Wolves are better at defending than Arsenal and Hull

I’ve realised that my previous stats about the ratio between shots, shots on goal and goals (HERE) only tell half the truth – if that – about a teams performance.

To get the whole picture you got to look at the work at the other end as well. How are the teams at defending? Therefore I’ve looked at three of the teams stats to try to find out how well they defend. I have used the figures about  how many shots and shots on goal the opposing side has – that is shot against the teams under scrutiny – and how many goals they give away and the ratio in between. That should give a rough estimate about how well a team defends, don’t you think?

As when I looked at the teams going forward I have used the data from Football-lineups. But this time I’ve been lazy and only compiled data for three teams; Wolves, Arsenal and Hull. Arsenal because they are a top team and we are playing them on Saturday. Hull because they had a similar result to Wolves when we looked at shots and goals scored. As before I have looked at the data from the 10 last games for the teams investigated.

Shots against and goals in the back by the teams while defending

  • Team- –Shots– on goal–Ratio —Goals–Ratio
  • Arsenal—-91——— 30 —— 33 %——–9 —- 30 %
  • Wolves—160———-59 —— 37 %——11 —- 20 %
  • Hull——–182———-62 —— 34 %——-22 —- 35 %

That is a very interesting table of stats! Let us take a close look at it and investigate these figures. And remember. Low numbers are good in this case. Good defending rests on not allowing the opposing team to get chances to score.

Teams do not have the possibility to get many shots or shot at goal on high flying Arsenal. That is probably as expected by most of us. But Hull and Wolves receives about the double amount of shots at goal per game – three in average for the Arsenal keeper to try to defend from and about six in average for the keepers of Hull and Wolves to take care of – that’s about what I expected as well.

Both Hull and Arsenal are better than Wolves to avoid the opponents to direct their shots on goal. That is not satisfactory. Do we perhaps let the opponents come too easy into shooting position?

I observed that nobody attacked the Everton players launching shots just outside the D against Wolves latest. I’ve seen the same in a couple of other games. I concluded then that the midfield did not do their job 100% when tracking back defending. It could be that is what the figures reveals in the shots to shots on goal ratio.

But what is most interesting is that Wolves somehow are much more successful than Hull in preventing the shots on goal from getting into the net. Even more successful than Arsenal. How come? It must be the result of better defending and/or goaltending somehow.

Maybe Wolves have more players coming back to defend inside the box? Or maybe we are not caught in counter attacks as often as Hull? Maybe Wolves prevents the teams to score because we don’t let them come too easily into the right areas for scoring goals – and if they do we have them marked and disturbs them more than the Hull defenders succeeds in doing – and by that hinders them to get that perfect shot in the net?

It is impossible to say specifically why Wolves are better at defending shots on goal than Hull and Arsenal from the stats available. We can only speculate about the reasons. But we must be doing something good. Applause to the defenders and Mick the Magician!

Is there a way of knowing if it is the defenders, the goalkeeper or perhaps the midfielders that are doing a better job in Wolves than in Hull to prevent goals in the back? Well. Not from the stats available to me, I’m afraid.

I’ve got one more interesting stats finding about the Wolves defending. If we only count the last five games Wolves received shots on goal to conceived goal ratio is only 15%. So we are getting better at defending and are letting in even less goals now. 😆

If we add the two ratio percentages together for each team and call the result ‘total defensive skills’ or something like that Hull gets 69, Arsenal 63 and Wolves 57. And remember that low is good. Wolves are better defending than both Hull and mighty Arsenal. They prevent more attacks from resulting in goals in the back. That is for certain. A statistical fact and cannot be interpreted any other way.

I’m going about this very thoroughly because I anticipate that many a Arsenal fan out there will have a hard time believing me. This may be published on the first of April, but It’s no fools day article as such.

If we take the results from the previous article about the precision in attacking for the same three teams we have the ‘total offensive skills’ for Arsenal at 62, Wolves gets 68 and Hull 75. And here high numbers means high precision.

If you are confused why a team like free flying Arsenal ends up having the lowest total offensive skills of these three teams and still being third in the Premier League and the other two fighting a relegation dogfight I will enlighten you on this now.

The reason why Arsenal still is by far the best scorers is that they launch many more attacks than Wolves and Hull. About the double amount. Then you don’t have to have the top notch precision of Hull and Wolves. They just keep banging in balls and some of them are bound to find their way into the net. It’s not about precision – it’s about total mass.

It’s the same about defending, really, but the other way around. Wolves have to fend off nearly double the amount of attempts than Arsenal – and does that extremely well – ending up with only two more goals in their net. While Hull does not have the defensive quality to stop the attacks and ends upp with double the amount of goals in the back compared to Wolves. But Arsenal does not have to defend as many attacks as the others and ends up with fewer goals in the net. Simple as that.

The reason behind why Arsenal have the ability to get so many more chances to score are – in my and many others opinion, but not derived from these stats – that they are extremely good at passing and keeping the ball in the team when going forward with many players. But their skill in defending and attacking does not have the quality of Wolves. It’s more a matter of quantity and grinding down the opposing team.

I hope you have learned something new about your team with this. I have.

The future is bright! The future is Old Gold and Black!



~ by paddytheflea on April 1, 2010.

9 Responses to “Wolves are better at defending than Arsenal and Hull”

  1. What a load of shit.

  2. dani1godwin@yahoo.com
    barca are marvellous but arsenal are excellent. both have equal chance to proceed to the semis

    • No, daniel. Barca got two goals away and Arsenal’s chances of proceeding are very slim indeed. Try to look into the betting companies stats. They are usually pretty accurate and Barca are very clear the favorits to pull through.

      But I present another kind of stats here. Any comment on that?

  3. I am afraid paddy the flea is correct. The bookies are 95% right most if not all the time. Much as I would like Arsenal to go to the sf,my head tells me it would be an uphill task.
    Of course upsets can happen.Yeah I know BM were hot favourites before the two goals.Miracles don’t happen often. Arsenal’s huge reliance on Feb is going to handicap the team.Football is a team game .Over reliance on one player is unhealthy. It will make the player think he is indispensable which is bad for team morale.

  4. “But their skill in defending and attacking does not have the quality of Wolves”

    LMFAO. Kill yourself

    • Hard to fathom? I can understand that. Too much sentiments from your part. What is LMFAO? Could you spell it out to a poor little flea, please?!

  5. LMFAO is the Americanized way of saying:
    “Laughing my fucking ass off”

    in other words, they’re laughing.

  6. An interesting argument, It depends on how you define defending. A lot of people may say that allowing 160 shots on goal is bad defending.

    It is possible to look at defending as a whole and the goalkeeper may be better at saving shots,(not sure if the stats are shots on target or total shots). In that case yes Wolves are better at defending.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if most people disagree with your assessment.

    Arsenal may or may not be better, but the shots to save ratio shows that either the goalie is cack, or the 90 shots the allow is better quality than the 160 Wolves allow. The high line that the Arse usually play means, once that line is breached very often the goalkeeper is much more vulnerable to conceding. One the other hand it could be good defending that allows less scoring opportunities.

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