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2018 - Running With the Numbers and the Quest for Everything

Discussion in 'NYCFC Supporters Discussion' started by mgarbowski, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. mgarbowski

    mgarbowski Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    The 3% chance of finishing below 4th has climbed to 7%:
    3rd 81.6%, 4th 11.4%, 5th 7%.
     
  2. LionNYC

    LionNYC Senior Member Staff Member Elite Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    Playoffstatus.com hasn't even updated their website since Friday. I'm afraid of what it will say when it's updated, likely the same things as ASA.
     
  3. mgarbowski

    mgarbowski Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    Our pal dummyrundummyrun wrote the Playoff Preview for ASA:
    https://www.americansocceranalysis.com/home/2018/10/30/postseason-preview-nycfc

    It's long. It's dense. It has a lot of charts. I mean, even by his standards, it is chart heavy. You will learn a lot. Go read it. Maybe twice. There is a lot of good stuff there.

    But I have one big problem. Really big. The first chart in the article is a Vieira/Torrent comparison, over lots of regular and advanced stats, and it shows that the team is better under Torrent on basically all the advanced stats while behind on the regular ones. This is known as bad luck.

    But. This is a big but. And I'm disappointed Dummy didn't notice this, or actively chose to ignore it. I focus on the xG stats because those are the main ones and all I have patience to dig through. And as Dummy lays out, xGF went up from 1.57 to 1.73 when Dome took over, and xGA went down from 1.32 to 1.17. So the team got better, right? Here's a simpler chart with just those stats (some of my numbers are just slightly different because of different rounding algorithms I think):
    Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 10.39.01 PM.png
    Yay better. All good. But let's compare these 2 coaches:

    Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 10.43.27 PM.png

    Coach 1 has results better than Torrent. Coach 2 is worse that Vieira. And -- big reveal -- they are both Dome Torrent, split between his his first 9 games (through the Toronto Away game) and his last 10 when the team fell apart. According to Expected Goals, the longer Torrent was in charge, the worse NYCFC played. The results were not bad luck. They matched the run of play. The only reason Dome's results look better than Vieira's is that before he changed things up so much, and brought in his guys, the team killed it, having it's best run of the season. So the ASA article basically masks the correlation between advanced stats and results by treating Dome's 19 games as a consistent run of play, which they were not. There was no bad luck that I see. The team had good results for Dome when xG says they played well, and poor results when they did not.

    The Home and Away splits show that the big difference was Away, though the team got worse at Home also.
    First, Home. "Dome" is his record as a whole. "Dome1" represents his first 5 Home games, "Dome2" his last 5:
    Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 11.01.09 PM.png
    It is pretty consistent, but though the differences are small, the team actually performed better under Vieira, and then the Expected Goals Against really jumped in the final quarter of the season under Dome. Home defense got worse, according to xG.

    Now Away. NYCFC played 9 games Away under Dome. The Dome1/2 split is First 4, last 5.

    Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 11.04.20 PM.png

    Holy crap on a stick. At first, the team improved a lot on the road, and you may remember they won 2 Away games after a long dry spell. But suddenly Expected Goals For went down an entire goal per game. That's massive. Expected Goals Against went up by 0.6 for a swing in the wrong direction of 1.59 in Expected Goal Differential between the first half of Torrent's tenure and the second half playing Away.

    What excuses are there for this? Schedule? Injuries? I cannot go with injuries because the first half of Torrent's time coincides almost perfectly with Villa's long absence, while the crap run overlaps with a missing Medina. That doesn't really explain anything.

    Finally, I understand that 5 and 4 game samples are really small. Maybe Dome had an anomalously great short run, then a similar bad run. Maybe next year averages out all good. But the thesis that Dome simply improved the team and the poor results do not coincide with how he had the team playing does not hold up when you break it down. Dome got the results he deserved. He won when the team played well, and lost when they did not. That's true whether you go by the eye test or xG, and bad luck doesn't really play into it. Maybe the team deserved to win a little more over the last 10, as the xGD was barely on the positive side overall. But xG says they certainly did not deserve a strong record, and any analysis of Torrent has to consider why the team did so much worse the longer he was in charge.
     
