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 …
Holt | English Striker Stats Compared

Holt | English Striker Stats Compared

Welcome back... Jermain Defoe | Stats

Welcome back... Jermain Defoe | Stats

Welcome back … Jermain Defoe He may have looked like an extra from a Sisko music video with his new haircut but there is no doubt Jermain Defoe has defences dancing to his beat this season. The diminutive striker, 30 this year, has often been seen as one of the country’s most natural goalscorers. This reputation was forged in the youth academies of Charlton and West Ham and only enhanced when he went on loan to Bournemouth in the 2000/2001 …
Arsenal | North London Derby

Arsenal | North London Derby

After a poor start to the season, Arsenal has strung together three wins in a row in all competitions. They might not have been wins against top clubs (Shrewsbury, 3-1, Carling Cup), against full-sided squads (Bolton, 3-0, Premier League) or even convincing wins (Olympiacos, 2-1, Champions). There were a few milestones and firsts for the Gunners in September. Robin Van Persie scored his 100th goal while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opened his scoring campaign in his full Champions League debut. Since the …
Leighton Baines v Ashley Cole

Leighton Baines v Ashley Cole

Currently, the English national side seem to be undergoing a transitional phase before embarking on Euro 2012. Frank Lampard, despite playing against Wales,  appears to have moved to the periphery of  Fabio Capello's thinking, and many other established internationals, such as John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, are beginning to find their own selection far more scrutinised. With the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll all coming through, the 2010 World Cup may have finally marked …
Joey Barton | England's best midfielder?

Joey Barton | England's best midfielder?

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