This article on Zonal Marking caused me unreasonable amounts of thrills this morning. Such a pure collision of the geek and football fan parts of my brain there never has been. The above graph shows average % possession on the horizontal axis, and shots per game on the vertical axis, for the top divisions in England, Italy, France, Spain and Germany.
Click through for more charts showing the breakdown by league and highlighting some of the outliers. Even without the country filter, you can immediately identify Barcelona and narrow Real Madrid down to a couple of options too. With the country filter on, Arsenal and Swansea pop right out, but I was quite surprised how similar Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester City were. In one way, this makes the club’s style of play extremely clear, although there are obviously a lot of nuances.
Ah, football. NB: this is the weekend when a lot of stuff at the top of the Premier League will get sorted out. If City beat Newcastle you gotta think they’ll win it, while if that happens and Spurs also beat Villa, Spurs should be guaranteed top four. However Chelsea’s bid to win the Champions’ League complicates things because if they do, 4th spot no longer qualifies. That will leave Arsenal plus Spurs and/or Newcastle extremely nervous on the final day. Brrrr.