Ravi Ramineni is a Football analytics freelancer. His passion is to analyze and visualize Football data to help coaches and clubs with opposition analysis and scouting. www.analysefootball.com and www.onfooty.com are his analytics blogs. He is also a big fan of the “Yellow Submarine” Villarreal and also manages www.forzafutbol.com and www.villarrealusa.com. You can follow him on twitter at @AnalyseFooty, this is his debut post on EPLIndex.com:
In the past few years, English Premier League clubs have signed many very talented players from around the world. I wanted to estimate their impact on the style of play in the EPL.
I analyzed the set of summary stats provided by Opta and decided to use total # passes in the final third, # passes in the final 3rd/(shots On + Off + Blocked) and the total # of Open field crosses attempted as my metrics.
I chose the final third passes as my base metric because teams that are patient in attacking would pass the ball a lot more close to the 18-yard box and take a high percentage shot.
To measure the patience of teams while attacking, I made up a proxy metric called “Patience in attack” – total # of pass attempts made by a team in the final 3rd per attempted shot:
Patience in Attack = # of pass attempts in the final 3rd/(total shots taken)
Caveat: This metric is unproven. One could argue that if a team is attempting too many passes in the final 3rd before shooting, it could be a signal of their lack of creativity to get the ball in good positions to shoot. The line between patience & lack of creativity is a fine one. To separate the two we will need more granular data and deeper analysis.
To validate my hypothesis, I used shooting accuracy (shots on target/(total shots)).
The data used for this analysis and comparison is from the seasons of 2010-11 and 2011-12. I could not go any further back because Opta did not record stats of final 3rd passing prior to the 2010-11 season.
Premier League Final 3rd Passing Summary
(includes data of all 20 clubs in both seasons)
- A big increase across the board in final third passing numbers
Final 3rd Pass completions % change from Premier League 2010-11 to 2011-12 by Club
(Only the 17 clubs that played in both the seasons are included in the comparison analysis)
- Manchester City’s has completed nearly double the # of passes in final 3rd in 2011-12 than in 2010-11
- Even the lower level teams known to favor a direct brand of football like Stoke, Bolton and WBA have seen a huge jump in their final third pass completions.
How did this increase in final 3rd passing impact goal scoring?
Goals scored change from Premier League 2010-11 to 2011-12
Click on Chart to Enlarge
- Liverpool had the 2nd highest increase in the # of final 3rd completions. However, their goals have decreased by 28% – It could be due to a combination of luck, poor finishing and poor usage of possession in the final third. You will find out later that poor finishing played a big part. For other factors, Read more here.
- City is tops with 57% increase in goals scored – correlates positively with their huge increase in final third pass completions.
Based on Figure – 1 and Figure – 2, there is a definite shift in the attacking strategy of the Premier league teams towards to a more pass oriented attack.
Manchester City’s big signings over the past two years – David Silva, Kun Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri are all very good at passing the ball in the final third. Their completions in the final 3rd doubled and goals are up by 57% are a proof of the quality of their signings.
However, the shift to passing in the final third has not turned into more goals for all the teams. This could be due to the lack of quality finishers, especially for the lower level teams.
Next Page: Shooting, patience in attack and crossing
- Good Read
Categories: Arsenal (NN), Aston Villa, Chelsea, EPL Index Featured Article, EPL Index Statistical Comparisons, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester Utd, Newcastle Utd, Norwich City, QPR, Reading, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Wigan
Tags: EPL, epl opta stats, EPL Stats, Final Third Passing Analysis, Opta Stats, premier league, Premier League Statistical Analysis, Premier League Stats, Premier League Stats Analysis 2010-2012, Shooting Analysis, Stats Analysis 2010-2012, Tiki Taka
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