Chelsea’s interim manager Guus Hiddink has said that he thinks people put too much stock into possession stats.
Chelsea played Manchester United over the weekend and the two clubs shared the possession of the ball reasonably evenly: The Blues had 49% possession compared to United’s 51%. Prior to that game, however, the Manchester club had enjoyed plenty of possession in their matches without creating many chances.
Their possession-based football drew criticism from the team’s shirt sponsor Adidas, but Hiddink felt it was unfair. He said, “You must not overrate the amount of possession. Most teams want the ball. What do you do with it? Say we had 65, 67 and 70% possession, but our opponents said, ‘We don’t care how much possession you have, we have the score on our side’. Do you secure your way of playing? Or do you go as soon as possible into the attack? I prefer the latter option. The first thought must be vertical”.
The possession stats weren’t the only thing that were shared on the day with both clubs also taking a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw.