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Thread: Away Form

  1. #1

    Default Away Form

    During my long association with the Saints, we have generally been good at home and pretty poor away from the comforts of the South Coast.

    It is interesting this has form been turned on its head this season.

    We have earned 17 points away from home with a positive 16-14 goal difference.

    This would have been 19 points if we had beaten Arsenal at the Emirates, which should really have been the case.

    The 17 away points puts us in 5th place in the League table.

    However the 11 points won at home puts up in the bottom three with the worst goal difference accentuated by the 9-0 hammering by Leicester.

    Our system seems to better suited to playing away and we have all had to endure some pretty dire performances at SMS over the past 3 seasons.

    Let's hope we can look forward to more entertaining games at SMS and additional points on the board.

  2. #2

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    Our style of play is set up for pressing and hitting teams on the counter. Normally the onus is on the home team to create and have possession, which is why our away form is so good and it plays into our hands.

    At home it is expected that the home team has the possession and has the away team sits deep. We are not set up to break down teams and have the possession. We have pace on the break and not a lot of creativity to break teams down. City and Liverpool are the only teams that can hit on the counter and break teams down. Luckily confidence is high and we should see an improvement at home, but you only have to look at the Palace game to see how hard it was for us to break them down up until the last 15 minutes when the game was more open.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesa View Post
    Our style of play is set up for pressing and hitting teams on the counter. Normally the onus is on the home team to create and have possession, which is why our away form is so good and it plays into our hands.

    At home it is expected that the home team has the possession and has the away team sits deep. We are not set up to break down teams and have the possession. We have pace on the break and not a lot of creativity to break teams down. City and Liverpool are the only teams that can hit on the counter and break teams down. Luckily confidence is high and we should see an improvement at home, but you only have to look at the Palace game to see how hard it was for us to break them down up until the last 15 minutes when the game was more open.
    Yeah agree with all of this. we've only had two home games (in the league) since our massive upturn in form - Spurs and Palace. Because Spurs assumed they could play their own game and beat us comfortably, it gave us the opportunity to press them hard and counter attack effectively. Contrast that with Palace setting themselves up as a very compact, deep-sitting defensive unit, and you can see why we struggled to beat them. This isn't a new thing either. We have really struggled to beat the bus-parking teams for a few seasons now.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by spyinthesky View Post
    During my long association with the Saints, we have generally been good at home and pretty poor away from the comforts of the South Coast.

    It is interesting this has form been turned on its head this season.
    I'd say that it's not a "this season" thing, tbh. We've been strong on the road for a while now, going back to the Pochettino and Koeman years.

    Looking back at our away record since promotion:

    2012/13: 3 wins, 16 points, 13th best record
    2013/14: 7 wins, 26 points, 8th best
    2014/15: 7 wins, 23 points, 9th best
    2015/16: 7 wins, 27 points, 7th best
    2016/17: 6 wins, 22 points, 7th best
    2017/18: 3 wins, 17 points, 10th best (amusingly still better than Arsenal that season)
    2018/19: 4 wins, 16 points, 15th best
    2019/20: 5 wins, 17 points, 5th best

    It's only really last season and our first season back up where we had a poor away record, and I think it's fair to say that the style Ralph has us playing is particularly well-suited to playing away from home where the opposition is more likely to come and attack us. At home, supposedly weaker teams will sit deeper and not be too concerned with having much possession, which means we don't get the opportunity to win the ball from them in good areas as often.

    Comparing our away record with our home record in each season is interesting:

    2012/13: 6 wins, 25 points, 14th best record
    2013/14: 8 wins, 30 points, 8th best
    2014/15: 11 wins, 37 points, 5th best
    2015/16: 11 wins, 36 points, 6th best
    2016/17: 6 wins, 24 points, 17th best - quite the drop-off there
    2017/18: 4 wins, 19 points, 19th best
    2018/19: 5 wins, 23 points, 14th best
    2019/20: 3 wins, 11 points, 17th best

    So the immediate and knee-jerk analysis is that, actually, our away form has been relatively constant over the last 7-8 years, and it's been pretty decent. Our issues have been caused by our home form that dived off a cliff in the second half of 2016/17 (two home wins from Christmas onwards, before that was W4 D3 L1) - get that right and we'll be competitive again in this league, IMO.

