When a team is simply the best a picture speaks a thousand words…
Rarely do I ever focus on just one game in my analyses but I think it’s worthy to spend just a wee bit of time on the Bayern – Bremen match to really drive home what my Family of Indices can show.
Here’s how the two teams matched up in Week 8 using my PWP data array:
I’m not sure the obnoxious dominance of FC Bayern Munchen can be pictured any more clearly than this without some creative graphics.
So is Werder Bremen really as bad as this one game shows?
Before Week 8 here’s where they stood in the CPWP Strategic Index:
Sixth from the bottom, so in the space of one week they’ve gone from 6th worst in overall PWP to worst…
I’ll call that the Bayern Bruise… both Stuttgart, FC Koln, Paderborn, and Hamburger have felt that to some extent as well…
That being said, Bremen have played all the top teams in the Index apart from FSV Mainz and Mochengladbach – so is it any wonder their near bottom?
Hmmmm… not so sure but they have yet to play Hamburger, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Paderborn, Augsburg, or Dortmund. Most likely meaning, with the exclusion of Dortmund, some points are to be had.
Can they get them though? I’m not so sure.
After Week 8 they are sixth bottom in the APWP Strategic Index – and yes, they have played most of the top teams in the Bundesliga – and when peeling back the attacking team performance data it’s not anemic by any stretch.
They are 7th best in converting Shots on Goal to Goals Scored (>35%)… usually that means a bit of patience to go along with a bit of time and space to get goals.
They are 10th best in having their Shots Taken be Shots on Goal (>35%)… another indicator that time and space is being created to generate accurate shots – even against some of the better teams in the Bundesliga.
They are 7th lowest in taking Shots per penetrating possession (>17%) – for the most part a lower percentage here is not a bad thing – it usually indicates patience, along with taking a bit more time to create space.
Indeed, the top team in having the lowest percentage of Shots Taken per penetrating possession is FC Bayern (11.55%).
They are also 5th best in their percentage of possession resulting in penetration (24.45%).
Where things go pear shaped is overall Passing Accuracy and Possession; they are the worst team in the Bundesliga when it comes to Passing Accuracy (64.39%) and only Paderborn has less possession (37.68% to 43.93%).
So what’s that mean?
From an attacking standpoint in and around the 18 yard box all seems very good – usually meaning they have at least one good midfielder with vision and at least one good striker who can score goals.
But, with the poor passing accuracy and overall possession it may also mean there are some defensive weaknesses bleeding over to impact that attack, like having too many turnovers in their defensive half, or/and
Playing the ball a bit too quickly out of their Defending Half, or/and
Their back line may be defending too high, or/and
Their central midfielders just aren’t good enough to control the run of play between the Defending Final Third and Attacking Final Third…
So in considering potential Defending issues bleeding over to impact the Attack here’ how they compare to others in the Defending PWP Strategic Index:
Dead last – of course some of that may have to do with the Bayern Bruise syndrome – but even after Week 7 Werder Bremen was still 2nd worst. So the Bruise is there but not as deep based upon Bayern as one might think.
In terms of overall performance here’s a few observations for consideration:
Opponents average 73.25% Passing Accuracy – in other words the opponent is doing better at completing passes than Werder Bremen – weaknesses, it would seem reasonable, exist in the overall talent of this team compared to others…
We already know they are second worst in overall possession. Now is that down to how the Coach likes to run a specific system – or is that down to simply having weaker players than the opponent?
Not sure yet – but it’s a good bet that Werder Bremen is looking to play counter-attacking football and that style, coupled with poor passing accuracy is compounding the issue.
In terms of goals scored against – even when you take the six goals out of the equation that Bayern scored – Werder Bremen still average 2.29 goals against per game.
The worst in the Bundesliga – so now only do they have a lower skill level in overall passing it would seem to be that they also have a back four – and goal keeper – who simply aren’t good enough at closing down the time and space the opponent needs to score goals.
A similar pattern appeared with Philadelphia Union this year in Major League Soccer – the solution to stop that goal rot was simply a move by the new Head Coach to have his defenders drop deeper – about 10 yards deeper to be exact.
When that happened the goals against for the Union went from 1.71 to 1.25…
It’s still early days but eight weeks are gone and trends ARE forming – Werder Bremen is NOT showing the team indicators that point to a side who’s had bad luck – they are pointing to a side that aren’t that good…
But it’s not too early to remember that the best indicator for a team taking a nose dive in overall performance is defending – and right now Werder Bremen is not defending as well as a team should do if they expect to finish near mid-table as they have in the past.
If things continue like this it is likely this team gets relegated – and an offering up of that after just eight weeks should be enough time for the organization to make the appropriate changes to right the ship…
It’s a tough hill to climb but if 13th or 14th is to be realistic again this year then things need to change pretty bloody quick.
COPYRIGHT, All Rights Reserved. PWP – Trademark