After Match of the Day we were literally (sorry the most overused word in the dictionary) drooling over Swansea’s passing on the Saturday and little old Norwich only got a measly 20 seconds of analysis and it made me think, what is it about Swansea that they seem to like so much?
If you didn’t see Match of the Day on Saturday night then I will try and describe the analysis as best I can. In a similar style to The Count from Sesame Street (younger readers please Google this) they counted up to 17 passes that Swansea had made before scoring one of their goals. Now call me cynical but I don’t care how many passes are made as long as we score and currently Norwich City are sitting two points above Swansea so surely we are doing something right to warrant more than a 20 seconds analysis from the multimillion pound pundits on the BBC?
This weekend Norwich travel away to Swansea and I feel we have a point to prove (which in my experience usually means us losing) so to ensure that that point is not lost after whatever the result is on Saturday I decided to run some statistical analysis comparing Swansea and Norwich for the season so far after 24 games played.
So let’s start at the top, this is the current positioning of the two teams as of 7th February 2012:
In the next three tables I have highlighted in yellow where Norwich City come out on top and highlighted in black where Swansea City come out on top. So let’s first compare the two teams defensively:
Swansea come out on top here, noticeably with 10 less goals conceded and 9 clean sheets compared with Norwich’s 2 over Chelsea and Bolton. So clearly Swansea are stronger in defence, probably not a real surprise to any Norwich fans as I think we’d all agree that we have been most susceptible at the back, despite a world class keeper in John Ruddy.
Next, let’s compare passing between the two sides as this is the area that the pundits regard Swansea as being a “breath of fresh air” to the premier league:
Now, this is getting interesting it’s even for the two teams. Swansea clearly pass the ball around well. The Match of the Day analysis does ring true and generally these passes are of higher quality than Norwich’s. OK, fair enough, Swansea are a better passing side than Norwich, I can take that. However, when it comes to that last ball Norwich are getting more crosses in and our accuracy of these crosses is superior to that of Swansea, which leads us nicely into the next section, attacking prowess:
When it comes to attacking Norwich beat Swansea on all criteria – scoring more goals, creating more chances and converting those chances. Norwich have also had more shots on target and our accuracy is greater than that of Swansea.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather watch a team that is creating chances in a game than passing the ball around so I do find this fixation on Swansea rather strange but then again, i’d rather us be under the radar, less pressure. All this aside these stats pre-empt a potentially fantastic game on Saturday involving two sides that have so far proven all the critics wrong and thoroughly deserve to be in the premier league. Both sides will want to prove a point and Swansea will want revenge for the 3-1 defeat back at Carrow Road in October. I will stick my neck out and go for a Norwich away win, that’s if our players don’t fall asleep watching Swansea pass the ball back and forth, one….two…..three…..four…..five….zzzzzzz.
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