Stat-attack: Is Steven Taylor the liability that some suggest?

Out with the old and in with the new.

Is the Colo/Taylor partnership as good as the stats suggest?
With our great start to the season this year I thought everybody would be happy, but clearly not.

Yesterday I was flicking through Twitter assuming everything would be fine and dandy, and came across a lot of criticism for Steven Taylor.

Naturally I was quite surprised, I know we haven’t been unbeatable in defence this season, and we’ve kept clean sheets sometimes due to poor finishing, but he’s still been part of a team who has only conceded 4 goals in the last 7 games.

Many people were saying that as soon as Mike Williamson returned from injury they expected him back in the team, which was something I didn’t understand at all. Yes, Williamson does give his all, but he lacks class. He wins plenty of headers but is a liability from set pieces ripping players to the floor.

This made me think, so I decided I’d work out which of our defensive partnerships have been the most successful since our return to the Premier League. I’m only using Premier League games to keep it as fair as possible.

Played Won Drawn Lost Total points Points per game Goals conceded Goals conceded per game Clean sheets
Taylor & Coloccini 14 7 5 2 26 1.857 15 1.071 5
Coloccini and Williamson 27 7 10 10 31 1.148 40 1.481 8
Taylor and Williamson 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0
Taylor and Campbell 3 1 1 1 4 1.33 5 1.66 0

Yes, yes, yes. I do accept that I’m a nerd. But it proves a point doesn’t it? I’ve worked these all out myself and was quite shocked when I first worked them out. Looking at that, why would anybody want to pick Williamson over Taylor?

I’ve heard people say “Williamson and Coloccini play better together”, that’s wrong. I’ve also heard them say that “Coloccini plays poorly with Taylor”, does he? Conceding 15 goals in 14 games is hardly poor is it?

These stats show that Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini are by far our best partnership which is obvious to most on the pitch. In the 14 games they’ve played together they’ve picked up 26 points. Coloccini and Williamson only managed 5 more points in nearly double the games.

Since promotion we have only lost twice with Coloccini and Taylor at the back together, we’ve won half of them games. I know half of them have been this season, but still they’re games and comparing them to Williamson it isn’t even a contest.

I don’t particularly dislike Williamson, but he’s got to be back up for when Coloccini or Taylor are injured, because he’s nowhere near the level of them two. Steven Taylor gets a lot of stick, which is mainly undeserved in my opinion. He gives everything for the team and puts himself about, but obviously heart, commitment and a great record counts for nothing?

Even when you take Taylor on his own since promotion he has picked up 30 points in 17 games, compared to Williamson’s 31 points in 28 games. Pretty impressive.

What are your thoughts on this? Is Taylor still a liability?

120 thoughts on “Stat-attack: Is Steven Taylor the liability that some suggest?

  1. Shamrock

    Key word being potentially, mate.

    It is widely accepted in world football that Ben Arfa is a very rare talent. His only question marks have been consistency and attitude. He has ability nobody else in our squad has. Very naturally gifted footballer.

    We have to hold on to him and build a side around a player like that if we wish to keep them. Do you not think Ben Arfa knows his own ability? Regardless of injury etc, he will not be happy playing in the reserves.

    Can we afford to lose a player like Ben Arfa if we are to become a quality European side? I don’t think so. Not until we have signed a few more quality players. We aren’t Marseille or Lyon.

    Pardew needs to wise up and quickly.


  2. I am fully with Pardew’s view of picking players on form. However, certain players require more. Pardew himself said it. Every team has one or two mavericks that need extra care etc.


  3. I think Pardew understands Ben Arfa very well and we will be fine. Though there may well be a few hiccups along the way.


  4. Ben Arfa will get plenty of time this season. No doubt he is still geting his fitness and confidence back. We are playing well so no need to rush it.

    For me, Marveaux is probably the one giving Pards the biggest selection headache at the moment.


  5. Maybe you are right and Pardew is in fact managing him perfectly. Maybe a relative really is badly ill.

    …I just feel the timing is a bit, well, you know, convenient.

    He didn’t get on against Wolves and instead Pardew through on Lovenkrands (WTF?!). It was pointless and he was anonymous. It was clearly done just to keep the Dane happy. Why bother though? He will be offloaded in less than a year’s time. A bit pointless keeping him happy and for me, he’s in the same category as Alan Smith. Shove him in the reserves and count the days.

