Some time ago I sat with a few other members of the media at a lunch with Tom Fox who was then the Villa CEO. I put it to him that lack of goals looked like being a problem. His reply left me and others gobsmacked to say the least. He said “you don’t understand the modern game because it’s not just about goals but expected goals”. I asked him to explain and he pointed out that as an example if a brilliant cross was delivered into the penalty area and the team didn’t score it was an “expected goal”. I remember saying “you mean missed chances because it’s not about the chances you make but the chances you take”.
Now a year or so later the computer college stats mad coaches have their way and the BBC Match of the Day now shows the expected goals stats? Of course you want to create chances but the only statistic that matters is goals and result. In my 40 years reporting and commentating on football managers have always talked about missed chances but now coaches create a new “phrase” to describe something that they have reinvented.
It’s the simplest game in the world; for Heaven’s sake stop over complicating it.