Stu Forster - Getty Images
Let us forget the Champions League dismantling that we suffered at home to Dortmund, and focus for a moment on the PL and how Man City have fared through the six games that have been played. Man City are in 4th place with 12 points from a potential 18. Decent form no doubt, yet by the numbers Man City have been the best team in the league but have been held back by two small flaws. Grab a drink, this piece is long. I mean it.
We are now six games into the new 2012/13 Premier league season. Far too early to draw any conclusions about form or potential title winners; however tempting the urge may be to do so.
These are some of the things we know so far. Man City haven't hit the attacking heights of last season. Man City haven't been playing well and have been unable to stem the flow of goals against. These are some of the facts that our eyes tell us. Or, what the media and newspapers will have us believe.
Some of the numbers and results we shall shortly see don't jive with those statements about Man City not yet having hit top gear.
I will admit that it seems like we haven't yet witnessed the same dangerous, free flowing Man City. We seem to have struggled at times in certain patches of games. The numbers tell us a slightly different story.
Now, the numbers listed below are only six games worth of data and can in no way paint a full picture of the way Man City have played thus far. These numbers are likely to change and we have to factor in issues like score effects which may have skewed these numbers. But they are what they; raw data on Man City's six PL games so far.
Scoring the first goal
*Green for a win, yellow for a draw. Bold are home games, italics are away games.
Easy peasy. Man City have scored the first goal at home on 3 occasions and have failed to score the first goal of the game away from home.
The more a team scores the first goal of the game the higher the likelihood that said team will go on to win the game.
Best and Worst in the PL
Chelsea have scored the first goal of the game and this is reflected in their record (green=wins) above. QPR have only scored the first goal of the game on one occasion.
Here are 2011/12's 1st goal of the game win %'s and an explanation.
Possession And Goals
|Goals against||8||joint 10th|
|Goal difference||+4||joint 5th|
Here are the possession of the football percentages and Man City look good by this measure, as they were last season.
Man Utd lead the PL with 59.6% of average possession and Stoke are 20th with 37.5%.
The goals charts are nothing special to look at here. The goals against column is worrying, but why is that number so high?
|Shots for||105||joint 2nd|
Man City's shots for totals look pretty darn good. So no real excuses for the high goals against numbers here.
Everto lead the league in shots for with 124. Southampton have conceded the most shots against with 111
Sunderland have the worst shot +/- with -65
Shots On Target
|Shots on target||39||joint 2nd|
|Shots on target against||18||1st|
|Total shot ratio||67.27||1st|
Fulham lead the League with 44 shots on target, Sunderland are the League's worst team with a disgusting 7 shots on target through 5 games.
As for shots on target against Man City are the best team in the League with 18 shots on target against, just 3 SoT pg.
Southampton are the worst in the Pl in the shots on target agaisnt column having conceded 37 in 6 games. Man Utd have conceded 28 shots on target against.
Man City also lead the league in a the total shot ratio chart. This is a simple stat which tells us a teams share of the shots on target.
In graph form
The above graphic shows Man City leading the League in this very important statistic by a clear margin. Again, this is the share of the shots on target registered by both teams. By the way, just look at Sunderland's number.
So, yet another strong showing from Man City, but it doesn't tell us anything as to why Man City are conceding goals at an alarming rate. The next column will give us the answers.
Scoring % and Save %
League average scoring % is 30%. league average save % is 70%.
This is where Man City have been hamstrung. The save % is the achilles heel we have been looking for, and it tells us just why Man City have been conceding too many goals and letting leads slip, allowing teams to come back into a game and a reason as to why we are conceding the first goal of the game when playing away.
The save % is just not good enough, and it was worse before the Fulham away game pulled it upwards slightly.
So why is the save % so low?
It can be a mix of luck, goalkeeper skill and the quality of chances the defending team gives up. the latter is the best pointer as to why the save % is so low. We are giving up high quality chances, albeit in very small numbers, and opposing teams are capitalising on those chances. I'll call it the Barcelona effect from now on.
The scoring chances are of a high quality due to Man City playing a good portion of the game in the oppositions half and then being exposed to lethal counter attacks and thus high quality scoring chances, think of the Southampton game for a short, lazy reference. High full backs and inverted wingers don't help the defending of these counter attacks at times when Man City lose the ball in the oppositions half.
PDO is a stat which adds save % and scoring % together. The League average in PDO is 100.
This is Man City's moving PDO average through the first six games. We can see an improvement week on week as we move through the fixtures.
This number will get better, Man City should tighten up at the back, and take more of there scoring chances.
Overall, Man City are the best team, or nearly the best team in the league in every stat column except save % and scoring %. Our shot totals are good, our shots on target totals even better, we have the 2nd best possession number and the best TSR ratio in the division. We are just being let down by the save %, and knowing how bad this save % number is, it is a minor miracle we sit on 12 points and 4th place in the PL.
Things are good now for Man City, or so the numbers tell us. The will continue to get better as our save and scoring %'s steadily get better.
I shall leave you with some individual player numbers now. Enjoy.
Man City Player Chart 2012/13
Southampton- Liverpool--QPR-- Stoke-- Arsenal --Fulham
S=shots, T= on target, A= assists, G= goals
It's not difficult to see how Man City's most influential players are. Tevez, Dzeko and Toure, along with the returning Aguero and the increasingly warm Silva.
Thanks for reading.