Earlier this month we covered enforcers and tackling stats however after some more analysis of the numbers on our Stats Centre (Subscribe Now for Access!) we came across a very interesting statistic: Possession Regains. These combine all types of tackles and duels won with the added understanding that possession must be kept by the team. Often players can win tackles however the ball goes out of play for a throw to the opposition, this is a tackle won but not a possession gain.
The table below shows the Top 25 Players for total possession regains in 2011/12. We’ve added a metric to be able to compare players here: minutes per possession win. The reason we’ve done this is because not all the players below have played the same amount of time this season. For example Cheik Tiote appears to be far down the list in this comparison when looking at total numbers however when converting the stat to minutes per possession won he’s second in the league and only by a second or so!
The stats are based on players that have played the equivalent of ten games so over 900 minutes of football for their respective clubs in the 2011/12 Premier League season.
The combined value for mins per possession win is important because it shows the overall values in possession won in all thirds. Players like Fellaini, Mulumbu and Tiote excel in this table. The Top 25 sees two Swansea players high up, three Spurs players and four from Newcastle also appear here impressively.
The key shows the top three in each category just for some extra analysis as the table is sorted by total possession wins.
Finally we’ve split the stats into the thirds of the pitch and analysed the top possession winners here. Two Liverpool players come out on top here with Jose Enrique topping in defence and Luis Suarez topping in attack. The midfield’s top performer is Marouane Fellaini with Mulumbu, Tiote, Song and Allen close behind to complete the top five. In the defensive third Koscielny, Assou-Ekotto, Kyle Walker and Coloccini complete the top possession regain stats.
In attack Fortune comes second with 110.60 mins per possession regain (he played over 900 minutes) and then Aguero and Rooney come next with Steven Gerrard coming fifth (managed 1212 minutes for Liverpool last season).
The possession regain/won statistic is hopefully used a little more going forward in any analysis for players because it is certainly a useful one to analyse a player’s effectiveness in helping their team win the ball back. More and more teams are heavily relying on the skill to win back ball possession by pressing the ball. I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of this in the 2012/13 season and we’ll analyse these stats again this time next year.
We hope you’ve found these stats useful, feel free to use them for a blog but please do credit this article. You can find more of a break down on these stats from our Stats Centre (powered by Opta Stats) by subscribing today. The Top Stats feature listing top players by interesting statistics will be our new addition to the stats centre before the season starts. Look out for it!