With England’s recent struggle against Montenegro we thought it would be interesting to take a look just how well the English players have fared in the Premier League this season. In this first article we have looked at which English players have been the most creative this season.
We have also taken a look at how the number of English players to make the top 10 list for chances created and assists has dwindled in the past few seasons and how the big teams in the Premier League may have had an effect on this.
First of all we take a look at which English players have created the most chances this season and how many of these chances were created in open play.
Leighton Baines has created 96 chances this season, which is not only more than any other English player it is also more than any other player in the Premier League. Steven Gerrard has created the second most chances for an English player this season, creating 79 chances for Liverpool. Rickie Lambert (66), Aaron Lennon (59) and Stewart Downing (50) make up the top 5 for most chances created by English players this season.
Rickie Lambert has created more chances from open play than any other English player this season, with 100% of the 66 chances he has created coming from open play. Aaron Lennon has created 51 chances from open play this season, while Leighton Baines has created 50, Steven Gerrard has created 46 and Stewart Downing has created 36.
However, as all the English players have played a different amount of games this season the fairest way to compare their chance creation is to look at how many minutes it has taken each player to create a chance this season. Each player must have created at least 30 chances this season to be considered.
Leighton Baines has created a chance every 28 minutes this season, which is 3 minutes more often than Nick Shorey, 6 minutes more often than Stewart Downing, 7 minutes more often than Steven Gerrard and 9 minutes more often than Jack Wilshere.
As well as creating the most chances this season Leighton Baines has also created the most clear cut chances (17) out of all the English players. Aaron Lennon has created the second most clear cut chances with 10, while Anthony Pilkington, Wayne Rooney, Rickie Lambert and Theo Walcott have all created 9 clear cut chances this season.
Leighton Baines has created a clear-cut chance every 159 minutes this season, which is 18 minutes more often than Wayne Rooney, 36 minutes more often than Theo Walcott and 51 minutes more often than Anthony Pilkington.
Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott all have 9 assists this season, while Aaron Lennon has 6 and Adam Johnson and Adam Lallana both have 5. It has taken Wayne Rooney 177 minutes to get his 9 assists this season, while it has taken Theo Walcott 195 and Steven Gerrard 310 minutes.
After looking at the most creative English players this season, we will now take a look at how the English players have compared to the foreign players in the Premier League.
English Players to make the Top 10 Creativity Lists
Three English players make the list of top 10 players to create the most chances in the Premier League this season and three English players make the list of the top 10 players with the most assists this season. This is an improvement on last season as only 1 English player made the top 10 chance creator list and no English players make the list for the top 10 assists.
However, 4 English players made the top 10 chance creator list in the 2008/2009 season and 6 English players made the top 10 chance creator list in the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 seasons. Four English players also made the top 10 assist list in the 2008/2009 season and 5 English players made the top 10 assist list in the 2009/2010 and 2011/2012 season.
As you can see, the amount of English players to make the list of top 10 chance creators and the amount of English players to make the top 10 most assists has dropped in the last 2 seasons compared to the 3 seasons before.
A lot of people have put this down to Premier League managers signing their most creative players from abroad, but big teams signing the most creative English players may just be the reason.
Players such as Stewart Downing, James Milner and Ashley Young feature in the top 10 lists for chances created and assists in the earlier seasons in this comparison, but don’t feature half as much in the latter seasons. This is down to them signing for bigger teams where there is more competition for places and less playing time for each player.
If they had turned down moves to the bigger teams in the English division, then maybe more English players would feature in the lists for the most creative players in the Premier League this season and last season. However, this may have been out of their hands in some cases owing to the fact that their clubs had to sell.
The question is whether joining the bigger teams has had a negative impact on their development and whether the players staying with their original teams would have had a more positive impact for England.
You can argue that a player that stays with their club, plays every week and creates chances would have a more positive impact for England than a player sitting on the bench and playing a bit part role in the team. However, you can also argue that joining a better team, playing with better players and gaining experience in European competitions would also have a positive impact on the player.
One thing is for certain though, if the most creative English players had not joined bigger teams then you would see more English players at the top of the lists for chances created and assists.
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