheet table from football 365 :  We''re bottom of the table, which is likely to be as a result of our attacking / pressing play as much as anything.Swansea are 4th, which makes you wonder where they would be with a world class striker or two.The only 3 teams that look out of place when comparing this table and league position are, us, Swansea and Chelsea.  Chelseas'' defensive weakness may just cost them a champions league place next season.Team         1    Manchester United    18        52.9%2    Manchester City        14        41.1%3    Newcastle United    13        39.3%4    Swansea City        13        38.2%5    Arsenal            12        36.3%6    Tottenham Hotspur    12        36.3%7    Liverpool        11        33.3%8    Sunderland        11        32.3%9    Everton            10        30.3%10    Fulham            10        30.3%11    Chelsea            9        27.2%12    Stoke City        9        27.2%13    West Bromwich Albion    8        23.5%14    Aston Villa        7        21.2%15    Wigan Athletic        6        18.1%16    Queens Park Rangers    5        14.7%17    Bolton Wanderers    3        9.3%18    Wolverhampton Wndrs    3        8.8%19    Blackburn Rovers    2        5.8%20    Norwich City        2        5.8%Also, the Record when keeping a clean sheet table tells its own story, Evertons strong league position helped by their 10 wins from 10 clean sheets, Villa could be doing so much better if they could just get the ball in the onion bag, same could be said for Swanselona. :Team                    Pld    W    D    L    F    A    GD    GFA    GAA         PpG    Pts1    Manchester United (1)        18    18    0    0    47    0    47    2.61    0.00        3.00    542    Everton (7)            10    10    0    0    17    0    17    1.70    0.00        3.00    303    Blackburn Rovers (19)        2    2    0    0    4    0    4    2.00    0.00        3.00    64    Manchester City (2)        14    13    1    0    34    0    34    2.42    0.00        2.85    405    Arsenal (3)            12    10    2    0    21    0    21    1.75    0.00        2.66    326    Queens Park Rangers (16)    5    4    1    0    8    0    8    1.60    0.00        2.60    137    Newcastle United (5)        13    10    3    0    17    0    17    1.30    0.00        2.53    338    Tottenham Hotspur (4)        12    9    3    0    22    0    22    1.83    0.00        2.50    309    West Bromwich Albion (13)    8    6    2    0    12    0    12    1.50    0.00        2.50    2010    Fulham (10)            10    7    3    0    20    0    20    2.00    0.00        2.40    2411    Chelsea (6)            9    6    3    0    12    0    12    1.33    0.00        2.33    2112    Stoke City (14)            9    6    3    0    8    0    8    0.88    0.00        2.33    2113    Bolton Wanderers (18)        3    2    1    0    9    0    9    3.00    0.00        2.33    714    Liverpool (8)            11    7    4    0    15    0    15    1.36    0.00        2.27    2515    Sunderland (9)            11    7    4    0    14    0    14    1.27    0.00        2.27    2516    Swansea City (12)        13    8    5    0    18    0    18    1.38    0.00        2.23    2917    Wigan Athletic (17)        6    3    3    0    5    0    5    0.83    0.00        2.00    1218    Norwich City (11)        2    1    1    0    2    0    2    1.00    0.00        2.00    419    Wolverhampton Wndrs (20)    3    1    2    0    2    0    2    0.66    0.00        1.66    520    Aston Villa (15)        7    2    5    0    3    0    3    0.42    0.00        1.57    11Scuse the formatting.

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That response works in theory, but what if we don''t do as well in attack next season?

What if Lambert can''t get a striker in who is going to score 10+ goals, and Morison doesn''t get back to his best for us, and Vaughan never gets fit? Holt, Wilbraham and Jackson don''t have enough goals between them.

Having a solid defence, as well as a solid attack could potentially push us onto an even higher level. It does matter we concede so many, that we don''t keep clean sheets. When your strikers are having an off day, your defence need to be on form. But our defence just lets slip once or twice every single game.