  5. #5

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    I keep pointing this out but our optimum possession for playing well and winning games is around 40%. against Leicester not only did we have 42% possession we had 52% passing accuracy so only about 21% of our passes found a home. We had three times the shots, Schmeical made seven saves, one kicked off the line, hit the bar twice.

    Possession at home just plays into the opposition's hands. Especially just waiting for something to open up in the massed defence ahead. Instead go with the statistics, give up possession, goalkeeper kicks long, defenders hit the channels or midfielders drive forward. Press the opposition for the ball out around their penalty area. Keep a solid defence and close down quickly as we did against Leicester. Especially don't give easy free kicks away inside our own half because that's often where goals come from.

    It's a different game now, opponents come to defend deep and break, now they are under pressure from knockdowns, breaking balls and nippy forwards causing problems. Under pressure and no longer able to sit back watching us pass it around going nowhere in our own half.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by derry View Post
    I keep pointing this out but our optimum possession for playing well and winning games is around 40%. against Leicester not only did we have 42% possession we had 52% passing accuracy so only about 21% of our passes found a home.


    I'm pretty sure 52% passing accuracy means that only 52% of our passes were accurate, tbf.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevegrant View Post


    I'm pretty sure 52% passing accuracy means that only 52% of our passes were accurate, tbf.
    I should have said 21% of our possession found a home although there isn't much of a difference.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by derry View Post
    I should have said 21% of our possession found a home although there isn't much of a difference.
    It's still wrong. We only accounted for 42% of the total possession of the game, our passing accuracy value only reflects our own attempted passes, it takes no notice of the 58% of overall possession Leicester had.

    If "21% of our possession found a home", our passing accuracy would have been 21%.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevegrant View Post
    It's still wrong. We only accounted for 42% of the total possession of the game, our passing accuracy value only reflects our own attempted passes, it takes no notice of the 58% of overall possession Leicester had.

    If "21% of our possession found a home", our passing accuracy would have been 21%.
    OK if you insist, 21% of overall possession found a home.

  10. #10

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    Possession means possession... so we could say that 100% of our passing whilst in possession “found a home”

  11. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by derry View Post
    OK if you insist, 21% of overall possession found a home.
    We had 42% possession, meaning we had the ball 42% of the 96+ minutes played.

    Our passing accuracy was 52%. That means that 52% of our passes were successful (or found a home as you put it). Where are you getting 21% from? Are you calculating 52% of 42%? That doesn't make any sense since our passing accuracy is not in any way affected by Leicester's possession (58%). We can't pass the ball if we don't have it.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by OttawaSaint View Post
    We had 42% possession, meaning we had the ball 42% of the 96+ minutes played.

    Our passing accuracy was 52%. That means that 52% of our passes were successful (or found a home as you put it). Where are you getting 21% from? Are you calculating 52% of 42%? That doesn't make any sense since our passing accuracy is not in any way affected by Leicester's possession (58%). We can't pass the ball if we don't have it.
    The possession figure 42% is around our optimum for winning games. With the other statistics, result, goals, shots etc it indicates more attacking less aimless possession which slows down and bogs down our attacking. The 52% I am using to demonstrate we don't need to have a high pass completion. We just need to win the ball and harrass the defenders into errors. It is what we are doing now getting the ball up front quickly and counter attacking quickly if we win the ball in our own half.

    I'm actually saying let the back four gamble,conserve energy, hit the channels instead of slow build ups, and then press hard, win it back in the opponents defensive zone. It works away, now play the same way at home. I don't want to see McCarthy rolling the ball out to the back four then twenty passes later under pressure punt it downfield.
    Last edited by derry; 13-01-2020 at 05:24 PM.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by derry View Post
    The possession figure 42% is around our optimum for winning games. With the other statistics, result, goals, shots etc it indicates more attacking less aimless possession which slows down and bogs down our attacking. The 52% I am using to demonstrate we don't need to have a high pass completion. We just need to win the ball and harrass the defenders into errors. It is what we are doing now getting the ball up front quickly and counter attacking quickly if we win the ball in our own half.

