Earlier in the season we tried to compare the three very similar Spaniards that grace the Premier League with their creativity and flair – Juan Mata, David Silva & Santi Cazorla. Unfortunately it was too early in the season for any comparison to be fair. The three of them have played over 1800 minutes now (equivalent of 20 games) so we should be able to see where these players are similar or compare their performances in the 2012/13 season.
Most of the play for the three of these players is in the final third so let’s take a look at their passing in that area and what proportion of their passes is in the Final Third of the pitch (use the key to understand column headings – also you can click on column headings to sort the tables).
[toggle_simple title="Final Third Passing Table Key" width="600"]
FTP – Final Third Passes | FT% – Final Third Accuracy % |
PFT% – Proportion of Total Passes in Final Third |
TTB – Total Through Balls | TBA% – Through Ball Accuracy%[/toggle_simple]
|Final Third Passing Stats||FTP||FT%||PFT%||TTB||TBA%|
As you can see – Santi Cazorla is the most accurate in the final third – not only that he also has a very hight amount through balls attempted. Fifteen more than Silva and more than triple the amount of Juan Mata. Santi Cazorla’s through ball stats show that he’s always trying unlock defences and he’s attempting it with a very high accuracy of 41.86%. Juan Mata’s accuracy is higher but as mentioned he’s attempting through balls much less.
David Silva is spending the most time in the Final Third – ok let’s rephrase that – he’s attempting the highest proportion of his passes in the final third – 49.04%. Cazorla and Mata are very similar on 45.22 and 44.04 respectively. All three are not far from each other in this aspect.
Creatively all three players are very similar with only three chances separating the three. In fact Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla have created the same amount of chances so far this season. The similarities are shown in the column chart below. The rate of creativity is very close too with David Silva creating most often with 27.72 minutes per chance creation however Juan Mata is creating every 28.68 whilst Cazorla every 36 minutes.
Clear-cut creation is as tight – both Mata and Silva on 11 whilst Cazorla has created 9. The assists give a different picture though with Juan Mata ahead on 9 – joint top in the Premier League with Podolski and Steven Gerrard – whilst Cazorla and Silva are on 6 and 5 assists. As we always mention – assists are a two-way relationship where the striker must finish the chance for an assist to attributed. From the stats show Chelsea are finishing the chances that Mata creates better than the teammates of Santi Cazorla and David Silva. That’s not to say that the quality of chance created by the latter are not up to standard – as the Clear-cut chance creation numbers are very similar. Once again not much in it here either.
[toggle_simple title="Creativity Table Key" width="600"]
CC – Chance Conversion | OP – Open Play Chances | SP – Set Play Chances |
MCC – Minutes per Chance Created | GA – Goal Assists |
CCC – Clear-cut Chance Created[/toggle_simple]
This is where Juan Mata moves away from his compatriots. Although Santi Cazorla has scored nine goals which is just one behind Juan Mata – he is shooting with more regularity and his chance conversion is at 17%. Juan Mata’s chance conversion is at 31% which is in the Top 5 of the league for conversions for players with over 25 shots attempted.
David Silva’s chance conversion is at 11% and he’s scored just 3 goals despite attempting 13 clear-cut chances. This means he’s had 13 clear-cut chances created for him and he’s only converted 23% of these – a very poor return. In contrast Mata is consistent with a conversion of 33% whilst Santi Cazorla has converted an impressive 60% but has only had 5 clear-cut chances created for him – Arsenal want to encourage Santi to get into those positions more often as his conversion rate is very impressive however he’s not had enough of these types of chances.
[toggle_simple title="Goals Table Key" width="600"]
GLS – Goals | MPG – Minutes Per Goal | MPS – Minutes Per Shot |
CC% – Chance Conversion % | TCC - Total Clear-Cut Chance Attempts |
CCC% – Clear-cut Chance Conversion %[/toggle_simple]
All three players are very similar in creative terms so the best way to conclude would be to combine the goals and assists and look at how the three appear on a radar chart.
The results are below and it’s Juan Mata that edges out his compatriots with a high goals and assists combination and whilst Cazorla is impressing in his maiden season at Arsenal its David Silva’s finishing that has let him down despite him having more clear-cut attempts at goal than his Spanish teammates.
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