It seems Jamie Robson split opinion this weekend.
My opinion is he turned in yet another good performance, to add to a growing number. Other people I’ve seen on social media think the opposite; he doesn’t offer much going forward. At the time of writing, his rating on the site for the game was a seven, which is a good, consistent score. However, that’s not enough for me; I wanted to back up my opinion with pesky things called facts; or rather, stats.
I’ll confess, had I researched Jamie and not been able to back up my argument, I wouldn’t have come on my site and done an article about how poor he’d been, so maybe I’m a hypocrite, I don’t know. What I do know is, for some reason, former Dundee United man Robson is getting a hard time from some quarters after being (in my opinion) one of the best players on the park this weekend. I’ve liked Robson ever since we first saw him, I thought he was harshly done by when he was bombed out of the side last season and I think he’s going to be a big player for us.
A full back doesn’t have to be a Brooke Norton-Cuffy rampaging defender, in fact, quite the opposite. If someone says to me about a full back ‘he’s good defensively but not that strong going forward’ I’d say he’s got the basics. If it’s the other way around, can’t defend but is great going forward, then you’re talking about a winger. Jamie Robson is a good defender, but as it turns out, the numbers suggest he’s not bad going forward either.
What I’ve done is go through multiple stats on Wyscout, all the numbers for the first three league games across the division. What will doubtless surprise you is that Jamie Robson come up in the TOP FIVE for some of those stats, including ones associated with attacking full backs.
In the first three games of the season, across all League One matches, Jamie Robson has the third highest number of crosses; 16. He’s the second highest defender on the list and the highest left back, as opposed to the wing-back Marvin Johnson at Sheffield Wednesday. I crossed the road to avoid walking in front of three Lincoln fans saying Robson offered nothing in terms of crosses, and rightly so it appears as only two players in the entire division had delivered more. In terms of accuracy, he has 31.25%, which leaves him 17th in the division. Bear in mind, some of the players with a better accuracy have crossed just twice, with one hitting someone’s head. Robson is ahead of Johnson, Mendez-Laing, Browne and Oyegoke in the top ten. Sure, it’s only three matches, but this is solid evidence that he does actually offer something in forward areas, is it not?
A defensive duel is when a player attempts to dispossess an opposition player to stop an attack from progressing. Jamie Robson has been involved in 30 of those over three games; only two players have more. Yep, that’s right, it’s another statistic that Robson makes the top five in for the whole league.
He’s won 70% of those duels, and that’s just outside the top thirty, but again you must remember a player playing a game-and-a-half could have a higher percentage, as could a forward who got a single tackle in whilst defending at the end of the game. To have a 70% defensive duel success rate is good, and to have the third-most duels in the division is excellent.
Other Notable Numbers
Robson ranks 23rd in the division for interceptions (20, although the third-highest figure is only 24), which is the highest of all our defenders. He’s played six through passes in his three outings, which FIFA players will know is a key ball for a winger or player to run onto; that’s the sixth highest number in the division and the highest of any Imps player. He also tops the number of progressive runs by a Lincoln player, which is a run that gains 30m (when started in his own half) or 15m (when started in the attacking half). He’s made 10 progressive runs, the ninth-highest total in the division, and as many as Harry Anderson at Bristol Rovers. It’s also the highest number for a left-back in the division and the third highest for defenders.
Far be it from me to rely on stats, obviously, but the numbers actually suggest Jamie Robson is one of (if not the) best left back in the division based on the first three matches. Of course, numbers can’t quantify the shot he took, which wasted possession and ultimately led to their equaliser, or the fact he didn’t block the cross as it came in moments later, but overall his contribution to the cause has been excellent. Perhaps those of you reading this didn’t feel it necessary in the first place, but I’ve been stewing on it all day (it’s Sunday afternoon now). It genuinely pains me when I see a player doing well who is getting slated by people online who remember one moment and not the other 270 minutes (give or take) of quality. Jamie Robson has every attribute needed to do exactly what Tayo Edun and Harry Toffolo have done before him; go on to play higher up the divisions in England.