Premier League Mid-Season Statistics Report
As we enter the second half of the Premier League season, today on the blog Barrie breaks down the stats and takes a deep look at the numbers so far in 2012/2013.
We’re just a few games into the second half of the Premier League season and Manchester United have stretched their lead at the top of the table to 7 points over neighbours and defending champions Manchester City.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have an FA Cup replay and Champions League games to negotiate along the way, whilst their biggest threat to title number 20 won comfortably in their 3rd round FA Cup tie against Watford and have been eliminated from European competition for the remainder of the season.
Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat at home to Queens Park Rangers may have been the final nail in the coffin as far as their title chances go.
At the bottom of the table, both Reading and Queens Park Rangers have each picked up a win in their last 2 games to keep them in touching distance of safety. Norwich City, Newcastle and Aston Villa’s recent poor form sees them edging closer to the drop zone.
As always, we’re looking forward to what is shaping up to be another great Premier League season. Let’s have a look how the players have performed in the first 21 games of the season.
Robin van Persie leads the Premier League with 16 goals from his 74 attempts on goal. The Manchester United striker averages 4.6 shots between goals, which is the best amongst the top 7. Towards the bottom of the table, team mate Javier Hernández has the best average amongst the top 10.
Theo Walcott has only needed 34 shots to reach 8 goals this season, and Steven Fletcher 36. Luis Suárez has needed significantly more to get himself to second spot in the table. The Uruguayan has had the most shots off target (50) and saved (27).
Everton’s Nikica Jelavic has been flagged offside more times than any other player this season. The Croatian striker hasn’t found the form he had when David Moyes brought him to Goodison Park 12 months ago, scoring 6 goals in 20 games, compared to 9 in 13 at the back end of last season.
With a number of Aston Villa games on TV in recent weeks it won’t surprise anyone who watched those games to see Christian Benteke make this list. The Belgian striker may wish to work on his positioning and timing when it comes to anticipating a through ball.
For all of his successful crosses in open play and set pieces, Everton’s left back Leighton Baines is top of the table for creating chances this season. Of the 69 attempts at goal he has set up, only 2 of these have turned into goals.
Both Steven Gerrard and Luis Suárez are next on the list. The England Centurian leads the league in assists this season, with 8 that have come from the 59 chances he has teed up for team mates. Team mate Suárez leads the league in attempts on goal, but the Uruguayan forward is third when it comes to creating chances this season. Quite literally involved in everything on the pitch for the Reds. Suárez has created the most chances in open play this season.
No surprise to see Spaniard’s David Silva, Santi Cazorla and Juan Mata on the list, whilst Adel Taarabt has been a big influence on anything positive that Queens Park Rangers have had going forward this season.
Nicky Shorey and Aaron Lennon make up the top 10, meaning 40% of the league’s top playmakers are English, right? I can dream…
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard recently shot from nowhere to the top of the assists chart, helped by recording 5 assists in his last 4 Premier League games. These came in a 4-0 victory over Fulham, a 3-0 win at Queens Park Rangers and a 3-0 defeat of Sunderland. The opposition defences got out of the wrong side of bed those days but let’s not do Gerrard any discredit.
Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney are next on the list with 7 apiece. The Chelsea playmaker is often considered the best player in the Premier League these days, in competition with the likes of Robin van Persie, Luis Suárez and David Silva. The United forward has dropped back into a deeper position this season which is paying dividends for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, getting both goals and assists from his England stat whilst RvP top scores in the league.
Fulham’s playmaking deep lying forward Bryan Ruiz makes the list with 6, and Wigan Athletic’s Arouna Koné deserves a mention with the 5 assists he has recorded alongside the 6 goals he has scored for a team near the bottom of the table.
Both Eden Hazard and Lukas Podolski have set up the most goals in open play – they haven’t produced a single assist between them from a set piece this season.
Everton’s left back Leighton Baines has received a lot of praise this season as he continues to push Ashley Cole for a starting place in the England national team. Helped by his side being cross-heavy in that only 3 teams have attempted more crosses this season, Leighton Baines has attempted the most crosses in the Premier League through 21 games. His 32% accuracy is above the league average 22%.
If you’ve had a chance to watch Reading more than once this season you may have noticed they like to use the wings as a point of attack. This has benefited Nicky Shorey’s statistics with the 2-time England international completing 47 of his crosses this season. It helps taking the corners too, but only Baines and Jean Beausejour have completed more open play crosses than Shorey. All 3 are left-footed… coincidentally.
Of those to have completed 10 crosses or more in the Premier League this season, Aston Villa’s Barry Bannan comes out on top for accuracy. The Villan has completed 46% of his attempts so far this season, 2% more than both Wes Hoolahan and Rickie Lambert who have attempted significantly less.
Luis Suárez tops the chart when it comes to dribbling attempts. The Uruguayan has gone on a staggering 165 runs with the ball at his feet this season. Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa is the only other player to go over 100 so far. The French midfielder has notably had a higher success rate too.
