9/15/2009 12:00:00 pm

I’m sorry Rafa, but this bizarre reasoning makes no sense at all

Rafa Benitez’s rather dubious explanation for Yossi Benayoun’s perennial bench status over the last two seasons is (arguably) as ludicrous as it is inaccurate.

In a recent interview, Rafa made the following observations:

'I was talking to Yossi about how he has always been fantastic coming off the bench and he told me he could do even more if I gave him a chance from the start’.

"Over the seasons he has shown his value coming off the bench but now he is showing how important he can be with movement and passing ability from the start.”.


So, according to Rafa, Benayoun has:

1. Been fantastic coming off the bench.
2. Shown his value coming off the bench.

I’m sorry, but this is not even close to being true, as the following figures prove:

2007-08
21 sub appearances
1 goal/1 assist

2008-09
15 sub appearances
1 goal/0 assists

2009-10
2 sub appearances
0 goals/0 assists

TOTALS


Sub appearances – 38
Goals – 2
Assists - 1

* A goal scored/created every 30 sub appearances (!)

What about actual overall result-impact, i.e. the team’s results after Benayoun comes on as a sub?

* In almost 50% of sub appearances, Liverpool failed to win the game after Benayoun came on (8 draws + 9 defeats in 38 sub appearances).

What about individual result impact, i.e. Benayoun having an individual impact on the outcome of a game?

* Three individual contributions that directly led to a game being won

- Sep 2007: Winning goal v Wigan
- Oct 2007: Assist v Cardiff (LFC won the game 2-1)
- Apr 2009: Winning goal v Fulham

* 18 month gap between successful sub appearances
* Only 3 positive substitute contributions in 38 games
* Benayoun had no impact on 35 out of 38 games after coming on as a sub!

Now – perhaps I’m missing something here but how can it be credibly argued that Benayoun been ‘excellent’ and 'shown his value' when coming off the bench?! There is nothing to support these contentions.

Conversely, as I argued recently, Benayoun’s record from starts is absolutely FANTASTIC.

I have to admit, Rafa’s blatantly incorrect assessment of the Benayoun situation concerns me. Does he really believe what he said is true? If so, how does he gauge showing ‘value’ and being ‘excellent’ from the bench?

Surely goals, assists and/or helping to win matches are the main things Rafa should be considering? However, if that was the case, surely he would have seen that Benayoun’s impact from the bench was negligible in comparison to his superb creative contribution when starting games?

And if Rafa saw the obvious disparity between Benayoun's starts and sub appearances, why did he persist in using him as a sub for so long?

Now sit back and watch the issue avoidance/denial/refusal to address my points in the comments ;-)


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181 Comments :

Jevon said...

Rafa knows WAY more than you. That is why he is the coach and youre a columnist.

sparky said...

There are a number of quotes that come to mind here but in the cause of brevity I shall limit it to simply "Show us your medals" Jaimie.

This really rather relentless criticism of Benitez interrupted by one perhaps two 'articles' that were almost complimentary really is tedious. You reject blind faith fandom yet resort to constant criticism and then when you are challenged come up with the intellectual genius of 'well if you don't like it don't read it'.

It's easy to criticise and even easier still to make statistics say what you want them to but don't let that discourage you from your 'blind hatred' Jaimie.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Jevon - repond to the points I raised.  If I'm so wrong, please explain why instead of making comments that add nothing.  Whether Rafa knows better than me is irrelevant - his comments about Yossi's impact as a sub are blatantly wrong?

Or do you disagree?

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Yet more avoiding the issues.  This is such a common tactic now - whenever I make valid points about Benitez that people know are correct but don't want to admit, the Benitez apologists put up their walls and turn the debate towards me and my style of writing/approach/insert complaint here.

How about actually addressing the points I've made?  If I'm so wrong, prove it.

sjrw said...

You really don't like or respect Rafa very much do you Jaimie.
Almost every one of your articles contains a heavy anti Benitez slant.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

And yes - if you don't like the site, don't read it!

I should point out that it is you who is refusing to enter the debate, not me.  I'm more than willing to discuss this issue.

Jevon said...

Im adding facts.
The fact is you know nothing of what goes on behind the scenes. In fact neither do I.
Another fact is that you base your ASSUMPTION on what you see on the TV.
Yet another is that nothing you do or say here will have any effect on Rafa, Yossi or any other player or staff at Anfield.

sigh...

makmanaman said...

Liverpool have the highest percentage in Europe of expatriate players within their squad, measuring 90%.slightly off topic but this is ridiculus.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Once again - avoiding the issues.  Stop focusing on false assumptions and just address the points I made.  if you can, that is!

If I was praising Benitez to high heaven then you'd no doubt have something to say.

This site is about analysing Liverpool FC and everything to do with it.  Benitez's commens about Benayoun and how he justifies leaving him on the bench so much are worthy of analysis because the comments are a bltanant attempt to cover up his poor judgment with the player.

Step down off your 'Rafa is God' soapboax for five seconds and try and see things clearly :-)

YNWA said...

Now i am more CONVINCED as I always thought that, THIS IS A MAN U SITE, DISGUISED AS A LIVERPOOL ONE.....eh?, correct me if i'm wrong......What did you say??....sorry don't believe you.....Oops.

YNWA

Jevon said...

Im also sick and tired of hearing this and that about Rafa's shortcomings....
The fact is he is more successful than Shankly...
The only other Red's manager that has a more successful record than Rafa is Bob Paisley.

Some more facts.....use it or dont.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Address the issues Jevon - you're still avoiding the points I made.

Your so-called 'facts' are not facts at all:

1. Yossi's sub-stats are nothing to do with what happens on TV!  if they are, please explain how.

2. What has what goes on behind the scenes got to do with Benitez's contention that Yossi is 'excellent' coming off the bench?

Stop avoiding the issues :-)

Jaimie Kanwar said...

FAO YNWA - I've deleted your 'manc in disguise comment'.  One more of those and I will ban you from commenting.  Cheers.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Jevon - this is not relevant.  Address the points I raised.  if you can't, just admit it.

There's no point giving me grief just because you don't like the VALID conclusions at which I arrived.

KBill76 said...

In fairness to Jaimie the stats tell a compelling story and I can only think it's the balance of the team that Rafa is looking for which has led to Yossi getting so few starts - he wouldn't be in my automatic first 11 against every team either but against some teams he can be excellent - and these stats suggest he's best used from the start. 

But the way you focus on deficiencies without tempering it with the positives understandably elicits people wanting to knock your point of view. 

I've asked you before - who signed Yossi and who has presided over the best form in his career? You might THINK that Yossi has succeeded despite Rafa but anyone that fails is, in  your opinion, Rafa's fault so a little balance please - he's not always right but he certainly isn't always in the wrong either and he brought your cherished Benayoun to the club in the first place - a great bit of bargain basement shopping for which you give zero credit.

Darius said...

Jamie has a point in my eyes. 

THE FACTS ARE THERE TO SEE.... SIMPLE. 

Good analysis... Well done. 

newbs said...

so from your figures do I take it that from 38 sub appearances Liverpool have lost 9 games therefore gaining points from 29 of these match's. which ok is not perfect but its never going to be, especially when he comes on it is usaully to change the team around to win a game. Also your figures dont, and rightfully cant show ho he has made an impact on the game such as runs to create space for other players to capatilise on the space that is created. resultant freekicks and corners that he wins which if a goal is scored from these your figures will not show. Stats make for good reading but can be used to show anything. There's more to a game of football than stats!

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Okay, I can see your view - Rafa does deserve some credit for buying Benayoun in the first place.  Whether he is responsible for his good form is open to debate, and I can see how people can think that rotation could be the reason he's performed so well.  I might not agree with that but I can certainly see how people might think that.

DRP said...

I think it is generally unwise to take literally anything that any football manager says in press conferences.

Referring to why YB hasn't been a regular starter, the competition for places in YBs position (ie. gerrard, kuyt, riera, babel) has been intense during the time YB has been at the club, meaning it has been difficult to shoe-horn him into the starting 11.

Following his very very succesful last 15-20 games for us , reading between the lines I would presume rafa is trying to "big up" bennyonion by suggesting that he is  improving from a squad player into an undroppable player. There's nothing wrong with that

sparky said...

again with the comments that anyone who disagrees with you thinks 'rafa is god' perhaps they just would like a bit of balance Jaimie, something which your incredible anti-Benitez stance always fails to provide.

You criticise others for blind faith yet you show blind hatred of Benitez and everything to do with him. If Benitez simultaneously found the cure for the common cold, eradicated poverty and won the double you would still say he's not up to the job because he only won 2 trophies out of 4.

You really need to get a sense of perspective as otherwise even more people will start to think you a bitter supporter of one of Liverpool's rivals.

aki said...

a well laid out argument, however since around jan or feb last year yossi has been a 1st team regular. So its not like when yossi has been playing well he hasnt been playing........when he first arrived he wasnt as clinical as he is now, so what i think that rafa has trained him up well and now the dude is ready to start games and not only start games but stamp his authority in games especially against the weaker sides.

On a personal note i do tend to disagree with what Jamie says however he does have a point when he says "Address the points I raised"


in this instance i would say that rafa isnt going to come out and say yossi has been $h!t coming from the bench so i decided to start playing him more.....he is trying to boost yossi imho, and by the way yossi has been playing i would say its working a treat

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Sparky - I was referring to one person with that comment. not everyone.

And blind hatred of Benitez?!  How exactly?  Are the points I not make valid?  Just because you don't agree with them doesn't make it 'hatred'.  There is no hatred at all in anything that I write; intense criticism is not hatred.

picnic said...

Very interesting analysis. Right now, It's hard to argue Benayoun should be out of the starting lineup.

The only thing I'd question here is how well the stats measure a player's contribution. I think it's difficult to judge what an assist is etc. A player can make a much bigger contribution by changing the pace of the game or increasing the number of times attacking players get the ball, and these would go unnoticed in stats.

I think Rafa frequently makes substitutions too late, and so some players get sub appearances with little opportunity to really change the game.

KB said...

Clearly the only response you are looking for is for someone to say you are correct. Based on your stats and on the basis no one can be bothered to go and check them as they probably have better things to do your hypothesis looks to be correct.

Statistically your hypothesis is likely to be true but you cannot say that 100% for certain its is true. There maybe a number of other factors that need to be checked mathmatically to see what correlates with performance.

Lets ignore the stats and think about things like man management, motivation, creating winning teams and a winning mentality, dealing with the media.

Have you considered that Rafa, clever as he is, may not be able to remember the sub vs non sub player impacts for every player in his squad? Maybe he was under pressure when being interviewed but back in the office has every stat under his finger tips. 

Maybe Rafa is using Psychology to keep Yossi and other players in the squad on their toes? Maybe he says things to motivate players and the team that aren't statistically correct but get the desired results because he knows what makes them tick having worked with them day in day out?

Maybe it was a prod to Babel to say look, if you work hard and change games coming on as a sub you may get in the team like Yossi has.

Could it be that there are more variables at play when a player comes on as a sub than you have captured in your data? For example does Yossi create more space, change the balance of the team, add more skill to offensive play, keep position better etc etc etc.

I could go on and on. Ultimately does Rafa pick the best side for each opposition? The point earlier about being our 2nd most successful manage ever suggests he does a pretty good job, as frustrating as it may be at times. 

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Good point about Rafa bigging Benayoun up. Yes, he's not going to say he's been crap from the bench...but I personally don't think that's the reason he said what he did.  More like covering himself - people believe what they hear, and if Rafa says 'Yossi was excellent from the bench', unthinking fans who never question anything will accept it, perpetuate it, and then it will become fact; then voila!  Rafa is suddenly right for leaving him on the bench so much.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

No KB - I am not looking for people to say I am correct; I am posing questions for debate, and since most people seem to agree with Rafa's stance on Benayoun, I am trying to make people justify their views in light of a blatantly contradictory statement.

gio argy said...

well as you see Jaimie you have to admit that Rafa is a good politician, 'cause there's no other way that so many fans follow blindly Benitez as a 'god' and as you know politicians are so good on lies, trying to cover their mitakes. Keep up the good work Jaimie, i like to see that people still use their brains ;)

Guest said...

