Monday, 10 May 2010

Premier League Statistics 2009/2010

As the curtain draws on another Premier League season, I thought I'd take a look at some of the best individual performers throughout the campaign. (courtesy of OPTA statistics)

On the goal front, Didier Drogba capped an excellent season with a final-day hat trick to seal the Golden Boot ahead of Wayne Rooney. Impressively, only 1 of his 29 goals came from penalties, compared to Rooney, Bent and Tevez' 5 penalty goals and Lampard's incredible haul of 10 from the spot. Accuracy-wise, Bent was the most clinical of the top 5 scorers, while Torres demonstrated once again that he is one of the best finishers in the world, netting from 29% of his shots (Adebayor with 30% topped the charts).

Unsurprisingly, Javier Mascherano topped the tackles won column with an incredible 81% tackle success rate. He is one of the world's leading midfield destroyers and his form has been one of the few bright spots in a very disappointing season for Liverpool.

Liverpool, Wigan and Aston Villa dominate the top of the charts but this doesn't necessarily translate into solid defence on the pitch, in fact Wigan have the 2nd worst defensive record in the top flight this season (79 goals conceded).

Interestingly, Carlos Cuellar is the only defender to feature at the top, his aggressive approach may be one of the reasons Villa have managed to keep such an excellent defensive record this season (Chelsea game aside).

Onto the creativity columns, and Lampard has without doubt been the most creative player in the league this season, creating the most chances (for the 2nd season running) and setting up the most goals directly. Fabregas is behind in 2nd and has missed a fair few games through injury but it's testament to Lampard's fitness that he has managed 36 games at the age of 31. He's an incredible athlete.

Kevin Davies' presence is a surprise but when you consider how many aerial balls he wins and how well he holds the ball up, it begins to make some sense. Bolton will certainly struggle once he declines.

Valencia is high up the chances created column yet only has 7 direct assists, which indicates that Manchester United's strikers have yet to adapt to his crossing game (despite Rooney's best efforts at improving his heading). Conversely, Giggs and Milner have recorded a high number of assists without creating as much as others overall, perhaps suggesting that they prioritise quality of service over quantity.

Drogba's 10 assists in addition to his 29 goals means he has directly contributed (on a statistical level at least) to more goals than any other player. With an excellent record against the top 8 teams, plenty of game-changing goals and generally an excellent level of variety + quality to his finishes, it seems absurd that he lost out to Wayne Rooney by a landslide in the PFA and FWA player of the year awards. The voting system needs to change to take into account the whole season, but even then the issue of bias towards certain nationalities remains.