2008/09 Premier League Shot Quality

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Since the database work was a little easier for this, I did this from an attacking perspective first. The following table shows each team's relative shot quality, which can be thought of as a modifier for shot percentages; goals scored (excluding opponents' own goals); and just for fun, I invented another stat called SNIPE. Ice hockey players who are good at shooting from a distance are called snipers. Football has snipers too, players who can score from just about anywhere. These players are extremely valuable, since they don't need to charge right into the teeth of the defence in order to put the ball in the net. This number is simply the team's goals scores divided by the shot quality modifier, and it passes the Joe Morgan laugh test. It's really more about style of play anything, but higher is generally better if you're into that sort of thing.

TeamShot Qualitysort iconGoalsSNIPE
Stoke City1.1793025.438
Aston Villa1.1104338.739
West Ham1.0423634.534
Man Utd0.9915454.509
Hull City0.9213335.818
Man City0.8864550.787
West Brom0.8792730.714

If you're interested, shot quality is calculated by separating each team's shot totals into zones, and multiplying those by the league-average strike rate for that zone. This gives us a number of expected goals for that team. Expected goals is then adjusted for number of shots by dividing by the league average team shot total, and then multiplied by the team's own shot total. Finally, that number is divided by the league average number of goals scored per team. Since the number is adjusted for shots taken, we can also apply it to individuals.

To be honest, I was expecting Fulham to be a lot lower on this list. We are getting into dangerous areas, but as Rich points out here, these occurrences more often than not see one striker up against an entire defence. You have to respect Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora for trying to make things happen with little support, even if the goals aren't always there. At the same time, Zamora in particular really should have more goals. I calculated the expected goals and quality of shots for a few players:

PlayerGoalsExpected Goalssort iconShot Quality

I'll admit that I'm very surprised to see Zamora's SQ so high, but it makes sense considering the nature in which he's used. By now though, he should have scored a few more goals by accident. Johnson is actually right around where he should be, though he's generally done better with his shots in the past. Despite what the anti-Zamora crowd says Brede Hangeland wins the award for worst finisher. But that's not what he's getting paid for, so we'll give him a mulligan...or 2. Gera gets into dangerous areas, which we all knew, but hasn't scored as much as he probably should, which we also knew. Bullard's extreme low SQ is no surprise, but Danny Murphy and the unlucky Simon Davies also have that tendency. Finally, don't let anybody tell you that Clint Dempsey is wasteful.

Next up, and what I originally went through all of this trouble for, is defensive shot quality.

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