I agree that Rafa's team selection can sometimes be baffling and would like to see Yossi involved more after his good form last season, but these stats don't really paint a true picture. You can manipulate stats to suit any arguement, but the fact is that just because he didn't score or wasn't the last person to pass the ball to the goalscorer in these matches doesn't mean he had a major contribution to the game, or played well.

I'm sure Rafa has a much better way of judging a player's contribution to a game than looking at a sheet of paper with a column for assists and a column for goalscorers......

PX54 said...

In 56% of games where YB has come on as a sub Liverpool have gone on to win (as you stated yourself). Some facts i would like to know
1. How many of them where Liverpool behind?
2. Which other player has a record like that?
YB is a good impact player, bringing him on as a sub changes the whole movement of the team without changing positions and it can confuse the opponants. Just because he himself hasn't scored or assited doesn't mean that he hasn't made an impact, if other players can't find the net as a result of his playmaking it's not totally his fault.

Although i do agree YB is a definate starter for most games, but he clearly provides something different to the team when coming off the bench if only Rafa could get it out of his head that he can use a sub before the 60 minute mark

gio argy said...

does really anyone can make a dialogue in this site? yes you're wrong , oh no you're right! please think think think!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Guest said...

gotta agree with this 'perhaps they just would like a bit of balance Jaimie, something which your incredible anti-Benitez stance always fails to provide'
and i think you 'accidentally' avoiding the point there, did you?

So the thing is you view a person's value and impact from a goal/assist rate? I remember when Hamann came in for our Istanbul Final and he made the very big difference in us overturning the result. He did not score nor assist but he was the core to our possession football. Benayoun did not score much but did you have the statistics to his number of key passes made to open up defences? Successful dribbles, crosses that keeps adding pressure to the opponents way of defending which they would then need to mark benayoun tighter, leaving torres and gerrard with more space? did you take these into consideration? or are you just pretending to see things from a typical fan point of view? if that so, that explains. =)

Clazsic.

KB said...

<span style="">
<table class="js-singleCommentBodyT" style="font-family: Verdana, Helvetica; text-align: left; font-size: 8pt; color: #404040; padding: 0px; margin: 0px;" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="100%">
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<td style="padding-bottom: 8px;" colspan="2">
<div class="js-singleCommentText" style="padding-top: 4px;">'Good point about Rafa bigging Benayoun up. Yes, he's not going to say he's been crap from the bench...but I personally don't think that's the reason he said what he did.  More like covering himself - people believe what they hear, and if Rafa says 'Yossi was excellent from the bench', unthinking fans who never question anything will accept it, perpetuate it, and then it will become fact; then voila!  Rafa is suddenly right for leaving him on the bench so much.'</div>
<div class="js-singleCommentText" style="padding-top: 4px;">
</div>
<div class="js-singleCommentText" style="padding-top: 4px;">Interesting point. Lets say its true, Rafa is covering himself for making a mistake. Do we want him to go onto match of the day and say, you know what I made a mistake and actually should have been playing Yossi from the start for months now, its all because I didn't look at my stats correctly.</div>
<div class="js-singleCommentText" style="padding-top: 4px;">Probably not a good idea. </div>
<div class="js-singleCommentText" style="padding-top: 4px;">
</div>
<div class="js-singleCommentText" style="padding-top: 4px;">A real leader may well admit his mistakes and learn from them, but I'm not sure going out unprompted with that statement does anyone any good. Thats a conversation for in private with Yossi.</div>
<div class="js-singleCommentText" style="padding-top: 4px;">
</div>
<div class="js-singleCommentText" style="padding-top: 4px;">There is also a good argument that at the end of the day he is in charge. He makes the decisions and lives and dies by them. He may well take the stance that he is the boss and no good comes of every player questioning his decisions. He has a management team, if he is smart he will listen to the views of a couple of his senior players to take their opinions into the mix but ultimately he is trying to build faith in himself and his tactics with the team and he is the one in charge. I don't see that as covering himself, thats doing his job.</div>
</td>
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KB said...

<span style="">'Good point about Rafa bigging Benayoun up. Yes, he's not going to say he's been crap from the bench...but I personally don't think that's the reason he said what he did.  More like covering himself - people believe what they hear, and if Rafa says 'Yossi was excellent from the bench', unthinking fans who never question anything will accept it, perpetuate it, and then it will become fact; then voila!  Rafa is suddenly right for leaving him on the bench so much.</span>

<span style="">
Interesting point. Lets say its true, Rafa is covering himself for making a mistake. Do we want him to go onto match of the day and say, you know what I made a mistake and actually should have been playing Yossi from the start for months now, its all because I didn't look at my stats correctly.</span>
<span style="">Probably not a good idea. </span>
<span style="">  

A real leader may well admit his mistakes and learn from them, but I'm not sure going out unprompted with that statement does anyone any good. Thats a conversation for in private with Yossi.
</span>

<span style="">There is also a good argument that at the end of the day he is in charge. He makes the decisions and lives and dies by them. He may well take the stance that he is the boss and no good comes of every player questioning his decisions. He has a management team, if he is smart he will listen to the views of a couple of his senior players to take their opinions into the mix but ultimately he is trying to build faith in himself and his tactics with the team and he is the one in charge. I don't see that as covering himself, thats doing his job.

</span>

Jaimie Kanwar said...

In 56% of games, Yossi has come on and Liverpool have won the game BUT, in many cases, the team was already winning.  It is not true to say that Liverpool WENT ON TO WIN as a result of Benny coming on.  There are very few instances when the team actually went on to win after Benayoun came on.  I looked at this when I was compiling the stats but didn't record them as it would've taken too much time.  i will do at some point though.

I have to disagree that he Benny is a 'good impact player'.  it's okay to have that view but unless you can provide examples of HOW he is a good impact player, it is surely baseless?

I have provided concrete examples of how he is NOT a good impact player.

Agree with you about the timing of Rafa's substituions though.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

You view a person's value and impact from a goal/assist rate?

No - I view an ATTACKING PLAYER's value and impact principally from goals and assists.  Hamann is not an attacking player, therefore his effectiveness would be judged differently.

An attacking player's principal purpose is to score and create goals, is it not?

Thus, the best way to judge an attacking player's effectiveness is to judge how well they score and create goals!

I guess I'm wrong about that too, eh?

I've only ever used goal/assist stats when analysing attacking players. (Gerrard/Torres/Kuyt/Benayoun/Crouch/Babel, to name a few examples).

Torres9 said...

DRP says it all. It was exactly what I was going to say. Rafa wasn't trying to fully justify why he has been on the bench. It was just a small comment Jamie, no need to round on Rafa because of this. I think Rafa's main point was that although Yossi was a good squad member before (he's hardly going to say he was a useless sub with no impact as shown in your detailed analysis), he is now he is integral to the team. Basically setting an example to cry Babel.

I think that Jamie you need to chill out on this one and don't over analyse everything that Rafa says, it's a bit obsessive.

My main thing about Rafa is hopefully he realises that the mosts effective way to use the players is Stevie and Masch in the MF with Yossi, Riera, kuyt and Torres in attack. We seemed much more purposeful and balanced. I would rather sacrifice Lucas over the other 4. Oh but what about Stevie and Nando's partnerhsip? Well Stevie plays just as well in MF as he does SS. It just means that Kuyt or Yossi will score the goals instead. Hopefully Nando doesn't suffer for it as he relies on Stevie more than Stevie relies on Nando. But as long as we're winning, who cares who scores the goals. If at the end of the season Nando scores 20, Stevie 10, but Yossi gets 12, Riera 8 and Kuyt 15 and we win the title, who cares! It's all about what is right for the team.

Torres9 said...

And I also get annoyed about him waiting until 60 min to change things. Sometimes games need to be changed at halftime. He did it in Istanbul and it worked a treat, just seems reluctant to do it nowadays.

Also, 4-0 up on Saturday who else was calling for Spearing! "All we are saying, is give Spearing a chance"

KB said...

Wow this is so much fun I will have another go.

<span style="">I have to admit, Rafa’s blatantly incorrect assessment of the Benayoun situation concerns me. </span>

So options here were, 1. say he is rubbish of the bench, 2. Say he makes no real impact of the bench, 3. Say he is great off the bench, 4. never mention yossi and benches in case you say something wrong. I would pick option 3 for motivational reasons for both Yossi and the squad.

<span style="">Does he really believe what he said is true? If so, how does he gauge showing ‘value’ and being ‘excellent’ from the bench? </span>

<span style="">Its likely he does believe what he says is true. Rafa will be thinking about goals and assists and ideally these would be better stats than they are. But we know he is a tactician and will be looking at passing, tempo, formations, possession, pressure, the weaknesses and abilities plus all of the above of the oppostion.

Surely goals, assists and/or helping to win matches are the main things Rafa should be considering? </span>

Agreed these are important measures. plus my list above which are more difficult to measure from a stats basis.

<span style="">However, if that was the case, surely he would have seen that Benayoun’s impact from the bench was negligible in comparison to his superb creative contribution when starting games?</span>

<span style="">So we need to compare his options.</span>

<span style="">1. Kuyt - hard work and decent goal threat</span>
<span style="">2. Riera - more classical wing play for crosses</span>
<span style="">3. Babel - hmmm, probably should be upfront.
</span>

Then with the options available we factor in form, opposition, formations, player injuries and fatigue, tactics, who else is playing in the team etc etc. I.e more than just goals and assits.
<span style="">
And if Rafa saw the obvious disparity between Benayoun's starts and sub appearances, why did he persist in using him as a sub for so long?</span>

Could be for all of the reasons above, could be for how he was training, the need to rotate, the form of other players, the need to ensure that other players in the squad get a required amount of game time. 

It does appear he is now giving him more starts and one of the big improvements last year was the increased stability of the starting 11. I don't believe rotation is a major problem, more the fact that our depth of squad isn't good enough to rotate as much as Chelsea or Man Utd.

roadender said...

maybe Rafa is reminding Benny that bench duties are still a possibility, if he feels that others may be a better option in European games, for instance

Kaleem said...

Can you ever write something positive for a change. It seems you have an anti-Rafa agenda. I will never read a story from you site again unless it has a positive aspect to it. Enough of negativity for now.

Gary said...

I understand your whole crictical realism thing, but why is this article even necessary?

Benayoun has just scored a hat trick and Rafa wanted to say some nice things about him. Only this year he has shown the sort of form which would make him a regular first team player, before that he was used sparingly as a sub. Is Rafa supposed to say Yossi had been rubbish coming of the bench/he did nothing etc etc. Wouldn't you say that would destroy his confidence as you believe Rafa has done to Babel??

You also lay out the stats, stating that in half the games we did not win. There's another way of looking at it, in 29 games out of the 38 we did not lose. You can put a spin on any stat to back up your point.

We've just won a game 4-0, Yossi has scored a hat trick and in a slightly roundabout way Rafa is congratulating him for improving from a squad player who did a job to someone who is now pivotal to the team. AND YOU STILL FIND SOMETHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT!

Before you retort by saying that I'm avoiding the issues/in denial etc, I will say that yes I have avoided the issue because there IS NO ISSUE. We won, we played well, Yossi was brilliant, so why would i want to dig up old stats about him not performing as a sub, and why this is a fault with Rafa. There's absolutely no need to do so. I just look forward to the next game, and hope that Yossi does it again against a former team.

jamie kandahar said...

Nothing worse than an out of towner with too much mouth. Go and talk about formula one or something. You are not one of and never will be and you are delibaerately alating Rafa and anybody else you can to try to get your site noticed.

We have enough detractors in the media. As far as Rafas comment on Benayoun goes who cares if he is right or wrong. He will play him if he sees fit and we will support him, as that is what we do.

KB said...

