Continuing my series of articles looking at shot locations I thought I would bring together a few team heatmaps for the inaugural Heatmap Awards
First of all, for those unfamiliar, here is how I’m defining the different zones where shots are taken from:
In one of my very first articles I looked at the “West Ham Phenomenon” where they had much more of their shots from great shot locations that we might have expected.
Well it seems that their obsession with shots from great positions goes even farther than I thought.
Unbelievably, West Ham has the highest proportion of their shots from the prime position than ANY of the other teams in the Big 5 leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France).
At 47.6% of their shots from prime locations they are almost 2% clear of the team that has the second most proportion of shots from prime spots, Bayern Munich. That really takes some comprehending and I think we can put that down to “AllardyceBall”.
I expect that some readers will be suggesting that a large proportion of those attempts from prime positions are from headers, primarily from Andy Carroll.
I had another look at the figures, this time excluding headers and they no longer sit at the top of the table across the Big 5 leagues. That accolade goes to PSG (35.2%). However, they only slip to third in the EPL table at just 1% below the figures returned by the two Manchester clubs. Again, I’d imagine this is a much more impressive figure than most readers would have expected to see.
I’ll shift the focus to Arsenal, where I found some numbers that suggests that the reputation Arsenal have earned for walking the ball into the net has been earned.
Just 0.7% of Arsenal’s shots (inc headers) are struck from what I have termed as very poor locations. In a “normal” team that would be indicative of serious shot discipline as they do not take wasteful shots. However, perhaps in Arsenal’s case some more variety may be helpful to them, nevertheless, the Gunners do deserve credit for the careful consideration of their shots.
The next placed teams in the Big 5 leagues had a figure of 1.4% of their shots originating from very poor positions.
The Italian side Pescara is included in this article for the wrong reasons. They had the worst shooting locations out of all the teams in the Big 5 leagues.
45% of Pescara’s shots came from the two worst zones on the pitch. It therefore shouldn’t come as a surprise to too many readers that they were cast well adrift at the bottom of Serie A this season.
For information, Lazio and Rayo Vallecano also featured at the top of this particular unattractive list.
In contrast to Pescara if we look at the two best zones (prime and secondary) combined, we find that the Bavarian giants had the best shot positions out of all the teams in my data set.
Almost 79% of Bayern’s shots came from the two most favourable shooting zones. On this measure they just pipped Man United (78%) and PSG (77%) across the 5 leagues.