In Belgium, the RWDM is the laughing stock of the Pro League when it comes time to take a look at the goals conceded column. Forty-nine in 24 outings… Or 2.04 per match on average. Worrying. Especially if Alex Ferguson's proposal can be reversed. “A good attack will win you matches, a good defense will allow you to win titles”, said the iconic Manchester United manager. Will poor defense earn you relegation?
In any case, despite all these changes in the format of our championship, over the last four seasons, the team with the most permeable defense has each time gone down to the lower level. The last one to swim against the tide? The Circle in 2018-2019.
Treating the hemorrhage would at least give Molenbeek a better chance of survival. The figures are alarming. Why do the residents of Machtens, who have only taken 5 points in the last ten days (no one does worse), take so much? Analysis.
Constant change of personnel
Injuries certainly have something to do with it. But the statistic says a lot about the instability that reigns in the rearguard: Claudio Caçapa has only been able to field the same defense in two matches in a row on 11 occasions, while we will be playing the 25th day of Pro League this weekend when his troops host Antwerp.
If Théo Defourny is constantly at the kick-off, no less than 11 men tried their hand in the axis of the RWDM defense. Whether in a trio or a duo, that Caçapa favored against Union SG and against Standard recently. The different combinations used in front of the goalkeeper are obviously even more numerous. It is therefore difficult to create automatisms between the players when providing cover for example or defending a corner. Not to mention that the language barrier, between Brazilians and French speakers, should not make things easier.
More than a third on stopped phases
They are becoming more and more important in modern football. Their impact is still underestimated, with 28% of goals scored in the Pro League this season coming from set-pieces. The masters of art among us? La Gantoise, 45% of whose achievements were scored either from free kicks, corners or penalties.
The RWDM is, for its part, after Kortrijk, the team which exploits the least this weapon which has become formidable with only four goals (out of 27) planted in set phases. Surprising with a specialist like Xavier Mercier in the ranks. But the people of Molenbeek are, above all, the most vulnerable when it comes to defending this type of situation. Nearly 37% of goals conceded (18 out of 49) come from free kicks, corners or opposing penalties.
Ten goals after regulation time
Rather surprising: RWDM is the only Pro League team that has not yet managed to score the net in the first quarter of an hour. Conversely and unsurprisingly, Caçapa's men were disappointed at the end of the match: 15 goals (31%) were conceded after the 75th minute. Nobody does worse.
This trauma at the end of the match seems well established in the unconscious of Molenbeekois. Defourny has already turned around ten times during added time. A collective weakness which has already cost nine points in total. Survival would have virtually already been in our pocket… Enough to feed regrets.