Agree with the give spearing a chance comment. It was disappointing not to have a couple of youngsters on the bench to bring on in case we had a comfortable game against Burnley.

Spearing, Kelly and Darby all need game time now to progress. They are all now 20 -21 and have loads of reserve games under the belts. The quality of play in the reserves is not enough to get them ready for the first team, its done its job in terms of tactical awareness and physical prep but they need the next step. 

This is either sub time in the first team, ideally at home in comfortable situations or loan to PL teams, not championship or below. Due to Champions league rules around home grown players it is hard to send them on loan so only other option is more sub appearances. 

In an ideal world all 3 need top go an have a season in the PL on loan at Bolton, Stoke, or the 3 new teams to get some real experience. May well be we should take the risk and fill the Champions league squad with even younger reserves to meet the rules. Yes this may be risky but what is the likely hood we would really use them?

Evros said...

<span>Jaimie Kanwar, if you'd watched the games where Yossi came on you'd agree 100% with Rafa. Numbers don't lie, but they don't tell the whole story either.</span>

jamie kandahar said...

excuse the typos...should read You are not and never will be one of us and slating instead of alating.

I thank you.

Guest said...

jaimie kanwar invites under priviledged kids around a xmas time to make himself feel cool

Evros said...

Oh, and he's been used as a sub because, as Rafa explained, he came on with his speed when the opposing teams got tired.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Evros - I have watched every game.  I haven't missed a game in years.  I watch games on TV and I go to games too.  I just don't boast about it as I have no need to justify myself or join the 'I go to Anfield so I'm cool' pi$$ing contest that goes on so much.

Since you seem to imply that you've watched every game, please explain how you think Yossi has been a good impact player.

I'll make it easy for you - please provide three examples - just three - of specific incidents where Yossi had a positive impact as a sub (not including his 2 goals/1 assist which I've already highlighted.

Gary said...

You're very quick to blame Rafa if a player doesn't play well, so why not the other way round. Why is it open to debate whether Rafa is responsible for Yossi's current form?

Guest said...

Think you need to go & check Yossi' goal stats sunshine. How many hatricks has he scored? Beats your count on that alone.

PX54 said...

You provide examples, because you do research...i don't have the time, i have more things to do in life than go around each day critisising or praising what rafa does or says. Yossi IS a good impact player, by saying he's not is basically saying he's no good. Whether he starts or comes on as a sub he makes an impact by the mere fact of him being there, just like any player does.
I never said Liverpool went on to win AS A RESULT of Yossi coming on, I simply said in matches Yossi has come on Liverpool have gone on to win the game (wheather they were already winning or not), e.g. there's no proof that had he not come on Liverpool would have then not gone on to lose the game.
Off the top of my head a good example of Yossi's impact off the bench was the match against Spurs. He provided us with something different that neither Riera or Babel could deliver, and he looked like the only player on the pitch that could have got us a point. Unfortunatly he was probably left with too little time for his introduction to have influenced the rest of the team to get their act together.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Please elaborate - what exactly are you saying?

rossi said...

What a load of crap, i remember games, through watching them and not the stats he gained from them where he made the difference can you not see maybe he made a pass to gerrard which then goes to torres to score a goal as contribution obviously no assist from that it would be gerrards. To the person who was talking about  didi hamann being defensive so his contribution is different and then going onto say attacking players should get rated on goals/assists, almost right, yes hamann should get rated differently because like in 05 champs final he came on, protected the back 3 and allowed the attacking players to push further forward to get the goals back.

Please work out stats for alonso, i bet he didn't get many assists or goals last season but we all know he dictated the tempo got the ball to gerrard and torres et al, are we saying he wasn't effective from the start, i bet alonso didn't have many more than 6 direct assists last season, still was class, i can see reaction though now, hes a deep lying midfielder, doesn't matter benayoun did make a diff coming from the bench now hes doing it from the start good on him, and stupid article can't believe your questioning benitez, i suggest you watch games not stats on bbc sport or wherever you get them from.

ynwa

rossi said...

Jamie find out alonso's goal/assists from last saeson, there will be your answer about contribution according to stats, because when you do if you start saying alonso wasn't important to our teams pattern of play then you truly know nothing to be blunt

rossi said...

i remember games, through watching them and not the stats he gained from them where he made the difference can you not see maybe he made a pass to gerrard which then goes to torres to score a goal as contribution obviously no assist from that it would be gerrards. To the person who was talking about  didi hamann being defensive so his contribution is different and then going onto say attacking players should get rated on goals/assists, almost right, yes hamann should get rated differently because like in 05 champs final he came on, protected the back 3 and allowed the attacking players to push further forward to get the goals back.  
 
Please work out stats for alonso, i bet he didn't get many assists or goals last season but we all know he dictated the tempo got the ball to gerrard and torres et al, are we saying he wasn't effective from the start, i bet alonso didn't have many more than 6 direct assists last season, still was class, i can see reaction though now, hes a deep lying midfielder, doesn't matter benayoun did make a diff coming from the bench now hes doing it from the start good on him.

ynwa

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Stop misunderstanding my point - I only use goals/assists stats when assessing purely ATTACKING players.  Players I've used these stats for:

Gerrard
Torres
benayoun
keane
Crouch
Babel

What do these players have in common?  Their principlal job is to create and score goals.  Alonso's principal job was different, thus he is assesed differently.

kazza said...

Jaimie, I think you have a number of good points here but using stats does not always paint a true picture.  Firstly you have to remember that Rafa does not tend to make substituitions until the 65-70th minute giving players only 20-25 minutes to make an impact and I am sure that on some occasions he has had less time to effect a game

Making an impact in 50% is not that bad considering the above.  Also I bet if you were to use the same statistics on Babel he could be viewed as more effective.

Also how many of the games where yossi was introduced were we losing and went on to lose,  or how many were we losing that we went on to draw or conversely how many were we drawing/winning that we went on to lose/draw.  I think that these stats would have more significance in relation to how much time he was on the pitch.

Also what about the games he played in a build up but not necessarily provide the final assist.  Stats can be used to prove almost anything.  I believe a few seasons ago we had more chance (statsically) to win a game without gerrard in the team, hmmmmmmm.

I do not, however, deny that Yossi initially used to infuriate me but at the same time I also hold my hands up and agree that he was one of our best players the second half of last year.  Maybe we should credit Rafa's management of Yossi in bringing out the best of him, finally.

Please note that I am definitely not of the "In Rafa we Trust" light brigade and have not been happy with some of the players he purchased (too big a list to mention) or sold or managed them (Keane/babel).  At the same time how any managers would show them door as quickly and ruthlessly as he does.

Guest said...

Actually Rafa is a poor manager. He's got good players but he doesn't know how to maximize their value. Jaimie is ABSOLUTELY right. Rafa keeps chucking away so many good players (Keane, Crouch, Bellamy etc) - players who probably can't stand him or his silly methods. Benayoun is outstanding - he has very good game intelligence. The game always perks up when he is around. If he doesn't have enough time (ie coming on as a sub and playing for a short time only), then he can't contribute much. It's that simple.  

chansters said...

lol surely there is more for u to do than go ard nitpicking on everything a coach says. Rafa's trying to give credit to benayoun. Nothing wrong with that. Go nitpick on those coaches who blatantly lie thru their teeth. (think mourinho, ferguson and wenger). Rafa is always pillored by the media for being too honest. He certainly doesnt need it from Liverpool supporters who nitpick on inane stuff.

KB said...

Your argument is that the best attacking players are ones who score and create goals. No one disagrees with this. What they have done is pointed out the many other factors both on and off the pitch that need to be taken into account when analyising the worth and impact of player.

<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; ">These points all help to mitigate your extreme view on rafa based on one factor and put your point into a fuller perspective.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

This is not nit-picking - the wider point I'm trying to make is over the last two years, Benitez has fatally underused Benayoun.  Now he's trying to cover this up by engaging in a bit of revisionist history.  You may not agree, but for me this is worthy of debate.

KB said...

hmmm a lot of well respected managers seem to put Hesky in their team, a striker who scores no goals because they value his all round play. Like Rafa values Yossi's allround play.

Guest said...

Then what are player ratings for? A attacking player could have a 8.0-9.0 rating in a game out of 10.0 but has no assist nor goals scored. Like I said, this depends on the player's contribution in attacking, hold up play, through balls to open up defences, off the ball, and running in to open up space for fellow attacking players. Moreover, an example here, benayoun could be the one opening up a defence with a through pass to gerrard, while gerrard feed torres with only a ball to tap into an empty net, but that doesnt include benayoun in the 'assist', yet he was the key figure in the attacking build up play.
Thus, you are wrong if you view an attacking player's effectiveness only through the goal/assist rate. Can i ask something irrelevant? Have you ever admit that you are EVER. Otherwise, this might get ridiculous.

Clazsic.

Guest said...

Then what are player ratings for? A attacking player could have a 8.0-9.0 rating in a game out of 10.0 but has no assist nor goals scored. Like I said, this depends on the player's contribution in attacking, hold up play, through balls to open up defences, off the ball, and running in to open up space for fellow attacking players. Moreover, an example here, benayoun could be the one opening up a defence with a through pass to gerrard, while gerrard feeds torres with only a ball to tap into an empty net, but that doesnt include benayoun in the 'assist', yet he was the key figure in the attacking build up play. 
Thus, you are wrong if you view an attacking player's effectiveness only through the goal/assist rate. Can i ask something irrelevant? Have you ever admit that you are EVER wrong? Otherwise, this might get ridiculous. 
 
Clazsic.

KB said...

Hilarious argument Jamie - now you have pointed out that it must be a Rafa cover up, everyone on here is now going to hate rafa. The only thing we can do now is never forgive him for not using Yossi from the start more often. This cover up cannot be left unexposed. We need to get Rafa sacked because of it. He must have known you would look at your stats and find him out, he tried to put you off the scent with his story but he knew that you would find him out. 

He tried to pretend he was a master tactician, a leader, some one who had worked in football all his life, a good judge of form, someone who new who to change a game, knew how to analyise the opposition.

All along this was a fraud, your goal and assist stats on one player being used as a sub have uncovered it! 

You have found the answer, he is deliberately trying to lose! He wanted to make the team worse by using Yossi as a sub. There's no way it was an oversight. He isn't allowed to make a mistake, It must be because he wanted to lose. 

LMAO

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Gee, don't exaggerate or anything ;-)

What am I thinking? Football managers always tell the truth; they never twist things or try and manipulate the media/fans with their public announcements.  All managers are paragons of virtue and honesty. Indeed, history proves that the likes of Ferguson, Wenger, Benitez and Mourinho *always* tell the truth in public.

I stand corrected.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Gee, don't exaggerate or anything <img src="../extra/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-wink.gif" title="Wink" border="0" alt="Wink"/> 
 
But you're right - What am I thinking? Football managers always tell the truth; they never twist things or try and manipulate the media/fans with their public announcements.  All managers are paragons of virtue and honesty. Indeed, history proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the likes of Ferguson, Wenger, Benitez and Mourinho *always* tell the truth in public. 
 
I stand corrected.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Gee, don't exaggerate or anything 8-)

But you're right - What am I thinking? Football managers always tell the truth; they never twist things or try and manipulate the media/fans with their public announcements.  All managers are paragons of virtue and honesty. Indeed, history proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the likes of Ferguson, Wenger, Benitez and Mourinho *always* tell the truth in public.  
  
I stand corrected.

KB said...

Its called a debate, just liked you asked for. Puts things into perspective doesn't it? Personally I want a manager to stick up for my club, someone has to do it. The media are quick to knock someone down because its easy (as you know). Its much harder to write something good. 

For some reason we have society that likes to read about how things are bad, it was you who went for the quick win journalistic words of cover up to over exaggerate. I just then took the word cover up to its natural conclusion.

I struggle with your conclusion that because of the stats you have found on Yossi, Rafa must be lying to manipulate the media to make himself look good. Isn't it much more lilkely he was simply trying to motivate Yossi and Babel? Why look for the worse possible explanation first and assume that it must be the case?

