Stafford Rangers – Managing my defense

Performance Management

In order for me to analyse our performance, I need to look at some stats from the first 9 matches played:

Goals conceded from all set pieces 1

Games Played :9

Goals Conceded: 9

17 yellows in 9 games (30)

1 Red card

Games Scored in a Row 9

The overall stats suggest that whilst we are doing well, scoring in 9 straight games. We are also showing some worrying tendencies. We are conceding as many as we are scoring. Its a major cause of concern for me. Lately in games I’ve won them tight. I’ve had to manage some dramatic comebacks, including having to switch formations just to score the winner. Its unsustainable. If I want to win this league in the time-frame I have set for myself adjustments have to be made.

I take a detailed look at other stats to pinpoint any patterns.

Overall individual Performances

Pass completion by MC 87% Michael Carr & Casper Hughes (89) These are my pivots, I am expecting them to perform at this well. Its a pity Michael Carr is out. He was a lynchpin pivot.


Now for the defensive stats.

Tackles/Game 4.09 Boothe ( 5.7), 3.5 Hughes  In midfield we aren’t fantastic, average more likely. Boothe alway picks up a yellow and his temperament is questionable, forcing me to adapt. So I need to have a private chat with him and also give others a chance. The league high is 5.7 and my second best player is a distant 3.5 tackles/game 

Interceptions for defenders: 102 League High Parkes 71 (10th place) In terms of interceptions we arent doing fantastically as well, this suggests that we may need some players with better concentration as well to combat through balls. Those  OTP through balls through the middle are causing me concern. My fullbacks are in 30th place for interceptions. These are either because i have too high a dline or because they are just not aware enough

Key tackle fullbacks Chiochhi and Rankine 1 each, and DC Grieves 1, League high is 3 In terms of key tackles my fullbacks are doing fairly ok, and the other player is my defender.

In the injury table we are one of the worst hit teams, so I reckon my preseason build up and my training must have had   a part to play in it

Detailed look at player performances

Okay before anything else I will get a custom view of my teams defensive performance. So i will choose from attributes that allow me to evaluate their performance. These include:

  • Minutes/game
  • Training Performance
  • Tackles Attempted
  • Tackles Won
  • Key tackles
  • Tackle Completion Ratio
  • Tackles/Game
  • Headers won/90
  • Attributes
  • Bravery
  • Determination
  • Concentration
  • Interceptions

Once all is done its time to look for patterns, what i want to find out is:

  • whether any player is under performing in a match, i.e. making a lot of tackles but failing miserably
  • whether a player is over performing but i don’t play him enough
  • whether its down to attributes


Its apparent to me that i need to keep my central defensive pairing, cos one is a good header of the ball and the other is a good tackler. What i may need to do is to give Lyall Davies a run cos the attributes indicate that he has a lot of potential

I also need to bear in mind that these stats need to be understood, fullbacks will generally do more tackles and thats important to see, my fullbacks are doing whats expected of them, So this should be down more to my mentality set up which is control. I will move it down to balanced in games going forward.

Another area I need to start planning for is going through my ranks to see if there are any other players who should be given a chance to play. We need to improve our defensive setup. Conceding a goal a game isn’t good.

Analysing my matches show that a lot of my goals are coming from Over The Top passes (OTP); a characteristic I am vulnerable against since i take such an attacking stance. I have two options to handle this. The first is to play balanced and the second is to play the offside trap. Neither of which I am doing at the moment. The final option I have is to play narrower in games.

So in my next few games I will be giving other players a shot, adapting to a more balanced strategy as a start and  also play a bit narrower. Time for me to plug a few holes, oh and before I forget I also plan on modifying my training to include defensive training that doesnt include setpieces.


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