On match days nowadays, the first thing I tend to look for when the team is announced is … how many of the gruesome threesome are playing?

The gruesome threesome? Williamson, Anita, Gouffran. It’s not that I have anything personal against them – I’m sure they’re kind to children and animals and so forth. But in my humble opinion none of them are good enough to be playing Premier League football.

(To feature like Travis, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])

So I’ve done a bit of statistical analysis. I’ve looked at each of our 23 league games to date, I’ve looked at the starting line-up and counted how many of the gruesome threesome are listed, and I have compiled the results.

The outcome?

4 league games with all 3 starting – we’ve got 1 point in total = 0.25 points per match.

13 league games with 2 starting – 16 points in total = 1.23 points per match

3 league games with 1 starting – 4 points in total = 1.33 per match

3 league games with none of them starting – 9 points in total = 3.00 per match

You can draw your own conclusions from that.

What it suggest to me is that the results show we have the basis of a very strong team, but are lacking two or three quality players to slot into the squad so that when we get an injury or two we aren’t immediately scraping the bottom of the barrel.

  • robdavies711

    What are the stats when tiote plays?

  • Paul Patterson

    I personally don’t want to see Gouffrans name on the team sheet as we could have something much better in his place, the same in midfield and at centre back with the other two. But after a 3-0 away win (In which one has scored) is not the time to be too critical.

  • Albert27

    Anita is awful. Its a waste of place putting him in the team. Williamson does not have the agression and winner attitude. Gouf is an average striker – and playing him on the wing is totaly ineffective.

  • Maximus Moose

    3 of them are Championship standard

  • No Brainer

    He was fantasyi yesterday truly fantastic

  • RichGibb

    I think they are all Premier League standard, but just not top ten material. It all depends on the team availability:
    For those left or right positions in the three behind the striker we should have two of these six playing – Cabella, Aarons, Obertan, Sammy, Perez (looked good here as well), Gouffran, (deliberately not put Guttierez here).

    Two of these six central midfield/holding midfield options – Sissoko, Colback, de Jong (although he should be a number ten), Abeid, Tiote, Anita.

    Two of these four centre-back options – Coloccini, S Taylor, Williamson, Dummett (not included untested youngsters here).

    The point is, two of the above lists look pretty strong. I think that Anita and Gouffran wouldn’t get close to the starting 11 if people were fit and in form.
    Gouffran has gotten so many games cause Aarons AND Obertan have been injured for a long time, and Cabella has only recently found some good form.

    Anita has only gotten games recently because of injuries to Abeid and de Jong (meaning Sissoko has had to move to the 10 position), and Tiote is at ACON.

    The point is they are fine squad players. Lets not all go overboard here after they’ve just contributed to a good away win. What we really need is strengthening at CB, as well a top striker. Will we get that? Not in a million years under MA.

  • Mal44

    I sometimes find the degree of negativity on this website breathtaking. We’ve just had a 3 0 away victory (ironically with contributions from these 3) but let’s have an article making 3 players the scapegoats for all our troubles this season. To suggest that the problems we’ve had are due to these 3 players alone is ridiculous and it says a lot that someone is prepared to go through all our matches so far this season to make out that it’s the case. It’s a true saying that there are lies, dam lies and statistics. Statistically Elliott might have given away less goals per game in the PL than Krul this season (I’m guessing) but I don’t think it necessarily makes him a better keeper, though I do think he’s a good understudy.
    Incidentally I thought both Anita and Williamson had good games yesterday (Williamson was far better than our skipper). Never mind, you can always hope we lose next week (at least one of them is likely to be playing).

  • vbhgft

    Mal44 Totally agree.

  • No Brainer

    Williamson was fantastic agaibst Everton too easily my mom.
    His distribution is awful but thats not hus job a MF should be coming to him to collect the ball

  • GToon

    Travis, you might have a point but the stats do not include the instructions on how those players were previously told how to play. Yesterday Anita looked really sharp in midfield. If he was linked up with somebody who was equally quick minded and quick footed he would look much better. If Willo was paired up with somebody who commanded the area and just left him to “compete” rather than play he would look better too. Gouffy isnt a winger and is much better playing behind the forward. Lets see how they do now Pardew has gone.

  • GToon

    Albert27 Anita is great when our movement is great as he is a quick player. When the movement slows down so does he and he starts getting drawn into a physical battle. I think he would be great at Chelsea but poor at teams where the midfield area is just a place to kick people.

  • GToon

    robdavies711 booked!