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[quote user="Gingerpele"]That response works in theory, but what if we don''t do as well in attack next season? What if Lambert can''t get a striker in who is going to score 10+ goals, and Morison doesn''t get back to his best for us, and Vaughan never gets fit? Holt, Wilbraham and Jackson don''t have enough goals between them. Having a solid defence, as well as a solid attack could potentially push us onto an even higher level. It does matter we concede so many, that we don''t keep clean sheets. When your strikers are having an off day, your defence need to be on form. But our defence just lets slip once or twice every single game.[/quote]

I see what you''re saying but that''s a lot of what ifs! Its got to work both ways then, what if Vorm''s hands fall off and they have to play Nathan Dyer in goal?! What if all of Swansea''s defenders get injured?! I think it just comes down to the way we play, we''re always going to cause teams problems going forward and score goals but as a result we are going to concede a lot. I for one do not want us to change the way we play at all!

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[quote user="blahblahblah"]Swansea are 4th, which makes you wonder where they would be with a world class striker or two.
[/quote]

Probably very similar to where they are now. Their problem (if it is a problem as such) is that they''re happy play keep the ball in their third and the middle third but don''t get it into final third anywhere near as much.

 

They beat Blackburn comfortably at the weekend but they''d lost their previous 4 games which perhaps suggests that teams have worked them out a bit.

 

Sigurdsson has been a very important signing for them, without his goals from midfield they could have struggled in the second half of the season.

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That league table is pretty amazing really. It''s not a million miles off the real Premier League table, with the notable exception of Norwich''s position. Just goes to show you how Lambert''s methodology flies in the face of traditional logic (although do I think he would have liked a few more clean sheets!).

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Our goals against in the Championship wasnt anything special even though we finished second and I remember saying then that if we conceed so many goals agaisnt championship strikers god help us in the premiership. Im so glad that our attacking play has been sufficiently potent to balance our defensive frailties caused not by our personel (I would happily go again next season with our current defenders if Thierny recovers) but by both our system, especially the diamond, and also the gung-ho attacking attidute. If we want to challenge the top teams we would need to look at these goals conceded stats more closely, as it is, im very happy with mid table for now and look forward hopefully more of the same next season.

As one of the posts points out that morisons goals may not be replicated next season (maybe, who knows) I would say that some players could quite comfortably chip in with some more to cover this and I would be looking at Bennett and Howson inparticular.

 

 

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More statistics which show naff all except that we are 11th in the league because on balance that''s where we deserve to be.    Clean sheets mean absolutely nothing.  Nothing.   No goals.   Hardly any goals scored because you''re so busy defending.

 

Zilch.

 

Niente.

 

Give me what we''ve had this season - its been brilliant.    You can whistle for your clean sheets if it means we can have more of what we''ve had this season, next season.   Yes we can tweak the defence, cut out some of the mistakes, but statistics about clean sheets are just unnecessary.   We attack and score goals.   If we go one down we don''t panic, we carry on calmly and get back into the game by scoring.   Let Swansea have the clean sheets - give me high scoring team and plenty of excitement - even if we let afew goals in in the process (not as many as against Citeh, though!).     I''d hoped that the negative stuff would have disappeared by now.  Can we focus on the positives please?  Not "oooooh dear what if we don''t score enough next season?" malarky.      Surely we''re not going to start getting negative about next season already, are we??   

 

 

And what meaningless statistic is going to be brought up next?   Oh dear we''re bottom of the "crowd atomosphere table"?    Bottom of the  "passing backwards table"?      Agghhh!!!!     I know I''ve gone off on one here - but I can see signs of fear creeping back before even this season has finished.   Haven''t we learnt anything from the last three years??   We compete, on balance we are consistent and  we score plenty of goals.  That should be enough for any of our statistical boffins/keyboard geeks.   I''m sorry about this post, but it winds me up no end when I see these things.  Arbitary statistical tables show nothing except that someone has sat down and laboriously gone through a whole lot of figures to come up with something that actually proves................................nothing.   Zilch........   Niente........Nothing - just what we''ll end up with if the clean sheeters have their way.

 

 

 

 

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I don''t care if we never keep another clean sheet again as long as we score more than the opposition .

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We never will keep many clean sheets because of the way we play. A lot of the time it hasn''t been due to the ability of our defenders as much as it has been them just simply being outnumbered/out of position due to our more attacking and pressing style.

