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March 27, 2011

Creating vs. Finishing – A Follow-up to OnFooty for the Premier League


On Football has quickly become one of my favorite blogs to follow (Twitter) and one of the most interesting posts of late was an analysis of “finishing” in Major League Soccer.  OnFooty analyzed conversation rate vs. the number of shots for each team over the total season.  Typically conversion rate is calculated as goals/shots on target, but OnFooty has a terrific case for using shots in lieu of shots on target.

In conclusion, Sarah said “The upper right quadrant (teams that are above average at both creating and finishing) contains the MLS Cup Finalists and the number one seeds for each conference.

This quickly led me to the Premier League and interestingly enough, the same analysis holds true through 30 rounds (29 for some teams) this season.  The top four teams are all in the upper-right quadrant. 

If you follow English football, you might note these things as well:

  1. Tottenham needs to improve their finishing if they want to secure a returns spot into the Champions League qualification round (for the 4th place finisher)
  2. Blackpool (one of the most exciting teams to watch) score at a terrific rate, but since they’re in 15th place in the table, they obviously need to work on their defense (their philosophy is to outscore their opponents since they know they can’t stop them
  3. Wigan has the worst conversion rate and sits last in the table…enough said

Play with the view below.  Choose your vertical and horizontal axis, check out the different tabs.  What do you see?

I’m compelled to look historically to see if this theory holds true season after season…maybe one day when I have more time on my hands (I’m busy tallying stats for my daughter’s soccer team).


  1. Beautiful work! You may like these: