Monday, 20 May 2013

Swansea 0 - Fulham 3 Stats and Chalkboards

This was probably one of those games for people who say the only stat that really matters is the number of goals each team scores.  Despite Swansea having plenty of the ball and the vast majority of chances, the scoreline gives a very different picture.

In terms of chances this was a reversal of the game at Craven Cottage where it could be argued Swansea rode their luck:
Attempts by Side, Swansea with 3 times as many efforts with a significant number inside the box
Attempts from the game at Craven Cottage where Fulham had plenty of efforts but little on target
In the period between Fulham's 1st and 2nd Goals yesterday the difference in attempts for both teams was even more extreme with Swansea having 19 attempts to Fulham's 1:
Fulham weren't particularly adventurous (as they didn't need to be) and their passing was often picked off in their own half as can be seen by the location of interceptions:
Interceptions by Team - majority of Swansea's interceptions of Fulham passing coming in the Fulham half
With plenty of the ball, Swansea made far more crosses than normal (44 in total compared to an average in the league this season of less than 20), but with little success:

Similarly, Fulham's defence were far busier in terms of clearances, with an awful lot of activity around the penalty spot:
Hangeland was the busiest defender with 18 clearances in total
9th and a trophy means that this was a pretty amazing season even if the last 3 months have felt at times like going through the motions, although I'm more than happy to have avoided the 'excitement' of a relegation battle.

There's been plenty of speculation around arrivals/departures already and this will only increase over the next couple of months when there's no actual football to act as a distraction.  I personally think that this close season will relatively quiet as long as Laudrup stays (which I expect he will for another year at least), with Williams being the only regular first team player who may be somewhere else come August.

Some may have questioned the wisdom of selling Danny Graham in January, but £5m for a 1 goal per 3 games striker who was desperate to leave was superb business, as was not trying to buy a replacement at the same time when prices generally are higher.

Here's hoping for a relatively calm summer.

Twitter: @we_r_pl
Match Stats and Chalkboards: Created using Statszone