KB said...

Excellent point, the goals and assist numbers need to be shown as a % of time on the pitch for when he is a sub and a starter to make a more accurate comparison. Then all the other factors mentioned by everyone else factored in.  

KB said...

He is an example...

Journalist takes some easy stats and makes a point.

Plenty of rational explanations are given as to why he isn't wrong but it isn't that simple and we need to look at the bigger picture.

Journalist refuses to listen to opinions and sticks to his unarguable point that scoring goals and assists is good because everyone will agree.

Why? Because he wants to look good and stick to his opinions.

What's wrong with Rafa doing the same, if he thinks its best then thats what he should do. The alternatives is he is trying to not do his best and I don't see anyone stating they think that is the case.

Big Bob said...

Wow Jamie, just read this thread as a new comer and looks like your argument has been blown out of the water. LOL

Gary Mckeever said...

Wow you really are quite rude in the way you reply to people. 

Charles said...

Perfect comment Gary!  It seems almost everyone could tell there was something wrong with Jaimie's article, but you managed to sift out the crap, address his comments, and write exactly the right thing.  Funny how Jaimie seems to reply more often to people who don't address his argument (which he supposedly doesn't like), but when someone makes a point he can't refute he is quite silent. 

Big Bob said...

Jamie, I also really enjoy the way you ignore all of the good points raised that balance your argument.

Is it that sort of stubbornness that you didn't like in Rafa for not playing Yossi more?

Are you involved in a cover up?

Charles said...

Jaimie, here is an argument just as valid as yours.  And as you seem to love statistics, I'll put it in those terms:  It seems over 90% of people commenting on your article believe that you are wrong for a myriad of reasons, the most common one (which also directly addresses your argument) is that your usage of data to prove that a player is ineffective is incomplete and doesn't paint an accurate picture.  So, since things are always so black and white to you, this can only mean that either you are almost certainly the author of (at least one) misguided article, or 90% of your readers are stupid.  Comments?

KB said...

LOL what nonsense. All fans follow Benitez like a god give people credit! Anyone with half a brain knows that we will always have opinions on what he does, good and bad but that at the end of the day giving him support is our job.

Liverpool fans aren't stupid, they know that Rafa has the full picture as to what is going on in the club, what motivates players, their fitness, how they train, etc etc etc They no he may not always be right, he is human, he will make mistakes but on the whole we look at the big picture and that we don't have all the info to judge him on. 

To suggest Liverpool fans blindly follow him and are manipulated by him is an insult to every decent Liverpool fan. 

KB said...

I bet he will think we are all stupid. 

KB said...

Ooooh it all goes quiet.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

I do not ignore anything. I have a job too - I can't just spend all day replying. When I have more time later I will reply to other comments.
Sent using BlackBerry� from Orange

KB said...

He clearly believes Liverpool fans are stupid. Lets get on with the job of supporting the best team in the world. We have a great manager, lets back him and the team. Thats what makes Liverpool so great, the common decency to support people and aim for the best. 

If someone in the club decides he isn't the best manager we will support the new one just the same. Thats what we do.

Charles said...

KB, I gotta tell you a funny story . . . Around a week ago I was reading an article posted by Jaimie on this website, and at the end I found myself thinking "Wow, he actually wrote something that made sense for once!"  But then I scrolled down to the comments to congratulate him on his first successful article, only to find someone else had beat me to it.  And you know what Jaimie wrote as a reply????  "Erm . . um . . .  well it turns out that I copy and pasted this article from someone else . . . but . . erm. . . I'll pass along the compliment."  AAAAhhhahahahahahahaahaha.  Poor Jaimie.  At least he showed a bit of honesty!

Guest said...

<p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 0pt;"><span style="">I think your facts for last season are wrong. Straight of the top of my head I can remember Yossi coming of the bench against Chelsea and setting up El Nino for the first of his two goals</span>

KB said...

Nice one Charles. 

KB said...

Off topic I know but isn't it nice to see we have some real business brains at the club in Purslow. Jamie thats an article I would like to see from you, something positive that looks good for the future.

I understand he is a Harvard Grad and is clearly doing the business for us. Something long overdue when we compare ourselves vs the Mancs.

Charles said...

Indeed.  And some of his recent comments about the importance of the on field product to our business prospects seems to imply that he understands the boardroom's role in a club.

Garvin Nurse said...

I'll jump in the fray here and just mention this to Mr. Kanwar who, with the way he throws stats around, would have us believe he is a master statistician. There is a reason for the certain truisms like "the eyes don't lie" and "you have to watch the game to get a true picture". Fact of the matter is that Benayouns form had been spotty up until the latter half of last season. This notion where Benayoun has been uinder utilised for 2 seasons now is ludicrous. Benayouns really upped his game and as a result saw INCREASED playing time in the run-in last season. And this season he has continued to perform at the high level. The question becomes how do you handle players to ensure you get the best out of them.

Have you, Mr. Kanwar, been areound Benmayoun day to day to understand what makes him tick as a footballer? Do you know whether he needs a benching every now and then to keep him focused? Do u know how he was performing in training when he was just signed as opposed to now? I doubt u have an insight into all these things are a part of team selection (not the whole story but a part). U use statistics alot and anyone worth their salt knows that u could tailor statistics to prove the point u want. They are a handy tool yes but can very rarely used as the main basis to prove a point, especially in sports where there are so many intangibles that cannot be measured or quantified. Using your thought process managers would only thumb thru sheets of info to decide who to sign and who to sell. To hell with training, practice matches etc.

Also, bad signing or player not performing Rafa gets most if not all of the blame. Signing turning good, playing well gets MOST if not ALL of the CREDIT. Can't have it both ways Mr. Kanwar. Fairness maybe tough for you with your anti-Benitez slant but u could at least make the effort.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Charles - for blatantly lying and trying trying to make out that I actually pasted someone else's article onto the site (!) you are now banned. 

There are other writers on this site too - in this instance, I posted an article from Chris Severs, one of the site's aforementioned writers.  This one, in fact:

http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2009/08/confidence-arrogance-and-rafa-benitez.html

The first person who replied to the thread failed to see the 'By Chris Severs' accreditation at the bottom of the article, and wrote something along the lines of 'first time you've ever written a decent article blah blah blah'. 

I responded as follows:

Sorry to disappoint you, but I did not write this; the credit belongs to Chris Severs, another one of our writers.  And I agree, it is an excellent article. 
  
I'll just continue to write unintelligent, uninsightful articles


URL for the comment: http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2009/08/confidence-arrogance-and-rafa-benitez.html#jsid-1251230900-398

So, as you can see, very far from the dishonest nonsense you posted above.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Another of the site's writers has written an article about Purslow, which I will publish tomorrow.

Guest said...

One example is the first game this season at Tottenham.  As soon as Benayoun came in, the whole game changed.  He created opportunities.  The penalty that should have been given happened because of Benayoun's genius pass.  Your statistics will not show this because they didn't score, but his contribution was obvious.  I will let others come up with more examples, but I agree that Benayoun is extremely valuable both as a sub and when he starts.

Bobby K said...

And your point is?

Guest said...

Overexagerating a bit don't you think?

Guest said...

I'm surprised that no one has pointed out to Jaimie that Yosi plays in the same positions as Kuyt, Riera and Gerrard. Before his recent run of good form, could you honestly see Yosi replacing Kuyt in the RM position which he has made his own? Can you see him replacing SG in the second striker position? Not unless either of these players are injured or being rotated. As for LM Riera is a more traditional winger who keeps the width of the team. Yosi likes to come inside, so perhaps Rafa has not given him much of a run there because of this tendency to cut inside. And considering that most teams we play stack the defence and midfield then perhaps Riera was a better option at the time.

Yosi has come on since the turn of the year and has given us another option. Credit him for the good work and stop nit-picking and disecting every thing that Rafa says. Oh, by the way...English is Rafa's second language and perhaps it should be noted that perhaps he cannot make his point as well in English as a native English speaker can.

matt said...

so coming off the bench he is 50% effective, so compared with other players coming of the bench he must be more effective than they are, which when putting rafa's statement seems reasonable

rossi said...

'I'll just continue to write unintelligent, uninsightful articles'

you take things a bit personally like a girl

Simon said...

So the fact we can watch a decent footballer on the pitch is meaningless as he only has two assists or we only win 50% of games with him?  Sometimes what matters is having the player there who can potentially change games - sure it doesn't always work but thats football.

You can chuck out all the stats you want to try to appear controversial and you can make stats say what you want.

And you know sometimes Rafa plays a little bit with the press in what he says, and sometimes he gives nothing away - something you can't really factor in to statistics.

But in general, a poor show when you start picking on a manager for praising a player.  I'm sure that master tactician and signer of only English players Martin O'Neill would do a whole lot better with his track record in european competition!

Guest said...

What happened to Charles' comments from earlier this morning?  I suppose Jaimie didn't like them because they made him look silly?

kk said...

jamie, rafa has his method of bringing players through. the more confidence they get, the more opportunities he gives them IF they take it. like babel for example, he has had his opportunities to come off the bench on countless occasions and has NOT had any impact on the team performance. yossi has proved he can be trusted and can change games. by throwing a player in the deep end I think it can destroy them if they fail to make an immediate impact. rafa knows who can and cant perform instantly in a new team, mayb he does know wat he is talkin about

Jaimie Kanwar said...

You' like so many others, have missed the point.

1. We don't win 50% of gams with Yossi on as a sub.  In many cases, were were already winning when he came on.  The point is this: what specific, measurable impact has he had as as a sub?  The answer is in the article: 39 sub appearances and only 3 goals scored/created.

If you are gloing to argue that someone is an impact sub, then you better be able to prove that the person IS an impact sub!  Just because Rafa says it doesn't make it so.

2. Seeing is not believing.  Human perception is flawed; this is beyond question.  To suggest that everything in football begins and ends with how individuals perceive the game is ridiculous.  if that was the case, we would;t need statistics; we'd just rely on second and third hand accounts.

Statistics are necessary to bring factual clarity to the bias of human interpretation.  You may not like it, but the stats I provide are the stats that will be relied upon in 50 years when people look back and question how successful X, Y and Z were when they played for Liverpool.

3. I am not picking on a manager for praising a player.  I am questioning how Benitez has used Benayoun.  In earlier articles, I have argued that he spends too much time on the bench and needs to start more.  The fact Rafa has (until recently) continued to use Benayoun as a sub is mystifying to me considering his impact from starts. 

this article should be considered as part of a series on Benayoun.  in that context, there is a bigger picture, and Rafa's comments are just part of that bigger picture.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

No - he is not 50% effective.  Benayound has only managed 3 specific and measurable contributions in 38 sub appearances.  If you believe he has been effective in the games Liverpool won with him as a sub, provide examples; don't just make unfounded assertions 8-)

Jim said...

This guy is a manure fan.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Garvin - stuff like 'the eyes don't lie' is nonsense.  Human perception is extremely flawed, which is why there is a need to bring a factual basis to life in the form of statistics.

History is made up of statistics; this is how we make sense of the world.  To dismiss them totally in favour of eyewitness accounts is the ludicrous thing here.

I am not suggesting that statistics are the be all and end all; they work in tandem with personal perception, and with both combined we can get a true picture of a given event.

You and so many others are just dismissing the statistics I've offered for no good reason at all.  We are talking about ATTACKING PLAYERS here.  What is the principal way attacking players are judged? it is not how many 'almost' assists they made or how many hollywood passes they completed; it is cold hard facts:

Goals scored or created.

Argue against this all you like by this is the main thing by which attacking players are judged.

All the things you raise about what makes benayoun tick and how he performs in training are irrelevant.  What matters is how he performs when he is ON THE PITCH.

And when he is on the pitch, there is a definite disparity between his specific, measurable creative impact as a sub and as a starter.

This cannot be ignored.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Gosh, I've never heard that before!  Top marks for originality :-)

Distinctly better than kanwar said...

