Goals or not, Robin Fraser assesses Rubio and Namli
EDITORIAL – Younes Namli is the highest-paid Colorado Rapids player. He is the only designated player. Diego rubio is the starting striker and the club haven’t signed anyone who actively threatens his playing time. The two have at times been inconsistent in the offensive exit. Twitter Rapids can complain as much as they want. Head coach Robin Fraser appreciates them. Get used to it.
Goals or not, Robin Fraser values Rubio and Namli. Get used to it.
Rubio has been in good form in 2021. He has 2 goals and one assist in six games. Last season was a disappointment for the Chile international, registering 7 G + A. Many Rapids pundits and fans comment on Rubio’s production and inconsistency. He is so divisive that HTHL devoted an entire podcast episode to discussing his role, worth and replaceability at the club.
Against the backdrop of added goals, Rubio’s actions rarely resulted in Colorado giving up quality scoring chances. Regardless of position, he played a key role in creating game chances and their set piece success. He was the most important offensive player after Price and Kamara.
– Matt Pollard (@LWOSMattPollard) June 3, 2020
Rubio contributes in other ways that Robin Fraser values and adapts to the style of play:
Many forwards focus on other MLS teams, most of which cost more than Rubio, score more goals, and score a higher percentage of their teams’ goals. Rubio contributes to the team in other ways, with his heist play and pressure like a fake No.9. Considering Robin Fraser’s system, this is something the club values in a striker.
Fraser’s thoughts on the attacker are best summarized in his post-game comments from Decision Day last year:
“His altruism, his ability to lead the press, his timing, his pace of work. He’s incredibly selfless in what he does. That’s one of the strengths of this team: There are selfless guys on the team who are willing to do work for other guys when they need it. Diego is one of the first to do so. What he has given us all year is more than just goals. What he does allows us to play like we do.
And how do the Rapids play? Pressing, fluidity between the midfielder and the front line, and random creation by committee rather than through a star player. For the amount of money it costs to acquire and re-sign the striker that matches the system, Colorado gets great value.
Namli uses the same skills in different positions, but context matters:
Likewise, Namli only has 2 goals and 4 assists as a quick. He has yet to register a goal contribution in 2021. Unlike Rubio, his position and role within the squad has varied. Sometimes he played center as a No.10 / No.8 striker in a three-way midfield. Other times he was the right winger.
Either way, it’s his job to take the ball, dribble to get defenders out of the game, and thus create chances. This year he played further back as a regista, helping the team break the press and move the ball forward. The skills he is called upon to use are the same; this is where and how it has changed. There is no voucher publicly available XGoal channel data that could better quantify its value than G + A.
By Markt transfer, he played nine games in attacking midfielder, three in central midfielder and six in the right wing. He has expressed his ease with various roles in the past. Robin Fraser said he has a good understanding of the system, its different roles and how to play in the roles it has played in.
Fraser assesses Namli’s contributions regardless of the goals:
Asked about contributions to Nami’s goals (or lack thereof) Last week, he had this to say:
“We made the playoffs last year. Getting to this point we beat a number of good teams. Younes was an integral part of it. Since being here, our team has improved and continued to improve.
“If we score goals and win games, it doesn’t matter that Younes has two goals and four assists since he’s been here. It’s an interesting way that people like to watch team sports and choose individual performances. For me, if the team is performing well, and if we score goals and win games, then I have no problem with who scores goals and who doesn’t.“
“He hasn’t really played in the top of the field for a while for us. He played in a deeper position and helped build our attacks which led to several goals. The question would be “how many times has he played at a high position and failed to score or have an assist?” Even that, I don’t think it’s relevant. We have had more success with him than without him.
To answer Robin Fraser’s question: Namli has one goal and three assists in his nine right-wing games and one goal in his nine games as a No.10. (Two games in 2021), he did not yet marked or helped. Over the course of his career he’s been about as productive at RW as AM, and slightly less productive further in midfield, but with a smaller sample size.
Last word: is Namli worth a DP slot out of position?
Namli was brought in to create chances and goals. He is the highest paid player on the team. His loan will expire at the end of the season, with Colorado having the option of buying him from FC Krasnodar. Namli’s main position is currently held by Michael Barrios who is not a DP and was acquired for a single place in the international roster.
If Namli continues not to play on the right wing, that must indicate that Barrios is preferred in this position. We have seen the midfielder become more stable defensively with Cole Bassett in the CAM position. Namli does things that no one else on this team can. This clearly has value. Is it the most valuable at position # 8? Is this production at this post worth a DP contract and a January transfer fee? Can he return to his natural starting position (s) and be more productive once he does?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, I tend to think that there is another player the Rapids can acquire and pay over a million dollars that brings in better tangible production and more. value to the team in 2022.