xG and finishing under ETH

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Wumminator

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I didn’t think including Brighton and Newcastle was gonna prove controversial. Both are above us on xPts this season (3rd and 4th vs our 8th) and are modelled as top 30 sides in the world on 538 (19th and 22nd, Sociedad are 26th, whilst we are 15th). We will likely be competing with them for the Europa League spots this season, along with West Ham, now that Leicester and Wolves have dropped away from previous seasons.
Why are you like this?
 

Varun

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That stat already exists, it's called non penalty expected goals

It sounds like you expect xG to be some sort of fair or accurate reflection of the performances? That isn't what it's measuring though. It's measuring shots and their expected chance of success. That's it.
You're banging your head against the wall vs guys basically saying football existed before xG so why do we need it. Not worth the effort.
 

Desert Eagle

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I think some areas they can improve in order to raise the scoring:

1. More shots on the frame. Way too many wild shots, particularly the ones in good real estate. If we had a strong CF who dominates in the box this wouldn't matter so much. But for now it does. Cutting back on the strikes into the 15th row or ten feet left of the goal would be helpful.

2. Reduce touches in traffic. This is something they have clearly been working on but they still have room to improve. If you have a shot just take it. Way too often they take the touch and the defense gets back. It is particularly glaring in transition when attacking.

3. More attacking on the right side. 99% of touches to the right seem to end up cycled back left. More of these need to be played deeper with more of an attacking mindset. Dalot is not the greatest partner in duo offensively but he is willing and surprising and improving. So way I see it at least Antony needs to spend a weekend working some combinations with Dalot and those two need to attack more. At the very least doing this will result in more crossers from the right as well. Which is another way for Antony to work that right foot.

4. Sancho as false 10. Sancho possesses well. He is strong in the group during possession. He is also calm in traffic. I think he may be quite good as a 10. He would be around the middle more and more traffic which would bring out his value.

Good suggestions and i really like point 3. I've been noticing the combination play between Antony and Dalot as well and fair to say it's far from good right now. Antony needs to cut in less and allow Dalot the oncoming player to dictate the space and play more 1-2s. Dalot needs to be smarter about finding the space and the pass.
 

kunal18

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Need the wingers/fullbacks to get to the byline more and cutback for the shots from outside the box or crosses in, that should pull the opponents defence apart more. That creates more uncertainty.This can be added to the attacking play. I've been clamoring for Garnacho to be given a chance as I think dribbling to the byline and beating his man 1v1 is the quality he seems to possess, none of our other attackers can consistently do that. He's young but I'd take a chance as we don't have many options. We need our own Kvaratskhelia, a full time dribbler , who runs at opponents at every opportunity, that's key to opening up defences.
 

TMDaines

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Why are you like this?
:devil:

You are in a thread on xG! We are where the data driven approaches suggest we are: wanting to chase top four, but more likely fending off the teams behind us for the minor European spots. Same as how it finished last season.

It helps to have your expectations managed. Both the last two seasons we finished second, you could see we were overperforming and where we would likely be headed the following season. I didn’t quite anticipate the wheels coming off as they did last season, but finishing second or better was quite unlikely.

Brighton and Newcastle have both been really good sides, getting the absolute most out of their thin squads. The Premier League is competitive.
 

Rojofiam

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I do judge the game for myself. Chelsea had a higher xG but I thought United were the better side.

but I still find the xG stats interesting to see, what's the issue?
Chelsea would've had a 0.33 xG without the pen.
 

Wumminator

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:devil:

You are in a thread on xG! We are where the data driven approaches suggest we are: wanting to chase top four, but more likely fending off the teams behind us for the minor European spots. Same as how it finished last season.

It helps to have your expectations managed. Both the last two seasons we finished second, you could see we were overperforming and where we would likely be headed the following season. I didn’t quite anticipate the wheels coming off as they did last season, but finishing second or better was quite unlikely.

Brighton and Newcastle have both been really good sides, getting the absolute most out of their thin squads. The Premier League is competitive.

It is just the stuff I’ve seen you post about Casimero not celebrating and instead picking up the ball and restarting.

Stop worrying about xg. We were robbed against Newcastle and Sociedad and have played ten times better since Brighton. We’re mint at the moment.
 