Swansea don''t play as direct, they keep players behind the ball to pass to, they keep a lot of possession, but they don''t score too many. If they took a few more attacking risks, they would let in more.

Having said that, there have been times when we could have defended better as individuals or as a unit and it wasn''t just to do with our attacking play. Certainly by continuing to work on the defence in training and bringing in better players when we can afford them, you''d hope that eventually we can start to have a few more clean sheets, even if they never become a regular feature.

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Same as the ''money spent on players'' table, we''re bottom of that too hey? I think it''s inevitable we''re gonna be leaky, we need to bolster the defence in the summer.

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"That league table is pretty amazing really. It''s not a million miles off the real Premier League table, with the notable exception of Norwich''s position. Just goes to show you how Lambert''s methodology flies in the face of traditional logic (although do I think he would have liked a few more clean sheets!)."

Exactly Pyro Pete - some on here seem to have taken exception to this table - but I consider that 11th in the table on the back of this evidence is remarkable, and can see a couple of positives here.

As the 2 teams that are obviously out of place in that table, Swansea and Norwich are plainly "doing something differently" to get results, to get around the gap that obviously exists between lower paid and higher paid clubs. With Swansea it''s pretty football in the middle, effectively running time out of games, with us it''s pressing, attacking, and if you score 2 we''ll score 3.

The good news is that players who prevent goals going in are cheaper and easier to find than players who score regular goals at this, or indeed any level.

So we should find it easier to improve than Swansea.

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Swansea City 4th, Norwich City 20th. Yet Norwich beat Swansea twice and the aggregate score was 6-3. Who was it said football''s "a funny old game".

 

 

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LDC, I think you are, unlike a Paul Lambert team, being unduly defensive here. Don''t think that Blah3''s post was critical of the team at all.

It is fascinating, though, that there seems to be such a correlation between keeping clean sheets and league position, and, as someone else said, that Lambert''s approach seems to fly in the face of traditional thinking.

But we should always be trying to improve. So how can we keep more clean sheets next season without blunting our attacking threat?

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We have changed our system so many times this season and I do think it unsettles us defensively but it also has it''s positives. We can play a number of different systems, but Swansea only play one. They are compared to Barcelona but they don''t have the quality of players and try to play the same system. A few clubs have worked them out this year and one of those was Norwich. Next season will be more difficult for Swansea. I think Lambert really wants to crack the 3 5 2 system and if the players get their heads around it, or he brings in new players who he thinks can play in that system, next season will be very exciting. It will be very interesting to see which players he brings in this year as it may give a clue as to which formations he is looking at for next year.

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I think that most of us suspected that we were low in the clean sheet table. The reasons are not hard to provide:

 

We play attacking football, always likely to score, but putting pressure on the defence. This was true in the Championship, and even in Div.1. In addition, if we had a more effective attack, i.e. able to put away a higher percentage of chances, we could demolish some teams, and make others more defensive. I think it possible that we would be fairly low in the chances converted table as well.

 

We have had our best left back missing for many weeks, and central defenders out as well, but more than this our defenders lack concentration, and are a little inconsistent at times, prone to make errors. This is true of all of them, including Ruddy, who provides a mixture of brilliant and at times disappointing. In the Premiership, you cannot afford to gift goals, - strikers are just too good. One or two of our defenders are a little on the slow side, and struggle with pace.

 

It must be admitted, without mentioning any names, that our defenders, at least for the moment, are not outstanding, and rarely feature in any "team of the week". Holt and Hooly have done. Our very best players are not our defenders. Ruddy features as the second or third best English keeper, but if all nationalities are included at the moment he is probably in the bottom half of the ranking.

 

 

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LCD - for someone who prides themselves on being ultra positive you certainly seem to have an uncanny ability to see the negatives in threads/posts where there are none. I think all the posts have said either they like the kevin keegan attitude of scoring one more than the opposition or goals conceeded is an area in which we can/should improve next season, nothing negative there.

Assuming we finish somewhere between 10th  - 12th this season I think next seasons targets should incorporate working on this aspect of the team. It would be unfair to ask for an improvement on leauge position and as the old saying goes, those who stand still go backwards so we need to try and make some improvement no?

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When we finished third in the Prem we had a negative goal difference.

We''ve always played in a manner that leaves us suceptible to conceding. As long as we can score goals it is an occupational hazard, its when we stop doing that it''ll be a worry!

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[quote user="Old Shuck"]

When we finished third in the Prem we had a negative goal difference.

We''ve always played in a manner that leaves us suceptible to conceding. As long as we can score goals it is an occupational hazard, its when we stop doing that it''ll be a worry!

[/quote]

Crickey Old Shuck, didnt realise that! goes to show how much has changed from then as a third place team with a negitive goal difference would be unheard of now.

 

 

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"When we finished third in the Prem we had a negative goal difference.

We''ve always played in a manner that leaves us susceptible to

conceding. As long as we can score goals it is an occupational hazard,

its when we stop doing that it''ll be a worry!"

Absolutely Old Shuck - Lamberts way is most certainly the Norwich way, with the best bits of the style that we played through the 80s and early 90s.  With a bit more cash in the pot for the NCFC co-operative to "give the lads a hand", hopefully the likes of Tierney and Ayala can stay injury free too, and we can look at turning 1 point into 3 a bit more often next season.

I like seeing anomolies in the stats like this - it shows how sometimes teams are either doing things differently, or have room to improve.  The chances are that we will improve our defensive record just with a settled back line / better luck with the injuries.  Another example of an anomoly can be found with Stoke Citys'' record this season, which I''ve cobbled together from Sky / Opta.  82 shots on target, the worst in the league, from 252 shots - also the worst in the league.  Their shot accuracy is 33%, which is by some distance the worst in the league, and the number of successful passes is nearly 20% worse than the next worst team in the league with only 6475 ( less the combined totals of the best 3 players in the league) - proper anti-football stats. I think it''s fair to say that Stoke owe a lot to their defensive play, with 20 goals conceded fewer than Bolton, who are 18th. 

As I said before, I think it''s more achievable / cheaper to improve a defensive record than an attacking one.  Even 10 goal a season players are rare in the Premiership - so I think we''re looking in great shape for next season, as we''re already "doing the hard bit", and getting the goals.  Ruddy is listed on that Sky page as one of the best Keepers too incidentally, with a 70% save rate.

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I think it''s more to our players making some silly errors, look at Saturday... Brad Johnno waiting for the ball to come to him for Tevez'' opener, Bennett''s backpass. We also conceded a stupid number of penalties opening part of the season.

Next season our players will have, hopefully learnt from this and you should see an improvement.

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just proves the point that clean sheets dont matter.2-1, 6-5, 1-0.all worth just 1 goal in goal difference... but 3 points!

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[quote user="jas the barclay king"]just proves the point that clean sheets dont matter.

2-1, 6-5, 1-0.

all worth just 1 goal in goal difference... but 3 points!
[/quote]

 

Actually 6-5 is worth the most and 1-0 the least. Back in the days of goal average the opposite was true.

 

 

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Personally, this is my favourite statistic:http://stats.football365.com/dom/ENG/PR/ptsgain.htmlShows we''ve carried on from last season, we''re difficult to beat and we never give up!OTBC!

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Just to play devils advocate, I would say a 1-0 win is worth more than a 6-5 win, purly on the basis that going into the next game after conceding 5 goals the confidence of the defenders and goalkeeper maybe shot to pieces :) (and its better to spead a players goals over a few games rather than all in one)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[quote user="Son Ova Gunn"]

Just to play devils advocate, I would say a 1-0 win is worth more than a 6-5 win, purly on the basis that going into the next game after conceding 5 goals the confidence of the defenders and goalkeeper maybe shot to pieces :) (and its better to spead a players goals over a few games rather than all in one)

 

You could be right buddy. But on the bare facts 6-5 is worth the most because if the goal differences are equal the next deciding factor is goals scored. Alphabetical order would also come before a clean sheet which, on the face of it, counts for nowt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

[/quote]

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But isn''t the key point that if you look at our back 4, what will PL be looking to strengthen over the summer ? 

 

We''re losing Naughton, but we''d keep him if we could, so replacing him doesn''t really count as a change.  Otherwise I wouldn''t be at all surprised or worried if we go into next season with the same defensive players we have now.  Which says it all really.

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