Scatter graphics: Eredivisie, 2016/17
Now that all of the main European domestic seasons are at a close (barring a few play-offs), I thought I’d compile a full-season set of scatter graphics. Each of the three graphics is explained briefly below but there’s a longer explanation here.
First of all, here is how the number of shots taken by each club compares with those they face in return. The average number of shots taken per match is on the horizontal and the average number faced is on the vertical, so bottom right (take plenty, allow few in return) is good while top left (take few, allow plenty) is bad. The stripes are like contours: the greener the stripe, the better the performance (and vice versa for red).
The top three sides – PSV, Ajax and Feyenoord – have been far more dominant than the rest and form the top three for both most shots taken and fewest faced.
A cluster of four teams – Alkmaar, Heerenveen, Utrecht and Vitesse – look the next most capable overall, while no one club stands out as noticeably worse than the rest.
Now let’s look at attacking alone. The horizontal axis stays the same as in the graphic above, but now the vertical shows the average number of shots needed to score each league goal. Therefore bottom right is good (taking lots of shots and needing fewer efforts to convert) and top left is bad:
PSV and Ajax both out-created champions Feyenoord but neither could match their ruthlessness in front of goal. Relegated Roda JC needed twice as many attempts as the title winners to score each goal
Zwolle and Willem II have also struggled to find the back of the net reliably this season, although neither paid for this profligacy with their top flight status.
Next let’s look at the defensive situation – basically take the above chart and replace the word “taken” for “faced” on both axes. Now top left is good – facing fewer shots and able to soak up more per goal conceded – and bottom right is bad:
The top three also unsurprisingly did well in defence, with PSV the most restrictive and Ajax the most resilient.
While Willem II were struggling to convert their chances in the last graphic, here we can see that they at least made their opponents’ lives similarly difficult.
Alkmaar and Heerenveen allowed fewer shots than anyone except the top three, but both struggled to repel those that found a way through.