It’s time for the second international break this season… It’s a really good time to analyze, one by one, the 10 Super League’s teams. To understand what did work and what didn’t work. To see the most in-form player and, obviously, to have a look at a couple of statistics.
FC ST. GALLEN
As always, in St. Gallen expectations were high on the eve of the season. Rightly so? Wrongly so? Who knows… this is the price to pay for this historical club with a loyal, warm but also demanding fan base, after all.
As a matter of fact, however, things are going better than usual this season. Last season’s changes off the pitch seem to produce the desired results. The club looks more solid and much much more stable.
The coach, Peter Zeidler, is supported by everybody and is doing a terrific job. We mean, there is all it takes to have a quiet season. Perhaps even a high-level one.
WHAT DID WORK
THE SYSTEM OF PLAY
St. Gallen’s system of play is entertaining, attacking-minded and also devastating for the opponents at times. We mean, when Zeidler’s troops raise their level of play, the opponents are in trouble… The Eastern Swiss are capable of outplaying their opponents and to put them under huge pressure. In other words, when St. Gallen are good… god, they’re really good!
St. Gallen earned 7 points in 4 away games. 2 wins, 1 draw and only 1 defeat suffered, by the way, at the end of a decent performance against the steamroller Young Boys. Anyway, Zeidler’s troops not only do they earn positive results away from home… in fact, they are extremely pro-active and do not only speculate on counterattacks. This is a sign of maturity, self-confidence and determination. Keep it up!
PEACE AND QUIET
There is no agitation in St. Gallen… this, considering the recent past, is something new. Finally, the impression is that the whole club is rowing in the same direction. Both on and off the pitch. This turns into less schizophrenia (with all due respect). Right now, St. Gallen seem a tight knit group and this is something that can work wonders in the medium-long term.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK
St. Gallen darn lack consistency. Not only from a week to another but also, if not above all, over the arc of the 90 minutes of play. Oftentimes, Zeidler’s troops performed brilliantly for 45 minutes and poorly for 45 minutes. In fact, very occasionally the team was able to perform consistently for the whole game. Moreover, as we said, things are not better from one week to another. Do you want to know St. Gallen’s results so far? Win, loss, win, draw, loss, win, draw, loss, win and loss. We mean, never two wins in a row.
St. Gallen delivered some of their best performances at home. These performances, however, didn’t lead to many positive results. The Eastern Swiss earned only 7 points in 6 home games. 6 games during which they conceded as many as 13 goals. One thing is sure: if St. Gallen want to finish the season in the upper part of the table, the home record must improve.
Oftentimes, St. Gallen outplay their opponents. This dominance, however, doesn’t turn in enough goals. Zeidler’s troops scored 15 goals in 10 games and have only the 6th attacking record of the Super League. Most and above all, however, they require too many scoring opportunities before actually scoring. Not for nothing, St. Gallen have one of the lowest conversion rate… as we will see soon in the statistics.
THE PLAYER “ON FIRE”
Cedric Itten is on fire! Or rather, Cedric Itten was on fire… unfortunately, the match St. Gallen vs Lugano meant the end of Itten’s season since he got injured. What a pity. Cedric was in great shape, he was St. Gallen’s most prolific and dangerous striker. Without forgetting his great determination. The team will miss him a lot. However, for what we’ve seen so far, Cedric Itten is the “man on fire” for St. Gallen.
St. Gallen are currently 5th placed with 14 points. Only 2 points behind the current 2nd placed Zürich but also only 5 points clear of the current bottom of the table Neuchâtel Xamax. For what we’ve seen so far, St. Gallen have nothing to do with the relegation battle. However, it’s better to keep the guard up. Ergo, consistency is required.
GOALS FOR & GOALS AGAINST
St. Gallen score little compared to the amount of scoring opportunities created and have only the 6th attacking record of the league. At the same time, Zeidler’s troops have the 4th best defensive record.
CONVERSION RATE & SAVING PERCENTAGE
As we said before, St. Gallen darn struggle to score. The conversion rate is below the Super League’s teams average. But there is more… in fact, St. Gallen have the second lowest conversion rate of the league. Only Zürich (21.7%) did worse. Zeidler’s guys must improve in this respect.
St. Gallen saving percentage is about average compared to the other Super League’s teams. Dejan Stojanovic’s performances are not consistent… just like the whole team’s performances, after all. The Easten Swiss goalkeeper, however, has got potential and in our opinion the saving percentage will increase.
GOALS FOR & GOALS AGAINST PER 15′
Peter Zeidler’s system of play is entertaining and fun for the fans. At the same time, however, it’s very demanding… in our opinion, this chart confirms it. St. Gallen concede way too many goals during the last 15 minutes of play. They must improve in this respect.
SHOTS & SHOTS ON TARGET
St. Gallen’s number of shots is above the Super League’s team average. In fact, St. Gallen shot 149 times just like Basel… no other teams did better in the Super League. At the same time, St. Gallen shot 52 times on target… but in this case, as many as 5 teams did better (Young Boys, Basel, Thun and Sion). We mean, Zeidler’s troops shooting accuracy (34.9%) is very low. In fact, is the lowest of the Super League.
SHOTS FACED & SHOTS ON TARGET FACED
St. Gallen’s shots and shots on target faced is average. This, in our opinion, is due to the lack of consistency… When St. Gallen, for a reason or another, aren’t able to be dominant, they suffer too much the opponents.
AVERAGE BALL POSSESSION
St. Gallen’s average ball possession is 54.6% which is the second highest of the Super League behind Zürich (55.9%). Peter Zeidler wants his team to have always the situation under control… he’s got his wish.
As we said already a couple of times, St. Gallen are a dominant side. This stat confirms it! Only Young Boys and Thun are more dominant than St. Gallen and this is something that bodes very well for the future.
OUR FINAL POSITION PREDICTION
The Super League is darn tight, therefore it’s almost impossible to predict St. Gallen’s final position.
In our opinion, however, St. Gallen have all it takes to do well. Cedric Itten’s injury is a bit of a blow… and the hope is that the club will be able to find a replacement during the winter transfer window session.
Because… if St. Gallen can become more accurate in front of goal and a tiny bit more consistent, this season can become a great one. We mean, to finish the Super League among the top 3-4 positions is not a pipe dream.
Have fun, FCSG!