Football League attack & defence monster chart

As I’ve already analysed the divisions individually in the 3 previous posts this week, I’ll just leave the combined diagrams I promised here for your enjoyment. A quick explanation in case you haven’t seen these before:

  • The first shows the average number of goal attempts created per match versus the average number of attempts required for a goal to be scored.
  • The second shows the average number of goal attempts faced per match versus the average number of attempts it takes for the defence to be breached.
  • Both axes are centred on the average values for the Football League, which allows the teams to be grouped roughly into quadrants summarising how they compare to the rest.
  • Comparing a team’s position on both charts gives an (admittedly not definitive but nonetheless informative) view of their current attacking and defensive performance.
  • Both charts can be clicked to bring up enlarged versions in separate tabs, which I’d strongly recommend.

A few quick examples to give you the idea:

  • Bristol City have the most wasteful attack in the Football League, needing 14 shots on average to score a goal, while the likes of MK Dons and Port Vale only need around 5 and half.
  • Brighton and Exeter create the fewest chances, but the Seagulls are much better at putting away the ones they do create.
  • Crawley and Burnley create the most, but neither are particularly efficient. Eddie Howe’s men in particular are quite wasteful, while Hull‘s profligacy is also worth a mention.


Again a few quick observations:

  • Swindon are the best side in the Football League at restricting their opponents’ chances, facing virtually half as many attempts at their goal as Peterborough.
  • Torquay, Morecambe and Derby all have very busy but equally able defences, but they could all learn from Charlton, who are not only more efficient but seem to have the knack of stopping their opponents from shooting in the first place.
  • Northampton and Nottingham Forest have the least resilient defences, although the latter are much better at closing off the other side’s supply lines.

Here’s a list of links to the detailed posts on individual divisions, which include more detailed commentary and also trendlines showing movement since 2011:

A very quick request…

If you could click play on the video below that’d be great, and if you find yourself watching it all the way to the end and decide to share it with others that’d be absolutely brilliant.

It’s a short and very well-made film about my using Twitter to connect fans of Torquay United all around the world, including lots of inspirational footage from an evening match at Plainmoor. It’s had over 23,000 views so far, which will hopefully convince you that it’s worth watching. I’d love for it to be seen as widely as possible, so any effort you’re willing to make towards this will be warmly appreciated. As soon as you click play it counts as a view, so that’d be enough for me.

Many thanks!

8 thoughts on “Football League attack & defence monster chart

  1. Fantastic stuff. Fellow risk management type (actuary) so I really enjoyed the video. Just stumbled on to your site by way of Zonal Marking and looks great…keep it up.

  2. Great, great stuff! I this video is so brilliant! Many thanks for this mate! And I have one quick question: I have my own blog about Spanish La Liga and I did something similar to you, I mean diagrams of Attack and Defence in La Liga, and I wanted to ask you about permission to publish it? because it’s yours idea, I’m from Poland and my blog is in Polish.

    Cheers, and thank you for wonderful work!

  3. I don’t want to spam you, but I’ve made another diagram inspired by your post ‘Foul intelligence’. Again it’s about La Liga, it’s in Polish (I know, I know :) and I also add new diagram “tackles per game vs. cards per game” and it’s quite intersting. And I didn’t know what to do with red cards as well, I’ve just copied your idea…

    Hope you don’t mind.

    Once again thank you very much for inspiration.


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