After this morning’s blog on the value of Johnny Hunt I received an interesting tweet from @AndyP_wxm which got me thinking:
@wrexhamfan brings natural balance and width in the front 3. Be interesting to see the win/loss ratio when he has/not been in the front 3…
— Andrew (@AndyP_wxm) December 7, 2013
So just how effective is Hunt in his different positions? There’s a note of caution I ought to sound before going any further: we’ve only played 24 games this season, and Hunt started just 13 of them, so we’ve got a pretty small sample size to play with which might give us inaccurate results.
A clear example of this is that we’ve done much worse this season when he starts at left back: all the stats are bad in that instance as we score fewer, concede more, lose more and win fewer than when he plays in any other position or isn’t playing at all.
But those stats show how you can twist figures in whichever direction suits you: on the one hand, you could suggest that those stats are artificially boosted by the fact that the sole win in five games came against Gresley, a side that plays in a division three levels below ours, and actually we are even worse than the numbers suggest when Hunt starts at left back.
On the other hand, the small sample size and the fact that he’s been pressed into filling in at left back only when our back four has been hit particularly hard by injuries suggests that his presence there ought not to be seen as the reason for those results. More likely is that he had to play at left back in the first part of the season, when we were doing badly as a collective.
In answer to Andy’s question, the win stats aren’t any different when Hunt plays up front compared to when he’s in midfield. The stats that stand out are the goals which are scored when Hunt plays up front. We score an extra goal every two games when he’s up front compared to when he doesn’t play at all, and let in just one a game – impressive in the context of this season – which might suggest his diligence when he hasn’t got the ball adds something extra to us defensively when he’s tracking back from up front