Attacking & Defensive effectiveness: EPL to BSP

Whenever I post something about the top flight, which is contrary to the overall mission of this blog, I like to balance things out by doing something for fans of BSP clubs. Following the approach used in yesterday’s post for 5 European top divisions, here are another set of monster charts comparing all English teams from the Premier League down to fifth tier, with teams colour-coded (arbitrarily) by division. These can be clicked to bring up a full-sized version in a separate tab – I apologise for the hugeness of the images, which is necessary to visually separate the cluster of teams in the centre of the distribution, although I may have gotten carried away.

What you’ll probably notice straight away is how many more shots are being taken in the Premier League – I’m not sure whether this is due to shots not being counted consistently across all divisions, but this is the only data we have for now. Also if you compare the vertical axis to the one in yesterday’s European graphs, you’ll see that goals are scored from a smaller number of shots in the lower leagues, particularly the BSP, which brings the overall average down.

As usual I’ll provide a few sample observations to give people new to these the idea.


England top 5 Att

  • Liverpool lead a host of Premier League teams who take significantly more shots on goal than the average. There seems to be a cluster of top flight teams above the axis who favour quantity over quality, while a few beneath it take less shots but make them count: Man Utd appear to have struck the most effective balance.
  • They may be much less busy but Port Vale are the most clinical side in front of goal, with a clutch of Blue Square teams just behind them taking 5 or fewer shots for each goal they score.
  • At the opposite ends of the distribution QPR are the profligate outliers, needing almost double the average number of shots to score each goal, while no side creates fewer chances than Barnet.
  • Hartlepool and Aston Villa are struggling to convert their chances to a similar extent.


England top 5 Def

  • Both the most and least resilient defences can be found in the fifth tier, with Grimsby able to resist an impressive average of 14 shots before conceding while Woking’s defence is usually breached with less than 5.
  • What makes Grimsby’s and Kidderminster‘s placing here all the more impressive is that nearly all of the Blue Square teams are towards the bottom of this distribution, suggesting that their defences are exceptional for the level they’re playing at.
  • No team restricts their opponents’ chances more effectively than Swindon, with virtually half of the teams in the Premier League having to face twice as many shots on their goal.