• Brighton Stat Attack Stats One Year On

    Just under a year ago I posted this


    The trigger was us successfully staying up. This morning, replying on the Maupay thread, I checked stats on our Neal once again, remembered this and thought that Id probably be safe in assuming that 44 points was once again enough for safety. I thought Id revisit the same stats page on the Premier League website and compare season for season. As a bonus, Maupay has been involved in 33 PL games both this season and at the time I looked last season.

    Ive kept the other teams the same, though replaced Sheffield United with Norwich and the question is now a new one. Its not how are we UNDER achieving against xG? but are we OVER achieving with the attacking options we have?

    This time around Ill compare Brighton players this season to last, first of all, with a nod to the other sides, as theirs support the bleedin obvious (in no particular order, Mason Mount is a very good footballer, Ward-Prowse is great at set pieces, Liverpool have astonishing full backs and Norwich are a one man team with no game plan. I know, thank me later.).

    And well go in reverse order of player group.

    A reminder that all stats are Premier League games only and even a minute on the pitch counts as an involvement. The stats arent perfect but Im using the same measures for both seasons.


    So, well start with Maupay. In 33 games where he was involved this time last year he had 8 Premier League goals, 2 assists and created 6 big chances. This season hes scored 8, had 2 assists and created 4 big chances. So far, so similar. In both seasons he leads the team in terms of goals.
    But whats noticeable is this; his accuracy in terms of shots on target has dropped considerably from 37% to 24%, but when he does get it on target he scores nearly 60%. Ive talked this season about how he needs instinctive chances rather than thinking about it but this could suggest something else that hes aiming for the corners. Think about the goal against Southampton away where he shaves the inside of the post with half the goal to aim at or penalties placed wide rather than straight at the keeper. The lovely finish at Palace was an exception, a great dink but that failed when he tried to repeat it at Spurs in the Cup. Is this being coached, a decision hes made or his natural game?

    Welbeck is Mr Consistency. He has one goal fewer but better shot accuracy than last season and his overall contribution is very similar.

    And then we go to Mr Trossard. A player enjoying a purple patch he has three more goals but fewer assists and overall, one less total goal involvement. He has hit more shots and far more crosses, suggesting not only is he playing wider as we know but that hes generally getting involved more. A player we will surely want to keep, but can we?

    Of the others benchmarks its fair to say that Norwich would be nothing without Pukki. The stats agree he should be playing at a better club. Southampton have shared around the work with Ings gone in a reasonably efficient manner, without pulling up trees, and Lukaku has had a very poor season. Not much new the stats can tell us here.


    Interesting comparison between the two seasons for the Albion. Ive had to extend our list to six players, not really rule breaking when you consider some of our best games have come when weve used that number of players classed as midfielders on the Premier League site.

    Pascal Gross may have scored and assisted less but his ability to cross from both dead and rolling balls remains unaltered. His cross statistics remain almost identical on average, every time he steps on the pitch in an Albion shirt he completes two deadly accurate crosses. Thats double the average, and then some, of his team mates.

    But someone needs to have picked up the goals from him, as the strikers are almost exactly the same. Step forward Alexis MacAllister. This has been a break out season from the Argentine, who seems to be blossoming under Potter. 5 goals and 2 assists already this season, compared to 1 and 1 last, shot accuracy up to 19% from 14% and an absolute bucket load more crosses.

    Last year, the thing that stood out for me more than anything was the poor decision making from Biss. When you looked at our underachievement against xG and realised hed shot 38 times from CDM with an accuracy of just 8% the stat suddenly started to make sense. Someone has had a word. Biss has the same number of goals but also an assist, and shot less (20 times) but with over twice the accuracy (20%).

    Meanwhile, Ive added Moder and Mwepu. Moder has 3 assists and might have been looking at that future Gross role had the unfortunate injury not occurred. Mwepu, meanwhile looks every bit as decent on the stats as he does with the eye. His goals, assists and big chances created are exactly the same as NGolo Kante in fewer games and, while Kantes shot accuracy is impressive, so is Mwepus at 39%. I wrongly called out his decision making on NSC after one poor game but the stats do not bear that out at all. The Computer is backed up by The Computer.

    All of which makes the rather talented Lallana our bunny, attacking wise.

    The others? Having kept three of the same Chelsea players as I picked last season but swapping Ziech for Havertz I am really wondering if you should count Mason Mount as a midfielder. 23 goals and 14 assists between the four Chelsea midfielders, which is just as well when you have Lukaku and Werner ahead of you. Nineteen of those goal involvements alone to Mount. Chelsea certainly support the notion that PLAYERS who can score are more important than FORWARDS who can score in many teams.
    As per last year Ward-Prowse completely carries the Southampton midfield in terms of attack. If he goes to a bigger club in the summer they will struggle big time next season. And some truly stinking stats from the Norwich midfield. Billy Glimour doesnt look much better on a spreadsheet than he does on a football pitch.

    Fullbacks / Wingbacks

    As I made March a wingback last season, so he is again this season. Cucurella replaces Burn.
    The change in stats is noticeable here. Despite using our wingbacks as our main weapon theyve not scored a goal between them. However, two more actual assists, eight more big chances created and over 70 more crosses than last season shows exactly what were trying to do. Whether by choice or by being forced by opposition tactics, were getting it wide more and going from there. But, with the absence of a traditional big lad the result hasnt been necessarily more goals.

    Cucurella has been particularly outstanding, sending over more crosses than any other wingback despite sometimes actually playing at centre back. Other notable stats are Lampteys cross accuracy going backwards and March vastly improving his.

    Chelsea, once again, show that having goal scorers anywhere on the pitch is most important to them. 5 goals and 6 assists for James, 3 goals in just 6 games for Chilwell and Marcus Alonso with 7 goal involvements in total and 6 big chances created. Appalling fullbackery from Norwich whose right and left backs seem to have spent the season neither attacking, nor defending, while Saints, with their 4-4-2 dont get theirs forward much either, not surprising when you have 11% cross accuracy like Kyle Walker-Peters.

    Having wondered if Mount really counts as a midfielder or March as a wingback, I now have to consider if Liverpool play with fullbacks at all. Once again Ive included both of theirs to show what good looks like and the goals, assists, big chances created and crosses stats are simply unbelievable. Should Manchester City slip up at any point, Liverpool could be in for winning a unique quadruple, playing with a back two.

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