Santi Cazorla comes out looking best from those who make the top 10, succeeded with 72% of his attempts. Tottenham’s Gareth Bale may need a bit of work instead of relying on his pace to beat the defender.
The next list is predominately compiled of central midfielders as you’d expect when it comes to completing passes. The likes of Mikel Arteta, Michael Carrick, Joe Allen and Leon Britton can be seen regularly completing short passes to the rest of their midfielders and defence and it comes as little surprise to see them both in this list and with some of the highest passing accuracy.
The likes of Yaya Touré, Steven Gerrard and Santi Cazorla attempt more ambitious passes in the final third and these players benefit from more goal assists.
Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker lead the league when it comes to passing accuracy, both at 93%. The Spanish midfielder plays in a more defensive role these days, leading the team in both tackles and interceptions. The tall German defender has a habit of completing short passes to open team mates and playing a few one-twos in games. Perhaps he’s a fan of these stats?
Paul Scholes these days can often be seen playing a short sideways pass across the Manchester United midfield when he’s on the pitch. However, the Old Trafford great has also attempted 132 long passes this season – only Arteta in this list has attempted more (138).
When it comes to corner taking, Aston Villa’s young Scot Barry Bannan has completed the most in the Premier League. The 23-year old midfielder also has the highest accuracy of any player in the top 10. Unfortunately for Aston Villa, it was set pieces that were downfall in their recent 3-1 Capital One Cup 1st leg defeat to League 2 outfit Bradford City.
Leighton Baines fares well in this category too, as does Adel Taarabt who has completed 49% of his corners whipped into the penalty area this season.
Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin has won the most tackles in the Premier League this season. The holding midfielder is also second in the chart for interceptions meaning he has won back possession the most in the Premier League for these two categories combined. For all his tackle attempts, the French man has been the recipient of 5 yellow cards. But would you expect less from your holding midfielder?
Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron and West Ham’s Mark Noble closely follow in a chart that is made up solely of made up of central midfielders and full backs as you’d expect.
Tottenham Hotspur’s holding midfielder Sandro has broken up the play of the opposition with the most interceptions in the league this season. The energetic Brazilian is also good in the tackle, being an integral part of the defence. Team mate Jan Vertonghen also makes the list, and also fares well in the headed clearances section making him a solid summer signing.
Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin is second on the list. The Saints holding midfielder doesn’t get much of a mention by the media, but perhaps his most notable contribution this season was his header that gave his side a 2-1 lead over Manchester United earlier this season following Patrice Evra’s slip at St Mary’s.
Newcastle’s 6’4” centre back Mike Williamson, playing for the injured Steven Taylor leads the league in headed clearances.
Darren Bent can be excused for being dropped from the Aston Villa starting XI with what these stats dig up. His replacement, 6’3” Christian Benteke has won the most aerial duels in the Premier League. Linking up well with Andreas Weimann, the Belgian striker has 6 goals in his debut season in English football and is doing a fine job as the sole striker in a struggling Villa side.
No surprise to see Peter Crouch and Andy Carroll near the top of this list, despite both having spells on the sideline this season.
West Bromwich Albion’s Gareth McAuley has been solid in the air at the back, winning 76% of his aerial duels.
Five players have been recipients of 7 yellow cards in the Premier League this season. Newcastle’s James Perch has received his 7 by conceded just 14 fouls.
Mikel Arteta who is playing in a defensive midfielder role these days has committed the most fouls in the Premier League. Perhaps the Spaniard wasn’t working on his tackling as much as his technique when coming through the ranks at Barcelona’s youth academy. The Arsenal midfielder has only received 2 yellow cards this season, so nothing malicious in his attempts.
Grant Holt’s attempts to become the new Kevin Davies got underway last season when he led the league in fouls. The Scottish striker has only completed 6 games this season, despite starting 16.
Marouane Fellaini is a regular in this chart each season, whilst Steve Sidwell is back in it after the sales of Clint Demspey and Mousa Dembélé in the summer gave him an opportunity to get into Fulham’s first team this season.
Steven Pienaar has been the recipient of the most fouls this season. The Everton midfielder has been on the receiving end 52 times this season. His club have also won the most free kicks this season.
Saves, Clean Sheets & Errors
Jussi Jääskeläinen has been busy in his first season with West Ham. The former Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper has kept a league-high 82 shots out this season and kept 6 clean sheets in the process.
Simon Mignolet has been extremely busy in his past 3 games, against Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, totalling 7 saves in each of those games and still conceded a total of 5 goals. Injuries and poor defensive performances in front of him haven’t helped his cause, but the young Belgian has a bright future.
Wigan Athletic’s Ali Al-Habsi has been at fault for more goals than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League – making errors that have cost his side 5 goals this season. The Oman goalkeeper is still a cult hero with his great reflexes and highlight reel saves over the years.
Asmir Begovic leads the league with 9 clean sheets. Both Petr Cech and Joe Hart closely follow with 8. Brad Friedel has made the most appearances (10) without keeping a single clean sheet this season.
Data provided by Opta Sports
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