The Top 70 Wide/Attacking Midfielders In 2012/13

As always, I talk in terms of the Premier League and it's top 70 Wide and Attacking Midfield players.

Any talk of a top 70 list is slightly misleading, for the top 70 basically means everyone! From Bale and Walcott to Obertan and Etherington. This list contains the good, the great and the players who should be in the Championship. This is a full list of virtually everyone (72 players) who was position eligible and who also played over a couple of hundred minutes out of the ~3500 available.

This article doesn't need to much of an intro blurb, we have experience of these kind of tables from the Top 45 Strikers in the Premier League article published a few weeks back.

As always, player numbers are reformed into per 90 form for ease of comparison between players who played very different total minutes. If you have concerns about sample size effects, always look for TOP% (time on pitch/available minutes) as a way of measuring how much we can trust a players numbers. Over 50% should be fine, less than 30% is a red flag on injury, selection and talent issues.

Top 72 Wide And Attacking Midfielders

Table is sortable, so play around.

Age Gls p90 ▴ Assists p90 Shots p90 SoT p90 ToP% Sco% Shot Acc% Pass%
23 Bale 0.65 0.12 5.08 2.25 81.77 28.77 44.24 78.5
23 Walcott 0.55 0.39 3.43 1.54 63.94 35.9 44.83 83.1
23 Robson-K 0.49 0.07 2.6 0.99 35.81 50 37.84 74.2
25 Gervinho 0.44 0.26 2.99 0.79 28.61 55.56 26.47 84.8
23 Kagawa 0.41 0.21 1.44 0.68 36.79 60 47.62 89.7
24 Mata 0.4 0.4 2.31 0.79 76.34 50 34.29 85.2
25 Fellaini 0.36 0.16 2.91 1.13 77.94 31.43 38.89 79.3
28 Kebe 0.34 0.07 1.21 0.47 37.46 71.43 38.89 73.9
28 Cazorla 0.33 0.3 3.14 1.09 92.3 30 34.78 86.8
33 Gera 0.32 0.08 1.53 0.64 31.35 50 42.11 78.9
29 Dempsey 0.32 0.18 3.16 1.17 55.8 26.92 37.14 81.3
25 Mirallas 0.3 0.15 3.5 1.38 51.06 21.43 39.44 80.8
30 Nolan 0.3 0.06 2.36 0.97 83.37 31.25 41.03 78.7
21 Kakiniklic 0.29 0.14 1.79 0.72 35.16 40 40 85.3
20 Coutinho 0.29 0.49 3.51 1.07 25.87 27.27 30.56 74.4
21 McManaman 0.28 1.97 0.7 17.95 40 35.71 83.6
21 Weimann 0.28 0.08 2.49 1.12 62.77 25 45.16 79.5
26 Puncheon 0.26 0.04 2.89 0.96 57.59 27.27 33.33 79
21 Ramirez 0.26 0.16 2.91 0.79 47.56 33.33 27.27 78.5
26 Gouffran 0.26 2.33 0.95 29.2 27.27 40.74 82.3
21 Hazard 0.24 0.38 2.09 0.82 73.46 29.17 39.34 85.2
26 Kightly 0.23 0.08 1.97 0.76 33.31 30 38.46 73.2
28 Sessegnon 0.22 0.09 1.84 0.69 80.82 31.82 37.29 83.9
22 Sigurdsson 0.22 0.29 3.86 1.24 34.57 17.65 32.08 80.6
31 Fortune 0.22 0.22 1.52 0.76 23.24 28.57 50 74.9
29 Toure 0.22 0.16 2.2 0.73 79.17 30.43 33.33 88.9
24 Pilkington 0.21 0.17 1.75 0.79 60.36 26.32 45.24 80.6
23 Taarabt 0.2 0.16 3.89 1.12 62.79 17.86 28.87 81.5
25 Snodgrass 0.18 0.18 2.27 0.86 85.39 20.69 37.66 78.7
21 Townsend 0.18 0.09 3.1 0.53 28.44 33.33 17.14 78.1
31 Pienaar 0.18 0.18 1.82 0.56 85.64 31.58 30.65 81.8
26 N'Zogbia 0.18 0.36 2.08 0.54 27.86 33.33 26.09 80.3
27 Routledge 0.18 0.14 1.07 0.61 70.44 29.41 56.67 80.4
29 Gomez 0.18 0.06 3.48 0.83 42.69 21.43 23.73 85.8
26 Morrison 0.16 0.13 1.65 0.54 79.37 29.41 32.69 81.6
25 Johnson 0.15 0.18 1.39 0.46 81.86 33.33 33.33 79.3
29 Maloney 0.15 0.24 1.68 0.8 82.28 19.23 47.27 89.9
25 Nani 0.14 0.29 2.71 0.57 17.64 25 21.05 79.4
26 Silva 0.14 0.29 1.87 0.68 70.24 21.05 36.54 85.4
32 Gerrard 0.14 0.25 2.46 0.75 90.17 18.52 30.68 85.5
31 Osman 0.14 0.06 2.15 0.68 88.89 20.83 31.58 85.9
25 Lennon 0.13 0.22 0.92 0.26 79.03 50 27.59 84.5
27 Hernandez 0.12 0.25 1.98 0.41 61.23 30 20.83 80.4
25 Dyer 0.12 0.15 1.96 0.65 65.51 17.65 33.33 86.8
25 Ben Arfa 0.12 0.12 2.59 0.62 40.82 20 23.81 81.4
33 Duff 0.12 0.27 0.69 0.31 65.29 37.5 44.44 86.9
21 Oscar 0.12 0.2 2.32 0.75 64.17 15.79 32.2 83
24 Lallana 0.12 0.2 2.06 0.65 62.43 18.75 31.37 80.7
28 Downing 0.12 0.21 2.09 0.33 61.34 37.5 15.69 83.6
30 Hoolahan 0.11 0.11 1.19 0.48 67.64 23.08 40.63 84.5
26 Mackie 0.11 1.47 0.47 47.93 22.22 32.14 77.7
20 Shelvey 0.1 3.41 1.46 25.87 6.67 42.86 81.7
25 Nasri 0.1 0.35 1.5 0.5 50.31 20 33.33 90.8
18 Sterling 0.1 0.1 1.75 0.51 48.94 20 29.41 84.5
23 Welbeck 0.09 0.38 3.68 0.85 26.68 11.11 23.08 86.8
26 Marveaux 0.09 0.36 1.7 0.54 28.19 16.67 31.58 87.3
27 Brunt 0.08 0.16 1.69 0.45 61.11 18.18 26.83 78.7
19 Chamberain 0.08 0.25 2.79 0.59 29.82 14.29 21.21 81.1
23 Maclean 0.08 0.12 1.31 0.46 65.54 16.67 35.29 78.9
30 Taylor 0.07 0.13 2.16 0.59 38.58 11.11 27.27 70.2
26 Jarvis 0.07 0.88 0.39 71.64 18.18 44 74.8
30 Phillips 0.07 0.07 2.09 0.22 34.88 33.33 10.34 76.9
22 Hoilett 0.06 0.06 2.04 0.43 40.73 14.29 21.21 75.4
28 Holman 0.06 0.19 1.89 0.32 39.95 20 16.67 73.8
27 Valencia 0.04 0.2 0.69 0.08 61.76 50 11.76 84.1
27 Larsson 0.03 0.09 0.91 0.24 83.43 12.5 26.67 83.5
29 Gutierrez 0.03 0.75 0.19 80.91 16.67 25 81.5
23 Obertan 0.43 1.29 1.08 11.67 83.33 78.6
21 Holtby 0.35 1.76 0.35 14.33 20 84.3
31 McAnuff 0.19 1.18 0.33 91.43 27.91 68.6
27 Young 0.2 1.78 0.66 38.3 37.04 83.8
30 Etherington 0.52 0.16 48.15 30 81.4

