I’ve been quite bored this morning and have been sifting through some statistics. I’ve been paying quite some attention to the passing stats as I think they tell us a lot about footballing styles and general effectiveness when go past pass completion rates and the likes, a few observations I’ve made.
Average passes per game and pass % completion rates are dominated by ordinary players - Xavi, Carrick, Arteta, Toure and Busquets. These players are generally water carriers and are a cancer on football, they just knock the ball sideways and use possession as a mechanism for defence, the most cowardly way to play football.
To furhter remonstrate my point about Xavi. He has the highest average passes per game and the highest pass completion rate but is absolutely nowhere to be seen in the more telling stats - long passes completed, through balls completed, key passes completed and assists. If we compare Xavi with Pirlo, Pirlo comes in sixth in average passes per game but is also in top 10 in average completed through balls per game and average long passes completed per game and 12th in average completed key passes per game. That is a player who is making a positive impact on matches.
Montolivo is the top player in Europe when it comes to completed long passes per game and Nigel De Jong is second.
Average completed long passes per game and average completed through balls per game are completely dominated by Serie A players, the top 5 in through balls are Serie A players - Totti topping the list followed by Cassano and Pirlo, while the top three in long balls completed are all Serie A players. This shows the quality of football in Serie A - direct, creative and accurate passing/
From the following I have been able to make some conclusions which solidify my general opinions on football.
Spain is obsessed by possession, it’s an overriding fear that damages the entertainment aspect on football - better be careful than daring. The likes of Xavi and Busquets are bad for football, they are drones who can’t function without a system. As much as I hate Barcelona and Spanish football, I will admit to Iniesta being one of the top players in the world, he is really the spark in the Barcelona side and despite his cuntish character he is a player who generally is a creative player - although sometimes he warped by the Barca culture of keeping the ball. I’d like to see what he would do in a right team but I do like the player. He’s easily Barcelona’s most talented footballer.
Italy are the anti-thesis to Spain, they are daring and creative. Anyone who watches Serie A on a regular basis will know that it is the most quality-laden league. Managers are confident in their team set-up and this allows the players to be forward thinking and creative on the ball, the quality is put on pedestal in Serie A and that is to be admired. Totti and Pirlo are definitely the two most creative players in world football at the minute.
English football really is a laughing stock with two methods for “success”, long aimless punts down the park with no semblance of intelligence or structure and the second seems to be to that central midfielders in England are dull and restricted and their means of creative outlet is playing simple sideway passes to the wide players who will try and borough their way down the wings and play hopeful crosses in the boxes. Players like Arteta, Toure and Carrick dominate possession proceedings but fail to impact on the key stats. The only players who impact on the key stats are Scholes who ranks highly is long passing rates but not in any of the other key statistics which tells us that he is a good player to switch the play who but not one to make a direct impact on the match. The other is Gerrard who scores quite highly in the key passing rate who career has only been a success as he is an athlete who has allowed succeed by manager who offer him complete tactical pardon.
German football seems not to follow any set pattern with regard the numbers, one would say it needs an identity to really try and emerge.
To conclude I will give you a brief synopsis:
Spain - Football for cautious killjoys.
Italy - Football for artistic innovators.
England - Football for brainless Neanderthals.
Germany - Football still searching for an identity.