England's Best Starting XI | Part 1: Defence | Opta Stats Analysis

England's Best Starting XI | Part 1: Defence | Opta Stats Analysis

With the European Championships in Ukraine and Poland only a few months away and England still without a manager it looks like a daunting task for whoever takes over from Fabio Capello. To make this task easier we have derived a way to help whoever takes over with their starting line ups for the competition. We have done this by comparing players for each position using Opta statistics from the 2011/2012 season up to and including the matches that took …
Is crossing still an effectively used strategy in the Premier League?

Is crossing still an effectively used strategy in the Premier League?

“The game has changed!” How many times have you heard, particularly from the ex-pros, this statement? There’s no doubt that some ways and forms of modern-day élite football has changed. You only have to look into the life of a professional footballer today, in comparison with a player from 25 years or so ago (their athleticism, their diet, their sports science support, their recovery techniques etc) and that itself should imply a significant difference in the performance of today’s players. …
Aston Villa feel aggrieved by Ashley Youngs actions in 4-0 loss

Aston Villa feel aggrieved by Ashley Youngs actions in 4-0 loss

Last Sunday Aston Villa travelled to Manchester United in the fresh optimism that they may be able to keep United’s hands of the Premier League trophy, much to the delight of the Manchester neighbours City.  Just 23 hours before Sundays kick off Manchester City showed a fresh burst of hope after beating Norwich City 6-1, although the score-line flattered Man City somewhat. Sunday’s game was always going to be a hard task for Aston Villa who have found it difficult to …
Swansea City's Passing Finally Gets Its Reward.

Swansea City's Passing Finally Gets Its Reward.

Revenge is a dessert best served cold. I never fully understood that quote until I looked it up a while back. In case you don’t know, what it basically means is that it’s better to get your revenge over somebody after a significant amount of time has passed, as you’ll enjoy it better having had more time to reflect on things and therefore revel in your retribution when it finally arrives. I’m guessing that at the final whistle yesterday, for …
Liverpool 2 Everton 1 | Going to Wembley Thrice | Opta Stats

Liverpool 2 Everton 1 | Going to Wembley Thrice | Opta Stats

April 14th 2012 will be remembered as an excellent day for any Liverpool FC supporter. The day when the neighbours were beaten at Wembley in the first FA Cup semi-final for 2012. It will also be remembered for a very good 2nd half performance from their £50m strike duo Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll. Both players found their names on the scoresheet and were the star performers that turned the game around for Liverpool. It was an awful first half …
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