In a game awash with statistics, I wish someone would compile them to prove that passing back to the goalkeeper gives the ball away.

From my own observation it happens at least nine times out of ten. Losing possession is a cardinal sin so why do players pass back to the keeper and therefore lose it?

It is the soft option and when was the keeper the playmaker?

I say this despite Tim Krul’s long punt which Shola nodded on to Demba Ba, resulting in a ‘route one’ goal. Krul’s kick was hardly creative.

Another fascinating statistic would be to find out how many players are two footed? Again from observation, I would say not many.

Chances are missed, passes misplaced and tackles mistimed, when players are forced to use their weak foot. It also makes them so predictable as they invariably turn onto the strong foot.

This includes Wayne Rooney, supposedly England’s best. It amazes me that managers do nothing about these matters. Perhaps they are doing something in training but it does not show in the matches.

  • Mal

    This is a very good point but it does depend on what the keeper does. In our case we pass it back and then turn our backs and meander back up the pitch which means the keeper hits the long ball – with the inevitable result that you refer to. That doesn’t necessarily happen with other teams though where the keeper is given options as to who to make a short pass to and so begin a passing move. Currently we seem to be doing a lot of things that are totally predictable and if we can all see it then it’s not difficult for the opposition to profit from it. Many of us have referred to our predictable set pieces (kick it in the direction of Williamson and hope for the best) and also the number of times we lose possession from throw ins (Simpson the main culprit here) but nothing seems to change – don’t they practice something different in training? A bit of imagination is required that gives the opposition something to think about.