TMDaines

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It is just the stuff I’ve seen you post about Casimero not celebrating and instead picking up the ball and restarting.

Stop worrying about xg. We were robbed against Newcastle and Sociedad and have played ten times better since Brighton. We’re mint at the moment.
We weren’t robbed against Newcastle. They arguably had the most stonewall pen shout. Going forward, we also produced more against Brighton than we did against Newcastle and Chelsea, hence highlighting the stuttering attack, which still hasn’t got firing consistently, despite the growing confidence in playing out from the back.

As for the big Casemiro celebrations, that’s probably indicative of where we are now right now. A side that is pleased to get a draw in that game, rather than disappointed at not having seized it when it was there for the taking.
 

Wumminator

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We weren’t robbed against Newcastle. They arguably had the most stonewall pen shout. Going forward, we also produced more against Brighton than we did against Newcastle and Chelsea, hence highlighting the stuttering attack, which still hasn’t got firing consistently, despite the growing confidence in playing out from the back.

As for the big Casemiro celebrations, that’s probably indicative of where we are now right now. A side that is pleased to get a draw in that game, rather than disappointed at not having seized it when it was there for the taking.
I just can’t watch football like you. When watching, you HAVE to be focused on the positives and want to support your team. Chelsea did nothing against us and we had two great chances and scored. That doesn’t happen for many teams away at Chelsea.

ANY team celebrates like that in the game at this point in the season. From City to Forest.
 

Carl

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We weren’t robbed against Newcastle. They arguably had the most stonewall pen shout. Going forward, we also produced more against Brighton than we did against Newcastle and Chelsea, hence highlighting the stuttering attack, which still hasn’t got firing consistently, despite the growing confidence in playing out from the back.

As for the big Casemiro celebrations, that’s probably indicative of where we are now right now. A side that is pleased to get a draw in that game, rather than disappointed at not having seized it when it was there for the taking.
No, it's indicative of a team that scored an equaliser in injury time. Even when we were winning league titles there would have been mad celebrations with a late equaliser. Particularly away and against a good team.

The fact the players felt so aggrieved with the penalty probably contributed too.
 

Carl

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I just can’t watch football like you. When watching, you HAVE to be focused on the positives and want to support your team. Chelsea did nothing against us and we had two great chances and scored. That doesn’t happen for many teams away at Chelsea.

ANY team celebrates like that in the game at this point in the season. From City to Forest.
Aye. Given what we've been subjected to over the last decade I'm actually really encouraged by our last 2 performances. And that would still be the case had Casemiro not scored.
 

TMDaines

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I just can’t watch football like you. When watching, you HAVE to be focused on the positives and want to support your team. Chelsea did nothing against us and we had two great chances and scored. That doesn’t happen for many teams away at Chelsea.

ANY team celebrates like that in the game at this point in the season. From City to Forest.
You don’t even really know how I watch football. At home matches, I am always hoarse from singing in the Stretty, and yesterday I didn’t post anything, fully engrossed in the match, until McT fecked us with the pen error. You can be a supporter during the match, but also take a more sober view outside of that. My adoption of rose-tinted glasses won’t make us a better side.

United did a lot of “good” stuff yesterday, but much of it was ineffectual to actually winning a match. Neville said as much on Sky before the Ronaldo debate debacle. We had a massive period of dominance and did nothing with it – and you won’t get that opportunity at Stamford Bridge often. United don’t create enough and people lynch the players who fail to convert the odd chances, rather than correctly diagnosing the fialure of the team to deliver in the final third. United simply have to get better at that.
 

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You don’t even really know how I watch football. At home matches, I am always hoarse from singing in the Stretty, and yesterday I didn’t post anything, fully engrossed in the match, until McT fecked us with the pen error. You can be a supporter during the match, but also take a more sober view outside of that. My adoption of rose-tinted glasses won’t make us a better side.

United did a lot of “good” stuff yesterday, but much of it was ineffectual to actually winning a match. Neville said as much on Sky before the Ronaldo debate debacle. We had a massive period of dominance and did nothing with it – and you won’t get that opportunity at Stamford Bridge often. United don’t create enough and people lynch the players who fail to convert the odd chances, rather than correctly diagnosing the fialure of the team to deliver in the final third. United simply have to get better at that.
Who creates enough at Chelsea away in the league? Who created more than we did yesterday?
 

TMDaines

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Who creates enough at Chelsea away in the league? Who created more than we did yesterday?
Yesterday was literally the lowest xG Chelsea have conceded in the league at home this season. The first time they kept it under 1.0. Spurs, Wolves and West Ham created slightly more, but nothing to write home about. Leicester tore them apart though.

More recently away from home this week, both Villa and Brentford created more against them too. Villa especially were the far better side against Chelsea, but variance saw them losing 0-2 despite the lion’s share of chances.
 

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You just know the club will neglect to give him a striker in the winter and we’ll pay the price for it.
 

Wumminator

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Yesterday was literally the lowest xG Chelsea have conceded in the league at home this season. The first time they kept it under 1.0. Spurs, Wolves and West Ham created slightly more, but nothing to write home about. Leicester tore them apart though.

More recently away from home this week, both Villa and Brentford created more against them too. Villa especially were the far better side against Chelsea, but variance saw them losing 0-2 despite the lion’s share of chances.
Well you’ve had my pants down.
 

TMDaines

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You just know the club will neglect to give him a striker in the winter and we’ll pay the price for it.
A striker would be nice, but we aren’t creating enough anyway. We would likely just continue the cycle of lynching them when missing chances, even if they are converting a respectable amount of them. There’s a still a lot of work to do to keep our attack functioning.

As I asked elsewhere, which of our attacking players is having a really good season? Rashford looks bright, but is profligate. Bruno is playing with a bit more control, but his production is way down. Sancho’s nowhere. The coaching staff need to get some of this lot really clicking to feed our attack.

Well you’ve had my pants down.
To be honest, the figures surprised me a bit too. They’ve been better defensively in the CL, but have flattered to deceive (just like us!) in the league.
 

Escobar

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You have games like that where the keeper grows in confidence as the game goes on, the crowd grows more nervous, the players get affected by it etc. It all just amps up the longer it goes on. If we score after 10 minutes we probably go on to win 4-0. Just a freak game really, I certainly wouldn't be worried about a trend or anything.
I remember that Schalke game against Neuer. Huge psychological block until Giggs scored
 

Wumminator

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A striker would be nice, but we aren’t creating enough anyway. We would likely just continue the cycle of lynching them when missing chances, even if they are converting a respectable amount of them. There’s a still a lot of work to do to keep our attack functioning.

As I asked elsewhere, which of our attacking players is having a really good season? Rashford looks bright, but is profligate. Bruno is playing with a bit more control, but his production is way down. Sancho’s nowhere. The coaching staff need to get some of this lot really clicking to feed our attack.


To be honest, the figures surprised me a bit too. They’ve been better defensively in the CL, but have flattered to deceive (just like us!) in the league.
I think they’re all playing well (Sancho currently struggling) but a striker doesn’t just finish chances - their movement would help create more chances as well.
 

Pogue Mahone

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We weren’t robbed against Newcastle. They arguably had the most stonewall pen shout. Going forward, we also produced more against Brighton than we did against Newcastle and Chelsea, hence highlighting the stuttering attack, which still hasn’t got firing consistently, despite the growing confidence in playing out from the back.

As for the big Casemiro celebrations, that’s probably indicative of where we are now right now. A side that is pleased to get a draw in that game, rather than disappointed at not having seized it when it was there for the taking.
Are you on some sort of perverse mission to paint absolutely everything about life under ETH in a negative light?

Because I can 100% guarantee that an injury time equaliser at Stamford Bridge would always provoke wild celebrations. The fact you’re now trying to argue it reflects badly on where we are right now says much more about you than it does about the team
 

Kag

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A striker would be nice, but we aren’t creating enough anyway. We would likely just continue the cycle of lynching them when missing chances, even if they are converting a respectable amount of them. There’s a still a lot of work to do to keep our attack functioning.

As I asked elsewhere, which of our attacking players is having a really good season? Rashford looks bright, but is profligate. Bruno is playing with a bit more control, but his production is way down. Sancho’s nowhere. The coaching staff need to get some of this lot really clicking to feed our attack.


To be honest, the figures surprised me a bit too. They’ve been better defensively in the CL, but have flattered to deceive (just like us!) in the league.
A proper striker would change this team dramatically. It’s about so much more than goals, too. You see signs of it in the thirty minutes Martial manages before his body begins to melt.
 

