As we approach round twelve of the Premier League this weekend we thought that it would be good to analyse the Premier League’s top creators and really find out which players are the most dangerous creative threats to Premier League defences. In this article we will be looking at a few different angles of creativity: Total, Frequency, Open-play frequency, Set-play frequency, Clear-cut frequency, Total Passes per Chance created and Accurate Passes per chance created. Will we find out which players are the most creative threats in the Premier League after analysing all of the angles stated above? Let’s find out.
As many will know, and has been beaten to death by Liverpool fans, Steven Gerrard is the most creative player in the league at the moment in terms of total chances. An astonishing 48% of his chances are created via set-play however using totals doesn’t really give you an accurate indicator in terms of which player is the most creative. The totals do not take into account the total amount of minutes played this season and therefore are not a fair comparison which leads us to look at the stats for Minutes Per Chance Created.
This Top 5 is a who’s who of creativity in the Premier League and the five players listed are those that you’d expect to see in the list. David Silva takes the top spot as most frequent creator so far in this Premier League season creating a chance every 21.4 minutes. Christian Eriksen is impressing in terms of his numbers coming in second place with 23.78 mins per chance creation (Note: All of the players shown below have created a minimum of 15 chances this season).
The top 5 are completed with Juan Mata, Samir Nasri and another Premier League newcomer: Mesut Ozil. All of these players are creating a chance between 25 and 30 mins per game – that’s just over 3 chances per game.
Let’s break some of these numbers down further and look at which players are creating most frequently in open play. No surprises that David Silva comes out on top here creating a chance every 32 mins in open play and three other players are similar to the most frequent list above: Eriksen, Ozil and Nasri.
Luis Suarez is the only new entry here creating a chance every 36 minutes for Liverpool from open-play. Once again the controversial Uruguayan proving that he not only scores goals but is a massive creative threat too.
The top two in the table below are creating a higher proportion of their chances via set-plays: Juan Mata & Robert Snodgrass are creating 53% and 54% of their chances via set-plays. David Silva is popping up in all of the tables so far creating a chance via set play every 64 minutes and does so more frequently than Steven Gerrard and Christian Eriksen.
For the rest of this article we’re going to need your interaction to view the stats. By using the table below you can click on the column headings to sort the statistics (if you wish to use these else where please do credit this website & article with a link). If you click on the Mins Per Clear-Cut column this will shows us which players are creating clear-cut chances the most frequently.
So what is a clear cut chance?
A situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score usually in a one-on-one scenario or from very close range.
I’d like to call them “sitters” because it’s an easier way of describing it to the football fan out there. A free header, a one-on-one, a penalty – basically any free shot on goal for a player who is un-marked and only has the keeper to beat.
Ok so if you’ve clicked on that column below you’ll see that Luis Suarez is creating clear-cut chances the most frequently this season – one every 180 mins so one every two games which is very impressive. Sergio Aguero, Christian Eriksen, James Ward-Prowse and Adam Johnson make up the top five all creating as frequently as every 217 mins.
So why do these stats matter a little more? A clear-cut chances is a chance of a much higher quality than the normal chance created therefore these frequency of creating a clear-cut chance should also be taken into consideration when talking about the most creative threats in the Premier League. Steven Gerrard and David Silva come in 6th and 8th place respectively in this category.
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Again using the interactive table above if you click on the “Passes Per Chance” column you’ll be able to see which players use the least amount of passes to create a chance. Morgan Amalfitano impresses here. The loan signing for West Brom has made an immense impact to West Brom’s campaign and is turning out to be a real find for them as he creates a chance every 10.9 passes he attempts so far this season. No other player that has created 15 or more chances can boast this. What’s even more impressive is that he’s creating a chance every 8.4 passes that he completes and he tops this category too (you can view these stats by clicking on the “Accurate Passes Per Chance” column.
Yes I can imaging what some of you are saying: these stats favour the strikers and wingers because central midfielders will naturally attempt more passes - so yes we must take this into account when deciding upon which players are the most creative in the league. It’s an interesting comparison nonetheless.
Other players in the Top 5 for these categories include Eriksen, Downing (what?!), Mirallas, Aguero and Suarez. Jordan Henderson, Mark Noble and Steven Gerrard find themselves at the bottom of this list attempting the most passes to create a chance.
This is a difficult one to conclude as the chances created statistic doesn’t give you a measure of the quality of chance created – were they shots from long distance or shots within the box. However as the highest total of clear-cut chances created is pretty low at this point in the season (5 for Olivier Giroud and with three players on 4 clear-cut chances) we’ve got to go with the chances created stats.
Liverpool supporters could make a case for Luis Suarez creating the clear-cut chances the most frequently and also appearing in the most frequent creators in open-play table too.
However for after looking at all of the stats it’s got to be David Silva – he’s creating the most frequently and appears in all of the top 5 lists above whether it be open-play or set-play. Do you agree with this or have any other conclusions? Drop them in the comment box below!
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