Head-To-Head Stats: Craddock (Wolves) vs Bramble (Wigan)

O,K, my friends. Your favorite cyberflea is on the trail of the Saturday game. But it is a lazy flea or perhaps an environmental aware flea. I will re-use the head-to head I wrote for the WestHam game for this game. I’ll just change the West Ham player for a Wigan player and hope that everything turns up alright. Let’s go!

Paddy is back with his statistical head-to-head analysis. The very important ‘sixpointer’ match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Wigan on Saturday. I believe this sort of analysis give us a deeper insight about the differences between players and teams. So her we go again.

We start the head-to-heads with two representatives from the defence. The first pairing are:

Jody Craddock, 34 year old central defender, born in Redditch, England, 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 started playing in non-league club Christchurch and 1993 he was signed for free by third tier club Cambridge United. He played there for four seasons before he was noticed by Sunderland and they signed him for £300.000 in 1997. A big signing fee for a League Two player at the time. Craddock helped Sunderland to promotion to the Premier League the second season at Sunderland, but he was ‘rewarded’ by being loaned out to Sheffield United in the Championship. But later on he came back and played for Sunderland.

After four years at the club he was sold to Wolves when Sunderland was relegated in 2003 and Wolves was promoted to Premier League. He was as an important player at that time for Wolves as he is this season.

And Craddock has been very solid in the Premier League so far and he has also had some success in going forward. And his partnership with Christophe Berra looks to have settled. Craddock has played 15 matches for Wolves in the Premier League this season so far.

Titus Bramble, 28, born in Ipswich is a central defender that started his career in his hometown as a youth player. In 2002 he was signed by Sir Bobby Robson in Newcastle for £6 million. A very large signing fee at the time – especially for an English player.

The second season in Newcastle Bramble was voted the worst player in Premier League by a email newsletter.  But Bramble have made some spectacular goals and very good performances for the Magpies. When Glenn Roeder came to power his time in the first team was off, though, and he signed for Wigan on a free transfer in the summer of 2007.

In Wigan he soon earned himself a cult hero reputation. I think that the Wigan supporters didn’t expect much of him and when he proved to be a very good player they took him to their hearts. Especially after scoring a screamer in the last minutes to equalise against Liverpool on Anfield.

Wigans former manager Steve Bruce and their current manager Martinez have both trusted Bramble to take care of their defence. Last season he was voted Player of the Year and Players Player of the Year in the club. Titus Bramble has played 19 matches in the league for Wigan so far this season.

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

Season 2009-10
Craddock Bramble
Fouls won and / conceded / % won
8 /21/28%
Tackles won and / lost / % won
22 /2 /92%
29 /19 /60%
Accurate passes % / Attacks created
63% / 0
72% /7
Goals / Assists / Shots on goal
4 /2 / 4
1 / 0 /3

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

Fouls: Conceiving fouls could be very costly when you play in a centre-back position. Players are getting more and more skilled at set pieces that could result in goals. Craddock has a high percentage of conceded fouls. And so has Bramble. Actually Bramble has a higher percentage of conceived fouls than many of the central defenders I’ve seen – but Craddock is the worst of the two. This seem to be two no nonsense defenders.

Tackles: Craddock continues to win tackles. He has been mr 100% again and gone from 91% to 92%. But I have to alter my perception of Bramble as a tough defender. He has a percentage of less than two out of three tackles won and he is nowhere near Craddock at this.

Passes and Attacks: Craddock is – as everybody knows that has followed my head-to-heads – not one of the best in Wolves at passing the ball. In fact, quite the opposite. I use to say that the centre backs of Wolves comes under hard pressure and sometimes it will be necessary to just get rid of the ball from the area. But the same should go for the Wigan defenders, but they are much better passers. Bramble has 72% correct passes to be compared with 63% for Craddock. But Craddock had 70% in his last match in the league and Bramble had 79% – so maybe Craddock is improving a bit – but so is Bramble.

The Wigan manager Martinez way of play is to make the players pass their way through the opposing team and try to hold the ball as much as possible. The players in Wigan are not as skilled at this as the players of Arsenal or Liverpool, though. They are in fact not as successful at passing as the players in West Ham and Tottenham.

But they’re probably learning and if you have read what I have said before about passing and holding the ball in the team as the key to results you would know that I am positive to what Martinez is trying to do with Wigan.

Central defenders are usually not the ones that creates attacks. Craddock hasn’t created anyone, but Bramble has created seven. In Wolves Berra – Craddocks partner in the middle – is the one that goes forward. He has created five attacks.

Goals, Assists and Shots on goal: Jody Cradock has scored four goals for Wolves this season and is our second best goalscorer on that. Bramble has only scored once for Wigan. He usually does not score many in a season. Craddock has also made two assists. Bramble has no assists so far. Craddock is very clinical with four strikes at goal and four goals. Upson have to hit the goal three times to get his only goal, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of either. 😆

Conclusions: Craddock gives away a lot of free kicks – some of them in dangerous areas. Not good. But he is a hell of a tackler, but Bramble is surprisingly winns less than two out of three tackles and conceives almost as many fouls as Craddock.

When it comes to accurate passing Bramble is somewhat better than Craddock . But most central defenders in the league are better passers than Craddock. Bramble has created seven attacks, but Craddock does not have the role to go forward in Wolves. He is instead an excellent and clinical goalscorer on set pieces and has recently added assists to his skills as well. Bramble has only scored once this season.

Jody Craddock is one of the best central defenders in the Premier League. But he could be a security risk in giving away free kicks and he is not a good passer. But on the other hand he excels in front of the opposing teams goal on set pieces. Bramble is a highly regarded defender since many years, but the only thing in these stats that puts him forward of Jody Craddock is his passing and the fact that he has created seven attacks for his team.

According to these stats Craddock can measure up to Bramble in most areas and he is much better in the offensive role. The Actim Index places Craddock on 47th place and Bramble is nowhere to be found on their 100 Best list of Premier League. Craddock is the better player of the two.


~ by paddytheflea on January 14, 2010.

One Response to “Head-To-Head Stats: Craddock (Wolves) vs Bramble (Wigan)”

  1. […] between two central defenders ahead of the match between Wolves and Wigan come Sunday at Molineux (HERE) it’s time to move to midfield. Later on I will present two […]

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