No Broich, No Brisbane- Fact or Fiction?Posted: December 15, 2011
It’s a line that has been uttered by quiet a lot of people over the past week or so, be it from media experts or just fans of the game, but is there some truth to it, or is it a joke that people use as an excuse? Well let’s take a look at it by analysing the stats of Brisbane’s opening 8 games of this season in which Thomas played and compare them to the 3 games in which he hasn’t played.
Before I begin the stats mentioned in this blog are all from the A-League match centre from the A-League website –, you can also access them under the fixtures and results section of the Brisbane Roar webpage-. The stats covered in this study range from Goals and assists, to shots –both on and off target- and fouls won. The reason for this is when you think about what it is Broich brings to Brisbane, these are the things that he contributes to. I wish they had some passing stats available to look at as well but alas this will do.
What does Broich bring?
When you look at that the first thing that stands out is the assists column and his 5 assists leads the competition despite the fact that he has missed the past 3 matches, which is an achievement in itself but when you think about some of the play of Brisbane this season that hasn’t resulted in a goal it could be even higher. The other thing that really sticks out there is the fact that he has been fouled 23 times already this season or 2.8 per game, which I would assume makes him the most fouled player in the league once again this season.
Brisbane with Broich:
There’s two ways to look at this- you can look at the team’s statistics and performance or you can look at the player’s performances in the matches, we’ll look at both, but start with the team stats because after all it is a team game.
Firstly the most important stat is the one that isn’t mentioned here -6 wins, 2 draws- but when you take closer look at the numbers a couple of things stand out, the first of which relates to the shots. An average of 15 shots on goal each game with approximately half on target is sensational, especially when you consider that’s around double what opposition team’s average against Brisbane.
The other is the amount of goals scored, and although there are 2 big blowout scores amongst the numbers that kind of skew them a bit, 22 goals in 8 games is a fantastic effort, and I would wager that the 2.75 goals per game average is the best in the league this season. Obviously all of this is not solely down to Broich because there are 10 other players out there on the field with him.
Brisbane without Broich:
Firstly I will acknowledge that 3 games is a very very small sample size but I think there are some interesting points for discussion. Firstly with the team statistics the first thing I noticed is the shot stats, and in both attempts on goal and shots on target they have both been halved- and in the case of shots on target even more than that. What is the reason for this? Broich is obviously a fantastic player but for shooting statistics to drop so drastically because of a couple of injuires- incluidng Henrique and Meyer in this- is concerning. Is it because Broich is the primary person to get the ball to Berisha so he can shoot? Maybe but the above shooting stats indicate that the other players are more than capeable of doing that, and also creating their own shot.
The other stand out here is the goals per game ratio has dropped to a meagre 0.3 a game, and I think we all understand why that would decrease with Broich out of the line up, but one goal in 3 games for a team that has been so free scoring ever since the Postecoglou revolution began is crazy, especially when –if the FFA stats are correct- your main striker Besart Berisha hasn’t had a shot at goal for the last two matches. Is this all because of Broich? Personally I don’t think that’s the case because theres still enough quality to create goalscoring chances in the squad without him, or atleast there should be.
When you look at those the very 1st thing that jumps out is that there hasn’t been any semblance of normality with the attacking third for the past three games with Meyer and Henrique also getting injured, and there has been some rotation between the other players. The second is the complete drop in the numbers around the players questioned compared their output from the previous 8 games. Is this solely down to Broich, once again I don’t believe that it is. I do think that he’s an influential player and some of this can be attributed to him, but not all of it.
Comparing individual player performances:
In order to cut this short, I’ll only look at three player’s here- Mitch Nichols, Issey Nakajima Farran and Besart Berisha.
When you look at like for like players in this squad, Issey is about as close as it comes, and when you think about who needed to step up to replace Thomas his name is one that leaps out right away. Has he done that, personally I don’t think so and when you consider the numbers on show here he certainly hasn’t done that. Also when you watch the actual games he’s been one of the poorer performers in all three matches.
Firstly I’ll grant Nichols this- he’s been relatively good in the past three games, scoring a goal and contributing his usual game, but for mine this was a fantastic opportunity to step up and become the creative fulcrum of the team and he hasn’t quiet done that.
Berisha isn’t necessarily at fault , it’s just interesting to look at his numbers with and without Broich and its evidently clear what an impact Thomas has on Berisha with the chances that he creates for him.
I think there is some truth to the argument especially given how toothless the attack has looked this past couple of weeks, but there are still some quality players in the attacking third of which 3 are internationals for their respective countries. The biggest issue for mine is that nobody has stepped up to date to become the creative attacking link between midfield and attack that is sorely missed and when you watch performances like the 1st half against Melbourne and the full game against Wellington it’s clear that type of player is missing. I do also think that the injuries to Meyer and Henrique have a part to this as well and cannot wait to see the three of them alongside Matt Smith back in the orange soon.