  4. Christopher Jee

    Christopher Jee Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    Really good analysis. Also supports the idea that Dome has used the last 10 games trying to play in a more "playoff friendly" style, testing out the capacity of his players to play in this style, and so on. Since switching back to the 4-3-3 / bringing Herrera back (not possible to decouple yet) against DC in the second half and against Philly, we seem to look much better. Probably difficult to segment xG for the back 30 of the match against DC.

    I'm still curious what Dome was trying to do with the 4-4-2 diamond. Given the lack of attacking width, I want to believe that it was either a rope a dope strategy or something akin to high altitude training - if we can play when starved of attacking outlets then we we'll be great when we have them in abundance. I tried to ask him at open practice but he just asked me if I'd ever played soccer. Just kidding.

    The simpler explanation is that he was trying to create his own style and gave in to the 4-3-3. Or trying to make up for the lack of Herrera (put 2 guys in there to replace 1).
     
  5. adam

    adam Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    We had 4 road matches in our last 9 games:

    Lost 2-1 @ CLB. We were up 1-0 thanks to a goal by Isi. Gave up 2 goals in 2 minutes at the 61st & 63rd minute. We had to start Wallace & Tummy. And has Scally, Bedoya and Awuah on our bench. No Callens, berget, ofori, amagat, Medina and of course Yangel. We were out shot my a 3-1 margin and had even possession.

    Draw 1-1 @ MTL. We got an early OG and then gave up a goal 10 mins later. We had most our starters besides medina and Yangel. We were outshot by a 2-1 margin. But dominated possession by a 2-1 margin.

    Lost 2-1 @ MIN. Gave up 2 early goals and it was never that close. Our goal came in the 91st minute by Wallace. His first goal since Middle Ages. No Villa, Maxi, and Yangel. Even on shots and dominated possession again by 2-1 margin.

    Lost 3-1 @ DCU. Gave up 2 early goals where we never even made it into their end. Things calmed down in the second half where play was fairly even. No Maxi or Chanot and Yangel’s first game back coming in late. We outshot them 16-12 and had edge in possession (in shocked by that) 55-45.

    I think there’s more to the story than just advanced stats. Also no Maxi the last 2 road matches is huge. I’d love to see the advanced stats of a fully fit squad over the same 4 matches. I guess if we win tonight, I’ll get my wish.
     
    Christopher Jee and dummyrun like this.
  6. mgarbowski

    mgarbowski Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    Now analyze Torrent's early games. No Villa for most of 8 games when the team went 5-2-1 (including the game he had to leave at minute 28). No Yangel for any of them. Really, how do you even bring up Yangel as an injury issue when comparing Torrent's early run to his later run when Herrera was not here for any of it? Chanot also missed some time when the team played well, as did Berget and Shradi. The team won 3 straight games with no Villa, no Berget and 27 minutes of Shradi.

    But suddenly injuries became insurmountable when Villa returned from an extended absence? Last year they collapsed when Villa got hurt, and they had no other scorers. That I could credit. This year the team collapsed when Villa came back, with other injuries on both sides of the good run and the bad run, and people still blame injuries for the downturn?
     
  7. adam

    adam Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    We were missing Maxi for 2/4. Anyone here will admit Maxi’s absense hurts this team more than Villa this season. In the other two we outplayed Montreal to a draw in their own home. The same team that 7 days prior beat Philly “one of the hottest teams in MLS” 4-1 at Philly. And we were beating Columbus at Columbus pretty handily till 3 minutes of brain farts & defensive lapses in the 60th minute. That’s not on Dome’s system. I’m starting to see the second half of the season as a series of unfortunate events. And I’m ready to run over Philly tonight like they’re road kill on the I-95!!!
     

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