Cresswell vs Mings is a debate which may continue for a while yet; but my two cents on the matter are that Cresswell was a set-piece taker in a team which often scored from set-plays. This meant his assists stats are slightly biased; however, the skill of being able to swing a ball in accurately from a dead-ball situation is one that Ipswich may arguably have missed. Similarly, I think Mings' strength and aerial ability will be missed now he has left. Though the Tractor Boys have a more than able deputy in Jonathan Parr, the Norwegian is a right-sided player on the left-flank; and as my chart below shows, left sided defenders seem to be the ones who get furthest forward..
But the £8m deal will be accepted with open arms. Many pessimistic Blues have been referring to this article as a reference point for Milne's statement that the Mings cash will be reinvested - But from where I see it, the game (weirdly enough folks) is unlike FIFA 14 or Football Manager, where you are able to adjust budgets at will and attract players from the world over - The money will most likely go to tying key players onto longer contracts, and toward wages/running costs and development within the club. I'll allow the professionals to run the club, and look to continue to be a data hobbyist whilst I can.
Which, fairly neatly, leads me onto the sweeteners.
Ryan Fraser on a season-long loan and Brett Pitman on a 3-year deal.
These two are decent - That's my eye test anyway. Fraser looks to have wheels and is a player who immediately thinks forward, a lá Teddy Bishop, whilst Pitman is a more than capable finisher. Let's shove some dots out here.
Ball loss and recovery is one of my favourite stats to show - The turnovers per 90 axis is reversed to continue with then natural feel of top quartile being good. Fraser and Pitman are similar to Sears - So at least you can imagine that they're fairly attacking players..
Brett Pitman, here, looks very similar to Daryl Murphy. Both with a solid amount of Aerials Won per 90, as well as dominance of headed shots. The size of the dot corresponds to goal contribution, so the non-penalty goals and assists per 90.
The final point I'd like to make, includes *that* loanee, Jonny Williams. Though his spell was very brief this year, I wanted to show two (in my eyes) interesting graphs.
The size corresponds to pass success (which, here, adds very little..) But interesting here is the Successful Dribbles per 90, and the Accurate Crosses per 90. Yes, Williams' data set is small, but the fact his and Fraser's dribble 'success' is similar, may tell a story. I've highlighted Mings as well, to show that per 90, Ipswich may miss his marauding drives forward from the halfway line, which so often lead to a hockey assist (pass to assist). Pitman, again, is similar to Sears.
This one really got me thinking. Size is goal contribution, mapping Attempted Dribbles per 90 against Fouls Drawn per 90. Williams is notorious in winning free-kicks, and Fraser (IMO) has potential to do the same. Pick the ball up, run at defenders and draw fouls. WIth an able set piece taker, and Ipswich's prowess both in the air and by defenders - There could be potential for a lot of repeatable goals. Watch this space.
So my personal conclusions;
Firstly, the cash sum is slightly above par, but probably what was needed to turn the club's head. Secondly, the players involved in the deal are superb. Fraser has huge potential, and Pitman looks like a replacement/alternative to Murphy and one to compliment/to Sears. He seems super versatile - so fit's Micks type of player requirement perfectly.
My call to fans is this; Stop with the pointless favourite/retweet hype you're on and simply continue waiting for the transfer window to open and prepare for pre-season. Speculation and rumours are bound to fly, and that is where Sky Sports thrives on website clicks; similar to those bait articles.
But if the four signings Ipswich have made already (including Luke Varney and Josh Yorwerth!) are anything to go by, I have faith that Mick is in the market for the right players and has the club's future in mind first.
As ever, thoughts/comments more than welcome on Twitter, @Scribblr_42