Is There A Pochettino Effect Already?

The man from WhoScored.com knows it's a bit early to be looking for patterns but he claims the stats v Everton show the high-pressing game Pochettino has favoured before...

Last Updated: 22/01/13 at 13:58 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Assessing This Summer's Lesser Known Signings

Post comment

You may know it all about Fabregas, Lallana and the like, but other signings may have slipped under the radar. WhoScored run their eyes over those recruited from abroad...

The F365 Football Phils Quiz

Post comment

And by Phils, we mean Filipes, Filipes, Philips, Philipps and any other variation you can conjured. How much do you know. Phil your boots...

All Articles

The arrival of a new manager is often enough to galvanise a failing side, but in the case of Southampton, Mauricio Pochettino had come to St Mary's with the club unbeaten in five Premier League games and on their way up the table. On the back of an impressive draw at Stamford Bridge after being two goals down, it wouldn't have been unreasonable for the fans to hope for, or even expect, a similar result at home to an Everton side that had drawn ten of their 22 games so far this season.

With Southampton's games having seen 70 goals this season - more than 16 of the 20 teams in the English top flight - and Everton both scoring and conceding in a Premier League record of 16 consecutive matches prior to their goalless draw against Swansea last week, it was perhaps fair to say that another 0-0 draw was relatively unexpected.

Now, while some home fans may have been disappointed by the blank drawn by the Saints, they will have been buoyed by their team's overall performance, particularly in the first half when Everton were restricted to only three attempts on goal, only one of which hit the target. Much of this was to do with the high, aggressive pressing game that Pochettino became advocated during his time at Espanyol.

With the second half more evenly balanced, Southampton pegged back the Toffees in the first half, with 32% of the play taking place in Everton's defensive third of the pitch and 47% in the middle third. Everton are not used to being put on the back foot to such an extent, but Pochettino clearly had his players in the mindset to press high up the pitch and they did so effectively.

Everton could only manage a pass completion rate of 69.5% in the Southampton game, which was by far their lowest of the season. Furthermore, Everton completed only 77.2% of their passes in their own half; also the worst they have had in a Premier League game this season, just behind their rate of 78.4% against league leaders Manchester United. It was also the 12th worst by any team this term, with only QPR (20th in the table), Reading (18th), Southampton (15th), West Ham (12th) and Stoke (10th) having recorded lower values.

A look at the WhoScored match page backs up these suggestions, with Southampton reported as having stolen the ball from the opposition often. Also reported here as the Saints' other two strengths in this match are that they attacked effectively from long shots and set-pieces. That is, eight of Southampton's 16 attempts on goal - including Rickie Lambert hitting the post - came from set-pieces, and seven of their 16 came from long range.

While this is not to say that Southampton played badly and did not attack with the fluidity that we have come to expect, it is interesting to note that the closest they came to scoring was from such situations. Having scored twice from open play against Chelsea, with all six of their goal attempts also coming from normal play, they are not a team that rely on set-pieces. Could it have been that there was such emphasis on a high pressing game that they tired by the time they won the ball and their thoughts turned to attack?

Gaston Ramirez and Guly Do Prado, selected in attacking midfield, each made a total of seven tackles and interceptions against Everton, despite respective averages before that game of 3.1 and 1.3. Clearly, they were told to make inroads into the Everton defence in this way, and clearly, the message got through, but just as obvious was the fact that they tired, as they were withdrawn after 71 and 62 minutes. Pochettino himself admitted that fatigue started to kick in after the break, whilst David Moyes stated that his team became 'frustrated' in the first half, only to settle in during the second - once the pressing became less intense.

Of course, one game is not enough to be able to draw strong conclusions on the effect of an incoming manager and the tactics he looks to implement on his new squad. Nonetheless, Pochettino was expected to change the style of play at St Mary's and it looks, from first viewing, as if he is going to do just that.

All stats courtesy of www.whoscored.com

Alistair Tweedale - @alitweedale on Twitter

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Transfer news: Fulham sign midfielder Adil Chihi on free transfer

Fulham have signed Morocco international Adil Chihi on a one-year deal, with the option of a further 12 months.

Premier League: Darron Gibson makes Everton comeback after nine months out with cruciate injury

Darron Gibson made his comeback after nine months out with a serious knee injury in Everton's friendly against Tranmere.

Premier League: Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool will move on without Luis Suarez

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists there is no bad blood between the club and the outgoing Luis Suarez.

Mail Box

Defending Woodward With Perspective

One Mailer is telling us to hold fire on our Woodward criticism, whilst we also have some wonderful PFA Team of The year geekery, a well done to Vieira and much more...

Why The Obsession Over The Captaincy?

Asks the morning mailbox, before hastily returning to the debate over who should replace Steven Gerrard. Plus, thoughts on Ed Woodward's spending plans and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property