  • Nastynorm

    Never mind willo wot about useless Collo he’s crap the sooner we get rid the better, can’t believe supporters were chanting his name at hull, he was our worst player even Anita saves his blushes with what wudve been best own goal ever scored, he’s a total prick

  • amacdee

    Mal44 Yes we won so we’re all pleased with that. However Hull are probably the worst team in the PL right now. The way they opened up for all three goals suggests they all had bets on a 0-3 away win ;-).
    Yet we nearly gave them three goals. We defended crosses poorly yesterday and if you look in particular at the Elmohamady hand goal, Willo is still on the ground and shying away from the ball. Neither CB has “legs” any more so the sooner we find a quicker and younger replacement for at least one of them, the better.
    As for Anita he surely loses out if Abeid is fit ?

  • Charvers Army

    I’ve been using that as a guide for my betting all season. If Gouffran & Williamson play I bet against us. If they’re both out I bet for us. It’s worked so far.

  • cwtoon88

    What pointless stats, Anita has had 3 good games in a row and did an excellent job yesterday . Id agree the other 2 arent good enough but Anita is too often made the sacrificial lamb for us and I think a lot of people don’t appreciate that he does a good job

  • Nicolaus Copernicus

    There is a lot of divisiveness over Vurnon Anita. This in the pro-Anita camp keep using the terms ‘neat’ and ‘tidy’ about his game I’m not sure what neat and tidy means as a reference to a footballer. I can only think they talk to his good technique on the ball, which I don’t disagree he has. I just find him limited in his range. He can’t run at players and go past them, nor can he ping long passes from the middle of the park to the wings. He isn’t particularly strong in the tackle, nor in the air, and I’m not even convinced his positional play is that strong either. He seems to be very effective at receiving a pass and moving it another five to fifteen yards on. All well and good, but surely we have Colback doing that already (and much more) so why don’t we bring a more creative player into centre midfield instead.

  • TheBoneYard

    robdavies711  8 clean sheets when he has not played and NO clean sheets when he HAS played

  • TheBoneYard

    Tiote stat = he plays = no clean sheet

  • Mal44

    My main point was the use of stats to make it seem though all of our problems are down to 3 players which is a bit simplistic in my view. I agree with you that our CBs are not up to standard. Colo has lost his consistency and Willo should be no more than a back up squad player but, as I’ve posted previously it’s not his fault that we haven’t bought that top class centre half that we’ve needed for at least 3 years now. We only paid about £1 million for him and he’s probably one of the lowest earners in the team; he was never meant to be a regular PL centre back. Having said that he gets blamed unfairly on a continuous basis. This is illustrated to some extent in your comments about the Elmohamady ‘goal’. I have indeed looked again at this and in fact it’s Colo who is Elmohhamaday’s marker and he is between a Williamson and Elmohamaday. In those circumstances had the ball actually fallen on Elomahanday’s head then it was Colo who would have had to deal with it as Willo couldn’t have got near enough to Elmohamaday.
    Finally I agree with you about Abeid but that doesn’t distract from the point that Anita had a good game yesterday; albeit against poor opposition.

  • Jarra MIck

    Who are you his fatha? Moderately effective against the worst team in the league.

  • Mal44

    You bet against us. True supporter.

  • amacdee


    is illustrated to some extent in your comments about the Elmohamady
    ‘goal’. I have indeed looked again at this and in fact it’s Colo who is
    Elmohhamaday’s marker and he is between a Williamson and Elmohamaday”
    Slightly missing the point there Mal. At least three Hull players are off the ground, our dependable twosome look like they’ve taken root and Willo is doing his best to look like he’s not involved ;-)

  • Mal44

    amacdee Mal44  Perhaps he got a call from Krul, so ducked :-). I still think Willo takes a lot of stick which isn’t justified. No mention has been made by anyone of him saving a certain goal and nearly getting decapitated in the process. We win 3 0 away and Willo’s actions on a disallowed goal is the focal point; doesn’t seem right somehow.

  • alreet

    Anita needs to be used as a right or left back when our first choice isnt there. He played a few games last season in that position and he kept things clean. Ushered the player to safety and was no slouch. He didnt raid the wing but sometimes you need a flat bank of defenders.
    Now abeid is back and santon is gone for the season. Give him a crack at left back and see how he does.
    We dont reaĺly need the freight train of tiote all the time and we would have tonnes more diversity with colback and abeid then the selection of aarons cabella sissoko de jong perez and cisse up top.
    We really need a youngster to come through for CB coz our current crop is make shift at best.
    Sick of knowing the failings of the team and nothing being done about it.
    Centre backs please mr charnley carr and ashley please.