I don’t think there are too many fans singing the praises of Kouyate and haven’t been since that final season at Upton Park that is slowing disappearing into the darkness.
To give him a fair crack at what the stats reveal, I have reviewed his performance in stats over the last 6 games.
Man City H 1-4
Arsenal A 1-4
Stoke H 1-1
Chelsea A 1-1
Southampton H 3-1
Burnley A 0-3
Apart from coming off on 89 Minutes again Southampton, he has played every minute in all 6 games.
So without doubt a player that Moyes has trust in and must feel is adding to the team?
Before looking at the stats I couldn’t really tell you what he adds to the team.
1 Sit and hold in front of the defence?
2 Break up the oppositions play with tackles and interceptions?
3 Keep it simple, receiving passes from the defence and moving the ball on quickly?
4 Spray passes across the pitch to our wing backs?
5 Is he a box to box midfielder?
6 Make bursting runs, taking on players before making a killer pass?
ANSWERS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BLOG
Let’s see which parts of the above central midfielder characteristics the stats back up for him.
Passing, Crosses & Take-ons
A total of 186 passes attempted across the 6 games, completing 142 (76%)
Therefore, an average of just 31 attempted passes per game with 23 completed.
During the same games, Mark Noble attempted 317 passes and completed 269 (85%)
Of the 186 attempted passes by Kouyate across all 6 games,
24 were played into the defensive third of the pitch
112 into the central third
50 into the attacking third, of which just 3 were attempted into the oppositions penalty area.
90 were classified as forward, 50 square and 46 backwards
Kouyate had the 1 assist against Southampton
Crosses, 2 attempted crosses in 6 matches
Take-ons, 5 from 9 completed
Tackles & Interceptions
If his role in the team is to break up the opponents play then these are the stats that should show it.
Tackles – He attempted just 18 tackles across 6 games winning 12
Interceptions – Just 1 interception – that’s across all 6 games
Again in comparison, Noble was involved in 31 tackles winning 15 and intercepted 11 times.
Other defensive stats,
Kouyate made 3 blocks, 7 clearances and won 6 from 12 aerial duels
Fouls, Kouyate committed 10 fouls and suffered 11 against him.
Answers to the questions
- Sit and hold in front of the defence? NO
- Break up the oppositions play with tackles and interceptions? NO
None of the stats show that he is effective at this.
Not enough tackles and does not intercept play.
An effective holding midfielder would be expected to show far more tackles beyond just 3 attempted per game and to only intercept 1 pass in 6 games is beyond belief.
The fact that he has also only committed less than 2 fouls per game also shows that he is just not involved.
- Keep it simple, receiving passes from the defence and moving the ball on quickly? NO
- Spray passes across the pitch to our wing backs? NO
- Is he a box to box midfielder? NO
- Make bursting runs, taking on players before making a killer pass? NO
Kouyate attempts only 30 passes per game on average. These are not stats that show he is always looking to receive the ball from our defence and start our play.
In terms of making runs, although I don’t have running stats the fact that he has only taken on players 9 times across 6 games and crossed the ball twice means that he is not bursting through from the middle of the field with the ball.
And with just 3 passes attempted into the penalty box then he doesn’t really have a killer pass.
His instructions must come from the Manager but unless Moyes is saying to him don’t get involved then I have no idea what his individual tactics are.
What is he adding in the centre midfield, nothing for me either in defence or attack.
Why not just swap him with Rice and play him in a centre back role?
Or just play a more attacking midfielder such as Lanzini or Mario there alongside Noble. They may not give us what we need in defence but neither does Kouyate. What they may give is better passes and bridge the gap between the midfield and attack.