When going through the archives of previous Leicester City players, you start to wonder, who are the best in the various positions. At the moment Leicester are struggling to find a solution at right-back, and surely the manager has done a fatal decision just axing the most proven player, Danny Simpson.
The stats of Danny Simpson are difficult to ignore, most people don’t care about stats, they just judge their decisions on feelings and their own strong belief, maybe not the best way to go forward in a modern World were other clubs such as Bournemouth especially are ran in this way by a manager who has no other option than to rely on science and ask the right questions to be able to compete with the best teams, finding players who can chop in and do the work for you.
Danny Simpson, compared with other players, might not be as attacking minded as the current manager would like him to be, but defensively he is among the best in his trade.
Fans and pundits are out hunting Danny Simpson for what Tcf has struggled to find out what could be, defensively he is doing nothing wrong and the way Wes Morgan was exposed against Everton, would never have happened with Simpson on the field. The stats of Danny Simpson is worth reading, since he is unique in many ways with all of his 107 Leicester City league appearances played against Premier League opponents.
Daniel Amartey and Ricardo Pereira are the two who have played in this position this season and surely Leicester City would have had at least six points more with Simpson on the field, being technical on a different level of the two others, talking defensive ability. His placement and tackle skills and again pace is phenomenal and top class.
To see a player like Simpson being placed on gardening leave is a disgrace and surely one of Claude Puel’s dark moments as a manager, paying the player wages, and not really bothering about throwing out £45 000 a week to a player he could have used.
Simpson made the 25 men Premier League cut and is available for Claude Puel, he is not completely out of the picture, so a full return is possible and the 31 year old Simpson could again be a solution.
His stats would put him in any team below the top six in the Premier League, and reading them is interesting and as long as Puel cannot address the correct player to use, this would be enough documentation to say, ok, we will give this another try.
- Match Stats & Facts, Danny Simpson
- Premier League
- 2014-15, 14, W 2, D 1, L 11
- 2015-16, 30, W 19, D 9, L 2
- 2016-17, 35, W 12, D 8, L 15
- 2017-18, 28, W 10, D 6, L 12
- FA Cup
- 2014-15, 2, W 1, L 1
- 2015-16, 1, L 1
- 2016-17, 2, W 2,
- 2017-18, 3, W 2, L 1
- EFL Cup
- 2015-16, 1, W 1
- 2016-17, 1, L 1
- Champions League
- 2016-17, 6, W 3, D 1, L 2
- Yellow Cards
- 2014-15, 6, 0,37
- 2015-16, 5, 0,16
- 2016-17, 13, 0,29
- 2017-18, 4, 0,29
- Red Cards
- 2015-16, 1, 0,03
- v. Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool
- 2014-15, W 1, D 1, L 5
- 2015-16, W 3, D 4, L 3
- 2016-17, W 2, D 2, L 8
- 2017-18, W 2, D 1, L 6
- Premier League
16 appearances against top six without a defeat, not bad at all, and if you compare him with other players talking experience and stats, Simpson are in a league for himself.
Amartey and Pereira does not have the experience and so far they have failed heavilly in this position against teams above Leicester City in the table and also in the last game against Everton, Amartey was lost after a few minutes being coned by Bernard.
Simpson’s total ratio in 107 league appearances is 43 wins, 24 draws and just 40 defeats, which is a great tally. The key to this is to see it in the light of being performances in Premier League, the hardest battling league in the World. Danny Simpson fought of competition from Ritchie De Laet, Luis Hernandez and Daniel Amartey in his previous seasons to gain the belief and trust and fairly his job has been brilliant, if stats counts!
Most fans and also a lot of coaches are doing their talk and decision making based on feelings and very short term analysis, mostly the last match counts the most. That’s why they often make errors and can’t peak potential and see why a certain player should be in a team or not. Stats are not everything but you should really take a look before you made odd decisions and talking about your views on this and that.
A player performance must be looked up on over a longer period of time and especially when you make a decision to do an axe completely, be 100% sure that it’s based on the right facts and figures, not your gut feeling alone. This has been harsh and difficult to understand, as the right-back position has become an experiment.
This season Pereira and Amartey have both been “stripped” playing against the better players and those goals let in after just a few minutes are fatal defensively errors to the right. Another thing to look at if you compare Pereira, Amartey and Simpson is the way they defend and how they approach a tackle and in what way they get out of it without exposing the central defenders.
A key is to see a full back in action against flank midfielders or wingers if you like, one to one, and how often they win such battles, then please count up all of those situation Simpson has stopped those attacks either by a tackle or made a professional foul. This was a key and a clear reason why Morgan and Huth had a good 15/16 season, not just Kantè who got all the credits for his defending skills, Simpson did his job too. Simpson is unique one to one and does this better than most. If you look at games v. Sevilla at home and Atletico Madrid at home he is really great to watch, being able almost on his own to keep his opposition silent, great performances.
Based on this analytical approach you will certainly not understand why Danny Simpson is no longer part of future plans at Leicester City, at least as long as he is under contract and you are not able to solve the errors. Analysis are not everything, but they can surely change a picture of a player who have been given a treatment not worthy.
If you have decided that Danny Simpson is no longer your player and you want to replace him, please get the alternative player who can do his job better, both defensively and offensively, and be sure not to splash out cash as a wild man to try to fix a problem, without fixing it.
Simpson, still not more than 31 years of age, so sad to see such quality being overlooked in a picture were alternatives are short or none, seeing Pereira struggling defensively and Amartey not really a player that in a lifetime will manage to perform well at right back against the top six or against good and tricky wingers with pace.
To be honest about Amartey, he is a quality player but as a Ghana international he is seen as a central defender or a defensive central midfielder. His two former Norwegian managers at Djurgarden and FC Copenhagen, didn’t see him neither as a right back. Amartey could long term be the ideal partner alongside Maguire, but again he has never got the chance to adapt to life as a central defender in the Premier League. Puel doesn’t rate Amartey in his preferred positions and with the signings of Soyuncu, Evans and Benkovic and with previous managers playing Benalouane and even Fuchs in there in the middle, this might be the strangest use of a player at Leicester City.
If Danny Simpson is leaving in January, would like to see Darnell Johnson as the long term alternative, despite hoping the most that Ricardo Pereira would have stopped any discussion about this position, given at least 10 PL games to convince Puel that he is the preferred choice in this position, but clearly watching Pereira many times in Portugal, he is not very defensively minded and if you have done such a misjugdement of the use of Pereira then questions should be asked.