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Man Of The Match: Not who you'd think

We had a little discussion and came up with our Man Of The Match.

Ross Kinnaird

One of the tenets of the nascent statistical community in soccer is that goals are overvalued.  What people usually do within seconds of hearing that phrase is to spout some variation of LOOK AT THE SCOREBOARD DINGUS WHAT ELSE MATTERS TELL YOUR SPREADSHEET TO SHUT UP, or something about living in your mom's basement.  But, people who reflexively say that don't really understand what "goals are overvalued" means, because we seem to live in a binary world and apparently something is either overvalued or purely useless.

To me, "goals are overvalued" means that far too much emphasis is placed on the end product, and not nearly enough is placed on the work that results in that end product.  Goals are in fact important, nobody's arguing they're not, but sometimes the spotlight should be on the people who clear the path for the goalscorer, or the people who make the goals possible, because without those people, goals don't happen.

It's in that spirit that this week's Man Of The Match award goes to Nacho Monreal. Alexis would be the easy pick, because he's awesome (NO SPOILERS but about which more may be written later today), but if one looks a little deeper, it becomes pretty obvious that Nacho had a pretty damn stellar game - to steal some of Keshani's words, Nacho had a lot more to do on Saturday, and he did it in two positions.

Alexis Sanchez capitalized on two very bad mistakes (nooooooo Vito I still love you) to score two very important goals to seal the win, and had his usual great game - but Nacho was everywhere, was rock solid, and was putting in the kind of performance we haven't seen much of this season.

Plus, his name's Nacho, and nachos are delicious.  Congrats, Nacho, enjoy your MOTM prizes of a year's subscription to Reader's Digest, a $25 Harry and David gift card, and a copy of 50 Shades Of Gray signed by Charlie Hunnam with the inscription "I can't believe I almost starred in this shitpile".