Writer Karston Thot begins a weekly article on EPLIndex.com where he will look at some of the statistical talking points from the Premier League games on the weekend.
Bale Lethal from Anywhere
Late game heroics from Gareth Bale allowed Spurs to come away from Upton Park with three points. Nearly as remarkable as Bale’s current brilliant form is his seeming ability to score just as easily from 25 yards out as inside the box. Of Bale’s 15 league goals, 6 have come from outside the box, the same number as Van Persie and Suarez (1 and 2 in league goals, respectively) combined.
More remarkable still is that only 5 of Bale’s goals have come from clear-cut chances while van Persie has 12 and Suarez 13. The simultaneous and conflicting needs to close down Bale to restrict long-range efforts, whilst also respecting his exceptional pace would seem to make him a player that can be described as truly unplayable.
Wigan Ramping Up
Wigan’s stats from a dominant display away at the Madejski seem to show that they may again be able to manufacture a late season escape from relegation. Wigan completed double the number of passes Reading attempted (573 to 270). Of the 174 passes Reading were able to complete, only 39 were in the final third. Wigan were assisted in the second half by the sending off of Pavel Pogrebnyak but even in the first half bullied Reading’s full eleven. In the first 45’ the home side were not able to produce a single shot on target.
Kamara Statistics Understate Contribution
Grant Holt and Kei Kamara were statistically identical when it came to attacking the goal for Norwich. Each managed three shots with two on target and one goal apiece, all coming from within the penalty area. More impressively however, Kamara’s contribution came after being subbed on at the 58’. Also not clear in the statistics is that pressure from Kamara greatly contributed to the ball falling to Holt for Norwich’s late, winning goal.
Norwich will be pleased with Kamara’s contributions so early after his arrival from the MLS’s Sporting Kansas City where he was often deployed on the wing. If his performance against Everton was any indication, Chris Hughton would do well to continue utilizing him in a more central role.
Rodwell Shows Promise
Jack Rodwell showed initiative to be involved in every phase of play in his first start for Manchester City since September. While it’s incredibly premature to declare him as having the potential to be an English Yaya Toure, a glimpse at their involvement in City’s play does show similarities with Rodwell actually being a bit more energetic in defense while they shared the field for the first 54’. Rodwell was particularly effective in the air, winning all four of his aerial duels with 3 taking place in the attacking half. Rodwell’s start with City has could hardly be described as successful, but this display would seem to indicate that he may have something to contribute beyond filling a homegrown slot.
One of the largest statistical aberrations of the weekend was Frank Lampard’s failure to convert from the spot for Chelsea against Manchester City. Despite a reputation for being prolific from the spot, Lampard has actually already achieved his second highest total of converted penalties of the last five seasons with 4. The 12/13 season is likely to stay second best, however. Even if he were to have converted against City, it is unlikely he would be able to match his heady total of 10 goals from the spot which he achieved in the 09/10 campaign.