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Player Analysis - Ryan Giles

English, 20-year-old central wide player.

Has started 15 Championship games, and appeared in 4 more from the bench.

1,362 minutes played.

Whoscored.com gives Giles a season rating of 6.56. 10th best in the squad.


Position

Has played in various positions, almost exclusively, on the left: Typically left of a deep back five or left of a midfield four/five.


Expectations, based on an overall analysis of Coventry's style of play.

The expectations of a wide Coventry player are different. A traditional winger should get crosses into strikers, but just 4% of passes per game are classed as a 'cross'.


Instead, 78% of passes are short passes and 76% of shots this season have come from central areas. Therefore, an expectation of Giles and any wide player will be to create and exploit the opponent with width, leading to chances on goal centrally. In other words, not so many traditional crosses. Why? Perhaps because we have often played with one striker, and most teams play two or even three center backs. Plus, Godden and Biamou are ball playing strikers. Walker offers more variety, but Coventry overall is rated weak in heading duels.


Strengths

Skill

Speed

Creativity and productivity on the field - chances (look at Norwich game) no wonder that his xA is highest in the league (@EFLStats).


Weaknesses

Defensive support

Sam McCallum has the most interceptions in the league (@EFLStats). Coventry is setting up more as a team that is difficult to beat and would lend to Robins selecting a better-rounded player like McCallum.

Impact as a substitute. Having started every game up until the November international break, Giles has had four starts and four substitute appearances. I'm not sure what you can do with 1/14/17/23-minute opportunities.


Opinion

I see Giles as a typical forward playing winger. Perhaps better suited to a 1-4-4-2 formation, or even in the front of a 1-4-3-3. He has speed, he forces teams to defend his potential. See the image. With a moment of sustained possession, Giles pushes higher and receives the ball from Sheaf. Norwich end up with 8 recovering to the ball. Giles' strength is clearly being in a forward position and it commands respect from opponents, but it hasn't been Coventry's forward style, or plan, in many games this season. Here it works mainly because there are three central players to target. When Coventry play with an isolated striker, this approach fails.


Often, the advanced positions that Giles has occupied, as well as the spacing, has been missed. Here you see Sheaf and Dabo on the right with the ball. The position and spacing that Giles holds are good, if possession can be switched quick enough, or in a way that can allow Giles to exploit this opportunity. Yet, if you read the PNE game analysis, you would see the second image of Giles now receiving the ball on the halfway line and the entire field having shifted across to squash his strengths.

An issue, I see. 'waiting'. The shape is good, especially while Coventry are in possession, but there is an element of waiting for the ball, waiting for the chance to use skill and speed to get a cross in.


Giles played on the left of a 3 that played underneath Walker against Derby and, according to whoscored.com it was his best performance (7). The formation suits him being further up the field, and also gives him defensive cover. Here you see Giles picks up the ball inside his own half, but the cover provided with the team shape gives him the freedom to drive forward. Note what it does for Dabo...

And ultimately it ends up with a freekick 20 yards from the Derby goal, having pushed 7 Derby players back to defend their goal.

This is the value Giles has as an outlet and creative, forward. After all, he has signed with Wolves until 2025 for a reason.


Yet, when his role includes more defensive work, he has struggled to provide cover enough and produce going forwards. Against Watford he was tasked with playing wide of a midfield 5. This meant a back 5 when out of possession and deeper, as well as getting forward to support the two strikers. For comparison, his rating in this game was 6.2 with 1 shot. In the image you see the issue. He pressed higher, leaving a gap in the channel behind him. It brings Ostigard out, leaving a 2v2 centrally. In failing to recover after pressing in a moment that needed a different behavior, Coventry were exposed and unbalanced. Ultimately Giles tripped Garner for a Watford freekick and continued control of the ball.


Much like the Biamou analysis, I don't think the team should be built around Giles, but there are definitely tweaks to the line-up that can benefit Giles, such as pushing him forwards and providing cover, to allow him to create chances for Coventry. xA is a very nice stat to have in your favor, but when the games and tactics don't lend themselves to your strengths, it is hard to have the impact you know you might have.


Tell me what you think!


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@LeeDunneSoccer

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