With Tayo Edun seemingly set for Blackburn (or already there depending on when you read this) and Jamie Robson set for Sincil Bank (or already here), we thought we’d turn to Wyscout to compare the two.
For clarity, I’m looking at last season’s stats in the League only, and for the games the players were at left-back only, just to give you an overall flavour of Jamie Robson. Remember, they competed in different divisions. This article is not trying to say one is better or worse than the other, but intended to give you an idea of how impactful Robson was at Dundee United, compared to Tayo for us.
For reference, Dundee United tended to play a lot of different formations; 4-1-4-1 (14% of the time), 3-5-2 (11%), 4-3-3 (10%), 4-4-2 (9%), 5-4-1 (9%) and seven other formations! Contrast that with us playing 4-2-3-1 (30%), 4-3-3 (28%) and 4-1-4-1 (27%).
In terms of games, Tayo played 2932 minutes in League One at either left-back or left wing-back for the Imps last season, scoring one goal and setting up three. He was on course to better that this season, having already grabbed a goal and an assist. That equated to 36 starts, with five appearances from the bench.
Jamie Robson played 3026 minutes for Dundee United but didn’t score, chipping in with a solitary assist. That came from 34 starts and two appearances from the bench. Remember, the SPFL is a 38-game season, whilst ours was 49 games including the play-off matches. Robson also has a goal this season, grabbing the only strike of their match against Rangers on August 8.
Starting with Tayo, he contested 8.26 defensive duels last season, winning 61%. Naturally, as a shorter player, he didn’t contest as many headers as some of our other players, 2.95 per game, winning 43.8%. I always think interceptions is important for a full-back, the ability to stop the ball going past you is a crucial one, and Tayo made 5.1 per game. There is a train of thought which suggests he gives a lot of free-kicks away, but on average, it is only 1.07 per game.
How does Jamie Robson fair against those numbers? He contested more duels for Dundee United, 10.5, with a similar success rate, 56.4%. His heading is obviously going to be better as he’s taller; he contested 5.65 and won 52.6% of those. He also made more interceptions per game, 7.2, whilst giving away fewer fouls, but only marginally, with 0.98.
The modern full-back must be attacking as well as defensive, and I think it is in that role we’ve seen Tayo grow. He averaged 1.96 crosses per game, with a 28% success rate, but I always tend to feel a cross can be made successful or unsuccessful, by a striker. Tayo liked a dribble too, 3.28 per game, with a 64.5% success rate. That’s pretty decent, especially when you add in 1.63 per game being progressive, allowing us to travel 30 meters up the field.
Jamie Robson has been classed by some observers as a more defensive left-back, but he delivered more crosses per game than Tayo, 2.62, with a 19.3% success rate. That leaves both on around one completed successful cross every two matches. In terms of dribbling, Robson did fewer per game (2.47) with a lower success rate (45.8%). His dribbles were also less progressive, with 0.86 per game. That could partly be down to tactics, and if (or when) he pulls on a Lincoln shirt, those numbers could shift.
Tayo’s passing is crisp and usually very accurate. Last season, he played 45.7 passes per game, with a 73.2% accuracy. 7.34 of those were into the final third, with 66.9% accuracy. I think this reflects his pedigree as a midfield player rather than a defender.
Robson’s figures are not quite there or certainly weren’t last season, with 33.3 passes per game at 69.4% accuracy. The accuracy is in the ball-park though, but he wasn’t as prolific in getting into the final third, with 4.46 balls into that area per game with 48% accuracy. It will be interesting, from a stats point of view, to keep an eye on that if or when he signs.
Losses and Recoveries
Not all stats are good ones, right? What about losing the ball? Where do the two players stand on that? Last season, Tayo lost the ball 13.38 times, on average, per game, with 45.4% of those in his own half. For clarity, a loss is recorded at the point where the player of the team actually loses possession of the ball. Occasions where the ball goes off the field off a player are, by definition, losses, as are unsuccessful passes. He initiated 8.13 recoveries per game, which isn’t where he wins the ball back after he lost it, but when he regains possession from the opposition. That could be a tackle, an interception or just picking up a loose ball. 26.4% of those recoveries were in the opposition half.
Jamie Robson suffered fewer losses, 12.45, and slightly fewer is his own half as well (41.6%). He also initiated more recoveries, 9.07 per game, with 20.2% in the opposition half.
Critics of stats will say all I’ve done here is proven what we already think we know – Jamie Robson is a dedicated left-back, with numbers pointing to his marginally better defensive contribution to Dundee United than Tayo’s to us. However, Tayo was a better passer of the ball, a more progressive, attacking player. Robson’s crosses stats do suggest he likes to get forward though, and he seems to be close to matching Tayo’s contribution pound for pound. Remember, he has also played matches this season, which suggests he should be ready to play as soon as he lands. If he lands.