Reading through a recent post published on EPL Index titled “Premier League 2011/12 – Top Creators & Their Positions” the top 2 chance creators last season were David Silva and Juan Mata for Manchester City and Chelsea respectively. Indeed, over the course of Euro 2012, one talking point was Spain’s consistent use of 6 midfielders. Juan Mata was often resigned to the bench (only appearing for the last 5 minutes or so of the final, scoring Spain’s 88th minute fourth goal) and David Silva, who scored twice in the competition and was a regular in the Spanish starting XI.
This leads me onto the theme for this article:
How do their Premier League statistics compare? Was Del Bosque wrong to ignore Juan Mata? How similar are they as players? What should we expect from them in 2012/2013?
On the surface, it’s already a very interesting comparison:
Here is an out-and-out comparison of their key statistics, pulled from the EPLIndex Opta Stats Centre (Subscribe Now!) for last season’s Premier League:
The stats highlighted in yellow show it’s not just their personal attributes that are remarkably similar! –
Maybe spookily of all:
Who they play for has had an arguably major impact on one stat:
Drogba’s departure to China means Torres is now Chelsea’s main focal point of attack, so it’ll be interesting to see how Juan Mata adapts his game to Di Matteo’s tactics in 2012/2013. With Eden Hazard arriving, I think everyone expects to see Mata playing a more attacking central role, where he can find space, dictate play and look for goal or a killer through ball. A role very similar to how David Silva played at Manchester City last season.
Based on 2011/2012, there are some telling statistics that edge the argument towards David Silva, especially when it comes to keeping possession and helping the team out with defensive attributes:
However, if we factor in the following:
This extra season could count for an awful lot.
A like-for-like comparison of Silva/Mata’s first seasons in the English Premier League paints an interesting picture too, with Mata’s stats more than holding their own (especially from an attacking perspective), when compared to David Silva’s first EPL season in 2010/2011.
So David Silva Vs Juan Mata? It’s a tough call and hard to pick between the 2 players.
But, on the basis of these stats, 2012/2013 will be Juan Mata’s season to really outshine David Silva in the Premier League.
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