I'm so bored of this site now. Sod off back to old trafford kanwar....

Jaimie Kanwar said...

I didn't say he lying; I suggested that he was indluging in a bit of revisionist history.  Rafa, like every human being, is not perfect.  He makes mistakes, and it is human nature to, wherever possible, cover your mistakes, or at least try and rationalise/explain them.

In this case, people are starting to see that Benayoun is an integral part of Liverpool's current sucessful style of play.  if this continues, people will eventually start to question why he was wasted for so long on the bench.  I already have been questioning this and have been for ages.

benitez is just doing what any manager would do - covering his tracks.  He will never admit that he handled Benayound wrong.  What he will do - like most politicians - is keep saying something until it becomes truth.

In this case, Rafa will kep saying the Benayoun was excellent as a sub. The facts may completely contradict this, but he will keep saying it anyway.  Fans will accept it and then it will become, for all intents and purposes, truth.

Rafa's mistakes from the past will be expunged, and fans who buy into everything he says will try their best to shoot-down anyone who suggests otherwise.

This thread is the perfect examples of this. Despite valid statistics suggesting the Benayoun has been poor from the bench (in terms of specifi, measurable creative impact) lots of people have tried their utmost to legitimise Rafa's obvious contradiction. 

One of my private reasons for posting this article was to see this phenomenon in action.  it fascinates me that people will blindly argue against something inarguable. 

And look at the predictable responses:

* Your stats are not specific enough
* Stats are meaningless
* Stats can be twisted to prove anything (all three of these are standard cop-outs for those who don't want to accept that stats are valid.
* Rafa was just lying for Benny's benefit
* Rafa's english is not that great
* I am too negative
* I don't know what I'm talking about

and blah blah blah.

But this is not a new phenomenon - this is the way life is.  When people believe in something, they will defend it to the hilt, even if it is completely illogical and contradictory to do so.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

if you are so bored, why the devil are you here!?  I don't visit sites that bore me because it's a waste of my time.  Continuing to do something that bores you is kind of stupid, isn't it? 

Just a thought ;-)

Jaimie Kanwar said...

The more opportunities players take, the more Rafa gives them?  really?  So how do you explain the following:

1. Ryan Babel - dropped 10 times after scoring goals in his first season.

2. Peter Crouch - In April 2008, his record was 38 goals scored/created 43 starts.  Rafa continued to use him as a bit-part player.  Why?

3. Robbie Keane - dropped every time he scored a goal.  is this not taking his chances? 

How do you explain these in light of your contention that if players take their chances, Benitez gives them more chances?

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Gary - thanis for your points.  This article should be viewed as a part of a series in which the fundamental question is why has Benitez persisted in using YB as a sub? 

I don't dispute that it's good for Rafa to say good things about Yossi, but I find it interesting that he mkes blatantly inaccurate statements about Yossi's impact as a sub.

This interests me and I think it is worthy of discussion.  You do not because you see Rafa in a different way to me, and that's fine.

Rafa is in the public eye, and much of what he says (like most managers) is examined and analysed.  This is normal.  So why should it be any different for me.

And there IS an issue here, you just refuse to accept it.  When a manager says something that blatantly contradicts reality, it should be questioned.

And I shpould have been clearer in the article - those quotes I posted are from two separate interviews - Rafa said the same inaccurate thing twice on two separate occasions.  This is not just a slip of the tongue; it is planned.  As we have seen, Rafa knows how to use the media to his advantage, and he has done so in the past, especially when it comes to whipping the fans into a pro-Benitez/anti-H+G frenzy.

I am merely reading between the lines, and with Rafa, there are always lines to read between.

Not acknowledging this is naive in my view.

Richard said...

Yossi's goal tally shopuld be the real key debate here. Anyway he has scored 15 PL goals to date, 3 FA Cup Goals  1 League Cup and 4 Champions  league totalling 23 career goals for the to-date including his hat trick at the weekend so that is 21 goals from the start!

Richard said...

Yossi's goal tally should be the real key debate here. Anyway he has scored 15 PL goals to date, 3 FA Cup Goals  1 League Cup and 4 Champions  league totalling 23 career goals for the reds including his hat trick at the weekend so that is 21 goals from the start!

snake said...

I commend your adherence to facts . I can understand your frustration when people don't provide arguments but provide statements. Well lets just look at your argument. According to your stats a players worth is centred around the number of goals scored and assists. Well with this criteria Alonso is not much of a player. Hardly any goals scored yet regarded by many as our best player last season. You may point to assists but then how many goals and assists did Mascherano manage? It is this simplistic view of football which places you to write child like articles while people like Benitez manage big clubs. LFC fans have a much more nuanced understanding of the game. I will leave you to carry on with your playing CHampionship Manager.

Simon said...

Just to add - how to factor in a players contribution of making space for others?  Do you have statistics that show if the amount of goal attempts increases after a certain sub comes on? 

Also, to question Rafa's knowledge is bizarre considering the amount of preparation and analysis the guy puts in.  I don't recall him saying Yossi wins games from the bench, but he can come on and change things.  Sometimes you want to keep something unexpected as a sub to surprise the opposition do you not?

Babel is an enigma, seems he can score a goal but lacks a work ethic.

Keane missed far more than he should have - he's still missing them now for Spurs.

Crouchy basically played up top as does Torres.  Having both of them up there didn't seem to work (no doubt you have some stats on that) so obviously Crouchy unfortunately gave way to our 30+ goals in his first season man.

Let's get Martin O'Neill in as manager, Petrov, Sidwell, Heskey and all his favourites.  Back to counter attacking tactics and we'd walk the league.  I think (not).

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Snake - if you're going to paraphrase me then at least be accurate.  You state:

According to your stats a players worth is centred around the number of goals scored and assists. Well with this criteria Alonso is not much of a player.

No.  As I have explained before, I only use the goals/assists stats to gauge the impact of ATTACKING PLAYERS.

The principal job of an attacking player is to SCORE and CREATE goals, and when judging attacking players, the first and most compelling way to gauge effectiveness is to look at goals and assists stats.

This is not the ONLY way of assessing their efffectiveness, but it is the main way.

When we examine Ian Rush's effectiveness as a player, what is the FIRST thing we look at?  How many miles he ran per game?  how many shots on target?  How many times he passed to someone who THEN passed to someone who scored a goal?!

No.

We look at how many goals he scored in his career.

What I am saying is a no-brainer, yet people still insist that judging attacking players by their goals and assists is somehow wrong.

I have analysed the impact of the following players using goals/assists stats;

Torres
Gerrard
Babel
Benayoun
Crouch
Keane

These players are all attacking players, thus as I just stated above, the first and most compelling thing we look at is their goals/assists ration vs games played.

This is the way it is; this is the way it has always been and this is the way it will always be.

In 50 years, when historians are analysing how effective Steven Gerrard was for Liverpool, the very first thing they will look at to prove his effectiveness is his goals/assists stats.

Arguing against these very simple contentions is just pigheadedness on a grand scale.

And re Alonso - given the fact he is not an attacking player (i.e not a striker/winger/attacking midfielder) he is judged using different criteria.

snake said...

I commend your adherence to facts . I can understand your frustration when people don't provide arguments but provide statements. Well lets just look at your argument. According to your stats a players worth is centred around the number of goals scored and assists. Well with this criteria Alonso is not much of a player. Hardly any goals scored yet regarded by many as our best player last season. You may point to assists but then how many goals and assists did Mascherano manage? LFC fans have a much more nuanced understanding of the game.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Snake - if you're going to paraphrase me then at least be accurate.  You state:  
 
According to your stats a players worth is centred around the number of goals scored and assists. Well with this criteria Alonso is not much of a player.  
 
No.  As I have explained before, I only use the goals/assists stats to gauge the impact of ATTACKING PLAYERS.  
 
The principal job of an attacking player is to SCORE and CREATE goals, and when judging attacking players, the first and most compelling way to gauge effectiveness is to look at goals and assists stats.  
 
This is not the ONLY way of assessing their efffectiveness, but it is the main way.  
 
When we examine Ian Rush's effectiveness as a player, what is the FIRST thing we look at?  How many miles he ran per game?  how many shots on target?  How many times he passed to someone who THEN passed to someone who scored a goal?!  
 
No.  
 
We look at how many goals he scored in his career.  
 
What I am saying is a no-brainer, yet people still insist that judging attacking players by their goals and assists is somehow wrong.  
 
I have analysed the impact of the following players using goals/assists stats;  
 
Torres  
Gerrard  
Babel  
Benayoun  
Crouch  
Keane  
 
These players are all attacking players, thus as I just stated above, the first and most compelling thing we look at is their goals/assists ration vs games played.  
 
This is the way it is; this is the way it has always been and this is the way it will always be.  
 
In 50 years, when historians are analysing how effective Steven Gerrard was for Liverpool, the very first thing they will look at to prove his effectiveness is his goals/assists stats.  
 
Arguing against these very simple contentions is just pigheadedness on a grand scale.  
 
And re Alonso/Mascherano - given the fact they not attacking players (i.e not a strikers/wingers/attacking midfielders) they are judged with different criteria.

Guest said...

It is interesting that a lot of the goals that he has scored have been against weaker opposition, perhaps he should be an automatic start against those mid table to lower table teams.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Snake - if you're going to paraphrase me then at least be accurate.  You state:    
   
According to your stats a players worth is centred around the number of goals scored and assists. Well with this criteria Alonso is not much of a player.    
   
No.  As I have explained before, I only use the goals/assists stats to gauge the impact of ATTACKING PLAYERS.    
   
The principal job of an attacking player is to SCORE and CREATE goals, and when judging attacking players, the first and most compelling way to gauge effectiveness is to look at goals and assists stats.    
   
This is not the ONLY way of assessing their efffectiveness, but it is the main way.    
   
When we examine Ian Rush's effectiveness as a player, what is the FIRST thing we look at?  How many miles he ran per game?  how many shots on target?  How many times he passed to someone who THEN passed to someone who scored a goal?!    
   
No.    
   
We look at how many goals he scored in his career.    
   
What I am saying is a no-brainer, yet people still insist that judging attacking players by their goals and assists is somehow wrong.    
   
I have analysed the impact of the following players using goals/assists stats;    
   
Torres    
Gerrard    
Babel    
Benayoun    
Crouch    
Keane    
   
These players are all attacking players, thus as I just stated above, the first and most compelling thing we look at is their goals/assists ration vs games played.    
   
This is the way it is; this is the way it has always been and this is the way it will always be.    
   
In 50 years, when historians are analysing how effective Steven Gerrard was for Liverpool, the very first thing they will look at to prove his effectiveness is his goals/assists stats.    
   
Arguing against this just to try and prove me wrong pigheadedness on a grand scale ;-)  
   
And re Alonso/Mascherano -  they not attacking players (i.e not a strikers/wingers/attacking midfielders), so they are judged using different criteria.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Snake - if you're going to paraphrase me then at least be accurate.  You state:      
     
According to your stats a players worth is centred around the number of goals scored and assists. Well with this criteria Alonso is not much of a player.      
     
No.  As I have explained before, I only use the goals/assists stats to gauge the impact of ATTACKING PLAYERS.      
     
The principal job of an attacking player is to SCORE and CREATE goals, and when judging attacking players, the first and most compelling way to gauge effectiveness is to look at goals and assists stats.      
     
This is not the ONLY way of assessing their efffectiveness, but it is the main way.      
     
When we examine Ian Rush's effectiveness as a player, what is the FIRST thing we look at?  How many miles he ran per game?  how many shots on target?  How many times he passed to someone who THEN passed to someone who scored a goal?!      
     
No.      
     
We look at how many goals he scored in his career.      
     
What I am saying is a no-brainer, yet people still insist that judging attacking players by their goals and assists is somehow wrong.      
     