Pogue Mahone

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@TMDaines On the misfiring attack, apart from the bleeding obvious fact that a proper number nine will make the whole front three unit function much better, whenever a top manager takes over a dysfunctional team they often improve the sharp end last of all.

First fix the defence, then the midfield, then the goals will eventually come. Based on what we’ve seen recently we’ve absolutely no reason to assume we won’t follow a similar pattern. It would obviously help all our attacking/creative players if/when we finally get a fecking straightforward league fixture or two, so they can start to get the same momentum we’re seeing in other areas of the pitch.
 

TMDaines

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I think they’re all playing well (Sancho currently struggling) but a striker doesn’t just finish chances - their movement would help create more chances as well.
I think many of then are playing OK, but not vintage stuff, and each have played far better in recent seasons before the last. A centre forward would help link play, and possibly would make our attack function better, but I don’t think it is a case, like some seem to, that you could just drop a top goalscorer into this side and expect 30-50 goal seasons. It would be interesting to see where we are with a consistently fit Martial, but it is a leap of faith to insist it would make all the difference given his ups and downs.
 

Idxomer

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United did a lot of “good” stuff yesterday, but much of it was ineffectual to actually winning a match. Neville said as much on Sky before the Ronaldo debate debacle. We had a massive period of dominance and did nothing with it – and you won’t get that opportunity at Stamford Bridge often. United don’t create enough and people lynch the players who fail to convert the odd chances, rather than correctly diagnosing the fialure of the team to deliver in the final third. United simply have to get better at that.
Yesterday was a lot of bad and slow decision-making once we reached the penalty area which cost the team creating more chances. We had a lot of corners in the first half and I think they failed to deliver one cross into the area which needs to change.
 

Idxomer

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Yesterday was literally the lowest xG Chelsea have conceded in the league at home this season. The first time they kept it under 1.0. Spurs, Wolves and West Ham created slightly more, but nothing to write home about. Leicester tore them apart though.

More recently away from home this week, both Villa and Brentford created more against them too. Villa especially were the far better side against Chelsea, but variance saw them losing 0-2 despite the lion’s share of chances.
I wonder why that happened.
 

TheRedDevil'sAdvocate

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Low xG could prove to be a concern. There are many mitigating factors, though, who prevent us from drawing safe conclusions at the moment. We are, indeed, at the end of a very non-friendly fixture list. Furthermore, we screwed up the tactics in our two opening games of the season, which resulted in serious adjustments regarding personnel and player roles. Also, don't forget that we have a new manager in a new league, trying to pick up the broken pieces the previous regimes left behind.

Comparing a game between two top-six rivals with any other game can also lead to false conclusions. When Chelsea are playing Leicester, Villa or WHU at the Bridge, they'll try to force the issue because anything other than the three points is a failure. They'll take the initiative and they'll push their lines higher. It will usually be a game in which, unlike in the big matches, the roles of both opponents will be clearly defined. The Spurs game falls under the same category because of Conte's nature as a manager.

Last, but not least, the forward issue should not be underestimated. All this time, we've been trying to cope without our forward of choice. Martial's role on the pitch is of the utmost importance. There are enough goals between Rashford, Antony and Bruno to get us through the season. But when you have two wide men whose best quality is cutting inside and finishing, and (false) #10 who thrives on arriving late in the box, you need the player who will be able to operate between the lines. Plus, it's a known fact that ETH has done wonders with Tadic in the role of this drifting forward. And the 4231, with the #10 and the #9 interchanging positions, would suit Bruno's often frantic/erratic movement better.

Of course, this doesn't mean that everything will be OK over time. Time alone helps you to work and discover your limits. It doesn't take those limits away. Toward the end of LvG's first season at the club, we went to SB to face Mou's Chelsea and, for the vast majority of the game, we had them pinned down in their own box. We lost that game 1-0, as we could have lost this one. Our problem was that we couldn't make the most of the lion's share of possession we enjoyed. I'm not drawing parallels between then and now. I have tremendous faith in ETH and a very good feeling about the man. It's just a reminder that "dominating" the possession stats is only half of the job required to be done. Otherwise, the likes of Mourinho and Benitez wouldn't have fallen so far behind.

