Wayne Rooney – Shot or Hot?

Former Boy Wonder Wayne Rooney is increasingly coming in for stick from Everton fans as the season wears on.

Today I ran a poll on the Everton forum I read:

I updated my chance creation numbers this week and saw this:

KPs are key passes – passes which lead directly to shots on goal. xA is expected assists: my model is based around where on the pitch key passes were delivered from and to and how often these types of pass were converted historically.

My model basically says that Rooney has been one of the most directly creative players in the Premier League so far this season. I’ve cut some video for you to check it out:

So yeah, my model says Rooney’s been unlucky not to have laid on a goal or two by now. In fact it says he’s more likely to have laid three on by now rather than the actual big fat zero he has:

The video also shows part of what many fans see as Everton’s problem. Rooney is popping up absolutely all over the place. He’s being played here there and everywhere. Not good for a player that naturally does this too much anyway. Is he simply being accomodated too much for no end product?

The treemap below shows the distribution of chance creation throughout the squad. The bigger the rectangle, the more directly creative they’ve been. The bluer the rectangle, the more minutes they’ve played:

No one else is anywhere near Rooney. Is he part of the cure, or part of the disease for Everton this season?

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Posted in Sports

Brighton & Hove Albion

Everton travel to Brighton this weekend. Let’s have a look at The Seagull’s set up:

  1. Brighton are a compact side
  2. Keeper, Mat Ryan will play out from the back when he can
  3. The centre halves prefer to shuffle it wide to full backs
  4. The full backs are not overly aggressive in getting forward. They will try and feed Pascal Groß and Solly March.
  5. The whole team circulate the ball well in their own half but don’t carry this forward into oppo territory
  6. Dale Stephens is the midfield hub. His main concentration is ferrying it wide to the full backs. He does this as efficiently as anyone in the league right now.
  7. Groß will come central to receive but his dangerous work is from wider areas. He is more patient than March who is more likely to sling it into the box
  8. Brighton don’t create much in open play but are dangerous at corners. Watch Dunk, Duffy and Stephens find space.
Posted in Sports