After posting this article on the breakdown of shot locations I was asked by a number of people if it was possible to show the absolute number of shots and goals for each player in a similar format.
So what I have done is look at players in the EPL who scored at least 12 goals last season, and plotted their shots (on the left hand side) and their goals (on the right hand side) side by side.
As with the previous article, penalties have been excluded.
The players have been sorted (approximately) by their total goals total. I created the images in batches of three which is why Bale has been uploaded before Van Persie.
I’d probably be stuck for words if I tried to describe what is happening in each image, but I’ll comment on anything of note as we pass down through the images.
The vast majority of Van Persie’s goals came from relatively close in, especially compared to Bale’s image above.
It appears that Suarez is happy to shoot from almost anywhere inside the opposition’s half. For the most part, it appears that these shooting decisions are not very wise due to the infrequency of those long range shots finding the net. This can be seen by the amount of red zeros in the right hand image.
Benteke’s shooting choices were very much controlled, with a lot in the central areas.
Michu barely scored a goal outside the area last season. Looking at his goal locations he seemed to be in the right place at the right time a lot.
Berabatov may as well not have set foot outside the opposition penalty box, with all his goals coming from fairly close range.
Dzeko ensured that, for the most part, he was in good positions before he decided to shoot.
Walcott’s lack of returns from outside the penalty area surprised me somewhat, especially given the amount of times that he shot from long range.
Not only were all of Le Fondre’s goals scored from inside the area, but that the vast majority were scored from very close range.
If I was Arsene Wenger, I think I’d be having a word with Cazorla. For all of the long range shooting he insisted on taking last season he didn’t trouble the scoreboard operator very often. Those numbers are quite stark and given his silky skills you can’t help but think that Arsenal would have benefited had the Spaniard made one more pass.
As was noted earlier today, Rooney has a very nice set of shooting numbers. In fact, the general shape of his shot locations is quite closely correlated with those of Van Persie. I guess we can make of that what we wish.