My first topic, please go easy..
With the unveiling of Brendan Rodgers as our new manager, a one point Tom Warner pointed – not for the first time – towards what he sees as our playing philosophy, demanding ‘relentless attack’ from the team. It got me thinking about reasons why.
Maybe one reason why is that to me there has always seemed to be disproportional reward in the points given for a win in football. 0 points for a loss, 1 point for a draw, but then a jump to 3 points for win? To me it seems obvious therefore that this points structure rewards attacking play and especially wins. For example, if a team were to play 38 League games and draw all 38 games they’d end up on 38 points. However, if over the same 38 games a team instead won 19 games and lost 19 games, they’d end up on vastly improved 57 points, or 19 points better off. In fact, if a team only won 13 games and lost all other remaining 25 games all season, they’d still end up with more points than a team that had drawn all 38 games.
Is it worth therefore taking risks in say the last 20 minutes of what is at that point a drawn game? In the past perhaps, it has appeared sometimes that we were more concerned with protecting the point we had towards the end of drawn games, rather than risking the loss of one point to potentially gain three.
True, throwing a number of extra players forward gives the opposition increased opportunity to score, but it also increases your chances markedly too – and favourably so if your team has more goal scoring ‘threats’ in the team to score than the opposition. And given the risk that it only has to come off once in 3 games to at least match in points what could otherwise be gained in points by 3 drawn games – isn’t it worth it? In terms of the points allocated for a draw versus a win, 'is a bird in the hand really worth three in the bush?’
I wonder with the appointment of Rodgers and FSG starting to get to grips with the statistical part of the game, whether we will see more of an emphasis on attack, and especially more calculated risks progressively towards the end of ‘drawing’ games – hence ‘relentless attack’?