Celtic's Defending

I’ve decided that as the forum’s foremost authority on defending I will be attributing blame by percentage to every player for goals Celtic concede this season. I may stop doing this if I’m less bored tomorrow.

Blame will be shared between players on the pitch at the time. Though the manager and coaches and referees may obviously share some of that blame this is just an attribution of blame among the players.

I’ll start with the game against Sion:

Celtic 1 Sion 3 (25th August 2011)

Goal 1:
100% Majstorovic

Obviously that’s an easy goal to start with because the blame is so obvious. Not only was the challenge at the end horribly rash but Majstorovic’s starting position was just incredibly cowardly. Cha isn’t in the same line as the other defenders because he had pushed forward in support of Brown and was marking their left winger for a short ball (who is just out of shot on the below picture).

It’s actually incredible to see someone defending that badly in professional football. Again forgetting about the ineptitude of the final tackle, it’s just ridiculous to see someone cheating on their position that much. It’s not the first time Dan has done that though. In each of the games so far this season he has been wandering behind the rest of his defenders because he feels like the long ball over his head is going to catch him out for pace. Of course this “tactic” just punishes him further because it leaves him exposed 1v1. Disappointing that the coaching staff didn’t threaten to break him up if he repeated this laziness against Sion. I find it hard to put the contempt I have for this treacherous cowardice into words.

Here’s a screenshot anyway from the punt upfield. The ball is in flight in this image but you can see just how far off the rest of the defensive line Majstorovic is hiding.

Goal 2:
Kayal 10%… unlucky that his charge doesn’t take away the ball. Maybe a bit reckless in going to win the ball instead of a block but at least he moved towards it.
Ki: 30%… fair enough that Kayal is the guy who is asked to charge. But when the ball is shifted that far wide you need to move. He and Cha just stood there motionless until a delayed reaction that just prompted Feindouno to shift inside them. Bizarrely static.
Cha: 20%… same as Ki but he would have had to move Ki out of the way to get to the ball so slightly less blame for his equally odd decision to stand still and hope the ball found its way to him.
Brown: 20%…does make a bit of an effort to close down the shot but turns his back and jumps high which wouldn’t have blocked the shot Feindouno pretended to hit and certainly didn’t block his actual shot.
Forster: 20%…new jersey looked well and maybe the Board asked him not to get it dirty but he should have considered diving. It was a decent shot but hardly a thunderbolt.


Goal 3:
Ki 100%…obvious again. He has improved his strength and presence but that was a horrific moment. Nobody else who can share any of the culpability - it was actually a very well executed finish which left Forster with no chance. You could argue there wasn’t much movement ahead of Ki to provide him with options but nothing really excuses that sort of brutal pass.

Good thread Rocko.

I hope this will be a regular feature throughout the seaosn.

I intend to update it after every goal conceded so I hope it’s not too regular.

I’ll maintain a little table of the culprits.

I like this thread idea too. A picture paints a thousand words - that picture makes me angry. What the fuck was going through Majstorovic’s head? Was Ki not caught in possession for the last goal? You mention a brutal pass. He put in a serious effort and I excuse his error even though I agree he was 100% at fault for the goal. Maybe I’m being generous because he’s a favourite of mine but it was an indictment on Lennon that we played pretty much the entire game with 10-men, 4 players came into the game having passed late fitness tests and we didn’t make a substitution until the 72nd minute and our second one was after 87 minutes.

It’s a bit between the two for the last goal. He’s making a pass back to Forster and gets hurried and makes a mess of it. Sio may get a touch on it, hard to know. But Ki wasn’t strong enough making the pass anyway is the point.

Agreed that he’s been very good but that was just brutal.

Astonishing about the subs when you put it like that. Particularly when there were 3 guys on the bench (Stokes, Commons and Forrest) who were more likely to score than Samaras, Brown, Kayal. And that’s not even factoring in the tiredness for Kayal and Hooper in particular.

Will you be doing anything retrospectively for the goals conceded against Dundee Utd and St. Johnstone?

[quote=“Rocko, post: 618998”]
It’s a bit between the two for the last goal. He’s making a pass back to Forster and gets hurried and makes a mess of it. Sio may get a touch on it, hard to know. But Ki wasn’t strong enough making the pass anyway is the point.

