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10 Points: Di Canio, The Derby, Injury & Shot Monsters (wk 5)

1)Paolo Di Canio

Read this on PDC:

I was going to write a little on PDC but so many other have done so much more than I could on this topic. Di Canio was a strange appointment from the start; a coach reported to have good technical knowledge of the game, but a coach who is so fucking crazy that his treatment of his players destroyed any good work he was able to do on the training ground.

Two Graphs

Sunderland's Shots For Outcomes


Too many of Sunderland's shots blocked by the opposition. Percentage of shots on target is poor.

Shots Against Outcomes


The percentage of opponents shots that miss the net are in green. Yeah, that's an issue that Sunderland had under PDC. At Tied GS, 50% of opponents shots were on target. A team is going to find itself in a poor game position more often than not if you concede shots on target at that rate. It was no certaintity that these trends would have continued but why wait? Sunderland were bad by the points total, bad by some of the underlying numbers and Di Canio was a MONSTER!

Di Canio was a mess from the start. Kudos for Ellis Short for realizing it was a disaster. God knows where Di canio goes from here.

2) Dominance

Tottenham are in beast mode right now. Tottenham are also 'at it', whatever that is supposed to mean.

One of the real questions surrounding Tottenham and their performance this season was how would they cope sans Bale and just how quickly would the new attacking signings settle into AVB's tactical setup?

Well, Tottenham are coping just fine with 12 points through 5 games and those new players signed with the Bale money are slowly being integrated (Lamela may take some time to get up to speed, Eriksen less so, Paulinho is already there).

This is Tottenham's TSR and SoTR numbers through five games:


Upcoming Fixtures: Chelsea (a) West Ham (h) Villa (a)

Tottenham's TSR and SoTR at Tied game state are out of this world (league ave ~50%). Now, these numbers will likely regress somewhat as the season wears on and they begin to face better quality of opposition, but right now Tottenham are destroying teams. Eventually such dominance in the shots count will lead to a higher number of goals scored.

The post-Bale world has gotten off to a promising start.

3)Shot Blocking Ability

Below is a chart which lists each teams shot blocking ability as a percentage (opponents shots blocked/opponents total shots).

Minus 1 Tied Plus 1
Arsenal 25.00 31.25 12.12
Aston Villa 17.39 25.00 35.71
Cardiff 38.10 29.85 20.00
Chelsea 0.00 12.50 0.00
Crystal Palace 34.78 21.74 43.75
Everton 66.67 18.75 7.69
Fulham 26.32 33.33 26.32
Hull 27.27 32.43 26.67
Liverpool 40.00 9.09 26.83
Man City 0.00 13.64 0.00
Man Utd 23.08 36.00 0.00
Newcastle 0.00 28.57 41.18
Norwich 17.39 27.91 33.33
Southampton 20.00 23.53 20.00
Stoke 18.52 18.42 25.00
Sunderland 30.00 43.75 18.75
Swansea 22.22 22.86 30.00
Tottenham 28.57 6.25 22.22
West Brom 35.29 31.58 60.00
West Ham 100.00 19.61 45.45
LG Ave 26.4822134387 25.0778816199 25.78125

I am not inferring that shot blocking ability is the most important skill in a football (although it does have merit - just ask Chelsea fans), I am merely posting this table to show how certain teams are better than others at blocking shots.

We are only five games into the season and these numbers will change massively over the next 33 games. The number to keep an eye on is league wide. it'll be mighty interesting to see how these numbers shape up at the end of the of the season. Will Plus 1 game state see a higher proportion of blocked shots than tied? Probably. What of Minus 1 game state?

Further reading on blocked shots from a different sport:

Sunny Mehta

4) The Derby

Just look at the time and space that the City players have for the 4 goals.

A single game doesn't break a manager or indicate that a club is on the decline but United's performance in this Derby, when the game mattered, was not so good.

Minutes 1-47

Shots: Man City 16-3 Man United

Minutes 48-94

Shots Man City 2-10 Man United

When the game mattered, United were thrashed to the same tune that Newcastle were by Man City (when City scored the fourth goal against Newcastle the shots count stood at Man City 16-4 Newcastle).

It was a bad day at the office for United but they'll be fine this season. This game was probably more indicative of just what Man City can do to opponents at home.

Still, questions to be asked of United's rigid tactical setup and with the ease by which Man City scored their goals.

5) Man City's Strikers

One of the reasons for Man City's failed title bid last term was the lack of goals from strikers: Aguero was injured/not 100% healthy, tevez didn't score, Dzeko was a super sub and Balotelli was finnaly shipped out of the club.

The lack of goals, especially in away games, cost Man City, but how is the new striker force shaping up so far?

Age Name Goals per 90 Assists p90 Shots p90 SoT p90 Passes p90 Takeaways Giveaways ToP% Scoring% Shot Acc% Pass %
25 Aguero 0.80 0.27 2.12 1.33 34.51 0.80 8.23 75.3 60.00 62.50 84.60
27 Dzeko 0.41 0.41 4.95 2.48 23.94 1.24 2.89 48.4 16.67 50.00 82.80
28 Negredo 0.74 0.74 4.81 1.11 25.93 1.11 4.81 54 66.67 23.08 78.60

Takeaways = tackles + interceptions. Giveaways = dispossessed + turnover. ToP% Minutes played/total available minutes.

