Chelsea Radial Passing Charts For Stoke City, WBA Matches

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14: Fernando Torres of Chelsea is challenged by Rory Delap of Stoke during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium on August 14, 2011 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Well my foray into making filterable radial passing charts seemed to go down a treat, so I decided to make some more. Chelsea FC are only three games into the season, after all, and what's the point of having maps for just one game? After the jump are the passing charts for Chelsea's 0-0 draw at Stoke City and the 2-1 home win over West Bromwich Albion - go ahead and explore to your hearts' content...

Figure 1: Chelsea radial passing maps at Stoke City, 8/14/11. Powered by Tableau.

Remember how good Fernando Torres was against Stoke? Yeah, that was because people were passing to him. Torres received nine passes from Florent Malouda and eight from Frank Lampard - 49 in all from his Chelsea teammates, and in consequence had a lot more of the ball. For the sake of comparison, that's six fewer passes than he's received in the two games at Stamford Bridge. Asking Torres to do well while never giving him the ball might be a bit much.

Oh, we have a post about Frank Lampard today. His passing was pretty dire in this one, wasn't it? Yikes.

Figure 2: Chelsea radial passing maps vs West Bromwich Albion, 8/20/11. Powered by Tableau.

Lampard's passing didn't get much better in game two, either - at least, not until the interval, whereupon he turned back into good Lampard and the team was much improved. It'd be nice if he kept that up for a little while, because as crazy as this sounds, he's the most creative midfielder in Andre Villas-Boas' starting XI right now.

One interesting comparison here is the difference between Jose Bosingwa against Stoke and against West Brom. Stoke was a fairly anonymous return for the right back, which basically featured him swinging in loads of pointless, useless crosses that didn't trouble anyone. Against the Baggies, however, Bosingwa was a major threat, and the winning goal came when he burst down the right to set up Malouda at the far post.

Is there a big difference in that radial chart? Nope, sure doesn't seem to be. But there is a major difference in the location of Bosingwa's work in the two games. Against Stoke, he was kept fairly deep, but he pushed further forward against West Brom (36 passes in the full back attacking zone against 23) and Chelsea were duly rewarded.

Anyway, I hope I've demonstrated that much fun can be had with these things. We're all caught up with Chelsea games (and no, I am not going to do them for the rest of the league, because that would take me 40+ hours a day of work) so there's room to add some features before the Sunderland match. Anything anyone would particularly like to see?

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