I have analysed the impact of the following players using goals/assists stats;      
     
Torres      
Gerrard      
Babel      
Benayoun      
Crouch      
Keane      
     
These players are all attacking players, thus as I just stated above, the first and most compelling thing we look at is their goals/assists ration vs games played.      
     
This is the way it is; this is the way it has always been and this is the way it will always be.      
     
In 50 years, when historians are analysing how effective Steven Gerrard was for Liverpool, the very first thing they will look at to prove his effectiveness is his goals/assists stats.      
     
Arguing against this just to try and prove me wrong pigheadedness on a grand scale <img src="../extra/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-wink.gif" title="Wink" border="0" alt="Wink"/>    
     
And re Alonso/Mascherano -  they are not attacking players (i.e not strikers/wingers/attacking midfielders), so they are judged using different criteria.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Snake - if you're going to paraphrase me then at least be accurate.  You state:        
       
According to your stats a players worth is centred around the number of goals scored and assists. Well with this criteria Alonso is not much of a player.        
       
No.  As I have explained before, I only use the goals/assists stats to gauge the impact of ATTACKING PLAYERS.        
       
The principal job of an attacking player is to SCORE and CREATE goals, and when judging attacking players, the first and most compelling way to gauge effectiveness is to look at goals and assists stats.        
       
This is not the ONLY way of assessing their efffectiveness, but it is the main way.        
       
When we examine Ian Rush's effectiveness as a player, what is the FIRST thing we look at?  How many miles he ran per game?  how many shots on target?  How many times he passed to someone who THEN passed to someone who scored a goal?!        
       
No.        
       
We look at how many goals he scored in his career.        
       
What I am saying is a no-brainer, yet people still insist that judging attacking players by their goals and assists is somehow wrong.        
       
I have analysed the impact of the following players using goals/assists stats;        
       
Torres        
Gerrard        
Babel        
Benayoun        
Crouch        
Keane        
       
These players are all attacking players, thus as I just stated above, the first and most compelling thing we look at is their goals/assists ration vs games played.        
       
This is the way it is; this is the way it has always been and this is the way it will always be.        
       
In 50 years, when historians are analysing how effective Steven Gerrard was for Liverpool, the very first thing they will look at to prove his effectiveness is his goals/assists stats.        
       
Arguing against this just to try and prove me wrong pigheadedness on a grand scale :-)
       
And re Alonso/Mascherano -  they are not attacking players (i.e not strikers/wingers/attacking midfielders), so they are judged using different criteria.

Guest said...

well done big J, you and i know that when this king wears no clothes hes naked!
what should be openly discussed is why does Benitiz always play players out of position? his whole approach smacks of wingin it ( for you "R B is god" grovellers, it means he doesn't know what hes doing)

Ash said...

Jamie, I am 100% behind Benitez. But I agree with you on the point that Benayoun has more of an impact when he starts rather than coming off the bench. The stats put forward in the article are crystal clear. Furthermore, a quick look at the last few matches is enough to show his contribution when starting the game. There cannot be any argument about this. As long as we don't have someone who can do better than Benayoun, he should get the nod ahead of Babbel and co, as confidence, and a growing one has transformed him (Benayoun) into one of the most consistent and creative players for Liverpool, since end of last season.
Benayoun should be a starter defo.

KB said...

Again Jamie you have failed to acknowledge all of the reasonable points that have been made around, player motivation, tactics, training, the opposition, players form, alternatives to Benny in the positions he players. Your list of points above misses out all of these valid points and simply attempts to demean every one who wanted to have a rational debate.

Yes, your stats are important, I don't really see anyone saying they aren't. What people are doing is pointing out valid reasons why they can't be used in isolation to take an extreme view. 

The points people have made help give a more balanced view then simply looking at the stats. Smart Liverpool fans know that you can't just look at stats in isolation to judge a players impact. 

Coupling the above with how rude your posts are to other peoples views I can only assume your aim is simply to stir things up in order to keep people visiting.  

Plondie said...

Ok Jamie,
Given, the numbers aren't there to show.
But don't tell me you haven't seen that added dimension when Yossi comes on. It seems, at any point of time with the ball, Yossi has two or three options in his mind to execute. But his plans will almost always involve his teammates.
Here's my explanation:
Benayoun is not the kind of guy who will run over tired defenses. His game includes linking up with his teammates, who themselves should be a lot tired by then, and maybe frustrated.
Yossi's movements and play will achieve a lot when the people around him are alert enough to take full advantage of it (from the beginning of the game), rather than being as tired and listless as the defence they are trying to breach.

ashley_46 said...

You judge strikers on goals fair enough but you dont judge all attacking players purely on goals and assists or else heskey must be shit.

And this argument you keep giving when people mention alonso is nonsense. Whats the difference between and attacking player and a creative midfielder, surely he's being creative offensively and not trying to be a creative defender so he must be judged on goals an assists by your logic.

Mascherano was the defensive midfielder with gerrard being a support striker which means alonsos role must of been central/attacking midfielder.

Dave said...

yawn

Dave said...

yawn

adamtt said...

maybe he didn't score when coming on as a sub but maybe he helped the team win!

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Dave - you're now banned for contravening the comment policy.

WhyDoYouHateRafa said...

Everytime I happen upon this blog the underlying theme is the same...you seek to undermine and castigate Rafa - this time it's another pointless dissection of a throwaway comment that so "concerned" you.

If you have an axe to grind with Rafa why not just come out and state your case forthrightly (and then maybe we'll see just what your actual issues are).  These petty digs in respect of Rafas judgment over a player whos just scored a hatrick (his third for the club no less) under his tutelage smacks of a terrible short-sightedness and a basic lack of understanding of what Rafa must do in terms of team selection as a manager of one of the best teams in Europe.

The real facts are:

He bought Benayoun for a great price and recognised his worth (we'd get double what we paid back now)
He's played banayoun more as a sub over the start of his LFC career but based on his improved performances he's been a regular starter in the second half of last season and the start of this one
Co-inciding with his improved performances for us he's been made captain of his country (happened in January)
He had an offer from Spartak Moscow to receive nearly 2m in a signing on fee (plus an increase in wages to 60k a week) in January but decided to stay and fight for his place as he wants to play at the highest level - now if he was so under-appreciated and didn't feel his ability was recognised by Rafa why wouldn't he have just left for the massive windfall?

Ultimately your article is barking up the wrong tree and your comments genrally are needlessly focused in respect of how they treat the irrelevant minutiae - best to recognise that we very nearly won the league last year, have an excellent team and manager and need support not pointless pontification into issues that don't exist.

Any manager will frustrate fans - its impossible not to.

sparky said...

Could you then please analyse Alonso's tackles and fouls per game to see if he contributed well in a defensive sense, or will that not fit with your rabid anti-Benitez agenda?

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Why don't I come out and state my case 'forthrightly'?!

I have been doing that for years.  I don't have a hidden agenda; I've never made a secret of the fact I am not a fan of Rafa and I have argued my case countless times in different articles.  Just click on the 'Rafa Benitez' label in the label tree (right sidebar) and you will see this.

Everyone has a different view - you have yours, I have mine.  Just because you don't think I have point doesn't make it so; similarly, just because I don't agree with you doesn't make you wrong.

And re the Spartak Moscow deal - It's not really that hard to understand.  Is Yossi going to move thousands of miles away to a nothing club and uproot his family to a harsh climate, or is he going to stay with a club that plays Champions League football and ply his trade in a league full of the world's top players?

It's a no-brainer, is it not?

Jaimie Kanwar said...

There's no need to do that because Alonso is not the issue here. It is quite clear that attacking players are judged principally on goals and assists, yet many people try to dispute this just to try and prove me wrong (!)

sparky said...

Perhaps you could statistically analyse whether the fact that so many people think you are a Man U fan makes it more likely that it is correct and that you have been found out?

sparky said...

The 2 Premier League managers who rely most on statistics and sports science teams are Sam Allardyce and Phil Brown, surely that is an end to the argument about how much statistics should be used to judge footballers?

Jonski said...

Jaimie anyone can use the stats game to make an argument or point they have made to be in their favour. It is one of the reasons why I don't take any notice of them, the only one is how many goals compared to your opposition you have scored in any particular game. Some of your articles are brilliant but when you write an article about Rafa it is so clouded by your obvious dislike for him as manager it ruins your judgement. I have praised Rafa and also criticised him, but you seem to be ready with the criticism and not too forthright with any credit, proven by even going as far to insinuate that Rafa has had no bearing on Yossi's current form. he does get things wrong but he gets far more right. Until 6 months or so ago Yossi did not warrant a starting place in the side, since his improvement he has had more starts and in your very selected extract from the interview Rafa says this clearly.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

The idea that I am a Man U fan masquerading as a LFC fan is so breathtakingly ridiculous that only a person of supremely limited intelligence would every seriously believe that.

So - I pay for this site out of my own pocket; spend hours writing about Liverpool (both positive and critical articles); have another 12 writers who also contribute to the site, and I do all this because I'm really a Man U fan in disguise?!

Yes, that makes a lot of sense.

(Please stick to the issues in the article/football in generak from now on.  Further comments like your last will be deleted as per the comment policy)

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Yes - case closed! 

Question: how do you kow this?  Do you have access to every manager's internal thought process?  If so, can you show me how you do that :-)

Guest said...

You are 100% man,keep the good work

Matthew said...

Can a player play well without scoring, creating or being on a winning side.  Sometimes creating space for others can be seen as making an opening.

I think I read somewhere else on here in the comments.  Can you not analyse if the amount of shots on goal increases every time Yossi comes on?

And he did start against Villa did he not - and didn't have one of his better games (nor did anyone, but Villa were so lucky with there Houllier-esque tactics). 

Have you ever considered writing less in the vein of 'I know better' using 'talksport' terminology like 'no brainer' and 'makes no sense'.  I'd prefer to see something more objective like 'the case for Benyoun to start every game.' 

Football today is a squad game so players won't start every game.  Yossi is clearly important to the team and I am sure we will see more of him.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Jonksi - you state that 'Until 6 months or so ago Yossi did not warrant a starting place in the side'.

Why?  This is just a baseless assertion without any evidence to back it up.  So please explain why you think this is the case.

And your view on statistics is, with all due respect, a cliched cop-out. Saying 'anyone can use stats to make an argument' is the standard response by people who try and avoid dealing with said stats.

I guess if I said that Liverpool have won 18 titles and 5 European Cups you would not take any notice of that either?  the bottom line is people embrace the stats they agree with and vehemently reject the stats they disagree with, irrespective of whether they are right.

And I do not dislike Rafa at all.  I'm sure he is a nice man in person.  I dislike Rafa the Manager, there is a difference.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Just because I state my views in a forthright manner I must be someone who knows better?!

I don't see it that way. When you present a view that many people disagree with, there is inevitably going to be debate from both sides, with each part defending their views.

This does mean people are trying to force their views in an 'I know best manner' - it is what it is, i.e. people defending their views.

With all due respect, if you want objectivity, perhaps you should consider a different site.  The truth is though, all Liverpool sites have their own agenda; the majority are on the 'support the team at all costs' bandwagon' and there is nothing wrong with that.  That approach is not objective either.

I do not hold myself out as being unbiased or objective.  I have my own view and I present it.

sparky said...

No Jaimie, attacking players are judged by so much more than assists and goals. The value of someone like Emile Heskey is a case in point, he rarely provides goals or assists but his unselfish running and creation of space for others has been valued by a number of top class managers over the years.

This hiding behind statistics only seems to further the notion that you have no concept of worth other than that which can be easilt defined by numbers on a page. I'm sure you are excellent at championship Manager though.

Jonski said...

