download All Football App

"It is a problem in the real world" - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claims some players are better than what statistics might suggest

  /  autty

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has asked fans and critics to look beyond numbers in football.

Given the surfeit of stats in modern-day football, players tend to be rated solely on numbers. The Manchester City boss is unimpressed with that, and believes some players are worth their weight in gold despite their numbers suggesting otherwise.

"There are players that make the team play good, but they are not in the statistics," said Guardiola. "Statistics never existed before. It is a problem in the real world, not just in football. The players are just 'how many goals did I score? How many assists?"

Pep Guardiola's golden midfield at Barcelona

Pep Guardiola's enjoyed the most success of his managerial career at Barcelona, where he won 14 of 19 trophies between 2008 and 2012. His midfield masters in that team were current Blaugrana manager Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.

The Spanish trio were brilliant in controlling games, sniffing out danger and creating a wave of attacks. That Barcelona team has gone down in the game as one of the best ever groups of players to ever play the game.

They scored and assisted a collective total of 523 goals in 2107 games. In terms of pure stats, that translates to one goal every 4.03 games. In terms of pure stats, these are underwhelming numbers, which proves Guardiola's observation that the importance of some players cannot be based on stats alone.

Arsenal's Martin Odegaard has fared better than his numbers would suggest

Arsenal's midfield general Martin Odegaard joined the club on a permanent transfer last summer. He has notched up four goals and as many assists in 26 games across competitions this season for the Gunners.

Although the numbers would suggest he has had a rather average campaign, Odegaard has been the most influential midfielder for Arsenal this season. He has helped built up attacks from deep midfield, and often laid down incisive passes to split open opposition defences.

The young Norwegian is also highly energetic, and has applied himself defensively as well.

Praising the Norwegian captain, Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta said:

"He certainly has all the qualities to do that, absolutely. Talk to his national team coach, and see how highly they speak of him. He walks through the corridor, and everybody loves him. He is such a nice, humble guy, and he leads with the way he is. It is very natural for him, and that will come."

Much like his Manchester City counterpart, Arteta also knows that the true value of players is not measured by their numbers alone.