So the first weekend of the season has come and gone and what a weekend of football it was. From the high scoring games on Saturday to the end to end game between Manchester City and Southampton and finally Everton beating Manchester United on Monday night. It was an interesting round of fixtures with a few big games Newcastle Vs Spurs and Everton Vs Manchester United. There were a few drubbings with Swansea, Fulham and West Brom dishing out some meaty blows to their opponents.
Of the promoted clubs all three had positive performances with West Ham winning, Reading coming from behind to draw and Southampton almost pulling off the upset of the first weekend by beating Champions Manchester City. Southampton could walk away from the game with their heads held high as they contributed to what was an enthralling match.
So onto the best players of the season so far. We’ll cover Creativity and Passing from our new members section Top Stats (Subscribe for Access to our Opta Stats Centre now).
Santi Cazorla tops the creativity rankings with seven chances created and all of them were in Open Play. His average so far is creating a chance every 12.86 minutes. For those of you that don’t know about Santi Cazorla he was, most probably, the third best player in La Liga last season behind Messi and Ronaldo. This is the type of player that Arsenal have bought – he will be a very, very astute signing for them and most likely become the star of the Arsenal team over the coming months.
A weird stat was that the top three creators in this list play for teams that failed to score on the weekend yet they created 17 chances between them! These stats show that QPR certainly created chances but didn’t take any of them! Leighton Baines and Samir Nasri complete the Top 5 and both deserve their spots after excellent performances in their respective matches although Baines was playing against Manchester United which makes his amount of chances created even more impressive.
The image from our Stats Centre above shows the Top 5 players for most attempted passes (TP = Total Passes) in the Premier League this weekend. The Pass Accuracy (PA%) for each player is pretty impressive too with Karim El Ahmadi coming fifth on his debut for Aston Villa who had over 60% possession at West Ham but weren’t able to obtain any points from the game – still a promising stat for the Villains as they weren’t keeping the ball as well last season.
Jack Rodwell finds himself in the Top five too whilst you’d expect Paul Scholes, Mikel Arteta and Yaya Toure to be at the top of this list. Yaya far, far ahead with 130 passes however their opponents were the newly promoted Southampton (who played excellently!).
Final Third Passes
Where do the passes really matter though? They matter most in the final third of the pitch so lets see who is topping the final third passes:
Two Premier League newcomers announce their arrival by going straight into the Top Five. Shinji Kagawa comes in at fourth with 37 final third passes whilst Santi Cazorla is Top with 40 passes and a 90% accuracy in the final third. Further more impressive are the total proportion of passes in the Final 3rd (FH%); 48% of Shinji’s passes were in the Final Third whilst 47% of Santi’s total passes were in the Final third. So almost half of their passes were in attacking positions – an excellent start to the side.
Yaya Toure, Adel Taarabt and Samir Nasri are also in the Top 5 and Nasri’s accuracy was the best at 94% of his final third passes accurate.
Some impressive performances in attacking positions but Santi Cazorla topped two areas we’ve shown and we feel he’s going to have a massive impact for Arsenal this season – and he was just one of the Top performers on the first weekend of the 2012/12 Premier League!
All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.