Anyway, we are at a good place. We are looking like a team that's going places. After the nightmare of last season, this alone constitutes a minor miracle. It's so nice to watch United and expect good things on the pitch from our players. Sit back, enjoy the ride and let's see where the end of the season will find us.
 

fallengt

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I'm starting to doubt Benni McCarthy.
United pin teams down but doesn't create enough. Finishing is a factor but quality of chances is still not high.
 

Boondog

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I just can’t watch football like you. When watching, you HAVE to be focused on the positives and want to support your team. Chelsea did nothing against us and we had two great chances and scored. That doesn’t happen for many teams away at Chelsea.

ANY team celebrates like that in the game at this point in the season. From City to Forest.
Yeah the difference in this team is night and day from the start of the season. Defensively we're a completely different team. We are fast, competitive, and sound on the back line. Midfield has come a long ways too. Potter had to sub extras into midfield to make it competitive for possession.

Going forward I really like our chances to sneak into that top four. We're not a slam dunk by any means like City & Arse, both of whom are going to be in it to the end. But after them it's a level playing field with flawed teams. And our team has a strong identity on defense led by the best CB in the league and a fine back line as well as a world class boost at DM in Case. I am not afraid of Chelsea, feel like this team will outperform them over the remainder of the schedule too.

Re: fans who are analyzing the celebration performances of players and reading into it... They are trying too hard. Put the fecking keyboard down and go get laid.
 

TMDaines

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Re: fans who are analyzing the celebration performances of players and reading into it... They are trying too hard.
Do you include ETH in that, who chewed Shaw out for dawdling and running down the clock at 1-1? The manager himself wanted the players to have the mentality of looking for a winner.
 

Rayman96

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Im not an XG expert but Ill use Rashford as an example of why we are missing chances.
Forget stats, I would class him as as safe shooter. What I mean is when he gets a good chance he hits the target with power which often means the keeper makes a good if not great save.
If he used more guile and placed it in the corner etc he definitely gets more goals but I suppose that is what a natural finisher is.
Someone might stat me different but that is what I see when I watch him play.
 

Rozay

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Attacking reinforcements are needed. Certainly one. I think we could do with a game-changing forward - be it centre forward or wide player who can win matches. It’s a shame that we spent 100m euros on a forward and while he’s a good player - he does not seem to be that player.

Objectively speaking, our team is playing well, but the individuals get worse the further forward in our team we go. If anyone were to ask ‘who is United’s best player right now?’ - the candidates would decrease as you love up the pitch, and no forward player would even be in the conversation. We could desperately do with a front player who is bang in the argument of being Manchester United’s best player. If we can get one of those to go with the current candidates we have further back, we’ll really be in business. Fecking Greenwood!
 

Skills

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Attacking reinforcements are needed. Certainly one. I think we could do with a game-changing forward - be it centre forward or wide player who can win matches. It’s a shame that we spent 100m euros on a forward and while he’s a good player - he does not seem to be that player.

Objectively speaking, our team is playing well, but the individuals get worse the further forward in our team we go. If anyone were to ask ‘who is United’s best player right now?’ - the candidates would decrease as you love up the pitch, and no forward player would even be in the conversation. We could desperately do with a front player who is bang in the argument of being Manchester United’s best player. If we can get one of those to go with the current candidates we have further back, we’ll really be in business. Fecking Greenwood!
You plonk MMM from 2020 in this line up and it's lethal
 

Borys

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Looking at xG, we are likely to get a lot of 1-0 results. We definitely are good defensively, outperforming our xGA too but this is also because we limit opposition to headers and long-range shots which might be accumulated to high xG, but don't get converted easily - especially with De Gea looking bright.

For a setup with 4 offensive players, we don't create a lot of chances/ good chances. Considering how thin we are up top (Ronaldo&Sancho in poor form, Antony missing, Martial injured) we have done well so far getting the results.

I would consider changing setup to give Eriksen more freedom, as he looks like the most creative player in the squad but now is being asked to do quite a lot defensively. I'm questioning this Bruno-centric setup in a games like West Ham.
But to be fair, we played awful high number of games recently and it showed, so maybe I'm reading too much into it and it's just fatigue.
 
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