Big 6 XI v The Rest XI – The RB

Welcome back to the Team of the season so far XI of teams outside the top 6. Need to come up with a better name. Yesterday revealed that Aston Villa’s Martinez was our choice for Goalkeeper and today we begin setting up the outfield by setting up our backline.  

This phrase will probably crop up more frequently, but this was one of the hard choices in the team. The Premier League and England is inundated with RB’s with all of them playing at an exceptionally high level. But after all the suggestions were made there was only one winner and that was our mate, Tariq Lamptey.

Credit: Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club

The 20-year-old English man’s market value has gone through the roof since his £3 Million move from Chelsea to Brighton 1 year ago. He started the 20/21 season in phenomenal form, getting three assists in his first three consecutive games. For Brighton Lamptey offers an unexpected outlet. For a team that’s defence is made up of two-man mountains in Dan Burn and Lewis Dunk, Lamptey is the player that Brighton needs to shift defence into attack without playing route one football. 

The standard to which Lamptey has been playing for Brighton really shows when you consider that he has missed out on the back end of this season through injury. He really is a phenomenal wing-back for such a young age and in his absence, Brighton have failed to win a game. 

Once again with help from VIZI we wanted to take a look at Lamptey’s stats against a player that means something. So, for this head-to-head we have put Lamptey against the player that denied him a spot in the Chelsea squad and a one of his many rivals for an England place. So, we have gone for Reece James of Chelsea.

Credit: Chelsea Football Club

Now it is also worth highlighting that unlike yesterday’s matchup these two teams are not close to each other in the table. Chelsea sit 8 places and 12 points higher than Brighton, plus despite decent performances Brighton have not had a good season. Only two wins leaves them just three points above the drop and eight draws is the most in the division. Yet despite this the star graph upon first glance may still be deceiving, so let’s take a deeper look at what this means. 

First off let’s address the big spike coming out of the bottom left corner, dribbles. As I mentioned earlier, Lamptey offers an attack threat for Brighton despite being a RB, for team who are facing relegation he is a crucial player to help shift the ball up field when under pressure, this is something that their relegation rivals do not have. Hence why he is doing more dribbling, but this stat is also compounded by Long Balls on the right of the graph. Reece James at Chelsea in an average game will hit three times as many balls up field than Lamptey so it is clear to see the two very different styles of play. But as we can see this more aggressive style of play means that Lamptey is much more susceptible to turning over the ball and then you would imagine committing a foul which would explain the measures at the top left of the graph. 

The fact is even though it doesn’t look like it, Reece James and Lamptey are two very similar players, and maybe Tariq has fallen foul of his injury in terms of this stats. But the two are very evenly matched in a number of areas.  

Lamptey has a slight edge of James when it comes to interceptions and tackling dribblers and you would imagine both of these stats are down to the speed that Lamptey has. The two also cut it close when it comes to Assists and expected assists with Lamptey slightly behind on pass completion and pressures per game. James clearly has a lot more success higher up the field than Lamptey with final third passes and expected assists but maybe this can be put down to Chelsea’s world class strike force compared to Brighton’s.  

It is clear that this season so far James has an edge on Lamptey, but when you remember that Lamptey is playing for team with far less recourses and has missed a handful of the games the fact that he is not far behind James in many of the stats I think shows how good of a player Lamptey has been this season, and that is why he makes the best of the rest so far! 

Tomorrow we begin on the hotly contested spot of CB and this really was a tough one to call… 

Thanks for reading.

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