    I'm actually saying let the back four gamble,conserve energy, hit the channels instead of slow build ups, and then press hard, win it back in the opponents defensive zone. It works away, now play the same way at home. I don't want to see McCarthy rolling the ball out to the back four then twenty passes later under pressure punt it downfield.
    What you describe sounds like a simple idea, but in practice when a side come to St Mary's and park the bus there is very little space in which to hit the channels, press hard and hassle their defence into a mistake. Far better IMO to try and get behind their fullbacks. When Djenepo came on against Palace we started to be able to do that and it transformed our attacking play.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by derry View Post
    OK if you insist, 21% of overall possession found a home.
    Also wrong, unless you're somehow assuming that the entire Leicester lineup failed to complete a single pass to a team-mate.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alanh View Post
    What you describe sounds like a simple idea, but in practice when a side come to St Mary's and park the bus there is very little space in which to hit the channels, press hard and hassle their defence into a mistake. Far better IMO to try and get behind their fullbacks. When Djenepo came on against Palace we started to be able to do that and it transformed our attacking play.
    The channels are still there, putting the ball in quickly will mean a lot of balls breaking and it's up to the forwards to press in and win them. Tippy tappy at the back slowing the game down and throttling our supply to the forwards is why we are losing too many at home. Nothing to stop quick breaking from midfield or down the touchline as well. The important thing is the high tempo.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevegrant View Post
    Also wrong, unless you're somehow assuming that the entire Leicester lineup failed to complete a single pass to a team-mate.
    You've lost me. I'm only considering our 52% of 42% possession. Good job football isn't about mathematics.
    Last edited by derry; 13-01-2020 at 08:51 PM.

  17. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by derry View Post
    You've lost me. I'm only considering our 52% of 42% possession. Good job football isn't about mathematics.
    We had the ball 42% of the time (the other 58% was with Leicester). Of that possession our passing accuracy was 52%. For the sake of argument say we attempted 300 passes, 156 of them would have made it to their intended target (52%). You don't need to divide 42% by 52%.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by OttawaSaint View Post
    We had the ball 42% of the time (the other 58% was with Leicester). Of that possession our passing accuracy was 52%. For the sake of argument say we attempted 300 passes, 156 of them would have made it to their intended target (52%). You don't need to divide 42% by 52%.
    He's multiplied 42% by 52%.

  19. #19

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    One thing that I've noticed recently is that we seem to be always using our second kit in away games, regardless of the home team's kit.

    Against Chelsea and Leicester there was no legitimate reason we couldn't wear our traditional red and white, but we chose the grey/yellow one anyway.

    I'm not complaining, because I actually really like this season's second kit. But I'm just wondering what the the reason for that is? Is it a superstition thing because our home form has been so poor? Or is it a commercial decision?

    Would be interesting to see a comparison of our stats when wearing each kit so far this season.

  20. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheaf Saint View Post
    One thing that I've noticed recently is that we seem to be always using our second kit in away games, regardless of the home team's kit.

    Against Chelsea and Leicester there was no legitimate reason we couldn't wear our traditional red and white, but we chose the grey/yellow one anyway.

    I'm not complaining, because I actually really like this season's second kit. But I'm just wondering what the the reason for that is? Is it a superstition thing because our home form has been so poor? Or is it a commercial decision?

    Would be interesting to see a comparison of our stats when wearing each kit so far this season.
    We should make a permanent move to a sash kit, that one is only associated with winning.

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  21. #21

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    I want to know how many of our throw-ins found a home as a percentage of Leicester fans with replica shirts on.

  22. #22

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    Sorry missed this thread. Delete othet

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheaf Saint View Post
    One thing that I've noticed recently is that we seem to be always using our second kit in away games, regardless of the home team's kit.

    Against Chelsea and Leicester there was no legitimate reason we couldn't wear our traditional red and white, but we chose the grey/yellow one anyway.

    I'm not complaining, because I actually really like this season's second kit. But I'm just wondering what the the reason for that is? Is it a superstition thing because our home form has been so poor? Or is it a commercial decision?

    Would be interesting to see a comparison of our stats when wearing each kit so far this season.
    Probably because it’s sh*te.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheaf Saint View Post
    One thing that I've noticed recently is that we seem to be always using our second kit in away games, regardless of the home team's kit.