Aguero & Negredo have excellent goals p90 but poor SOT p90 numbers. The two players have been riding their scoring%'s to the maximum. Dzeko has amazing, super super elite shots and SOT p90 numbers but his scoring% is holding him back.

All these numbers will change and some will regress. City's strikers will be absolutely key in the chase for the title. If Aguero is healthy and Negredo can fix his shooting accuracy%, City should have more than enough firepower to score there way out of any unfavourable game positions.

6) Liverpool

@mixedknuts wrote a pretty good breakdown of Liverpool's issues here <link>. Go read it. Liverpool have had a pretty good start to the league season, but there have been issues with the style of play and some Rodgers' tactical decision so far.

As is pointed out in the link above, gone is Liverpool the shot monster of 2012/13 and it's place is, well, something pretty different. Overly defensive when up by a goal, issues with chance creation, problems with ball retention. It's early in the season and Liverpool have some points on the board but there are plenty of things to work through.

Sturridge is half injured (apparently), Coutinho is out with a shoulder, Allen is out, Johnson is out.....A pretty good time for Suarez to return. Nearly every single person I follow on twitter had an opinion on Suarez's worth to Liverpool; was he an inefficient player? Could he repeat last seasons performance?

We are gonna find out. For the record, I think he is a fine player despite doubts about his decision making. He can be wasteful, sure, but I think he helps more than he hinders.

7)Europe And Squad Depth

I talked about Tottenham and their strong start to the season in Point 2, but what I didn't get into was the impact that playing in Europe has on teams. If your team is playing in the CL, or the EL (ugh, Thursday-Sunday games), then it may be fair to expect that team to suffer more injuries over the course of the season than a team who doesn't play in Europe.


The more games a team plays (Europe) the more injuries a team is likely to suffer. A high number of injuries is likely to impact a teams selection and potentially their on-field performance.

Europe and injuries may have a big say in the race for a top 4 place. Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton and, er, Liverpool are the four teams who may, or may not, end up battling for 4th place in the PL. Each of those teams have different levels of squad depth which cushion the impact of any injuries suffered, but Everton and Liverpool may have an advantage by not playing in Europe.

Rotation, rotation, rotation should be the mantra for Tottenham and Swansea. Hell, Arsenal would would rotate too if they had any healthy bodies to bring in.

8) Goals, Goals, Goals

Last week I talked a little about the paucity of goals in the Premier League through 40 games played. Evenly matched games, new systems, new players and Hawkeye having caused an electro-magnetic force field to be present close to the goal line were just some of the theories bounced around. Some have more merit than others.

I won't go deep into the maths (I'm not smart enough) behind why goal scoring was down but I want to show the reader two graphs which feature some information on shots on target, goals, scoring% and shooting accuracy%.

Shots on Target & Goals


With the exception of the week 3 anomaly, shots on target per 10 fixtures has been remarkably consistent. Yet, when we look at goals scored per week there is some variance in the numbers. Odd.

Scoring% & Shooting Accuracy%


Let's look at the yellow bars (shooting accuracy%) which are remarkably consistent from week to week. Premier League teams saw no real drop off in the percentage of shots that found their way on target. The cause of the low number of goals is the low subpar scoring% in weeks 1 through 4.

Now, scoring% tends to regress toward the mean. The mean being around 31%. And in game week 5 that scoring% did indeed regress, and some, to ~34%.

Shots on target have been stable, shooting accuracy has been stable, scoring% had been very low up until game week 5. Then, just like magic, scoring% returned to historically normal levels. And MORE goals were scored.

9) Time Spent Winning

Week 5 of the PL 2013/14 season is in the bag and let's look at some numbers.

Below is each teams average minutes per game (90 minutes) spent in a winning/drawing/losing position.

Team Winning Drawing Losing
Arsenal 58.8 30.2 1
Liverpool 47.4 34.8 7.8
Man City 38.2 49.6 2.2
Chelsea 36.2 44.8 9
Swansea 31.6 35.2 23.2
Tottenham 27 49.6 13.4
West Ham 23 64.4 2.6
Man United 20.2 37.6 32.2
Hull 19.2 46.4 24.4
Palace 18.6 31.2 40.2
Newcastle 18 52.4 19.6
Sunderland 17 26.2 46.8
West Brom 14 48.8 27.2
Aston Villa 13 33.6 43.4
Everton 11.2 69.2 9.6
Fulham 9.6 21 45.4
Southampton 7.6 61 21.4
Stoke 7.2 51.8 31
Norwich 6.4 44.6 39
Cardiff 2.2 67.6 20.2

Arsenal and Liverpool show very well in this chart, Cardiff not so much. Swansea had the lowest average minutes spent in a winning position in 2012/13, so their placing toward the top of the table makes a nice change.

West Ham have lost twice despite trailing for so few minues.

It's still very early in the season an this table will change a lot but Sunderland and West ham have spent the most time in a losing position so far, and i think most will agree that those numbers are pretty indicative of where those two clubs are at right now.

10) Goal Of The Week

BAINES. You have all seen the goal(s), so i decided to post a different video. This is a front row seat for Baines' second goal.