Head-To-Head Stats: Craddock (Wolves) vs Collins (Aston Villa)

The head-to-head comparisons between individual players are back again! The main reason is that the Villa supporters talking up their players to the sky and talking down ours. Their judgements are based on nothing but subjective rubbish by the media.

These statistical comparisons say more than the average pundits do about the players and their teams abilities. They give us a more objective picture of the players, but they do not paint the whole picture.

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 24 matches for Wolves in the Premier League this season so far.

Edit: It has just been announced by Wolves that Craddock has been offered a new contract.

James Collins, 26,  was born in Newport, Wales and started playing in the local team there from an early age. At the Millennium shift he joined Cardiff City as a trainee. He played his first match in the FA cup already as a 16-year-old that first year and stayed in Cardiff for five years and made 86 appearances.

Together with his Cardiff central defender partner Danny Gabbidon he joined West Ham for £3.5 milion in 2005.  However Gabbidon had better luck in West Ham than Collins who often found himself left out of the team.

But when Upson got injured in the 2006-7 season Collins got a chance and took it. Together with Anton Ferdinand he formed a stable partnership towards the end of that season and they were a major reason to West Ham avoiding the drop that year.

An injury resulting in severe ligament damage in the beginning of 2008 made him being sidelined for nine months and he made a come back in West Ham in October playing the rest of the season for West Ham. O’Neill – his manager in West Ham – signed him in September for Aston Villa.

James Collins has represented Wales on a National level in the youth teams and 34 times in their first team. Collins has played 20 matches in the league for Aston Villa so far this season.

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

Season 2009-10
Craddock Collins
Fouls won and / conceded / % won
13 /26/33%
9 /14 /39%
Tackles won and / lost / % won
39 /8 /83%
21 /6 /78%
Accurate passes % / Attacks created
61% / 3
72% /5
Goals / Assists / Shots on goal
4 /2 /5
1 / 0 /4

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. Collins has – like most central defenders – slightly better figures than Craddock when it comes to this area.

Tackles: Craddock continues to win tackles. But he has gone from 92% won to 83 % in the last seven matches. But Collins is not as good a tackler as Craddock despite the drop and playing for a more successful team he is not as much involved in action as Craddock.

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 come under hard pressure and sometimes it will be necessary to just get rid of the ball from the area.

But what the stats are telling us is of course that he kicks the ball either to the opposition or out of play for the opposition to take possession much to often. But Collins result does not point to a defender working for a team that have more time to pass the ball to a team mate. It is not at par with the central defenders in the best teams of the Premier League.

Central defenders are usually not the ones that creates attacks. Craddock created one against Wigan and he has created two more since. Berra is more involved in the build up play in Wolves. Collins does not create many attacks either. Five 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. Collins has only scored once for Villa so far. Craddock has also made two assists. Collins has no assists so far.

Craddock is very clinical with five strikes at goal and four goals. Collins have hit the goal four times with only one goal as a result. But Collins has exactly the same stats as Skrtl of Liverpool and Vidic of Manchester United in this category, so the Villa fans shouldn’t be too ashamed of his stats.

Conclusions: Craddock gives away a lot of free kicks – some of them in dangerous areas. Not good. But he is still a hell of a tackler.

Collins does not give away as many free-kicks as Craddock but Craddock is – perhaps a surprise for the Villa fans – a better tackler than the by his own and the media much appreciated Collins.

When it comes to accurate passing Collins is a little 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. Collins has only scored once this season in the league and he has made no assists. But he did not score or assist last season either, so I guess that he just don’t do it.

Both these players are very valuable assets to their respective teams. James Collins gets much attention 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 defender than Collins and better at going forward and score goals. The stats shows that Jody Craddock is the better player of the two.



~ by paddytheflea on March 18, 2010.

17 Responses to “Head-To-Head Stats: Craddock (Wolves) vs Collins (Aston Villa)”

  1. What the hell you on about media attention? Obviously James Collins will get more attention because your missing one important STAT, just check our goals conceded column.

    • There are no stats on how many goals Collins or Craddock individually are reponsible for conceding, Villafan. And it is on that level these statistics are made. Perhaps there are other factors than the skills of Collins that determines your relative success to Wolves this season so far?!

  2. Your having a laugh if you believe Craddock is the better defender. Collins would walk into the Wolves side, but Craddock wouldn’t even make our reserve side and im being serious about that too.

    • Well. We will see them in action in a couple of days, VillaFan. I trust my stats more than you. 😆

  3. Well i trust a League table and by the fact we have the best defence in the league which are far more important than your manipulated stats.

  4. How about shots blocked?!?….Villa defenders throw themselves in front of everything. This decreases the goals to shots ratio of the opposing team.

    If Craddock is a better defender than Collins, I’ll eat my hat!

    • Good question, villa_chris. Have not got the stats for that I’m afraid. But would be good to know. I know that the stats available are limited, but I’ve tried to use what’s available to paint a picture.

  5. two stats you forgot paddy… how quick is craddock and how tall is he? cuz unless he’s 6ft 9 and as quick as usain bolt he’s in for a torrid time on saturday. big john and gabby will have him for brunch.

    • Craddock is not quick at all. It is one of his big disadvantages. But he compensates that by being in the right place at the right time. You’re players had no luck getting past him at Molineux, did they? Agbonlahor suceeded in turning around fire your goal. But in general we defended very well.

      And Craddock is not very tall but very good on his head. Not many players gets anything from him in the air.

  6. Not one Wolves player would get in the Villa team. I don’t need ‘stats’ to tell me that, apart from the League table.

    • Well, that’s good. We don’t want them to play for you either. And they wouldn’t want it. 😆

  7. It has to be said that your stats paint only a very small picture… for example, headers won, interceptions made, blocks made etc all are important stats for a central defender… I suspect that Collins is comfortably better on headers won and he does pretty well on the others too.

    • I’m quite certain that Craddock is one of the best defenders in the Premier League in the air, apocalypso. He shows that going forward as well. Four goals and I believe that three of them was with his head. Craddock is a no-nonsense defender and very good in man-to-man combat. A fighter!

      But I do agree that the stats are limited and – as you say – paints a small or sketchy picture of the players.

  8. We did however give your guys a tough match last time, and we have against the top teams.

    Good luck on our match,
    and up the Wolves!

  9. Of course Craddock makes more tackles then Collins, Wolves spend more time defending so there are more tackles to make!!! As you say he is in a more succesful team so has less tackles to make. That doesnt mean he isn’t in the action as much. You could only reallly compare stats with center backs of the same team as they have played in the same games. It is quite simply really, yes his percentage is higher stat only paint a small picture.

  10. Craddock is one of the best defenders in the league? Are you kidding me, I’d say he is a good defender but not one of the best defenders. Was it not Craddock who struggled with Kevin Phillips, who you guys allowed to bang in a couple in the space of 10mins, best defender my ass!

    • Well. In the official stats for the Premier League – the Actim Index – Craddock is on spot 48 of all the players in the PL. Your Collins is on place 87.

      Then we have to understand that the players gets some of their points when their team wins a game. So Craddock is actually much better than Collins and would probably be ranked as one of the 20 best players in the Premier League by Actim if he played for a team like Aston Villa – which God and Mick McCarthy of course forbids. 😆

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