Yossi didn't warrant a place in the starting line up because he wasn't consistently good enough over that period time to play for us, I don't need to start churning out pointless stats to back that one up. That is not only my opinion but that of the vast majority of the home fans sat around me and also the majority of travelling fans I was surrounded by in past seasons. Most importantly it was the view of the manager, you seem to differ on your views and that is fine, but I would think it says more about your judgement of a player I would suggest, than anyone elses. To say my comment about stats is a cliched copout is a pointless barb at me, maybe it is a cliche but think why! Is it becuase it is said so many times by people - does that not prove something. I was merely pointing out that stats like the ones you produced don't paint the whole picture and are not totally accurate to a players worth or not to a side. The final score of a game cannot be disputed purely in terms of the stat produced as it is what is - final and cannot be questioned or twisted to suit, neither can a teams history purely in terms of trophies won. Also I never said you disliked Rafa as a person, I did say and I quote "your dislike for him as manager" I thought that would have been clear enough - obviosuly not.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Jonski - you cannot make a statement like 'Yossi was not good enough to make the team 6 months ago' and then back it up with reasoning like this:

Yossi didn't warrant a place in the starting line up because he wasn't consistently good enough over that period time to play for us, I don't need to start churning out pointless stats to back that one up.

Yes, you DO need to back that one up.  If you don't. your arguement has no merit or credibility whatsoever.

And you're right about the 'dislike for Rafa as a manager' thing.  I missed that in your original post.  sorry about that; my mistake.

Colin G said...

I don't think that you can necessarily gauge his effectiveness as a sub simply by looking at statistics ie, goals scored and assists. I think when Yossi has been used as a sub, his style of play has the effect of injecting impetus into the team as a whole and he 'gets things moving'.

Having said that, his form since the beginning of this year has been outstanding (for me, our best and most consistent overall player) .. currently, his name should be first on the teamsheet - yes, before Stevie G and Nando.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

I think you're right Colin - stats are not the only method of gauging the effectiveness of an attacking player.  However, I would argue that they are the main method that should be used.

When we examine how effective Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler were for Liverpool, what are the first things we look at?  Shots on target?  How they created space for others?  No - we look at how many goals they scored.

I also agree with you re Yossi's form - he should be one of the first names on the team-sheet.

sparky said...

"Oceania is at war with Eurasia, Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia, Eastasia is our ally.

Oceania is at war Eastasia, Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia, Eurasia is our ally, it has always been that way, nothing has changed"

Jonski said...

I cannot agree Jaimie, stats are not the be all and end all of telling a players performance, there are many other factors to consider, and a consistency in ability is one of the main ones is it not.
I'm sorry Jaimie but your stats are flawed, they even fail to mention how much time as a sub Yossi spent on the pitch which to me is as important as anything if you want to talk stats. You have produced a blanket stat that ultimately proves absolutely nothing. Not only do you fail to look at time spent on the pitch as a sub, but also his indirect impact which can be just as important (more than people appreciate or care to understand), as an assist does or in some instances even a goal. I will qualify this by asking you and your readers a question. Do you think it is more important for a player to make a great run or take up a position that takes a defender away from his own position, thus creating space for other players to create a winning or equalising goal that you are not directly involved in ie a key pass, assist or actual goal. Or is it more imprtant to score the fifth goal or assist in the fifth goal for example in a 5-0 win. The type of scenario I have produced above does not even come into your stats, but most people surely agree they should to be even remotely useful. That is why I present my argument that stats alone should not determine how a managers decision is right or wrong, and I don't care much for them. If stats were so important in realife football Jaimie, then managing would be as easy as it is when winning trophies on a well known computer game, and we must surely all agree real life football obviously isn't that easy.

Tokyo said...

Is there really a point here worth debating?

Presumably you know the reasons for everything Benitez says because you have a telepathic connection with him....no? Thought not. Dissecting comments from an interview is easy, but given that everything said is analysed (your column being the perfect example) do you not think every manager will only speak in part truths.

Can I ask, have you ever managed other people(football or otherwise)? And if so, if the press interviewed you about one of your team would you tell them all your innner thoughts on that person (regardless of the implications)?

I suspect you have never managed people and wouldn't have a clue about being interviewed in a situation where every clown under the sun wants to create headline/an article out by pulling every comment to pieces.

Do you care to respond to this Jaimie?

Jaimie Kanwar said...

There is no point responding to this because you've completely missed the point.  It's not about dissecting individual comments; there is a bigger picture than that.

You just stick to making baselesss assumptions about my my real-life experiences :-)

Gary said...

You do not know me or what I think about Rafa so please do not presume that I see him differently. I am not part of the "blind faith" crowd who believe in everything that Rafa does. But at the other end of the scale, I am not like you and will not criticise everything he does either. It is also incorrect for you to suggest I am naive in not acknowledging the so called issues that you raise.

I will reiterate my point that I think this article is wholy unnecessary. Managers say a lot of things which we should take with a pinch of salt. Arsene Wenger still claims that Eduardo didn't dive against Celtic when it quite clear to everyone that he did. One of the roles of being a manager is to support and back up your team and players. How many managers don't see a tackle or dive? Say a player played well when he didn't? 

All Rafa has done here, in my opinion, is praise Yossi. I don't think there are any underlying issues, or anything to be read between the lines. He states that he had an impact coming of the bench and now he has proven that he is a first team player with his performaces this year. I don't see any problem with that. That is not me being naive, or missing the underlying issues, or blindly following Rafa. I just don't see what you are trying to achieve by this article.

If the crux of the issue is why Rafa continued to use Yossi as a sub, then let me try to answer that. According to the stats, he didn't. Yossi has started more games(in all competitions) than he has appeared as a sub.  

Yossi was bought as a squad player. Kuyt has pretty much claimed the right hand side for himself, Gerrard plays behind Torres. These are probably Yossi's favoured positions. So are you going to drop Kuyt or Gerrard? The answer is no. So the left hand side is available. We have Babel, Yossi and Riera all playing for that position. So lets look at the stats for all three during their time at Liverpool

2007/08 - in all competitions - PL, CL, FA, CC

Yossi - started 25, sub 19, goals 10, assists 4
Babel - started 27, sub 20, goals 10, assists 6

2008/09 - in all comps

Yossi - started 24, sub 16, goals 9, assists 6
Babel - started 10, sub 28, goals 4, assists 4
Riera - started 33, sub 7, goals 5, assists 5 

What does this tell me: that we have 3 players for the left hand side. all of whom have contributed to some extent. In 07/08 Yossi and Babel played similar amount of games, scored the same amount and a similar amount of assists. We added Riera to the mix. He scored less goals than Yossi in 08/09 but provided that natural width and balance of having a left footed player so was used more. Yossi still pitched in with 24 starts, 9 goals and 6 assists. This shows me that he has a fantastic impact of not necessarily being a sub but being a very good squad player. He has now surpassed that in the last year and has proven himself to be a first team player.

I believe that this is what Rafa is trying to say. That he was on the fringes of the team for the first two years but still made an impact. Now he is proving that he is a pivotal member of the first team. However, it still is a squad game and we will still see Yossi on the bench because he is always going to be competing with other players for his favoured positions.

Tokyo said...

I haven't completely missed your point, my opening statement (though not explicit) responds to your article, that is, I don't think it's a point worth debating.

I am however interested that you choose not to respond to my questions and comments that challenge your opinions and what they are based upon. You are correct, I don't know your real-life experiences, and I have made some assumptions about you..but I am happy to stand corrected on your managerial experience and what qualifies your opinions.

I'd prefer to not make baseless assumptions about your real-life experiences but you have the opportunity to correct or confirm my assumptions, and so far you have chosen not to. I find it interesting that you want to challenge Benitez's credentials but prefer not to illuminate us on yours.

The ball is in your court.

fraggs said...

And Jamie says ..... nothing. Detailed information given, right down to a specific moment in the game, and not even a peep out of him. It's no wonder he maintains such a strong belief in his own opinions when he's so good at ignoring anything that contradicts them. 

fraggs said...

I know you're going to say that I'm "avoiding the points you make" but in fact I won't. I'll say straight up that your stats are inconclusive. They are a very small percentage of the stats that are collected for a player. Here's the stats that you've used:
Goals, Assists, Team Result
OK, fair enough, those stats are straightforward and we can all understand them. But what about these stats:
Pass completion, tackles made, intercepts, distance run, goal attempts, chances created, offsides ... 
Why are these stats not important?

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Fraggs - even if I had the stats you suggest, you would come back and say 'but what about the stats for when a defender is distarcted by the strength of a player's aftershave'?!

The things you mention help to fill out the picture but they are not the most important thing when considering the impact of attacking players.

The most important things are undoubtedly:

Goals
Assists
Number of games player
No of starts
No of Sub appearances

This is indisuputable.

When the impact of any attacking player in history is considered, what are the first things people look at?  Is it Pass completion, tackles made, intercepts, distance run, goal attempts, chances created, offside?!  

NO.

They look at goals, assists and how many of each were achieved in the number of games played.  You might not like it but this is FACT.

Even the official Liverpool FC site judges attacking players in the same way!

But all of this is obvious - you and many others are trying to devalue the stats I use purely to prove me wrong; you are not looking at how things are done in practice.

Stuff like pass completion etc is a useful thing to look at, but the most IMPORTANT things to look at are stats that relate to END PRODUCT.

Football is about the creating and scoring of goals; it is not about who can achieve the most completed passes.  Thus, when assessing the impact of attacking players, you must look at goals and assists, because these are integral to the purpose of the game.

The fact I have to repeatedly explain this is amazing!

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Fraggs - you should try being fair for once.  I have responded to lots of posts on this thread.  I have a full time job too - I can not spend every waking hour replying to comments.  I do so when I have time.

And 'Guest's' point is irrelevant - why do i need to explain this?  Did we BEAT Spurs. NO. We lost.  Did Benayoun change that game?  NO. 

I agree that Benayoun played well when he came on but the fact remains Liverpool lost the game.  If he;d come on and scored/assisted and Liverpool won the game, then it would be a different story.

fraggs said...

I think this is where your problem lies. Rafa considers ALL of these stats important. It's been repeated by so many players: he considers detail so important that it's sometimes about being a metre out of place that can make the whole difference to him. The man is obsessed with every detail of football, it's basically his whole life almost 24 hours a day. So if you don't understand or you disagree with Rafa's selection policy it's because you're not seeing all the detail that he sees. I'm not automatically suggesting that his approach is foolproof, but I think it's quite clear why you find his decisions "bizarre": he simply thinks about football in an entirely different way to you.

You look at the very broad statistics like results and goals. Rafa looks at those stats too but he also looks much much deeper. If a player is not scoring, he wants to know why and how else do you work that out except to look at the finer detail? You know yourself that a player could have a terrible game, lose the ball, be hopelessly out of position most of the time and yet at the right moment he makes one good move, gets the ball at his feet, finishes and he scores. In your books that would seem to be good enough. All about the result right? So you keep him in the team and the next game he is exactly the same, awful performance, he constantly loses the ball, the other team gets a series of great counter-attack opportunities and they score 2 goals. Even if our player gets lucky again and scores it's for nothing. His errors, nothing to do with goals, cause us big problems.

That's what Rafa sees and he sees it ahead of time. He would probably bench that player even though he scored. There would be an outcry in the media, the player would sulk, you'd write an article on how Rafa is an idiot and a large section of people would believe it. And yet Liverpool might draw that next game instead of lose because that player has been benched. Becuase Rafa considered how many times he lost the ball or played out of position. Becuase he considered the finer detail. 

And that's where the point of contention is. You think that if Rafa stuck with the obvious stats that Liverpool would be a better team. What many of us try to point out to time and time again is that he just doesn't work that way. We also think that the way he does work is just fine. Not perfect, rarely easy to understand, but effective none the less.

You find it amazing that you have to explain that football is about goals and results? You'd have to explain it to Rafa too, because he doesn't agree with you. 

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Fraggs - I have a full time job too - I can not spend every waking hour replying to comments.  I do so when I have time. 
 
And 'Guest's' point is not really relevant  - why do i need to explain this?  Did we BEAT Spurs. NO. We lost.  Did Benayoun change that game?  NO.  
 
I agree that Benayoun played well when he came on but the fact remains Liverpool lost the game.  If he;d come on and scored/assisted and Liverpool won the game, then it would be a different story.

