By Walter Broeckx
To pass the time a bit I go on my search to see if football is something that can be spelled as a+b=c.
In trying to find patterns I have looked this time into the shots and possession. The most logical thing would be that the more possession you have the more shots you can take on goal.
It will be also a good way to see if the feeling some of us have about Arsenal not shooting enough at goal is correct. And finally we will see if this leads to any accuracy. Because shooting at goal is fine but when you miss the target by a mile you can better wait and pass the ball until you find someone in a better position
So I put the teams in a table and put them in order with the average shots per game they had and then put the % of possession next to it and also gave the ranking in the possession table to see if there is any truth in those things.
|Rank shots||Team||Shots per
Let me start by saying that Arsenal are the team that has taken the second most shots on goal. We take on average some 13 shots per game and only Chelsea does better with 15 shots.
A few strange results in this table. Like WBA who shoot a lot from not that much possession. West Ham who finish halfway the table with shots per game but very low on possession and of course in the most important table: the league table on points.
And also I want to mention Manchester City with a lot of possession but not that many shots on goal at first sight. In a way one could say that they have been the most effective of them all when it comes to shooting.
So in numbers we aren’t doing that bad in fact. But how is this compared to our % of possession? Let us try to find out. If we take the formula that for every 4,63% of possession you have one shot on goal per game we can see how each team performed compared to the average. And then we get this table. And in this table I worked in some case up to 2 decimals because otherwise you would see a lot of zero’s in the table.
|Rank shots||Team||Shots /game||Possession||Expected shots||+/-|
And then we can see that for Arsenal the average expected shots on goal when you look at the possession is almost just as could be expected. We have the smallest difference of all teams if you compare possession with shots on goal.
But there are some teams that really have a different number. You can see that Chelsea has taken almost 2,5 shots more on goal than could be expected. Did it help them to win anything? No it didn’t.
Another team that has made a lot more shots on goal than one could expect from their possession is West Bromwich Albion. Well it got them to a safe place in the league. But this isn’t the case for the team that has also a much higher shots on goal ratio than could be expected: West Ham. It didn’t help them in anyway.
But we also have a few teams that are shooting less than could expected. Manchester City shoots less than could be expected but it got them to 3rd place. And Wolverhampton is also a team that has few shots on goal compared to possession and they just could avoid relegation.
And then we have the team with the fewest shots on goal this season, Birmingham. They also underperform compared to their possession the most of all teams. So going down is not a big surprise maybe?
So should Arsenal shoot more on goal? Well I wouldn’t mind in fact but will it have a bigger chance of silverware? If one can believe the statistics of Chelsea it will not really help them. I think it is more to knowing when to shoot in fact. If you look at the numbers of United who became champions they have the second smallest difference between shots on goal and possession.
And remember Arsenal had more shots on goal than United. So I don’t think shooting is the problem. It is more down to the quality of the shooting. But I couldn’t find a table yet where they keep numbers of the quality of shots.
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