In this scout report, I will analyse Cardiff City’s new signing, Kieffer Moore. Cardiff City did manage to renew some players’ contracts, amongst them ex-Manchester United youngster Tom Sang. The tall target man scored 10 goals with Wigan Athletic last season, and he hopes to help his new team get promoted to the EPL. In this tactical analysis, we will see Moore’s role in his former team, Wigan Athletic. Additionally in this analysis, we will see the areas that need improvement from him, and a statistical comparison with his new team.
His role in the team
Moore has an outstanding physical appearance, with 1.95 metres height, and an athletic and strong build. For that reason, his teammates try to reach him deep in the field. Moore most of the time will receive the ball under pressure and will try to do link-up play. Because of his physical characteristics, we can see Moore coming deep into the box and helping his team to defend at set-plays. That is because of his height: he can be an extra defender and can prevent a disadvantageous situation in the box, or help the team to avoid conceding a goal.
Moore when his team has the ball
Moore’s analysis shows that he is a player with a good finishing ability in the box. He tries to take up a good position around the goal area, which will give him an extra advantage against his markers. He tries to read the game and be at the right point at the right time. He will try to position himself in between the defenders: that move will upgrade the difficulty level for the defenders, as they will have to co-operate greatly in tight situations and communicate with each other. Communication is a great skill for defenders, as in scenarios like these, they have to take a quick and efficient decision to mark the striker who is moving between them, and can receive the ball in a dangerous area.
Moore has a number of moves to do before receiving the ball. To take up the best position compared to his markers, Moore scans the area when a teammate has the ball. That helps him to take up a better position, which will give him a lead when his teammate makes the pass. Moreover, he will not only take up a better position compared with his markers, but will also know what is his positioning compared with the goal and the opposing goalkeeper, which gives him a lead when he receives the ball to meet a shot in an efficient way.
Moreover, Moore tries to unmark himself from his personal marker by doing different moves. He tries to move in between the defenders, and explained above are the benefits of doing so, but also he tries to make back and forth movements. With the back and forth movements, he can get the defender out of position. In this way, he can take advantage of the free space and the poor positioning of his marker. Additionally, Moore as a striker tries to play on the shoulder of the last defender. That gives him a great advantage in receiving the ball behind the defensive line.
His physical characteristics make him a striker who can receive the ball under pressure and be the linking player. These kinds of players are useful in a team mostly for two reasons: firstly, they can receive long balls, which is helpful for a team and especially if this team gets pressed high up in the field. By doing so, the striker gives time to the rest of the team to take up a high position in the field. The second reason is that these kinds of strikers usually can drag their opponents out of position. In similar situations, a player from the wide areas can go narrow in behind the defensive line and take advantage of this scenario. In the picture below, we can how the defenders followed the ball and let a 1 v 1 situation happen on the other side of the box.
Additionally, Moore is a player with vision and extra skills that make him unpredictable. It is good for a team when a player is unpredictable, and especially if that player is a striker. Moore, against his current club, Cardiff City, scored with a goal by finishing his attempt with his heel. Those extra skills could give him a lead in tight areas and situations. For a striker, these situations are usually taking place in the box, and most of the people would agree that, for a striker, his finishing ability, especially around the goal area, is important. In the picture, we can see Moore trying to finish the phase with the only possible way, regarding his body position. He had the vision to read the game in a tight situation, and chose to use an exceptional way to score this goal.
Moore when his team does not have the ball
When his team does not have the ball, Moore tries to press high up the field and block the build-up out from the back. By taking a high position on the field, he puts pressure on the goalkeeper, who tries to play safe and secure passes to the centre backs. Moore’s high positioning doesn’t allow the opponent to play the ball safely out of the back. Moreover, his communication with his teammates is good. He tries to organise his teammates, and guides them to where they can pressure the opponents more efficiently. Communication is a key skill in football, because when a team, for example, is pressing high up the field, without communication the pressing will be unco-ordinated, which will lead to empty spaces in behind them, and the opponent can break their lines easily.
Because of his physical characteristics, Moore is a player that many managers would use in their tactics as a tool for the defensive set-plays. His height and build make him a remarkable player in the box when the team attempts to defend set-pieces. Moore usually takes up a position in the front area and tries to protect that space. In the picture below, we see Moore coming into the box and taking a position at the front of the goal area, trying to protect that zone from the opponent’s long throw-in.
Another way that the manager used Moore in the defensive part of the game in set-plays was by positioning him in the wall. Moore is 1.95 metres high, which makes him a tall and big player. When an opponent has a free-kick at a close distance to the goal, Moore could be a huge obstacle to overcome. Taking that as a fact, and the chance that he could probably attempt a little jump, we can see how difficult it would be for the free-kick taker to put the ball over the wall and threaten the goalkeeper without sending the ball out of play.
Areas of improvement
Moore needs to improve two areas in his game. The first one has to do with his contribution in the offensive part of the game: his ability in receiving the ball under pressure. Moore is a striker that has the role of the target man on the pitch. His physical characteristics allow him to protect the ball with his body, but when there is too much pressure around him, with more than one marker, he can lose the ball. He does need to improve that part of the game, which would give more chances and time to his teammates to get higher up the field.
The second factor that Moore could improve in his game has to do with the defensive part of it. In this scout report, we have analysed the fact that Moore is coming deep and contributing to the defensive set-pieces. While he is good when he is marking zonally, and can intercept the ball when it is coming into his area, he lacks man-to-man marking skills. His concentration while marking man-to-man seems to be more on the ball and not on his own man, which could cause him to have a bad positioning in the box. A fact like that could lead to a chance and even a goal for the opponent from a set-piece.
Statistical comparison with his new team
Moore signed to Cardiff City in this current transfer season. Moore during the last season had 0.3 goals per 90 minutes, with 0.31 xG rating. On the other hand, Cardiff City was scoring 1.35 goals per 90 minutes, with an xG of 1.33 per 90 minutes. Moore could contribute to Cardiff City’s attacking style of play, as he is a striker that has good positioning in and around the box. Moreover, his vision helps him to come out from a tight situation. Moore’s numbers could be low compared with Cardiff City, but also show that he is a striker that can score at the same level as his expected goals number, which is what Cardiff City does as a team.
Cardiff City had 74.7% passing accuracy per 90 minutes. Moore’s statistical analysis showed that he had a 64.7% passing accuracy per 90 minutes. That indicates that Moore was facing issues when he had to face more that one marker in the back, and that is a factor of his game that needs to be improved. Moreover, Moore was winning 45.6% of his duels, while Cardiff City were winning 47.7% in the same indicator per 90 minutes. Moore is definitely a player that has the physical characteristics that can contribute to the defensive part of the game, and especially in aerial duels in the box.
Moore’s analysis showed that is a player who has the physical characteristics to be the target man in the team. Moreover, he is trying to put himself into an advantageous position with his movements in between and behind the defensive line. Additionally, Moore is a player that can contribute to the defensive part of the game, as he can be an extra defender in the box for the set-plays.