The Guardians CHALKBOARD is a wonderful, incredible, impressive and deceptive medicine against workplace productivity.
You just gotta try it (he said in his best street corner voice). The nice thing about it is that there is something for everybody.
Let's say you think Cole is good at the moment, or before the injury rather, but think he was useless in October. Just pick out a few recent games, and a few from back then and compare his stats!
Is his pass completion better? Is his shooting better or more accurate? Does the difference lie in his second halves? It's all there for you to find!
If you think Parker had a difficult time finding a forward pass, in the last PL game? Just analyse the arrows!
What it doesn't tell you, however, is what context the stats are taken from, what kind of a game it was, and every footballer is obviously dependent on what goes on around him.
Let's take a quick example.
Against ManU our passing stats were 428 attempts and out of those 63 were unsuccessful. In the same game the ManU stats were 484 and 54 . So they produced 60 odd correct passes more than we did. Significant?
If it is, it doesn't really say were the problem lies does it? Are the passers worse at passing or does the problem lie with the ones to receive them? Or rather, is it the opponents, not giving you any time to set up good passes? Maybe those extra passes are just useless side way passes?
For this, I'm afraid you still have to watch the game.
But does Collison produce more, but less accurate passes than Behrami and are they more attacking passes? Let's see...