Head-to-head statistics: Craddock (Wolves) v Bassong (Tottenham)

Paddytheflea’s statistical head-to-head analysis are back. They take some time to create and the facts to be found are not always the best in comparing players skills. But the analysis still gives deeper insights about the differences between players and teams. So her we go.

We start this weekends competitors with two representatives from the defence. The first pair out on the dance floor are:

Jody Craddock, 34 year old centre-back is a Wolves veteran. He has played in Wolves for six years and he is the only player still playing that was a member of the 2003-4 team last time we were in the Premier League. He has been very solid in the Premier League so far and he also has had some success in going forward. The partnership with Christophe Berra looks reasonable solid. Craddock has played ten matches for Wolves this season.

Sébastien Bassong, 23, usually plays in the same position as Craddock in Tottenham. He is born in France, but plays internationally for Cameroon. He came to Newcastle from Metz last season and was named their player of the year. But he escaped relegation by signing for Tottenham this season. The transfer fee was said to be £8 million as opposed for £500.000 when Newcastle signed him from Metz. But he scored in his first match for Tottenham against Liverpool, so he may be worth it. Bassong has played seven matches for his team.

Let’s then put them head-to-head and compare their stats for this season so far.

Season 2009-10
Craddock Bassong
Fouls won and / conceded / % won
8 /14/36%
Tackles won and / lost / % won
14/2 /88%
Accurate passes % / Attacks created
63% / 0
85% /2
Goals / Assists / Shots on goal
4 /0 / 4
1 / 0 /1

O.K. Let’s interpret these figures in order and try to get something out of them.

Fouls: As most of you know, conceiving fouls could be very costly when you play in the centre-back position. Players are getting more and more skilful at set pieces and a larger percent of goals comes from set pieces every year. Craddock has – as we sadly have mentioned before – a low percentage of won fouls. Bassong has 50/50 between won and lost. But if you recall Craddocks numbers that was presented before the Chelsea game they were 6/12 so the last three games he has had 50/50 as well. And another thing. If we look at the numbers and not the percentages Craddock has conceded 14 fouls in 10 matches and Bassong 10 in 7. Actually that means that both players conceives 1.4 fouls a match. And Craddock is bettering himself…

Tackles: Another important thing to do the right way for a central defender. And Craddock is one of the best at it. 88% tackles won is fantastic. And his records the last three game are – 100% won. Basson wins two out of three tackles. Not so bad, but he is far from Craddock in this area.

Passes and Attacks: This is the area that we know from previous head-to-heads that French trained players excels. And that is true for Bassong as well. As a graduate from Clairfontaine Youth Academy – the same school Henry, Anelka, Gallas and Saha attended – he knows how to make an exact pass. Craddock misses far to many, but has done better in this area too lately and gone from 59 to 63%.

Centre backs are usually not the ones that creates attacks. Craddock hasn’t created anyone, but Bassong is listed on two. I am pleased that we have Craddock staying in a defensive position instead of trying to go forward.

Goals, Assists and Shots on goal: But on set pieces centre-backs often join up and try to get a leg or a head to the ball. Jody Cradock has scored four times in three games lately. Bassong has scored one goal. Neither of them has made any assists and both are very clinical. When they hit goal the ball winds up in the net. Fantastic!

Conclusions: What kind of conclusions can we then draw from this little exercise? What does the comparison say about the players and their teams? Firstly we can conclude that the young French defender excels in passing. But that has also to do with the team he playes for. Tottenham is not under exposure for pressure like Wolves are and a defender can often make their passes in a much more friendly environment.

In every other area here investigated Craddock is his equal or his master. At not conceiving fouls they are equal and at tackles Craddock is by far the better. And as a scorer of goals the Wolves centre-back really is the bees knees or what they use to say. I can only conclude that Bassong has much to learn about defending from the Wolves veteran centre-back. But don’t learn to fast.


(P.S.if you don’t agree with my conclusions, draw your own.D.S.)


~ by paddytheflea on December 9, 2009.

3 Responses to “Head-to-head statistics: Craddock (Wolves) v Bassong (Tottenham)”

  1. ?speed/acceleration,stamina, anticipation & experience, all higly relevant factors here as is the quality of the opposition It is not that I disagree with yr summary as it appears(IMO) to be excellent but you have missed those points and they do undermine yr conclusions a little(not saying that I could do better as I have never seen Craddock play). I would guess that Bassong wins the first two but certainly not the last one while the third one, Ihahve no idea as it is an instinct as opposed to a skill. Being a THFC supporter from the mid 50s I have missed the Wolves of old and I do hope that you retain yr EPL status(despite bad memories of wind frozen testicles at winter Molineaux) but..naturally, not at our expense.

    I will make a point of watching Craddock this time. IMO bassong is still very raw material but at 34 I should think that he would be the better all round defender compared with Craddock(at 34 not 45 :)) but he is no King by any measn yet but he has improved since his arrival and will probbaly continue to do so. The most important point is just how a CD copes with a star striker and many a ram looks like a lamb vs top four guys. Defoe is good but not perfect byany menas but I guess Craddock will be marking Crouch and you have missed heading ability here also.

    But,,,fun to read and it made me think a little.

    • I agree on most of what you say, AntiOnan. The lack of speed is the the biggest disadvantage in his play. But like many experienced central defenders he partly compensates this with a good sense of positioning on the pitch. And his heading ability is fantastic.

      Unfortunately a lack of data hampers the analysis, I agree. But that’s what’s available to me at the moment. If I’ve made statistic analysis fun to read I’m very pleased indeed.Thank you!

  2. […] In an earlier article I looked at a couple of defenders and compared their stats (HERE). Now it is time to take a look at a couple of midfielders in our quest to try to dig deeper into […]

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