Have you ever considered the impact of the number of shots on the score? Is always the man the winner, whose players make twice as many shots as the opponents? Which parts of the playing field score the most goals?
Different ways of playing – one goal
Bill Shankly once said that a football team is like a piano. It takes 8 people to carry it and 3 to play the beast. Johan Cruyff, on the other hand, said that football is the easiest of games and the whole difficulty lies in making it as easy as possible to play. According to Diego Simeone, the beautiful game model is overrated. For the Argentinian, the beauty of football is not to change 35 passes to win a scoring chance, but to score a goal after three ball contacts.
Why are we talking about it? Every generation, every country and every football milieu have their own understanding of football and prefer their own game model.
The Spaniards, the Portuguese, the teams from South America have been based for years on perfect technical skills that should make it possible to create the striker the most favorable situation in the box. Until recently, the slogan “kick and run” was a cult term in the UK and the ball flew constantly over the heads of the players in the penalty area after replaying from the flank. There are also the Italians and the Germans, who are famous for their iron defensive play and fast passing to the counterattack, the Dutch with their total football and constant position change, FC Barcelona and the endless cross passes or Atletico Madrid with double cover and waiting for a standard situation.
All these different styles and tactics have a common goal – to get the ball close to the opponent’s goal and make a successful shot on goal.
Important is the quality of the shots and not their number
The English Premier League teams score an average of 1.4 goals per game. To accomplish this, they spend an average of 15 shots in the match (on goal and missed shots, including blocked shots). Of course it’s the statistics and the better teams give more shots, after which they also score more goals. But – does the number of shots always reflect the number of goals scored? Not necessarily.
There are teams that only shoot at the goal when they are in close proximity to the opponent’s goal and the chance of success in this case is really great. The other teams bombard the keeper of the counter team from every position and in every possible way.
The tactic of the opposing team also has a big impact on the number and quality of the shots. Some teams use their tactics to provoke the opponent to shoot at the goal from a long distance, because they also know that the chance of success in this case is low. In other cases, the defense can deliberately attack the opponent from the flank, because the headballs after playing off the flank are easier to defend. So is not the statistics of the shots reflected directly in the number of goals and points?
Zone of the direct goal threat
For purposes of this article, we can divide the shots in relation to which body part they are dispensed. (Foot / head – we do not speak of exceptional situations, such as goals scored with ribcage or abdomen – these are a rarity) and in terms of distance (vertical – number of feet from the goal and horizontal – the distance of the ball to the ball) lateral line opposite the center of the gate). The closer to goal and the central part of the penalty area, the easier the task of the striker is, this is clearly the case.
According to statisticians, a shot with foot from a 10-meter distance in 24% of cases ends with a goal and a header from the same spot means 8% chances to score. However, it is enough to move the ball up to 16 meters and the chances of success drop drastically – 13% at the foot and 0.9% at the head.
The shots with the foot of 20 or more meters are successful only in 3% of the attempts. Does it make any sense to make such an attempt on these statistics?
The shot must bring no goal, so that one sees this as successful. The frequent goal shots from distance cause the opposing team to correct their tactics, getting closer to the midfielders, which can lead to chaos in the defensive formation. Does the team have a striker who plays perfect with his head? Great. In order for the opponent to be able to defend himself in the penalty area, he has to protect the lateral parts of the field better and to the disadvantage of the central part of the penalty area. A smart team can use this.
203 shots secured Real 2014 the triumph
We use the Champions League 2013/2014 to illustrate how the style of play affects the effectiveness of the shots. FC Porto then met Atletico Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg and Austria Vienna. The Portuguese only scored 5 points and had to leave the Champions League ahead of schedule. We do not speak of it. In six group matches, the Porto players scored only 4 goals and made 108 shots to reach that goal. This means that only 3.70% of the shots have found their way to the goal. It is interesting that none of the 51 shots from outside the penalty area has scored a goal. In this respect, only Juventus, who scored 55 goals from outside the penalty area, scored no goal from that distance. Barcelona was not much better – of the 59 attempts only one has scored (1.69%). The players of the future Champions League winner – Real Madrid have scored 5 goals in this way. However, to do this they needed 77 attempts (6.49%). Most shots in that season have given the Bayern Munich players – 239 attempts have 24 goals (10.4%) and brought the semi-finals. The Real Madrid players made a total of 203 shots and scored 38 goals (18.72%). The king in this statistic was then Paris Saint-Germain – the players of this team scored only 118 in the direction of the opposing goal and scored 24 goals, which gave a great result of 20.34% effectiveness.
There is also another interesting statistic that concerns the Parisians of that season. They could perfectly use the physical power and cleverness of Zlatan in the goal area – they shot 7 times from this room and all ended with a goal. On the contrary, it was in the case of Bayern – 1 goal in 9 attempts (11.11%) and Juventus – 1 hit in 12 attempts (8.33%). Funny, how do you get out of the fifth meter in 11 out of 12 attempts?