Oooh, this is interesting. Colin Baker was onto this kind of thing a while ago (and his stats in the Fulham Review already consider factors such as shot difficulty) but here’s a good look at how number work is growing.
Here’s a bit I like:
The image below shows the location – and goal probability – of the goals conceded by De Gea (red) and Robinson (blue). The tiny size of many of the circles/shots conceded by Robinson highlights an apparent weakness when facing efforts from distance.
I have literally been saying this for years: Paul Robinson is a terrible ‘keeper (who does well against Fulham!). That he is consistently the easiest goalkeeper to beat in the league makes a mockery of his one-time status as England’s number one.
The issue I have with the shooting stats (e.g. Rooney, Dempsey, VP comps) is that Rooney’s probably shooting on the end of quicksilver breakaways using flanks and swift ball movement, while Dempsey’s shooting on the end of slow buildups where we’ve tried to walk the ball through the middle of the pitch. So I don’t know that merely looking at shot location is a fair comp. But I suppose it’s all we have for now.