Agreed that he’s been very good but that was just brutal.[/quote]

Yeah, it was terrible. Fatigue may have been a factor in him dawdling on the ball but he should have protected possession. No arguments there.

I will indeed Totti. Just need to watch them back rather than relying on memory which would be unfair on everyone involved.

Oh this is good stuff Rocko. I’d quibble with apportioning any blame to Ledley and Hooper though. I wouldn’t deem being beaten in the air by a better header of the ball as being worthy of taking any share of the blame. Up to others to react to and deal with the next ball; i.e. Majstorovic.

I predict that by the middle of October Rocko will have given up on this.

I have decided from the off that there will be blame even when there’s no fault if you know what I mean.

For example there may be times when we’re undone by a very good goal and in those cases there will still be blame apportionment even though you might not say it was poor defending as such. So even though I wouldn’t hold fault with Hooper and Ledley they were a factor in the goal being scored and will take some of the blame.

I’m happy to concede that 5% each seems high but if you look at it a slightly different way, what I’m attempting here is a root-cause-analysis. So if they win the header there’s no goal. Those under 10% for any goal are really incidental. I will consider the position though.

I disagree. I can see this being as good as his weekly updates to the Irish soccer players database.

I can see Majstorovic running away with it this season if he’s a regular. I think we know now why AEK were willing to terminate his contract in order for him to join us.

I think that comment will push him further, maybe mid November. I’ll allocate percentage chances for each month when I’ve nothing better to do.

Had a feeling this thread would be needed tonight.

Celtic 0 Atlético Madrid 2

Not the easiest goal to divide blame on because the system played a part but this thread is about identifying defensive culprits on the pitch no matter what external factors are at play. The influences from referees, managers etc should be negligible over the season in assessing individual defensive efforts.

After watching the first goal about 50 times now the final blame apportionment is:
Loovens: 60%
Ledley: 35%
M Wilson: 5%

Easiest to discuss them all collectively.

There are four images below - 2 from just before the corner kick was taken (from different camera angles) and 2 from the ball at different stages in flight.

In the first two images you can see the Celtic players are organised into three defensive groups:

  1. Mark Wilson (far post), Ki and Kayal (near post) are guarding the zone inside the 6 yard box with Forster.

  2. The three best headers of the ball - Loovens, Mulgrew and Samaras are in charge of the area from the 6 yard box to the penalty spot.

  3. Mulgrew and Ledley are marking runners clustered at the penalty spot.

Forrest is waiting for a breaking ball and Hooper is out of shot.

The role of Ledley and Loovens is not particularly clear but the responsibilities of Wilson, Loovens and Samaras are well defined. The areas directly in front of the six yard box are shaded in the first image below: Wilson has the yellow first section, Loovens the second blue section and Samaras the red back post section.

Falcao (the goalscorer) is lurking 17 yards from goal as the attacker furthest from the ball of those who are contesting the corner directly.

The third image below is just after Falcao has made contact with his head. Mulgrew has been taken away from the general penalty spot area by a run to near post which he has tracked and he is now alongside Ki. The flight of the ball has kept it away from the areas occupied by K Wilson and Samaras - leaving a straight contest for the header between Ledley, Loovens and Falcao. The Colombian striker timed his jump better, jumped higher and managed to find an area between the two Celtic defenders, who both got off the ground but misjudged the flight of the ball (certainly in the case of Loovens) or didn’t get high enough quickly enough (Ledley).

The fourth image below is taken just a split second before the above image but from a different angle. The X on the picture marks the starting position of Loovens, the Y is where Falcao started his run from. Falcao has had the advantage of a run on Loovens which has helped his spring but he has managed to cover 7 yards to make the header while Loovens has misjudged the flight over a distance of roughly 2 yards. It’s difficult to see from a 2D image but Loovens is leaning back quite far at the top of his leap. He has made the common error of getting attracted to the ball in flight rather than attacking it at an appropriate height and after taking a couple of steps forward initially he is unable to lean back far enough in flight to get his head on the ball.

Ledley (partially hidden by Falcao) has been outmuscled and outjumped by the striker. The timing of his leap is probably a bit better than that of Loovens and he is far more likely to make contact with the ball if it evades Falcao but he’s not strong enough at all to even hamper Falcao, nevermind make a clearing header.

A greater degree of blame goes to Loovens because he is the player with primary responsibility for that area. He is undone by an excellent run and header from Falcao but if he attacks the ball well then he should be favourite to win it given his height and the proximity of the contest to his starting position. Ledley’s direct responsibility is more related to the original group of players near him and though he should have contested better it was unlikely he’d be either entrusted with the task of marking Falcao aerially or capable of carrying it out.

Zonal marking systems depend on players taking responsibility for their area and attacking the ball in that zone. Loovens was not guilty of ignoring his responsibility or leaving his area unguarded, but he is culpable for not protecting it more effectively.

A small amount of blame to Mark Wilson on the line who was quite flat-footed and didn’t react convincingly to the ball coming his way. It would have been a terrific intervention to keep the ball out (hence only 5%) but he could have been sharper onto it.

2. Second goal: Diego right-footed.

While the first goal was more typically frustrating for managers and supporters - because set piece concessions are always preventable in theory - the second was in many ways more disappointing. It followed a positive spell for Celtic and was as much a result of poor (or tired defending) as enterprising attacking play.

The first image below shows the beginnings of the Atletico attack that lead to the goal. Celtic’s back four are in an almost perfect line (though there is no threat in behind it’s still a decent shape) and other than Ki ahead of the ball and Samaras and Hooper (out of shot) there are sufficient defensive numbers back.

As Arda switches the ball out to the right full back (Lopez) Mark Wilson moves across to get tighter to him. Forrest, who has just tracked infield to Diego and then pressed onto Arda on the ball shifts his attention once again to Lopez. Kayal moves across seemingly to pick up Arda (or Diego). Both centre backs are occupied by attackers in relatively close proximity.

Seven seconds later and Celtic are all over the place defensively (in midfield anyway). Arda ran beyond Lopez who flicked it past Wilson and it was left to the Celtic right back to cover the run. Forrest’s enthusiasm for closing down two passes inside meant he was possibly fatigued but certainly distracted by the time it came to a threat on his wing and he provided no backup to Mark Wilson who was completely undone by he pass.

Kayal seemed unsure whether to cover across on Arda or to follow Diego and ended up doing neither. He moved at a very leisurely pace regardless and the fact he has covered about 25 yards in 7 seconds tells its own story about the defensive effort he put in.

Final blame totals for this goal are:

Forrest 45%: naive defensively in pressing Diego originally. He was similarly enthusiastic in applying pressure on Lopez (who had Wilson for company) and failed to spot the run of Arda on his blindside until it was too late. Still might have done more to get back and provide assistance and ended up a bystander.

Kayal 55%: fine positionally originally and his presence near Diego seemed to suggest the situation was under control. He was well aware of Arda’s run (who had to squeeze past him) so his decision not to follow the run to the corner is only justifiable if he decides Diego is the bigger threat and he stays with him instead. He ends up retreating slowly, confronting neither player, and Diego is able to move casually into a dangerous position 12 yards out to finish easily.

Good post Rocko. I would like to apportion the majority of the first goal to the coaching staff, teams should be well drilled and rehearsed when dealing with corners, we weren’t and haven’t looked so under Lennon.

I mostly agree but avoiding doing that in the actual percentages because then you start bringing in referees, luck and external factors.

I don’t actually think we did much wrong defensively for that first goal in terms of organisation and both Ledley and Loovens knew what to do and tried to do it, they just failed. Ledley should have at least blocked the run and obstructed Falcao’s path to make him jump over him (if he couldn’t beat him in the air which is unlikely). And Loovens shouldn’t be beaten by the flight of the ball.

Was Mark Wilson not somehow culpable for the second goal? And the chance after that where Forster made the quality save from Rocko’s compatriot?

I think he had his spell in the middle of last season and has reverted to type again. I would get Matthews into the team.

I had thought before I rewatched the second goal that I’d find him somewhat culpable but there wasn’t much he could do. He closed down Lopez and had to assume that Kayal or Forrest would track the run inside him. He did fairly well to make up the ground and nearly block the cross but I don’t think he could have been expected to get back any quicker.

I agree on the general point though, I think Matthews should be starting ahead of him.

Celtic contrived to lose four goals in their most important game of the season so far in a shambolic defensive display. Serious question marks around team selection and the tactics employed have resulted but this study is a review of the four goals conceded in far from splendid isolation.

