Following on from the review in stats, i though i would look at the difference in stats between Masuaku and Cresswell in the Man City game.
Both had 45 minutes in the match.
Masuaku started, which seems to back up the season so far with Pellegrini seemingly favouring Masuaku over Cresswell overall. But has this game changed Pellegrini’s thoughts?
Before going through my thoughts and some stats, it can be argued that Man City took their foot off the gas in the second half but it could also be argued they Masuaku made it easier for them to do that due to his first half performance.
In the first half Man City were very good as they have been all season but that should mean a defender needs to concentrate 100%. Masuaku did not do this and this basic fact contributed to 2 of the Man City goals. This has not been the first time either that his concentration has let down any skill he has.
Cresswell was added for the second half and did to add a more solid feel to our left side. There was a couple of times that he seemed out of position but that can be expected against a Man City side that can change direction across the pitch very quick.
So let’s look at their stats for the game.
Masuaku – 10 passes completed, from 13 attempted, 77% completion.
Cresswell – 16 passes completed from 20 attempted, 80% completion.
Also interesting where on the pitch these passes were made.
Masuaku, 2 in defensive third, 7 in the middle third, 1 in the attacking third.
Cresswell, 3 in defensive third, 9 in the middle third, 4 in the attacking third.
In percentage terms of their completed passes
Masuaku – (20%) – (70%) – (10%)
Cresswell – (19%) – (56%) – (25%)
Add to this what direction the passes were.
Masuaku – 4 forward (40%), 1 backward (10%), 5 square. (50%)
Cresswell – 14 forward (88%) , 1 backward (6%) , 1 square. (6%)
So overall Cresswell passed further down the pitch and also passed the ball forward far more.
Defensive stats are not needed for anyone that watched the game with Masuaku being really poor.
But defensive stats were:-
Masuaku – 1 tackle and 1 interception.
Cresswell – 2 clearances and 2 interceptions.
Both for 45 minutes each
But compare these to Zabaleta’s 90 mins contribution in defence.
4 tackles, 3 clearances, 1 block and 6 interceptions.
Masuaku – 1 pass in the final third and 1 cross.
Cresswell – 4 passes in the final third, 1 chance created, 3 crosses and 2 recoveries.
This could all be as simple as Masuaku having a total mare but its not often 2 players can be compared against the same opposition with the same amount of playing time.
It is often said that Masuaku is not a defender or not a full back but a wing back or winger. Personally i do not see him as a winger as for me a winger needs to put in decent crosses and also add a scoring threat. Im not sure he does either.
With the January window not far away, we probably need to replace one with a player that can make the position their own. In the same way as Balbuena and Diop have done in the middle and the way that Zabaleta retained his place when many thought Frederick’s was going to be 1st choice right back at the start of the season.
But until then Pellegrini in my opinion needs to give Cresswell a run of games to see if he can be the 1st choice left back.