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?