A much visited topic on this website is looking at how efficient teams are in front of goal, previous articles have looked at just how many shots are required on average before the ball eventually hits the back of the net. However, there is perhaps another way we should be looking at this. What about if we looked at it from the point of view on shots on target

Take Southampton for example they have had no less than 146 shots this season, however they have just scored 6 Premier League goals. If we based an article on our previous criteria then they would have a shot efficiency of just 4%

That makes particularly difficult reading for Mark Hughes men, as it highlights just how wasteful they have been at the bottom end of the Premier League table. At the same time though would it make for a different outcome if we looked at just their shots on target.

Well to be honest it does not make for all that better reading, as of the 146 shots they have had this season only 44 of them have been on target. This means that they are hitting some pretty wayward shots across the first couple of months of this season.

How does that drop off in terms of shots vs shots on target compare to other clubs in the Premier League after 10 weeks of the season. Here is the Premier League table in order of total shots at this stage of the campaign

Club Shots On Target Shots %
Manchester City 81 211 38.39%
Chelsea 61 187 32.62%
Southampton 44 146 30.14%
Liverpool 57 145 39.31%
Wolves 46 145 31.72%
Everton 50 137 36.50%
Manchester United 63 133 47.37%
Fulham 41 131 31.30%
Tottenham 49 130 37.69%
Arsenal 54 123 43.90%
Watford 46 122 37.70%
Leicester 48 120 40.00%
Bournemouth 44 120 36.67%
Crystal Palace 39 116 33.62%
Cardiff 30 110 27.27%
West Ham 34 106 32.08%
Huddersfield 28 102 27.45%
Newcastle 32 98 32.65%
Burnley 26 85 30.59%
Brighton 26 81 32.10%

Here you will not only see how many shots each of the 20 Premier League clubs have had, but also the amount of shots on target they have had and a percentage of the latter against the former. From here we can see who is having the most poor quality shots, something we can get a better idea of if we re-arrange this list in percentage order

Club Shots On Target Shots %
Manchester United 63 133 47.37%
Arsenal 54 123 43.90%
Leicester 48 120 40.00%
Liverpool 57 145 39.31%
Manchester City 81 211 38.39%
Watford 46 122 37.70%
Tottenham 49 130 37.69%
Bournemouth 44 120 36.67%
Everton 50 137 36.50%
Crystal Palace 39 116 33.62%
Newcastle 32 98 32.65%
Chelsea 61 187 32.62%
Brighton 26 81 32.10%
West Ham 34 106 32.08%
Wolves 46 145 31.72%
Fulham 41 131 31.30%
Burnley 26 85 30.59%
Southampton 44 146 30.14%
Huddersfield 28 102 27.45%
Cardiff 30 110 27.27%

So going back to Southampton we can see that only 30% of their shots in the Premier League this season have been on target, however there are two teams below them that are even more wasteful and more importantly with even less attempts on goal

And it arguably comes as no real surprise that the two teams that are worse off than Southampton in terms of wasteful shots are also ones that sit in the lower reaches of the Premier League table, with the pair in question being that of Huddersfield and Cardiff. A duo that have won just one game between them at the time of writing.

At the other end of the scale Manchester United will take some comfort at sitting at the top of this particular table as they 47.37% of all their shots have been on target, a figure that sees them pip Arsenal into second who have had 43.90% of their shots on target.

What about Premier League leaders Manchester City, they have had the most shots but only 38.39% are on target. At the same time though it goes back to theory about over creation, if you are producing so much quantity then it does not matter too much if there is a lesser ratio on target.

The reason being is that ultimately it is what you do with those shots on target that make all the difference, something that we can look at in the next table.

Now we are going to look at what percentage of shots on target are converted to goals, first we will rank the list by goals scored

Club Shots On Target Goals %
Manchester City 81 27 33.33%
Arsenal 54 24 44.44%
Chelsea 61 24 39.34%
Liverpool 57 20 35.09%
Bournemouth 44 19 43.18%
Manchester United 63 17 26.98%
Watford 46 16 34.78%
Leicester 48 16 33.33%
Tottenham 49 16 32.65%
Everton 50 16 32.00%
Brighton 26 11 42.31%
Fulham 41 11 26.83%
Burnley 26 10 38.46%
Cardiff 30 9 30.00%
West Ham 34 9 26.47%
Wolves 46 9 19.57%
Crystal Palace 39 7 17.95%
Newcastle 32 6 18.75%
Southampton 44 6 13.64%
Huddersfield 28 4 14.29%

As you can see Manchester City also are at the top of this table, just like the actual Premier League one itself. Their 27 goals have come from 81 shots on target, which means that they are finding the net once every three times when they have a good quality shot.

That figure of 81 is also the highest amount of shots on target of any of the 20 Premier League clubs this season, but their percentage return is not the highest, there are actually eight more efficient teams at present. A list that look something like this

Club Shots On Target Goals %
Arsenal 54 24 44.44%
Bournemouth 44 19 43.18%
Brighton 26 11 42.31%
Chelsea 61 24 39.34%
Burnley 26 10 38.46%
Liverpool 57 20 35.09%
Watford 46 16 34.78%
Leicester 48 16 33.33%
Manchester City 81 27 33.33%
Tottenham 49 16 32.65%
Everton 50 16 32.00%
Cardiff 30 9 30.00%
Manchester United 63 17 26.98%
Fulham 41 11 26.83%
West Ham 34 9 26.47%
Wolves 46 9 19.57%
Newcastle 32 6 18.75%
Crystal Palace 39 7 17.95%
Huddersfield 28 4 14.29%
Southampton 44 6 13.64%

The teams that has the highest percentage rate in terms of shots on target to goals is that of Arsenal, 4 of every 9 shots they have on goal have managed to find the oppositions net this season, while it is slightly less for the South Coast duo of Bournemouth and Brighton.

You could argue that it is even more impressive from those two clubs as they are creating far less in comparison, especially in the case of Brighton as they have had more than 50% less shots on target, at the same time though I guess it is all relative due to a lesser amount of goals that have been scored.

What is interesting is that Manchester United were at the top of our first table when we looked at it in percentage terms, but they are nowhere to be seen this time around. They are converting just over 1 shot on target out of every 4, a damning statistic that backs up their sluggish start to the season.

While when we reference Southampton, the reading does not get much better for them. They manage to convert just one shot out of every seven that is on target, a statistic that if it does not improve will mean its a bleak winter for the Saints.

Looking at the Premier League average for the season so far, there have been 899 shots on target from the 20 clubs combined and 277 goals. This means that 30.81% of all shots on target manage to get the better of an opposition defence or 3 out of every 10 in layman’s terms.

There are undoubtedly plenty of stories that can picked apart from the data tables above, something that means if we were to look at them all then we’d be here all day. Thankfully that means it is something that we can revisit throughout the course of the season. A topic I certainly look forward to picking up once more.

Thanks for reading, Dan.

 

I am always available for any football data projects you may have and/or content creation.
If you have any requirements then please feel free to contact me at realfootballmanwordpress@gmail.com with the subject line “Football Data”

I am also available via twitter at @dantracey1983 – again feel free to get in touch to discuss any work. Thanks, Dan