England had to come from behind in their second group game against Sweden after initially taking the lead. They led through Andy Carroll’s powerful header, expertly supplied by, club and now also country captain, Steven Gerrard. This was Gerrard’s second assist (fourth chance created overall) of the tournament after supplying the cross for Lescott’s goal against France.
Creativity stats can be seen on the left with only Gerrard and Walcott managing assists. England’s overall total of chances created is not very impressive especially when compared to a Xavi from Spain as he has created 12 on his own.
Let’s take a look at how the shooting has been for England. The statistic circulating after the France game was that they’d only managed to get one shot on target, Lescott’s header for the goal, however last night they managed six on target. The shots and goals stats are included below.
No stand-out performances there really. Most of the shots shown above have come from the Sweden game yesterday. For example Welbeck didn’t attempt a single shot against France. There was considerable improvement from an attacking viewpoint yesterday – let’s not even mention the defensive lapses from set pieces against Sweden.
Scott Parker has managed the most passes so far out of the whole squad however these passing stats are not as impressive as rivals France and favourites Spain. The Spanish maestro Xavi has already accumulated an impressive 243 passes (more passes than Parker and Gerrard combined) already whilst Samir Nasri has 153 passes. England’s stars are no where near those figures as they are struggling to keep possession of the ball averaging 42.4% possession per game in the tournament so far.
From an attacking point of view England have shown that they can be dangerous off of set pieces and have plenty of fire power on the bench to cause teams problems. Theo Walcott probably did his first team selection some harm yesterday as he was lethal off of the bench ensuring England’s fightback and you’d have to think that this will be a favourable tactic for England. Oxlade-Chamberlain also looked a threat in the closing stages of the game giving England plenty of options.
England: Final Third Passes
A similar story in the final third for England with Danny Welbeck topping the pass accuracy here. The team average (listed as Total in the table) is 72.53% and the majority of the forward players are above the average. Scott Parker once again has made the most passes into the final third with 34 passes (again pales in comparison to the Spanish (Xavi with 97 already).
To be fair to England it hasn’t been all long ball for them. They did play a few balls up to Carroll yesterday however Wayne Rooney will be back for the final game against co-hosts Ukraine which should see Hodgson partner the Manchester United connection Welbeck & Rooney. This should improve the play up-top especially if Ashley Young also starts alongside them.
The Gerrard and Carroll combination proved to be fruitful against Sweden so Roy Hodgson really has some decisions to make against Ukraine but they’re good headaches to have ahead of an important game where England only require a point to qualify.
I find the passes received statistic interesting – these stats are available on the FourFourTwo StatsZone iPhone App and I’ve manually totalled the stats from there. As you can see in the table on the left Scott Parker, Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard and the players that are being passed to the most frequently. This is expected as Parker sits infront of the back four and always available for a pass. England seemed to have played more down their right with Johnson, Milner and Gerrard playing towards the right more in the first two games and this is shown in the number of passes they have received (253 passes received between three of them).
If you compare these to France and Spain again they do not make for good reading. Xavi from Spain has received 228 passes whilst Ribery has received 153 passes – different players but both very important for their sides.
We may see a considerable amount of passes to Wayne Rooney in the Ukraine game and Wayne should not be used as the sole striker. Allowing Wayne to drop into midfield and pick up the ball will give England more strength and allow players like Young, Milner, Walcott and Gerrard to link with him better and cause the opposition problems.
Rooney 2011/12: 27 goals, 4 assists, 81% Pass Accuracy – via EPLIndex Stats Centre
The inclusion of Wayne Rooney takes the England side up a few notches – second only to Robin van Persie this season in goalscoring. No pressure Wayne.
A full match report from England V Sweden should be up on the site this weekend.
Euro 2012 Stats via FourFourTwo StatsZone iPhone App