Tuesday, August 16, 2011

EPL: Where the goals come from

"Attacking midfielders" - eg. Samir Nasri or Adel Taarabt - categorized as forwards.
Click image to enlarge.

The table above describes where each team relied upon for scoring in last season's English Premier League.  For example, league Champions Manchester United scored 73.08% of their goals through their forwards - a corps including league-high scorer Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney.  That they were in the bottom three for goals from midfielders stands testament to the age of last season's key players Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.

It is interesting to note that clubs noted for a passing game - such as Wigan or at times West Brom - were balanced out for goals from midfield by clubs such as Birmingham, who simply didn't have anyone outside central midfielder Craig Gardner on whom they could rely to hit the net with regularity.  It is of course no surprise to see that clubs who required set pieces to score (I'm looking at you Stoke City) had higher rates of goals scored by defenders.  

Given defenders' propensity scoring from corner and free kick situations, we can infer that with the exception of Birmingham, the relegated teams last season had extreme difficulty scoring from set pieces as West Ham managed only 7% of their goals from defenders, while Blackpool bottomed out of the division at just under 5.5%.

A large difference can be seen in the promoted teams.  While Cities Norwich and Swansea both prefer to attack with the ball on the ground, QPR can't ever be mistaken for a team of Xavis.  Manager Neil Warnock's M.O. is to get the ball to Adel Taarabt at all costs, who then attempts to create havoc.  This is displayed in him creating or scoring 47% of all QPR's goals last term.  A simple reason for them being my pick to go down - they, like Charlie Adam and Blackpool last year just don't have enough diversified offensive firepower.

1 comment:

  1. This post has been picked up by Chinese website BBs.GoalHi.com - and here is one comment, translated from the original Chinese by Google Translate (methinks they need better algorithms):

    My sugar was up front on silver are used to transform into a guard:

    Shell ten aircraft for rescue when a goal is obviously better to use points
    Ya fat magic you can carry three back
    A fat guard with a natural foot elbow guard

    Any penalty and my sugar is guard majority punishment
    Penalty shootout with a back four in midfield!
    There are wooden with wooden ah!