Goal One - Naismith right-footed strike

It’s hard to pick what the worst goal conceded on the day was but in terms of preventable chances and elementary errors this goal will take some beating. A reasonably innocuous situation developed after Kayal had cleared a Lafferty cross to touch. The initial cross resulted from a simple percentage flick down the line from Whittaker that exploited El Kaddouri’s lack of strength but there were enough errors following the concession of the throw-in to allocate blame to the Moroccan full-back for his initial hesitant defending.

The first image below shows the setup a couple of seconds before the throw-in is taken. The marking at this stage seems clear. El Kaddouri is watching Naismith, Kayal is covering Lafferty and Mulgrew has responsibility for Whittaker who is taking the throw-in. The Yellow X marks the spot where Naismith eventually shot from. Inside, Loovens is keeping an eye on Jelavic - leaving Wilson free to attack a cross while Ki, Brown and Wilson are covering Edu and Wylde.

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2586" rel="attachment wp-att-2586]

Three seconds later, a small amount of movement from the Rangers attackers has caused Celtic all sorts of problems. Kayal is sticking with Lafferty but has somehow allowed Lafferty to get the wrong side of him. El Kaddouri seems distracted by Lafferty’s presence (or the need to stay as last man as the left full-back) so has allowed Naismith find 10 yards of space. Mulgrew has made a few attempts to block Naismith’s run across into that area but once the Rangers winger actually makes his move Mulgrew allows him to continue unchecked and he reverts his attention to Whittaker.

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2587" rel="attachment wp-att-2587]

The inexplicable marking decisions continue in the third and fourth images, Mulgrew has allowed Naismith to ease away, and though completely aware of his movement he remains preoccupied by the lesser threat of Whittaker. El Kaddouri seems to be gambling on Mulgrew changing his mind because he’s moved even further away from the area. He doesn’t seize the initiative by turning his attention more closely to Lafferty however- he is content to cover behind Kayal. Naismith, the player who was most closely marked before the throw-in is now completely isolated and ready to attack the space at the edge of the Celtic box.

Kayal’s harrying of Lafferty started badly and at this stage has gotten worse. He is both nearer the touchline and nearer the Rangers goal than Lafferty, despite starting narrower and deeper than him. Not every ball is there to be won but Kayal has made a play for the ball instead of the more conservative hold-up play that would keep Lafferty heading away from goal. This has serious repercussions inside where Ki has to abandon his post near the edge of the box to move towards the expect cross, leaving that area free for Naismith to exploit. Scott Brown has passed on Edu to Loovens (with good communication) but understandably feels he too must drop deeper when the cross arrives. At this stage only Hooper is in any sort of position to track that Naismith run.

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2590" rel="attachment wp-att-2590]

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The eventual cross from Lafferty is tame due to the pressure from Kayal and the resultant situation in the middle is far from dangerous. Kelvin Wilson has time to take a touch and clear it, or to knock it clear with his less-favoured left foot or even to play the ball back in the general direction it has come from at the probable expense of a throw-in. Instead, under no pressure at all, he tamely passes the ball straight to the only man he has to avoid who takes one touch before finishing into the far corner. At no stage has El Kaddouri or Mulgrew made any attempt to make up the ground on the eventual goalscorer.

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2595" rel="attachment wp-att-2595]

The majority of the above illustrations indicate just how poorly Celtic defended the throw-in because there is no image required to explain how inept Kelvin Wilson was. Blame apportionment is as follows:

Kelvin Wilson: 75% Saved from full blame only because others were so lacking in the basics of defending. As clearances go this was extraordinarily straightforward. Gifting the ball to an opponent in the penalty box in that manner is frankly embarrassing.

Badr El Kaddouri: 5% Originally marking Naismith and though he should have expected better assistance from Mulgrew who ignored the danger completely, the left back was aware of the room Naismith had found but did nothing about it.

Mulgrew: 10% The still images don’t fully illustrate how Mulgrew switched off having originally moved after Naismith. He has original responsibility for the thrower but should move out to Naismith once he drifts off El Kaddouri and staying beside Whittaker is nothing more than a cop-out.

Kayal: 10% No fault in his effort but serious question marks about his defensive intelligence. Allows Lafferty to turn and put in a cross because he doesn’t have the patience to just hold-up the attacker.

Goal Two - Jelavic header

It’s difficult to conceive of two goals so similarly (and poorly) conceded as the headers from Falcao and Jelavic in the past week. To lose one goal in such a manner might be unfortunate, to lose a second is certainly careless. At best.

The wider-angled images of the defensive alignment before Davis takes the corner are a little blurry. The below illustration from behind the goal indicates where the zones are for each of the three principal aerial defenders. There is no change from midweek: Kelvin Wilson has the front post (green zone), Loovens the centre of the goal (blue zone) and Samaras is at the back post (red zone). In the absence of Ledley it is Scott Brown who is tracking runners (with Mulgrew) again and the full-backs have the posts.

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2597" rel="attachment wp-att-2597]

Rangers have a bit more depth to their aerial attack than Atlético Madrid with Boccanegra and Lafferty attacking the near post while Jelavic and Goian contest in the central area. The former is watched by Scott Brown while Mulgrew sticks with the Romanian centre-back.

The merits of zonal marking can be debated constantly but it’s a system at least partially employed by some of the best teams in the world and has recently been adopted by Arsenal after their set-piece woes from last season. In fact it could be argued that Celtic aren’t committed enough to the zonal setup - most clubs who rely on zonal marking have at least four players across the six-yard box as images from Arsenal, Aston Villa and Barcelona below illustrate.

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2598" rel="attachment wp-att-2598]

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2599" rel="attachment wp-att-2599]

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2600" rel="attachment wp-att-2600]

Like any other defensive system it depends on players doing the basics of their jobs right and this has failed Celtic more than any other system. Once again there is a share of blame between the man tracking the runner (Brown) and the player with responsibility for the zone (Loovens) but the lion’s share of the blame must reside with the latter.

The trajectory of the ball completely beats Glenn Loovens and once again the big defender attacks the ball and ends up connecting with fresh air. The ball is met by Jelavic well inside the penalty spot area (so about 3 yards from where Loovens started) but Loovens isn’t just outjumped or outfought - he simply completely mistimes the header.

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2601" rel="attachment wp-att-2601]

Unlike Ledley during the week Brown has managed to get himself goalside of the attacking threat, and he even extends an arm initially to obstruct the run of Jelavic but he’s unable to compete with the Croatian striker and is easily beaten. The above image shows Loovens struggling with the flight of the ball - that familiar awkward posture shows him leaning back in the air to try and correct his initial poorly read jump while the below image indicates just how far off he was as the ball disappears completely from view behind his head. The final image below is a further analysis of the same point. The yellow X marks the spot where Jelavic scored from (not the proximity to Loovens), the yellow Y shows where Loovens tried to attack the corner.

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2602" rel="attachment wp-att-2602]

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2605" rel="attachment wp-att-2605]

Blame apportionment is in the same ratio as Thursday night. Loovens picks up the extra 5% available (no fault on the line) for repeating the offence.

Loovens: 65%
Brown: 35%

Goal Three - Lafferty left-footed shot

Celtic are ripped apart on the break after a relatively promising attack breaks down and causes havoc. Hooper tries to release Brown behind Papac from the centre of the pitch but the Rangers defender reads the pass easily and plays it early to Davis who runs at Celtic. Kayal had bombed past Hooper in an effort to support Brown and is caught ahead of the ball though his decision to press Papac instead of retreating quickly is questionable (though hardly fatal).

Hooper, to his credit, reacts to giving the ball away by chasing Davis and the ball is therefore switched wide to Wylde who takes up possession halfway inside the Celtic half, a couple of yards from the left touchline.

The first big problem here is the failure to cut-out the cross from Wylde. It’s not that Wilson doesn’t make a block when he should, it’s that he never gives himself the opportunity because he’s afraid of getting too close to the winger.

When Davis first picks up the ball Wilson is about 8 yards goalside of Wylde.

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2606" rel="attachment wp-att-2606]

A few seconds later as Wylde is in possession and in a crossing position Wilson finally turns to face his man but is nowhere near close enough to block or even hamper the cross.

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2607" rel="attachment wp-att-2607]

The defensive alignment inside isn’t bad from Celtic. Wilson is tight to Lafferty, Mulgrew is aware of Jelavic lurking behind and Loovens is covering Wilson while paying attention to Naismith making a late run into the box. At the top of the picture Mark Wilson has given himself more room than Mulgrew or Wilson despite the fact his man is in possession.

