Friday, 14 February 2014

Premier League attack patterns visualised

Yesterday, I posted some visualisations of approach play in the Premier League. They describe how passes into a 'shooting zone' in front of the goal tend to be more successful when they come directly, rather than from wide areas.

I've started to play with these visualisations for individual teams and a few people have asked how they look, so today I'm posting attack patterns for the current Premier League top seven. We're looking at the number and success rate of passes played into a boxed-out 'shooting zone'. Data covers the first half of the current Premier League season, up to the end of January.

For the following heat maps...

Size of square = number of passes
Colour of square = pass success rate

Large and green is good; large and red is not! It's important to look for clusters of colour rather than concentrating on individual squares because when we're looking at only one team, the number of passes included is lower.

Teams are attacking the goal on the right and are listed in order of current league position. Yes, I picked top seven because everybody wants to see how the Man United one looks.

Mixed approach with occasional long passes from deep. Larger number of incomplete passes from wide on the right.

High success rates with close, central passes and very rarely played long from deep. Significant volume of passes from advanced wide positions, but with low success rates.

Manchester City
Varied approach with good success rates from almost all areas.

Mixed approach with low volume of passes from very wide touchline positions. Attacks from right wing weaker than left.

Tottenham Hotspur
Greater success rates through the centre than from either wing, but high volumes of unsuccessful passes played from advanced and wide.

The Leighton Baines effect. High volume of passes from wide left but with low completion rates. Passes from advanced right also with low completion. Very few attempts through the centre and occasional long balls from deep.

Manchester United
Some approaches through the centre but attacks weighted towards wings. High volume of longer diagonal balls from the right, with low success rates.


Unknown said...

Thanks, this is interesting. What are your sources?

Anonymous said...

Very informative. I like it.