Closer each day…Home and Away Graham Smeaton October 3, 2014 Leeds United, Stats 24 Comments First things first, let’s get it out there and said – Marco Silvestri is a fantastic goalkeeper and a great buy for Leeds United. I wrote a piece way back in July and included the phrase “Silvestri can be seen to be a reliable shot stopper“. After 10 games of this season, it seems that I may be justified in saying just that. Sometimes it feels good to be a little right, it’s rare in my house. So far this season, Marco Silvestri has made 29 saves and this sees him being ranked as the #3 goalkeeper in the Championship when talking about saves made. Saves are the bread and butter of a goalkeeper’s trade and to have a good ‘keeper is reassuring, to have a great ‘keeper is better. What I noted is that Silvestri is great in one aspect, that of a shot-stopper; just how great is he though? Marco Silvestri’s performance (home) He’s this good. At home he has conceded only 2 goals whilst making 11 saves and keeping 4 cleans sheets. Put another way (and this will be the only ‘fancy stat’ that I will use) Silvestri has a ‘saves to goal ratio’ of 0.85 which means that at Elland Road he’s saved 85% of total shots on target. That’s impressive, an 85% stop rate – better than my local speed camera. Marco Silvestri’s performance (away) As you can instantly see, Silvestri’s net has bulged 10 times on Leeds’ travels. That could be due to many things, granted I accept that. Still, the 18 saves ‘on his travels’ is still good enough to give Marco Silvestri the #1 Championship ranking for ‘away saves’. Of course his ‘saves to goal ratio’ suffers somewhat away from home due to the 10 goals conceded and ends up with 0.64 ratio meaning that he stops 64% of total shots on target – still a respectably high figure but not on a par with his home performance. I have written elsewhere about Silvestri (in more flowery prose) and I do feel that, in Marco Silvestri, we have a good, reliable keeper and one that hopefully can go on to improve even more. spellz He has definitely carried the torch for how the team should be performing in their given positions, if everyone played their role as well as he does Leeds United would be world beaters, in all fairness though things have not been that rosy and Silvestri has had way too much to do, which almost deflects the light from how poor our defense is at times. In the forums there has been way too much focus on how brilliant our defense has suddenly become, do not get me wrong there has been an improvement but our clean sheets ratio is largely down to our no 1 and make no mistake we was shocking against Brentford defensively, I do not recall such a stand back almost scared to pressure performance in a long time, it was a cause for concern but yes we do have a premier league quality keeper at hand. EV As has been said a lot, the midfield is our weak area, we let the opposition dominate possession for long periods and when we do have it we don’t threaten…. Our defence are ok, it’s the midfield that needs to improve dramatically but I suspect the players just are not there Graham I agree in part EV, well apart from Bianchi who is a standout performer for me. The midfield don’t make enough touches of the ball so it is limited what they can do with it. Take the Reading game, Bianchi has 97 touches and 72 passes at 92% accuracy – rest of midfield highest is 40 passes with 77% accuracy so the volume isn’t there. I realise passing and touches aren’t everything but possession of the ball starves the opposition and we aren’t doing that, especially in midfield. todgertownwhite Lets see if he plays Adryan today! Irving08 I think you may be right on the midfield. It looks pretty ordinary, Bianchi apart. (Austin is extraordinary, of course, but mostly for the wrong reasons.) We have seen no-one of the level of Bryson of Derby Co., for example. Graham Agree, it’s a confidence thing for me that we do have a decent keeper and that he’s reliable. I still think that the TEAM allow far too many shots as a whole though. Tare Usually I do not make ane hindsight analysis for the cause, but for Marco Silvetre why not. He has been one hell of a stern athlete player between the posts. But it is more behind this qualification here; the winning goalkeeper at helm; nothing less nothing more. Tare Tare Marco statistics here for the cause, Tare leedslunatic Anyone know how Robbie McDaid is getting on? We seem to have forgotten all about this lad… todgertownwhite I’ve been asking the same question for weeks, and never get a suitable answer! PMH Busy goalkeeper is NOT good news. Graham Busy goalkeeper is not good news, I agree with that. But he’s a quality shot-stopper so that counts for something. PMH, agree that more solidity is needed in front of him or protection of the centrebacks from midfield. JDC Marco Silvestri … class act ! Darko M now needs to install the same class levels in central defence and midfield. Imo, he has the players at his disposal and perhaps, it’s a case of mix and match to find the solution … if he does that the rest of us need patience. PMH Couldn’t find today’s game online, but sounds like a solid performance. Good time in possession and composed in defence. I don’t mind a one all draw against a decent team. We’ve got attacking talent so goals will come in time. henrymouni We were the better term and were unlucky not to win. Why Warnock was not playing I’ll never know? If not him Charlie Taylor. Both proper left full backs. Sloth was ineffective, and Rudi was …. Rudi. From the sublime…….. I’m happy!! 2 weeks for Darko to get to work!! Graham Charlie Taylor is injured but Berardi above Warnock had me wondering whether I’d been sniffing absinth. Murphy on for Sloth was a mystery too – kept expecting Sturat Hall to run out with a huge ‘Joker’ card. Irving08 Berardi had a decent game. He offers more than Warnock, even if it his ‘wrong side': he has a good leap on him, for one thing, while his ability on the ball suits our new style of play. Nevertheless a left foot is always handy in a left back, yet if Warnock wins reinstatement on this count, I’d still like to see Berardi in the side, say, at right back playing behind Byram. Snowjoke Warnock is especially unlucky to have been cut from the starting X1 after a string of good personal performances. Maybe, at 31, he’s just seen as a weary old codger, regardless. But I hope not. Unlike youth (and the undesirable things tha can tend to come with it), I’ve never understood why maturity is so widely regarded as a problem for a footballer. After all, how often have we seen pacey young forwards totally dominated by a crusty old centre back using knowledge, experience and timing to compensate for the fact that his legs have “gone”?. And, at the same time, deliver a defending Masterclass? To mangle an old saying, if you’re good enough, you’re young enough…… henrymouni Warnock has been playing his best football this season, in both attack and defence. Some fantastic blocks to save the day in front of our goal. Berardi is right footed, and a bit of the hot head, and teams will wind him up, for sure!! He is a tough lad, but I would only play in at right back. If it wasn’t for his ‘crazy moments’, he would be doing really well! Irving08 Warnock from the outset has given the impression – which may not be correct, of course – of someone who thinks he’s slumming in this Division. While he does appear to have rolled his sleeves up this season and just got on with the job, the chippy Lance Corporal in him is never far from the surface. Berardi – provided he can exercise a bit more self- control – is quite capable of doing a good job at left back, his right footdeness nothwithstanding (which never held back Dennis Irwin or Peter Haddock, by the way). By going to the PFA, Warnock may have rendered this discussion academic, of course. Personally, I’d like to see Charles Taylor given an opportunity, with Berardi moving go the right, as per my comment elsewhere on the blog. Irving08 I agree, age as such should not be a factor. Mike This is the most improved area of the team, he’s a great shot stopper and seems to be learning how to better control his box on set pieces. With Paddy Kenny still in net we’d probably only have 5-7 points(at best) so far this season and already be looking over our shoulders that much i’m sure of. Graham Fully agree – stops 85% or so shots on target at home Irving08 Let’s hear it for Chris Dawson !