So that is the list! Lengthy and somewhat of an eyebleed of numbers. A couple of thoughts:

  • The sharp reader among you may well notice that there are players on this list that could overlap in a few position: Bale, Y.Toure, Gerrard, Walcott, Seb Larsson, Welbeck et cetera. It's virtually impossible for me to seperate data from games played as a midfielder or striker or wide player, so there are a few notable overlap players.
  • Walcott was really good. High goals per 90 and high assists per 90
  • Antonia Valencia was really bad. He didn't score at any rate, his assist numbers are middling on a very good team and he just didn't shoot. More is expected, a pivotal season for the United player.
  • Robson-Kanu looks to be a player of interest. Just 23 and playing on a horrible reading team, Kanu put up good shots and shots on target per90 numbers and had good accuracy to boot. Yes, he rode a crazy scoring% to score his goals and the assist numbers and passing% (team effects?) are far from good, but this could be a value pickup for a lower PL club. His low ToP% may mean these numbers are skewed in his favour somewhat, but the optimist may say he has shown glimpses of talent that could blossom if given more playing time. Left Footed, valued at £3m.

Visualized

I know that chart is a bit of an eye bleed, so let's visualize some of this data and see which players stand out and which players fall below league average.

Goals And Assists Per 90

Mids_gls_and_assists_medium

Very few players stand out in both categories: Walcott, Mata and Cazorla are the exceptions with Kagawa, Gervinho and Coutinho as players who showed good form in both categories but played few minutes.

Bale and Robson-Kanu are the pure scorers, Hazard, N'Zogbia (low ToP%) and Sigurdsson as the players who registered good assists per 90 but struggled somewhat with goals per 90.

Pass Completion% With Minutes Played

Mids_pass5_medium

Just a small chart on pass completion and minutes played, here in the top right corner are the excellent passers who played full-time minutes. Some of those players benefit from team effects, where as others, like Maloney, Larsson, Hoolahan and Duff may just be excellent retainers of the football despite their quality of team-mate.

Coutinho, bottom left, has a very underwhelming pass completion% and this has got me thinking about the difficulty of attempted passes. Is Coutinho's number so poor due to the high risk high reward nature of his passing? If that is true, do we need to start weighting players passes and create a better metric for individual player passing ability?

Scoring% And Shooting Accuracy

Mids_sco5__and_shoot_acc_medium

Some real outliers here, but that is to be expected over the course of a single season and, in some cases, limited playing time.

I'd expect Kagawa, Obertan, Kebe and Valencia to regress back toward the mean somewhat.

Lennon hardly shot so we don't need to worry about his scoring% too much, but what of Mata? Fine player, creative wizard but my he rode a scoring% to his high goal tally last year and I'd expect that Scoring% to regress and unless he ups his shot volume next season it may be reasonable to expect his goals tally to decrease. That will lead to the media questioning his form and confidence, you know, the usual bullshit that takes place when talking a player that was aided by an unsustainable percentage number.

I hope you enjoyed this small article on attacking midfielders and wide players and if you are in the process of putting together a fantasy football team here at BitterandBlue then hopefully this will be of some little assistance.

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