In a previous article I plotted the average shot location of the leading strikers.
I’ve had another look at this, but decided to present the data a little differently.
Instead of just plotting one average point for each striker I have broken down the proportion of shots that each player took from smaller sized zones, this way we can get a good idea of the volatility of the shooting positions for each of the players.
Data Rules and Housekeeping
Penalties have been excluded (but headers included) from these figures, and I am showing the shot breakdowns for all players that had more than 70 shots in last season’s Premier League. This amounts to 30 players in all.
Each player’s percentage will add up to 100% as all we are doing is looking at the breakdown of where they took their shots from (as a proportion of their total number of shots).
In order to aid analysis I have attempted to group the players into bands. The bands have not been created scientifically so arguably players could feature in different groupings from what I have shown here.
Please note that Excel is probably not the best place to create vizuals (but, hey I’m an accountant and it’s my perogative!!) and so the locations of the penalty area, and the figures in the zones within the penalty area may not be exact. What will be correct is the general shape and positioning of the shot locations.
The images should be self explanatory, with the player shooting into the goals on the right of the pitch, but I’ll talk through the first image – Nolan.
59% of his shots were taken from central locations inside the penalty area
24% of his shots came from the corners of the side / corners penalty area, and only 16% of all his shots were struck from outside the penalty area.
I’m not going to talk through the other 29 images, you’ll be able to arrive at your own conclusion.
Hopefully, you’ll find these images interesting and helpful in terms of understanding where players typically shot from.
So without further ado…….
Foxes In the Boxes
We’ll start off with the players that seen the majority of their shots come from prime central, fairly close positions.
The Next Band
Now we move on to the players who, whilst they had plenty of shots from central locations, weren’t afraid to mix the locations where they chose to shoot from.
This next group of players had a much more even distribution of where on the pitch they were likely to shoot from.
The Long Range Shooters
We now arrive at the group of players who actually seemed to specialise in shooting from long range, or perhaps even in some cases, from some pretty silly angles.
Last, and perhaps least
And bringing up the rear…..
The locations that Taarabt shot from really take some believing.
Most Varied Striker
It’s not a very scientific test, but the player that had shots from the greatest number of zones as shown in in the above charts was Bale with shots from 33 locations. The Welshman was closely followed by Suarez with 32 different shot locations.
Easiest to Predict Striker
Using the same methodology, West Ham’s Kevin Nolan was the most predictable striker as his shot locations were covered by just 18 of my zones. Osman and Cisse were next with 19 different shot locations.