    Add to that, HBA gets drafted into a match against Bolton’s kids just before international week kicks off. Not being funny, but I wouldn’t be surprised if HBA thought, “What’s the point in sticking around here for two weeks and playing the reserve games when the exact same side will most likely be picked for Spurs? F**k it! I am off to see my family and friends back home.”

    His past kind of tells you he is that kind of player.


  6. Do we know it isnt compassionate grounds? Im fairly certain that I wouldn’t like my personal business splattered all over the place and to be fair it was only a few hours between him featuring and not featuring.


  7. Agree that Staylor and Colo are our best defenders, Staylor has impressed me this season, nobody’s perfect but he’s been great this season, although he was lucky not to concede a penalty at Wolves. Clearly better than Williamson in every department with the exception of the long ball which still seem to be able to slice our defense in half. We’ve been lucky to have Krul on such form really, the fact he’s been our man of the match or close to on almost every occasion says a lot about how the defense are relying on him.

    Anyway, the ressies are looking awesome tonight, really hope Marveux can get real game time and perhaps nick Obertan’s starting spot, always rated him more, he can find the net, and Obertan was pretty woeful last week. suppose we might have to lose before we change our team though?..


  8. right boys just been offered a job interview for a firm in malta……..

    first question : what is the pay

    second question : have u got the net so i can read the blog (during break hours of course ) 🙂


  9. The Kid I think if Pards through Benny in just to keep him Happy he would be making a rod for his own back, the Manager shouldn’t have to pick someone just to keep them happy.
    Hooters done that with Nolan and co and look where that got him


  10. @ owld dog
    ownly stopped for a minute to wipe the sweat from me brow and while me boots were cooling off from smoking i popped on


  11. DAVE the rat bag is keeping out the way,maybe hes started hideing in the bunker again,might need hitman to get him oot 😀


  12. Ice I was just browsing through quickly and never seen him on, unless he has got caught with all that cheap stuff he had 😉 nah dont send Hitman he told me before that he cant stand him 😆


  13. sorry lads i was like a coiled spring there just waiting for your scabby comments

    the lads were reet about u 2…….. worse than the krays the recon batty said more like the chuckle brothers buttttt im not one to stir it 😉


  14. Guess time will tell on Ben Arfa.

    For me, if Best doesn’t bag a goal in the next game I think he will be dropped for Wigan with HBA taking his place.

    Both Raylor and Best will be closely watched in the next game me thinks.


  15. Interesting if true

    Jeremy Butler
    #nufc Dan Gosling can go out on loan. Doncaster said to be keen #newcastlefc #drfc #football

    @jezbutler Jeremy Butler
    @GrahamSpeight only going to get game time. They rate him highly


  16. I’m godsmacked that anyone things Williamson is better than Taylor Taylor will play for England Williamson isn’t good enough to play for Whitley Bay


  17. Good summary lad.

    I dont get how Best is shite (having cost little from a lesser club) and Williamson is so rated.

    Said time and time again that Williamson got lucky last season and really isn’t good enough for this level. He is not even close to being up to the required standard for a top half Premier League finish.

    Nice bloke though


  18. On the subject of best and Raylor in the Spurs game, i think we could possibly see a second half substitution happen for one of them, most likely Raylor who could possibly get embarassed.

    Best just has the chance to be useless and wasteful, while not directly hurting us. That sub could happen a little earlier as well!


  19. If anyone thinks Williamson should be in the team….. they need their heads looking at. Ironically, ‘liability’ is the perfect word to describe him rather than Taylor


  20. I think Taylor and Colo are our best partnership, but I do think Williamson has a job that he can do. There were games last season where he was wank, but he played awesome in others. Arsenal away springs to mind.Not once did anything get past him.

    Decent backup IMO.


  21. fair comment, he did have some decent matches last season – particularly in the first half of the campaign. On the negative side of the ledger, his performance at Anfield stands out for me. He’s not totally, irredeemably hopeless but…. the less games he starts for us the better


  22. I agree with Taylor having the added class, but willo hasnt played in this terms squad… we have a stronger team this season, personally i think they are much of a likeness …. if williamson came in now im sure performances in defense would differ much from recent games


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