“Ambidexterity is the state of being equally adept in the use of both left and right appendages (such as the feet). It is one of the most famous varieties of cross-dominance. People that are naturally ambidextrous are rare, with only one out of one hundred people being naturally ambidextrous.The degree of versatility with each foot is generally the qualitative factor in determining a person’s ambidexterity”.
But who has been the most and least ambidextrous shot taker in the Premier League over the last four seasons? I thought it might be interesting (and fun) to investigate and here is what I came up with.
First off, to narrow down the search I have only taken into account players who have had more than 100 attempts at goal, left and right foot combined that is, not 100 shots with each foot. Remember we are only going to quantify players who have shot with their feet, headed shots and any other body part shots are not included. So for example Titus Bramble sticking the ball in the net with his considerable derriere won’t count.
To get going let’s take a look at the top 30 shot takers (both feet). What players have had more shots with both feet over the past four seasons?
Probably not much of a surprise there with Wayne Rooney topping the list having had a total of 499 shots with his feet in the last 4 seasons. That’s 97 more shots than his nearest rival striker on the list, which is Robin Van Persie with 402. As a midfielder, it’s a testament to Lampard’s longevity and usefulness that he features in second place with a total of 430 shots. It’s also interesting that potential Liverpool target Clint Dempsey comes fourth on that list having had 386 shots with his feet over the last 4 seasons.
That is just a sample of the players we are going to be looking at. Players with over 100 shots in total. By my calculations there were 116 players who have had more than 100 shots with both feet combined over the last 4 seasons, but which one of them is the most one-footed, and which one is the most two footed?
Next, let’s take a look at who has shot with their right foot more times in the last 4 years.
Again not many surprises here, and considering that the majority of players in the Premier League are right-footed, then that might account for the fact that the table is similar to our Total Shots Table above.
But what about left-footed shooters? What players have had more shots with their left foot in the last 4 seasons?
Robin Van Persie is way out in front here, having had 303 shots in total with his left foot over the last 4 years. That’s 82 more shots with his left foot than any other player, which is N’Zogbia with 222 shots with his left foot. As ‘lefties’, no surprises that both Downing and Bale feature high up in the list.
To decide what players are more left-footed, right-footed, one-footed and two-footed I have broken the figures down and quantified them as percentages.
So percentage-wise, what player took more shots with his right foot than his left over the last 4 seasons?
And the winners is….. Antonio Valencia gets the gong for being the most right-footed shooter in the Premiership over the previous 4 seasons. 98.25%$ of his shots have been with his right foot. He has had 112 shots with his right foot and incredibly has only had 2 with his left. Of course the inverse is also true; as this also make him the least left-footed shooter with at total of only 1.75% of his shots being left-footed. Tip for defenders out there: show Valencia onto his left foot! Danny Murphy comes a credible second with 94.26% of his shots being right-footed, or 115 with his right foot and only 7 with his left.
Next, percentage-wise, what player took more shots with his left foot than his right – over the last 4 seasons?
Surprisingly Allessandro Diamanti, who played for West Ham in the 09/10 & 10/11 seasons, has been the most left-footed shot taker in the Premiership over the last 4 years. 96.04% of all his shots were with his left foot, or broken down, 97 have been with his left and only 4 with his right. Some notable absentee lefties from that list include Van Persie and Downing say. Which would indicate they have a more balanced left/right foot shot taking ratio.
Now if we take into account all left/right foot players on both the last two tables who has the biggest ratio difference between either feet? This will tell us who the most one-footed shot taker has been in the Premiership over the past 4 seasons. Not too hard to work out from looking at both tables. But nonetheless let’s put it into table format and see.
And there we have it. Valencia – with the biggest difference between right and left foot shots is the least ambidextrous shot taker in the Premiership over the past 4 seasons.
But more importantly, what player has the smallest percentage difference between right and left foot shots? Surprisingly it is a player, which has not featured in any of our tables up till now.
First off, an honourable mention must go to Glen Johnson, being one of the few defenders to be featured, he has had 62 right foot shots and 52 left foot shots with a difference of only 10 between the two over the last 4 seasons.
Hats off to Peter Odemwingie who has the least percentage difference between right and left shots over the past 4 seasons. Looking at his figures, he has had 81 right foot shots and 85 left foot shots, with the difference between the two only 4 shots.
So he has been the most ambidextrous shot taker in the Premier League in the last 4 seasons. Surprised?
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