I've been looking at a lot of shot data lately. One of the things I've wanted to do, eventually, is identify prospects in other leagues. After I posted the expected goals and shot quality numbers for several Fulham players, I started wondering what those numbers looked like for other players.
Ronaldo, Lampard, & Gerrard (and to a lesser extent, Ireland and Robinho) fit into that "sniper" category I mentioned before. At the start of the season, I noted Gareth Barry's impressive shooting percentages - this led me to believe that he's very good at getting into dangerous areas, much like our own Zoltan Gera. The high SQ seems to confirm this - he's our anti-sniper, and his goal total tells us that he can deal with Premier League defenders. I included Rooney because I considered him to be good at both.
My theory is that the snipers are players who can more easily adjust to other leagues. If a player scored a lot of goals in the Champioinship from dangerous areas like Gareth Barry, he might have more difficulty doing so against the more talented defenders of the Premier League. Players who can score easily from further away won't have to deal with those defenders as much, making it an easier transition. How do we identify those players? Thankfully, ESPN has some very nice shot charts on their Gamecast app, which covers English leagues all the way down to the Blue Square Premier League, as well the first divisions of Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Scotland, Argentina, Mexico & the USA.
As easily as I get sidetracked, this is probably more of a transfer window thing. It might be useful in identifying some potentially good scorers.