Head-To-Head Stats: Jarvis (Wolves) Etherington (Stoke)
In an earlier article I looked at a couple of defenders in Wolves and Stoke and compared their stats (HERE). Now it is time to take a look at a couple of midfielders in our quest to try to dig deeper into the “differentia specifika” in skills between the players in Wolverhampton Wanderers and Stoke City.
With the help of statistics available we make comparisons between players in teams Wolves meet and our players and the time now has come to the midfield. My choice of players are very alike – even up to their first names. Meet the two Matthews.
Matt Jarvis,23, was born in Middlesbrough, but started his career at Millwall. But he soon moved to Gillingham and played in their successful 2003-4 youth team that reached the last sixteen in the FA Youth Cup. At the same time he played a couple of matches in their first team. Next season he was a regular and the season after that – 2005-6 – he scored seven goals for Gills.
In the season 2006-7 Jarvis played 35 matches in the league and many clubs had been interested in signing him for some time. Wolves won the race for an undisclosed fee and he arrived from Gillingham in the summer of 2007. However he suffered hip and groin injuries during pre-season training and could not play until October.
But then he became a regular for Wolves for the rest of the season. Last season he suffered an injury blow again and was out of play in October and November. But then he became a regular starter again and played 28 matches for Wolves.
He is a lightning fast natural winger and runs through to cross or sometimes to score himself. He mostly plays on the left wing but he can play on the right as well. Earlier this season he was the player with most frequent crosses in the Premier League. His old manager at Gills early on believed that he would one day play in the England National team. Matt Jarvis has played 31 matches for Wolves in the Premier League so far this season (2401 minutes).
Jarvis about the game (from the Official Wolves site):
“We’ve got five games left and want to get as many points as we can. Stoke is the first of those so we will be trying to get a result. At their place we fought back to get a point which turned out to be a very good point and a deserved point. Since then we’ve been playing very well and are in a good mood heading into the game.”
Matthew Etherington,28, was born in Truro. Walked his way through the youth ranks at Peterborough and made his debut there in their first team when only fifteen. But it was the season 1998-9 he became a regular in the Posh team, scoring three goals. He became an interesting young player for the big teams and Tottenham signed him for £500.000 in December 1999.
He stayed for three years in Tottenham, trying to get into the team, but he only played five Premier League games for them and were out on-loan a lot. He handed in a transfer request, but he was still there in 2002-3 and that season he succeed at playing as a regular in the first team.
But in the summer of 2003 he joined West Ham in the second tier. In his first year at the club he became “Hammer of the Year” as West Ham lost out to Crystal Palace in the play-off finals. The second year he had better luck and set up the goal in the final against Preston with a patented cross which was scored on by Bobby Zamora and West Ham were back in the Premier League.
The following two years Etherington played as a regular for West Ham in the Premier League. But then Zola became manager for West Ham and wanted to try younger players and he did get less playing time. After playing 195 games and scoring 18 goals for West Ham he signed for Stoke City in January 2009 for £2 million. He scored his first goal for Stoke against Wolves. Matthew Etherington has played 28 matches for Stoke City in the Premier League so far this season (2430 minutes).
The Stoke manager Pulis about Etherington a while ago:
“He has been a fantastic player for us and he keeps on getting better and better. I have been banging on the drum about him playing for England for a while now and I think everyone saw why that is today. He has everything in the locker. He has pace, he has skill and his work-rate is absolutely phenomenal.”
Well. Let us have a look at the stats for these two players, who clearly are highly regarded at their respective clubs after what they have accomplished so far this season.
|Fouls won and / conceded / % won
|Tackles won and / lost / % won
||22 /4 /85%
||28 /5 /85%
|Accurate passes % / Attacks created
||72% / 52
|Goals / Assists / Shots on goal
||3 /3 / 13
||4 / 8 / 7
Let us dive into these figures and try to get a deeper understanding about the two Matthews.
Fouls: As said before, conceiving fouls could be very costly, but for a midfielder, gaining a free kick is also very good for the team. Jarvis wins a lot of fouls and does not conceive many. That is very impressive. Etherington does not come far from him in this respect. This match in the match ends a draw.
Tackles: This is an area that the Wolves as a team are best on in the Premier League according to statistics. And Jarvis has not lost a tackle in the last nineteen games (!) and his percentage has risen from 67% to 85%. I don’t know the history of Etherington when it comes to tackles, but he equals Jarvis on 85%. They are probably to fast to tackle for their opponents. Be careful, Zubar! And be passed, Huth. 😆
Passes and Attacks: As wingers passes often are crucial and could lead to goal chances it is very important that the passes are correct. 72% of Jarvis passes finds their man, while 65% hits their target for Etherington. Many supporters believes that Jarvis misses too many passes, but Etherington misses even more for his Stoke.
Wingers are about creating attacks. That is what their speed is for. And it is in this area that Jarvis excels. He has created 52 attacks so far. But he had created 32 already after 12 games, so he was better at this in the beginning of the season.
He has created only two attacks in the last four games. But I actually believe that Wolves and Jarvis attacks are more controlled now. Wolves does not run forward aimlessly in the same amount as earlier in the season. Etherington has created one more attack than Jarvis. So at this they are about equal.
Goals, Assists and Shots on goal: sadly enough, though. Jarvis efforts seldom has led to goals. Whether this is because of not good enough crosses or that the receivers are not good enough you can speculate about, but three goals and three assists, despite creating 52 attacks are not good enough.
But I am not sure at all if this is because of faults at the sending end or the receiving one. Playing with only Doyle up front makes it harder for Jarvis to reach his target.
If we look at Etherington he has scored about the same amount of goals as Jarvis, but he assists to goals much more frequent. I believe that Stoke is better as a team at using the speed of Etherington to turn the game with more players going forward. But Wolves have done this better as a team in their last games.
Matt Jarvis has been one of Wolves best players this season. As has Matt Etherington for Stoke. It is almost scary to see how equal they are in the stats for fouls and tackles and also at creating attacks.
When it comes to accurate passes, though, Jarvis is actually slightly better than Etherington. But at the most important thing – scoring goals and assists at goals – Etherington is the better player this season so far – according to these stats. But that can change if Jarvis play it well on Sunday. The day when we will witness the battle between these windfast wingers.