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2609" rel="attachment wp-att-2609]

The cross is very good and into a dangerous area but Mulgrew does really well to stay stronger than Jelavic and get the first head to the ball. It takes an unfortunate bounce off Wilson who can do nothing about it and bounces clear of Loovens to Lafferty. The Rangers striker pulls the trigger but both Loovens and Wilson are quick to dive in and it’s the Dutch defender who stops his initial drive.

The ball again falls kindly Lafferty who has time to take advantage of Loovens on the ground and shift the ball onto his left foot. The commitment to the block demonstrated by the centre backs is not replicated by the goalkeeper. Forster remains rooted to his goal-line and only leaves his feet when the ball has already passed through his legs. He had little chance of stopping Lafferty’s effort from his final position but a more decisive keeper would have advanced on the striker once he saw he was moving it out to his left foot for a close-range strike. Whatever chance he had of making a stop (which would have been a terrific save certainly) evaporated when he failed to react at all.

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2610" rel="attachment wp-att-2610]

Blame apportionment:

Hooper: 10% It was Hooper who gave the ball away initially with a telegraphed through ball to Brown. He redeems himself somewhat by recovering to get in the way of Davis (and even continues his run to the edge of the Celtic box) but the pass he tried to play was never on.

M Wilson: 60% The goal was the product of an excellent cross, the cross was the product of very generous defending. Wilson had been burned by Wylde once or twice for pace so may have been protecting himself by backing off so far, but his job is to protect the team not himself. The amount of time and space he gave Wylde was unforgivable and was the single biggest failure from any Celtic player for the third goal.

Forster: 30% It would have taken a fantastic effort, and a slice of luck, to keep out Lafferty’s shot but that doesn’t mean that Forster shouldn’t have tried. He was glued to his line completely and ensured he had no chance of getting the fortune Celtic hardly deserved.

Goal Four - Naismith volley

The fourth goal in injury time confirmed the Rangers victory and highlighted a complete abdication of responsibility from a fair proportion of the team. Rangers had a throw-in near the corner flag on their left hand side and Gregg Wylde managed to out-muscle Glenn Loovens to force the ball inside to David Healy.

Kelvin Wilson had followed his centre-back partner out to the wing (in pursuit of Healy) leaving a gaping hole in the box which nobody had reacted to in the absence of a left back.

It’s reasonable to make the point that Celtic were chasing a deficit and were concentrating on more attacking ideas but Rangers had three men in the attacking third against six defenders and a goalkeeper and still managed to engineer a goal of utter simplicity.

Again the starting positions from the defenders do little to highlight the danger to come though alarm bells should be ringing with Stokes marking Naismith and no centre back cover. Between Kayal and Wilson they should have ensured one stayed central but both were attracted to the ball.

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2611" rel="attachment wp-att-2611]

Despite the gaping hole in red above there are sufficient numbers to prevent any cross from arriving and Stokes is in fine position to match any run Naismith decides to make.

Three seconds later and it’s carnage in the Celtic defence. Wylde has somehow outfought Loovens in the corner and smuggled the ball to Healy who is free from Kelvin Wilson. Mark Wilson has abandoned his marking of Davis to go and help out with the danger that Wylde presented in the corner so Davis is in plenty of space. Stokes and Kayal watched this happening from a respectful distance so neither noticed the run of Naismith until it was too late.

http://www.thefreekick.com/blog/?attachment_id=2612" rel="attachment wp-att-2612]

Blame apportionment:

Stokes: 50% If everyone else fails at their job and Stokes does his then it’s no goal. He was caught napping by Naismith and too late in his pursuit to have any chance of catching him once the cross was on the money. Whether he should have been left in that position is irrelevant once he has that job he needs to fulfill it. He can rightly ask questions of his support but he completely failed in an elementary task.

Loovens: 20% The one thing you have to avoid when battling with an attacker in the corner is him playing it inside you. Wylde found it all too easy to roll the defender and an innocuous (if frustrating) situation became far more dangerous than it should have been.

Mark Wilson: 15% The idea to help out Loovens was understandable given the time left in the match but he ended up getting caught out by the simplest of passing triangles and left in no man’s land. Should only have left his station to make a play for the ball, not to follow it around like a (geriatric) greyhound after a hare.

Kelvin Wilson: 10% Wrong decision to follow Healy out of the centre. Should have passed him on to Kayal and covered the box, particularly in the absence of a left back.

Kayal: 5% Needed to take more responsibility. No direct fault because he had nobody to mark but the real question is why not.