Head-To-Head Stats: Craddock (Wolves) vs Vidic (Manchester United)

I haven’t had the time to create these comparisons between players for a while now, but I will take it up again as we meet one of the best teams in the league and it is interesting to see how our players compare to the very best.

I do these statistical comparisons to get more information and know more about the individuals and their teams. They don’t say everything, but if they mean that we will know a little bit more it’s good enough for me

As usual we start the head-to-heads with two representatives from the defence. The first two are:

Jody Craddock, 34 year old central defender, was born in Redditch, England, and he 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 in 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 22 matches for Wolves in the Premier League this season so far.

Nemanja Vidic, 28,  was signed by Red Star Belgrade in 1996 – as a 14-year-old – after playing for two local teams in his hometown Uzice. At the beginning of the new millenium he signed a Senior contract with Red Star and played 67 matches for them during three seasons.

In 2004 he moved to Spartak Moscow. The following two years he established himself as a top defender in Spartak and also as a member of the’famous four’ in the Serbian National team defence that qualified for the World Cup in 2006.

In January 2006 he signed for Manchester United. The price-tag was £7 million and he took the place beside Ferdinand as a central defender. In United he has developed to one of the best central defenders in the world, according to most pundits. He is described – like Craddock – as a no-nonsense defender. In United he has of course collected a lot of honours as a team member, but also as an individual player. Including the Barclay’s Player Of The Year award.  Vidic has played 14 matches in the league for Manchester United so far this season.

Look at the images. You can almost see that they are two tough blokes. Let’s put them head-to-head and compare their stats for this season so far.

Season 2009-10
Craddock Vidic
Fouls won and / conceded / % won
Tackles won and / lost / % won
37 /6 /86%
23 /5 /82%
Accurate passes % / Attacks created
61% / 3
84% /1
Goals / Assists / Shots on goal
4 /2 / 5
1 / 0 /3

O.K. Let’s interpret these figures and try to learn something from 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. Vidic has – like most central defenders – better figures than Craddock when it comes to this area.

Tackles: Craddock continues to win tackles. But he has gone from 92% won to 86 % in the last six matches. But Vidic is not as good a tackler as Craddock despite his drop anyway.

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. And he is not getting better at that. 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 truth is of course that he kicks the ball either to the opposition or out of play for the opposition to take possession. Vidics result points to a defender working for a tem that have more time to pass the ball to a team mate. But don’t forget that he probably is picked to United because he is proved to be very good at passing the ball around.

Central defenders are usually not the ones that creates attacks. Craddock created one against Wigan and he has created two more since. Vidic does not create many attacks either. Only one so far.

Goals, Assists and Shots on goal: Jody Cradock has scored four goals for Wolves this season and is still our second best goalscorer on that. Vidic has only scored once for United. Craddock has also made two assists. Vidic has no assists so far. Craddock is very clinical with five strikes at goal and four goals. Vidic have hit the goal three times without any result. Vidic has exactly the same stats as Skrtl of Liverpool in this category, and he has very similar stats in the other measurements as well.

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. Vidic does not give away as many free-kicks as Craddock but Craddock is – perhaps a surprise for the United fans – a better tackler than the ‘no-nonsense’ Vidic.

When it comes to accurate passing Vidic is much better than Craddock . But most central defenders in the league are. No one of them are any good at creating attacks. It is not in their job description. But Craddock is an excellent and clinical goalscorer on set pieces and has added assists to his skills as well. Vidic has only scored once this season in the league and he has made no assists.

Both these players are very valuable assets to their respective teams. Vidic gets much attention and silverware for his job, while Jody Craddock works hard without getting much of the spotlight and glitter. Yet his stats shows that he is a tougher player than Vidic and a better goalscorer.



~ by paddytheflea on March 5, 2010.

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