HomeZ OLD CATEGORIESEPLCreativity lacking on opening weekend

Creativity lacking on opening weekend

A wholly underwhelming opening weekend produced 14 goals from 8 matches, a poor advert for the self-proclaimed ‘world’s most entertaining league’.

This was typified at St James’ Park, where Arsenal and Newcastle played out a 0-0 draw after sharing 8 goals only six months ago. In that 4-4 thriller, no fewer than 27 chances were created; on Saturday that figure was only 11.

Indeed, the entire league suffered a creativity setback in terms of chances created, the table below shows that 10 of the 14 sides to play on Saturday and Sunday (excluding promoted teams) created fewer chances on the opening weekend than their 2010/11 season average.

It was in fact last season’s strugglers who hit the ground running, aided by arguably ‘easier’ opposition. Teams like Liverpool and Fulham perhaps would be disappointed not eclipsing last season’s average given they faced less-than-daunting opposition at home, whilst both Arsenal and Newcastle will probably suggest unsavoury incidents overshadowed their lack of attacking creativity.

Even Chelsea and Man United, who dominated possession away from home, fell short of last season’s respective averages. It’s no great surprise that both teams have been looking to sign a creative central midfielder – though in Ashley Young Man United do appear to have someone who can ‘make something happen’.

Less a case of poor finishing, it was a lack of chances created on the opening weekend that contributed to goal shortage.

Omar Chaudhuri
Omar Chaudhurihttp://5addedminutes.wordpress.com/
Economics student, football-obsessed & creator of 5 Added Minutes.
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