This second part discussed the key to being both efficient and effective in football. It also talks about the advantage if any there will be for being both efficient and effective.
This is the continued part of the first article about ‘Efficiency and Effectiveness in Football’. I would highly recommend going through part 1 of the article if you have not read it already as it can create confusion otherwise. In the first part of the article, we used data to find the best premier league teams in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness. The last graph at the end of last article which can also be seen below can be used to find the best teams that are both efficient (in terms of possession) and effective (in terms of shots accuracy) .
The teams in the top right category are the most efficient and effective football teams which are listed below:
- Manchester city : 3.24% of possession per shot, 34.71 shots on target per 100 shots
- Liverpool : 3.84% of possession per shot, 38.70 shots on target per 100 shots
- Chelsea : 3.57% of possession per shot,35.18 shots on target per 100 shots
- Manchester United : 3.92% of possession per shot,38.12 shots on target per 100 shots
- Southampton : 3.78% of possession per shot,36.15 shots on target per 100 shots
- Everton : 3.98% of possession per shot,34.95 shots on target per 100 shots
- Leicester : 3.93% of possession per shot,34.28 shots on target per 100 shots
Now, let’s discuss about the factors/keys that is important to become both efficient and effective. There are only two factors that I have considered as important for this analysis
- Passes into final third.
Just saying that passes into the final third is the factor responsible for teams to become both efficient and effective can be really vague at first. I mean wouldn’t teams with higher possession be more likely to have more passes into the final third than teams with lower possession. So, wouldn’t this factor just be more practical for possession hungry teams? Well just don’t think about these things if you were even having the thought.
Passes into the final third per 90 is not the thing we are looking for right now. What we are looking for right now is rather passes into the final third per possession. Why this? Basically passes into the final third per possession can give us an indirect idea about the quality of chances they are creating and also about the time they are wasting in other areas on the pitch rather than the final third
|Possession in %||50||50|
|Passes into the final third per 90||40||20|
|Passes into the final third per possession||0.8||0.4|
This just shows that while they have same possession, Team A is passing more into the final third per possession compared to B. This shows that the Team B is wasting their time by playing fewer passes into the final third, wasting their possession in other areas of the pitch rather than the most important area on the pitch. Meanwhile, Team A is playing more passes into the final third per possession which not only means they are being efficient with possession by not wasting a great amount of possession on other areas, they are also creating better quality chances (making it effective too) as the less the time you will be wasting on other areas, the more the time you will have in the final third giving you chance and time to create better chances. So the higher the value of passes into final third per possession you will have, the more efficient and effective you are being at the same time. Just take a look at the graph below:
The top 5 teams as per passes into final third per possession:
- Manchester city : 0.8054 passes into final third for every 1 percent possession
- Liverpool : 0.7656 passes into final third for every 1 percent possession
- Chelsea : 0.6736 passes into final third for every 1 percent possession
- Man United : 0.6564 passes into final third for every 1 percent possession
- Leicester : 0.5908 passes into final third for every 1 percent possession
Notice how all the top 5 teams as per this graph are also the most efficient and the most effective teams. The only exception here is Southampton and Everton who ranks 14th and 11th in the league with just 0.5347 and 0.5548 passes into final third per possession respectively. To explain why they are still both efficient and effective should be well explained by the second factor. Anyway, this just shows that playing more passes into final third per possession is one major factor for being both efficient and effective.
2.Shots from the six yard box.
Six yard box is the small rectangular box inside the penalty area and it is a really dangerous spot in case you are defending and a fortune if you are the attacker. The chances for goals from inside the box increases by a lot with chances for the shot to be on target from that much distance almost a 100 percent and will make the team effective in terms of shots on target percentage too. While having more shots from the six yard box makes you effective, it doesn’t really make you efficient in terms of possession.
The graph of the data of the PL teams with shots from six yard box can be seen below.
The top 5 teams:
1. Man city : 2 shots from the six yard box per game
2. Burnley : 1.5 shots from the six yard box per game
3. Southampton: 1.4 shots from the six yard box per game
4. Everton : 1.3 shots from the six yard box per game
4= Chelsea : 1.3 shots from the six yard box per game
One thing to notice is that Burnley also have very fewer passes into the final third ranking second last in the league but they rank 11th in terms of being effective with main reason behind such improvement being the position and zones they are taking shots from. Again, we also notice that all teams except Burnley in the top 5 belong the most efficient and effective category. But our main focus is Southampton and Everton for now.
Southampton ranks third with 54 shots from the six yard box (1.4 shots per game) while Everton ranks 4th with 1.3 shots per game from the six yard box .This should explain why they are effective in front of goal despite having fewer passes into final third per possession than others. It’s because they shoot from better positions giving them better chances of placing the shot on target eventually giving them better chance of goal and this is really important when it comes to being effective.
Well we just went to the 2 key factors that can make a team both efficient and effective at the same time. But now the main question that arrives is what really the advantage for being both efficient and effective is?
Well the real answer is that your team is going to be both efficient and effective. It’s that simple. When you are going to be effectively efficient it’s normal to score more goals, isn’t it? We take a look at the graph below which shows the teams and their non-penalty expected goals per 90 minutes.
Well just look at the top 7 teams in terms of Non-penalty expected goals per 90 mins. The top 7 teams are exactly the same teams that were all in the category of teams that are both efficient and effective. Well, if this doesn’t really tell you everything about the advantage of being both efficient and effective, we can also look at shots on target per game. The more effective you are the more the shots you should be placing on target and the more efficient you are the more the shots you should attempting too which should give a rise to shots on target per game. Just look at the graph below:
The best teams on the basis of Shots on target per game and NPxG90 :
1. Man city
4. Man United
Well the top 7 spots are once again occupied by the same 7 teams. Well, I guess this also sums up the advantages of being both efficient and effective at the same time.
The data analysis for this second part is also over. We found the most efficient and effective teams in the premier league from last season, discussed about the key to become both efficient and effective and talked about the advantages of being effectively efficient. But just to make sure that this data and analysis was not giving me an illusion of some misunderstanding, I did the same study on the Bundesliga 19/20 season and also checked whether or not the most effective and efficient teams also had more NPxG90 and shots per game and whether or not the key for being efficient and effective were also the same.
The graphs are below if you are interested and yes the results were the same with the same conclusions as we had with the premier league data.
The most efficient and effective sides: Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Borussia M.Gladbach
The teams with highest Shots and target per game and NPxG90: Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Borussia M. Gladbach.
The top 2 teams in terms of passes into final third per possession: Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig
Well Gladbach might not have a higher value of passes into final third per possession but they sure are 4th in shots from the six yard box with 1.3 shots from the six yard box per game giving an instant boost to their effectiveness. Well, we obtained the same conclusion with the Bundesliga data too. So, I hope you learned something new about efficiency and effectiveness and why it can be so important.