Manning V Perraud Who Is The Better Left Back
Tuesday, 10th Oct 2023 10:46
Ryan Manning has been the whipping boy of a section of Southampton supporters this season and it is not unusual to hear the phrase "We should never have got rid of Perraud", but what is the reality of the situation.
Sometimes the perception of a player is different from reality, despite never really being the first choice left back at St Mary's over his two seasons in the Saints squad, this season has seen Romain Perraud take on almost club legend status with some fans, who pin the blame squarely at the feet of Ryan Manning as the reason we are not in the top six.
Buts is that really fair on Manning footballfancast.com has been comparing the two and also looking at how Perraud has been faring for OCG Nice in France.
Footballfancast have been using sofascore for their data and the results that they have found do not back up the claims of those Southampton supporters who feel that if Perraud was still at St Mary's this season then things would be a lot better.
In his first season at St Mary's in 2021/22 he played 20 games in the Premier League, 18 of them starts and 2 off the bench, for around half of the season when both Kyle Walker Peters and Tino Livramento were fit he was an unused sub.
Of those 20 games, Saints would win just 4 of them, he averaged a poor Sofascore rating of 6.58 across , which was the 20th-highest score within the squad.
He did not register a goal and only averaged 0.4 key passes per game, with one 'big chance' created in total. 12 of his teammates managed more key passes per game than the left-back, which Footballfancast suggest that he lacked creative quality.
Perraud also only made 2.5 tackles and interceptions per match and lost 54% of his duels, showing that opposition players got the better of him more often than not, which made him a liability from a physical perspective.
In 2022/23 with Tino Livramento out for all but the final handful of games, his opportunities were more frequent, he started 21 games and came off the bench 7 times, but his improvement was minimal, he made 0.5 key passes per game, just 0.1 more than the previous season.
He made 2.6 tackles and interceptions per outing, another improvement of 0.1, but also lost 56% of his physical battles with the opposition as per Sofascore, again showing that when it came to defending he wasn't the strongest.
In his favour he did score twice and and added two assists.
Footballfancast's verdict on his two seasons is not positive, they say it proves that he unable to provide quality as a defender or an attacker for the Saints.
So how does Ryan Manning's stats compare for Southampton this season and it should be noted that this is the Championship and not the Premier League
Again from the stats Footballfancast suggest that although he has not been faultless, he has only one direct error that has lead to a goal, again this is their opinion and not necessarily mine.
He has averaged a Sofascore rating of 7.08 across 11 Championship appearances this season and contributed from an attacking perspective with two assists and 1.8 key passes per game.
Will Smallbone is the only Southampton player who has averaged more.
From a defensive perspective Manning is slightly better than Perraud, he has won 57% of his duals, but this improvement is only slightly more than the Frenchman and i would say that there is little difference between either.
Perraud's time with Nice has not seen him have much success either, since he joined them Nice have played 5 matches, he has yet to make the starting line up and has been on the bench for each of these games, he has come on in 3 of those, managing just 30 minutes of football.
Footballfancast's article suggests that Romain Perraud has been a poor signing for Southampton, his transfer fee back in 2021 was around £10.5 million, but they claim that it has now dropped to less than half of that.
So who is the better left back, Ryan Manning or Romain Perraud ? That is a difficult question to answer, the comparisons are not on a level playing field.
One thing that that the stats do reveal though is that Perraud was not a great success in his two seasons at the club, he wasn't the first choice left back in his first season and in his second he only played more games because of the injury to Tino Livramento.
He did nothing to suggest that he would be a major player this season, from this perspective Ryan Manning was proven at Championship level, when considering whether to sign Manning or stick with Perraud, it was perhaps a simple task, last term Manning scored 5 goals and had 10 assists in 43 Championship matches, although a different level when comparing to Perraud in the Premier League, he had a proven record doing the job that we needed him to do at the level we needed him to do it in.
So who is the better left back is perhaps a hard question to answer, but from looking at the stats and from watching both in most of their games played, I would say that Ryan Manning is the better option for how Russell Martin wants to play and in the division we are playing in.
Some have taken a dislike to Ryan Manning a little unfairly in my opinion, I am not saying he has showed us all why the club bought him, at least not yet, but he has contributed this season and has not been as bad as some would have you believe, given he has been playing in a side that has been in transition and adapting to a new style of play with half the team not here last season.
Manning suffers from being seen as Russell Martin's man, Perraud is held up as the answer to our problems as he is not Ryan Manning, not really based on anything he did for us in the last two season's, after all in those two seasons, he was part of the second worst defence in the Premier League and not much better the season before.
So Ryan Manning is here at the moment and Romain Perraud isn't, from this perspective we can either back Manning and hopefully his confidence will be restored and he will prove to be the right man and help us to promotion, or we can keep on harking back to Romain Perraud, which will help no one.
Photo: Action Images
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