    Against Chelsea and Leicester there was no legitimate reason we couldn't wear our traditional red and white, but we chose the grey/yellow one anyway.

    I'm not complaining, because I actually really like this season's second kit. But I'm just wondering what the the reason for that is? Is it a superstition thing because our home form has been so poor? Or is it a commercial decision?

    Would be interesting to see a comparison of our stats when wearing each kit so far this season.
    Given it's a much wider trend within the premier league i'd say its commercial

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheaf Saint View Post
    One thing that I've noticed recently is that we seem to be always using our second kit in away games, regardless of the home team's kit.

    Against Chelsea and Leicester there was no legitimate reason we couldn't wear our traditional red and white, but we chose the grey/yellow one anyway.

    I'm not complaining, because I actually really like this season's second kit. But I'm just wondering what the the reason for that is? Is it a superstition thing because our home form has been so poor? Or is it a commercial decision?

    Would be interesting to see a comparison of our stats when wearing each kit so far this season.
    Ralph did joke the other day we have been performing so much better away that he enquired as to whether we could wear the grey kit at home. At least he laughed afterwards, I assume he was joking.

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheaf Saint View Post
    One thing that I've noticed recently is that we seem to be always using our second kit in away games, regardless of the home team's kit.

    Against Chelsea and Leicester there was no legitimate reason we couldn't wear our traditional red and white, but we chose the grey/yellow one anyway.

    I'm not complaining, because I actually really like this season's second kit. But I'm just wondering what the the reason for that is? Is it a superstition thing because our home form has been so poor? Or is it a commercial decision?

    Would be interesting to see a comparison of our stats when wearing each kit so far this season.
    I don't have a problem with changing to a second kit when it's not technically needed (for commercial reasons), but it does annoy me when we play in a kit that it more similar to the home team's strip than if we stayed in our home shirt.

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfahaji View Post
    I don't have a problem with changing to a second kit when it's not technically needed (for commercial reasons), but it does annoy me when we play in a kit that it more similar to the home team's strip than if we stayed in our home shirt.
    Wonder whether the players have decided they've been playing well in that away kit and so would prefer to play in that when they get the chance.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by OttawaSaint View Post
    We had 42% possession, meaning we had the ball 42% of the 96+ minutes played.

    Our passing accuracy was 52%. That means that 52% of our passes were successful (or found a home as you put it). Where are you getting 21% from? Are you calculating 52% of 42%? That doesn't make any sense since our passing accuracy is not in any way affected by Leicester's possession (58%). We can't pass the ball if we don't have it.
    Possession is calculated by an automated system based directly on the number of passes made by each team when divided by the total passes gives the possession percentage for each team. Therefore in Saints case against Leicester, Saints made 42% of the total passes of which 52% were accurate. The 21% was the Saints accuracy percentage of all the passes made in the game, on reflection a meaningless figure. More of an indication of how successful we were pressing Leicester and how attacking our football was.

    On the other hand Leicester had 58% possession/passes, I think about 70% accuracy producing 5 shots and 2 corners. On the other hand we had 16 shots, 4 corners and twice the fouls. Really showing that possession with most teams isn't the best way to win matches. Our best results have come away with about 40% possession/passes. While at home we struggle, with our possession/passing up towards 70%, mostly in our half, and in some matches not even having a shot.

    I'm advocating at home dispensing with the aimless passing around and get the ball up front as quickly as possible just as we play away, even if we aren't that accurate and press to hunt down the breaking balls. If teams are sitting back, ignore it and just get the ball into their last third quickly, missing out their midfield and press the back line. Just don't pass it around in our half it doesn't achieve anything. Keep a solid base at the back to outnumber any break as we did against Leicester. The high tempo pressing combined with less passing is the key at home as well as away.

    Since Puel we have had high possession/passing figures without winning many matches at home.
    Last edited by derry; 14-01-2020 at 09:08 PM.

  29. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by derry View Post
    Possession is calculated by an automated system based directly on the number of passes made by each team when divided by the total passes gives the possession percentage for each team. Therefore in Saints case against Leicester, Saints made 42% of the total passes of which 52% were accurate.
    That’s interesting. I didn’t know it was calculated like that. Good to know. Thanks!

