Head-To-Head Stats: Milijas (Wolves) vs Jimenez (West Ham)

After comparing the statistics between two central defenders ahead of the match between West Ham and Wolves come Sunday at Boleyn Ground (HERE) it’s time to move to midfield. Later on I will present two strikers.

I do these simple analytics as I firmly believe they can say something more balanced and deeper about the strengths and weaknesses of the players and of their teams than the pundits subjective opinions.

Let’s first present the two midfielders in question.

Nenad Milijas, 26, was born in Yugoslavia and started his footballing career in FK Zemun, Belgrade (Serbia), in the Youth team in 1995. In the year 2000 he reached the senior level and the next season he became a regular starter in the first team. In 2005-6 he attracted attention from the countries largest club Red Star Belgrade, after scoring eight goals in half a season, and he signed up for them in January of 2006. At first he didn’t get much playing time, but when the club changed manager he played more games and was a regular starter in league matches as well as in European cups.

Last season was his best and he scored 22 goals from his midfield position. He was voted most valuable player in Serbia of the season and he also was voted into the All Star Team and made his debut in the Serbian National Team. At the end of the season Wolves signed him, reportedly for about £2,5 million. Milijas had some difficulty in getting a spot in the starting eleven, but now he seem to have acclimatized to the Premier League. Nenad Milijas has played 13 matches so far for Wolves this season.

Luis Jimenez, 25, was born in Santiago, Chile and raised as a footballer in Club Deportivo Palestino from 1994 to 2001. He moved to Italy and Ternana Calcio in 2002. They played in the Serie B, the Italian second division, at the time. In five years he played 88 matches for Ternana and scored 24 goals. But from 2006 he was loaned out to Fiorentina, Lazio and Internazionale. Probably because of financial difficulties in his home club. He scored some goals in Serie A for these clubs as well.

In the summer of 2007 Inter signed him on loan from Ternana and he played there and scored for them in the Champions League against Fenerbache. He also scored against Fiorentina and Lazio. Last season Inter signed half of him from Ternana (!) but he got injured in training in the beginning of the season and couldn’t play until December. He only played 6 matches last season.

This season he was loaned out to West Ham with an option to buy. He made his debut against Wolves in the first game

Luis Jimenez has played 11 matches so far for West Ham this season.

Jimenez and Milijas are both midfielders that likes to go forward and they like to operate in the ‘hole’  between midfield and forwards. Milijas playes a little bit to the left and Jimenez a little bit to the right. Milijas has a sensitive left foot and Jimenez a sensitive right foot. They are the same type of players and newcomers in the Premier League this season. Let’s have a look at the statistics then and compare these creative midfielders.

Season 2009-10
Milijas Jimenez
Fouls won and / conceded / % won
8 /13 /38%
9 /20 /31%
Tackles won and / lost / % won
8/8 /50%
Accurate passes % / Attacks created
59% / 18
83% /17
Goals / Assists / Shots on goal
2 /3 / 6
1 / 2 /4

O.K. Let’s analyse this and see what we can find out about the players and their respective teams.

Fouls: Milijas is very skilled at taking free kicks, but he is giving many away to the opposing team as well. But Jimenez is even worse than Milijas in this department.

Tackles: Wolves players are usually good tacklers. But not Milijas. He is clearly not used to the harder British way of play. But there are signs that he is getting there. Jimenez seem to have the same problems in adjusting to the Premier League. But to tackle is not necessary in th role these two elegants are playing. But if you engage in it you might as well be good at it.

Passes and Attacks: Milijas has not a good record at accurate passes. But the two last games he had an exact passing statistics of 67% and 73% so maybe he is coming around in this area. Jimenez is much better at this and the West Ham team is much better than Wolves at accurate passing (Yes, there is stats on this as well).

When it comes to creating attacks Milijas is about the same as Jimenez. Milijas is second best in Wolves at creating attacks and Wolves really needs a player on midfield that can do this job. Jarvis can not create everything alone and when Kightly and Keogh are injured this is our only really creative players, in my opinion.

The 17 attacks created by Jimenez shows indeed that he has the same role at West Ham as Milijas has at Wolves.

Goals, Assists and Shots on goal: I said earlier that for Milijas – learning the trade in British football – it is accepted with two goals and three assists so far in the season. Jimenez has played a couple of matches less, but statistically he is slightly under Milijas here. He can of course also blame the lack in result on the adjustion to the British style of play. But it’s time for both of them to step up a nodge if they and their clubs are to stay in the Premier League.

For Milijas it is maybe as a provider and maker of goals we should expect the big contribution. But he scored 22 goals last season for Red Star, so he should score a few as well. Jimenez has not been a big goalscorer earlier in his career and maybe he is more of a playmaker than Milijas with his accurate passing.

Conclusions: This is two players with a very similar way of playing. And it shows in the stats as well. They are creative players who likes to deliver the ball to their team mates from a position between the midfield and the forwards. They are not fully used to the British ways yet and at tackles and conceiving fouls they’re not top notch. They play in a more ‘hostile’ climate than they are used to and the tempo is also much higher.

But when it comes to creating attacks and making goals and scoring they are very useful to their teams. Milijas has been a little better than Jimenez at this so far, but both has struggled to get to terms with the Premier League in the beginning of the season and there are signs that at least Milijas is getting better and better.

(The stats comes from Telegraph and are further developed by me. If you don’t agree with my analysis and interpretation of the statistics, make your own. Watch out for the Head-To-Head between two strikers from Wolves and West Ham coming soon.)



~ by paddytheflea on January 9, 2010.

2 Responses to “Head-To-Head Stats: Milijas (Wolves) vs Jimenez (West Ham)”

  1. nice balanced article and a pleasure to read.

    thanks (from a WHU fan)

    • Thank you, Old Rag Man Reg!
      How do you lot look upon Jimenez so far?
      The Wolves supporters had a negative image of Milijas until he started to deliver a couple of goals about a month ago. The they realised that he was a class player. But he has also bettered himself and is working back better. But like Jimenez he can not be sure of a spot in the starting eleven.

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