Random numbers

Some odds and ends from Whoscored.com

We are caught offside less than anyone else in the league. We hardly play any through balls and haven’t scored on the counter-attack all season. Our games are played in our half (we’re third from top in this; Everton are best in the league at playing in their opponents’ half), so we’re sitting deep but not countering. What are we doing?

Well for one thing we’re currently second in the league in “long balls per game”.

But we’re also 8th in “short passes per game”.

So clearly when we get the ball we’re marching up field rather well, mixing up what we do and using the whole of the pitch.

While our attacking play is, as noted by rjbiii somewhere, very balanced (we attack equally through the middle, down the left, and down the right), 72% of our shots are from the middle of the pitch. This might explain why we’re third in the league in shots on target per game.

At this point, Whoscore rate Dimitar Berbatov as the fourth best player in the league, behind Santi Cazorla, Marouane Fellaini and Robin van Persie. This isn’t a fluke: he’s scored 5 goals in 6 games and created three more. In 15th place is Bryan Ruiz, with 5 assists and a goal in 6 games.

Ruiz and Berbatov are both in the top 20 for key passes per game.

Damien Duff is in the top 20 for accurate crosses per game.

Mahmadou Diarra is fourth for accurate long balls per game.

Chris Baird is second in the league in interceptions per game, and Mahmadou Diarra and Steve Sidwell are also in the top 20.

6 thoughts on “Random numbers

  1. And the best statistic of them all . . . we are second only to Man United in goals scored!!! Whatever it is we are doing, it is working on the goal-scoring front. And, while we are playing more openly, there is nothing in the way we play to suggest that we would have to cut out the additional attacking in order to fix the goals conceded column.

    A rejiggering of our set-play tactics, and someone better able to cover on the left hand side (once again, a huge number of our opponents’ attacks came down that side) while still providing an attacking threat and we would pretty much be there.

  2. If Fellaini is playing as well as everyone else as he did against Fulham, then I have to agree with his rating as one of the top handful of players in the league.

    (Somewhat related: god, I wish someone would kick him in the face. Why does he always so thoroughly own us?)

  3. We may not have scored from a counter attack yet, but according to Who Scored we generated 4 scoring opportunities from counters against Arsenal, the same number as from open play. There is probably a level of subjectivity here too.

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