Guest said...

here here frags, the problem is some people look at football in a way that is too simplistic, because they don't or cannot appreciate the complexities of the modern game. I am a qualified coach, and the way the coaching course has chnaged in the last 15 years is unbelievable and it was complex enough back then. I have to renew my coaching licence every couple of years and the game is always elvoving is amazing.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

It doesn't matter how you try to bend the argument to fit your point, the bottom line is that when it comes to judging the effectiveness of attacking players, end result is the principal thing that matters, and that means goals, assists vs how many games started/sub appearances.

Your argument is unsupportable.  Let's compare Yossi's stats from last season:

<span>24 starts

Goals – 9
Assists – 6

Total: 15 goals scored/created in 24 games.

* 8 of Benayoun‘s goals and all assists came when he started.

Now let’s look at Benyoun’s impact as a sub last season:

* 15 sub appearances – Only 1 goal scored/created.</span>

15 goals scored/created vs 1 goal!

I'm sorry, I don't care what you say about pass completion etc, the conclusion is clear: Yossi was amore effective player last season when he started.

Scoring and creating goals is the ultimate measure of an attacking player's effectiveness.  or are you suggesting that passes completed/offsides/chances created are somehow more important than actually SCORING and CREATING GOALS?! 

When we get down to it, that is precisely what you are suggesting, and that is why such an argument is unsupportable.

What possible use is Rafa's looking at 100 different performance indicators if he always makes the wrong decision?

Football is a simple game: you play the most effective players as often as possible.  Rafa complicates it to the nth degree.

If player A has a 100% pass completion rate, runs 10 miles a game, is offside 10 times a game, makes 30 tackloes a game BUT never scores a goal or assists you would not play him ahead of someone who scored or assists in every other game.

The fact that Rafa does this and has done this many times in the past is indicative of the poor decisions he often makes.

End product is what matters in footbal...or should matter.  Benayoun gives the team a regular end product from the start but next to no end product as a sub. Thus, he should be starting more.  It is simple, and the argument that you and others are offering just does not hold any weight.

jc said...

Jamie,just wanted to , where do you get your research and how do you get the time!!!!!

sparky said...

When it comes to telling whether an animal is a dog or not the only two things that are important are whether it has 4 legs and a tail. Dogs have 4 legs and a tail so therefore every animal that has 4 legs and a tail is a dog.

Here endeth the lesson according to Jaimie Kanwar.

fraggs said...

I'm not trying to bend the argument Jamie, I'm trying to help you understand. OK, so I happen to agree with Rafa and how he does things, that's not really what I've been getting at. I'm just clarifying that he DOES think about these stats and he DOES consider them very important, much more important than you do. That's why you think his decisions are bizarre and you don't agree with him. It explains why he often benched Crouch, why he benched and then promptly sold Keane, why he plays Kuyt so much and Babel not so much. Don't get your knickers in such a knot, I'm just clarifying the idea that you're never going to agree with what Rafa does because he thinks about the game in a very different way. 

Beyond that, I suppose I have to point this out, your stats are hopelessly incomplete. You've failed to include minutes played in those games. Of course he's going to score less in the games where he comes on as a sub, he's playing less actual minutes in those games. Expand your statistics so that they are at least precise before disregarding everyone elses's comments so quickly. It's a massive flaw in the argument you're trying to present.

You're also giving a limited interpretation of a player making an "impact". Yossi doesn't have to be banging the ball into the net in order to have an impact does he? He doesn't even need to have an official assist stat. What if he makes a great move and then two passes later a goal is scored? Do you have stats for that? If not, again, your picture is incomplete. And again, this is why most modern managers don't just rely on goal and assist stats when they make their decisions. 

You need to be giving us a more accurate picture of what it means to "make an impact" and just relying on goals, assists and wins is not enough. How many times did Liverpool score or improve their play in a match when Yossi came on as a sub? And what about negative impact? How many goals have Liverpool conceeded with Yossi on the pitch? When have they actually played worse with him on the pitch? And I'm not just talking striaght win/loss, you need to consider all aspects of a good performance. 

Sorry Jamie, your argument is weak and it always will be until you make some attempt to include additional data which is unquestionably important. All you've really done in reply is repeat the same statement that "end product is what matters in football". Saying that over and over again doesn't make it any more or less valid. If you honestly can't see the gaping holes in your analysis and actually do something to address them then I'm at a complete loss to try and help you out.

fraggs said...

Interestingly there was a comment just after my last one that seemed to support Rafa's point of view and it's dissapeared. It was from someone claiming to have many years of coaching experience who said that indeed, modern football is immensely complex and not as simple as many pundits make it out to be. Strange. Must be a random server error. 

Jaimie Kanwar said...

I work from home, so I set my own schedule. I mainly use LFChistory and soccernet for stats.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

I don't have time for snide insinuaions.  That post was probably removed by the author.  I haven't deleted it.

fraggs said...

Well, there's a rubbish performance from Benayoun. 1 shot on goal, one off, no assists and no goals scored, all against some pretty average opposition. Should have left him on the bench.

roadender said...

can we end this debate now, because tonight YB was very poor and should revert back to bench warming (also SG was obviously sulking which he does every game when he isn't playing as 2nd striker)

Guest said...

Jamie, you're a larf. Is it that you've never actually played football? This is not a jibe - I play 2-3 times a week, week in week out (will never make the Liverpool 1st team though, at 43 I think I've missed the window :), and it is not about stats and stats only. From running a line that draws defenders out of the way of an attack, to altering the dynamics of the game by playing in a different style from the player you replace. This may not just be to score goals if you are losing, but to preserve a lead by forcing a team that is pushing forward to play more defensively and so take the pressure off your defence.

As to your defence of your statistics, I note from reading where you choose to respond, that you tend not to respond to those thoughtful analyses that make a point, but only where you can respond using the same old 'my stats don't lie' mantra, Case in point being where there are comments that Rafa notes down and analyses far more stats that you have chosen - either that or he spends a lot of time on the touchline doing crosswords...and actually, you say that people in the future will judge Yossi based only on your chosen stats - well, maybe, but only if they're not clever or interested enough to think any deeper than that, and if so, good luck to them.

'There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.'
Benjamin Disraeli

Guest said...

Dude, this is a lost argument. You are desperately trying to change the topic here. Jamie's points is clear. He didn't ask you to come here and point out that he will "never" agree with Rafa. And whether he agrees with Rafa or not is not important, the fact that Jamie is spot-on in this case. Be honest, and admit it when Jamie is right. Am sure Rafa will be shocked if he found this stats. Am sure you also personally don't give a damn about those statistics. I mean, who the heck brings on a sub with few minutes left to come and do the most passes completed?! Wth? You can bring any Brazilian or Argentinian player then and he will give you a million completed passes, but that means nothing if those passes are not assists. Sigh, you guys wonder where Jamie gets the time? I wonder where the heck you get the time to come up with such bullshit and stick to it.

Thrillhouse said...

Do we have to put up with this joker?

Just anti rafa rubbish and you are the WORST kind of fan.

Little tip rather than spouting this rubbish all of the time, trying get behind the team getting behind the manager and stop MOANING.

Abbey said...

I find your article pretty interesting, although i really trust him as i think he knows what he does and that each decision he takes has a reason to be. it is obvious that we have some impressive stars that can turn a match into an absoulte show and get out of it victorious, but some other players may be not as good should have a chance

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Hi Abbey - I understand your trust of Rafa; I don't doubt that he is a great manager, but I just feel that sometimes he makes illogical decisions that are not always for the benefit of the team.  Since Yossi has been starting this season, look at Liverpool's form and performances - fantastic.

It's not a coincidence.

WhyDoYouHateRafa said...

I suppose there were yet more illogical decisions from our manager this
weekend Jamie?...I hope you can see in retrospect that you really do talk a
load of tosh. Fo rsomeone who seems reasonably intelligent you really can't
see the forest for the trees...wake up and support the man - he's in the job
and doing it well
YNWA

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Benitez has made lots of illogical decisions over the years, whether it's rotation, dodgy substitutions/formations, favouritism, treating certain players badly for no apparent reason.  Just because we're doing well at the moment does not mean that what happened in the past just disappears.  Or are you suggesting that every decisions Benitez has ever made has been correct?

WhyDoYouHateRafa said...

No the past doesn't disappear...neither does the all too obvious fact that
steady improvement is what he's presided over. And what exactly are you
looking from an LFC manager Jamie? Perhaps you could illuminate us with
some qualities that you feel a top manager requires and that ours lacks.
Also please bear in mind if you can't recognise the progression of Liverpool
under Benitez or if you don't have the breadth of intelligence to offer a
balanced argument or provoke anything other than rebuke through your
short-sightedness...best to remain silent.
If you fail to realise that all managers displease fans to some degree and
that the best always have a singularity of purpose that is more likley to
frustrate than someone less driven to succeed.
In terms of you're downright silly, churlish and rather childish list below
you should probably consider the following:
The best managers of the past 20 years are generally accepted as Alex
Ferguson, Marcelo Lippi, Rinus Michels, Jose Mourinho, Arrigo Sacchi and
Otmar Hitzfeld.
All have displayed favouritism for players and marginalised/sold players
that didn't fit into their vision
All have alienated fans at various stages of their careers through decisions
armchair fans haven't had the foresight to understand which was followed by
more success (duly enjoyed by those same fans)
All have employed heavy rotation (in fact Michels pioneered it), especially
those still managing now - they rotate more now than ever
So tell me Jamie if we do win the league under Rafa will you be happy or
will find more of your "reasons" to find fault...based on your articles (and
I've read a couple) I have a feeling you'd be annoyed to be so emphatically
proved wrong.
And another thing...your citing of dodgy substitutions/formations is
laughable in the extreme as any kind of a basis to undermine a manager
rightly recognised as one of the best tacticians in European football. I
suppose though based on your zany slant on things you'll be happy to mention
some obscure example of a bad substitution at some point or other...sadly
forgetting (for the umpteeenth time) all the master strokes he's pulled from
the dugout.
One last thing that must also have rankled your bizarre anti-Benitez
stance...I presume you read Steven Gerrard's ringing endorsement of Rafa's
approach at the weekend...but then what would he know...he's only our best
player, Liverpool through and through and working with him for the last 5
years
In future...don't bother to embarass yourself.

Blacktie said...

Jaimie,

I think all would agree that in the prem 15 goals scored/assists in 24 starts are an amazing number even for a striker, more so for a midfielder and definitely for a winger.

Yossi came in way too late vs Chelsea, and with him the team looked better albeit he did not change the course of the game. He also missed an open shot at goal and I tend to believe that had he started and this was a shot for a winner rather than a consolation, it would've ended up in the net like against Fulham. 

Riera and Babel were not good enough; Yossi should start.  

mtemi kibasa said...

I want to know your views about jamie carragher to be replaced with Daniel Agger my self i think its worth it coz carragher is worn out, beaten easly by pacy strikers, Agger is young, energetic and creative can step into jamies shoes .....................what do  you think??????????

Jaimie Kanwar said...

I see your point but I don't think we should be too hasty in writing off Carra.  the defence has been disrupted this season by two new fullbacks playing regulalry and Martin Skrtel haveing some off games.  Carra has made a few mistakes, that cannot be denied, but after such great service over the years, i think he deserves the faith of Rafa.  For now.

If the mistakes continue, then it may be the casr the Carra needs a rest, and Agger could certainly come in and do the business.

MTB said...

The funny thing is I believe Benayoun has probably been one of our best players so far this season in a team that has shown lack of courage, confidence and ability to pass a ball forward ( yes Lucas I'm looking at you ) Out of all our attacking midfielders, inc Gerrard, Yossi has probably made more of an impact during the games he has started and come of the bench for. The problem so far this season IMO is that we've had no clinical finisher due to Torres being out for so long. Jaimie you wouldn't being slating Yossi so much this season if we'd put a few more goals away would ya :)

Jaimie Kanwar said...

When have I ever slated Yossi?  Never.

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