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by OttawaSaint View Post
    Thatís interesting. I didnít know it was calculated like that. Good to know. Thanks!
    Just to be clear, this is how Opta calculate possession, and this is used by the PL, Sky, BT Sport, BBC, WhoScored. Its not how other analytical organisations calculate the possession data, such as Squaka, who use the chess clock approach that most naturally would assume the possession metric is based on. Really for Opta to call it "possession" is a misnomer and is misleading if you don't know how it is calculated, but it is a metric.

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by VectisSaint View Post
    Just to be clear, this is how Opta calculate possession, and this is used by the PL, Sky, BT Sport, BBC, WhoScored. Its not how other analytical organisations calculate the possession data, such as Squaka, who use the chess clock approach that most naturally would assume the possession metric is based on. Really for Opta to call it "possession" is a misnomer and is misleading if you don't know how it is calculated, but it is a metric.
    Possession in itself is a false situation as it's what the team is doing with the possession and how many goals, shots, corners etc are produced. Really only Man City use possession to mount waves of attacks and pull teams apart. Top sides against bottom sides mostly works but a stubborn eleven defending deep can stymie all but the best teams.

    Since I've taken this view I've been appalled at the number of goals i've noticed being conceded by teams playing out short from the goalkeeper when making a poor pass, getting caught in possession or on a break having lost the ball on the halfway line after multple passes. Cut this out and you're well on the way to a clean sheet and a lot less vulnerable to counter attack.

    I now think Hasnhuttl has it nailed. Reduce the possession in our half and pass forward/break the midfield line quickly and go at the last defenders. McCarthy still isn't completely getting it but is getting there. Cutting out the possession in our own half needs the keeper to maintain a high percentage of kicking into the channels or to the wings rather than feeding the back four and often then having to clear himself.

    It's also better for the back four to put the ball into the channels immediately for the forwards to hunt down rather than start the possession round robin again by passing back to the keeper who often has to clear it from further back.. Such as Stephens to Ings against Spurs or Adams through to Ings against Leicester after a quick one two. Playing like this encourages our multiple pressing and high tempo.

    I'm not advocating a route one game but going more direct from the back and midfield and reducing the slow sterility and errors that occur at the back as a result of trying to keep the possession. For example Yoshida and Vestergaard completely neutered us against Huddersfield in the Cup just passing to each other and going nowhere.
    Last edited by derry; 15-01-2020 at 12:09 PM.

  32. #32

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    Have a look at Rochdale conceding 3rd goal last night.....


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  33. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Give it to Ron View Post
    Have a look at Rochdale conceding 3rd goal last night.....


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    I saw that, Spurs first goal last night, Gunn a couple of times dithering, Bertrand against Everton, quite a few other occasions, backpasses without looking, dithering in possession, trying to play or dribble out of trouble. Firstly stop the mentality of playing in own defensive zone. Secondly under pressure don't just kick it out, stick it as far up the stand as possible. Thirdly under pressure don't hesitate smash it up the field out of danger. We need all the players to grow a calculating, ruthless mentality.

  34. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VectisSaint View Post
    Just to be clear, this is how Opta calculate possession, and this is used by the PL, Sky, BT Sport, BBC, WhoScored. Its not how other analytical organisations calculate the possession data, such as Squaka, who use the chess clock approach that most naturally would assume the possession metric is based on. Really for Opta to call it "possession" is a misnomer and is misleading if you don't know how it is calculated, but it is a metric.
    It's a bit of a weird way to calculate it, a team making 5 really quick snappy passes and then losing the ball to the other team that then goes on a fast break with 2 passes and some dribbling would end up having 71% possession at that time point. I guess these kinds of things even out over 90+ minutes but interesting none the less.

  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by OttawaSaint View Post
    It's a bit of a weird way to calculate it, a team making 5 really quick snappy passes and then losing the ball to the other team that then goes on a fast break with 2 passes and some dribbling would end up having 71% possession at that time point. I guess these kinds of things even out over 90+ minutes but interesting none the less.
    It is weird, they justify it by saying it means that if one of their analysts (key clickers) misses a pass or two then the possession stats are badly skewed. Can't really see it myself. But what they should do is admit it does not mean possession, which most sane people would see very differently.

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