We may not have seen all ten sides in this season’s ISL, but we cannot wait forever.
It is time to have a look at some of the statistics from the four matches played so far, and see what they tell us if anything.
Team Power Rankings
We all know that Bengaluru FC looked very good in their 2-0 win over Mumbai City FC, but it is NorthEast United who leap off the page looking at some of the key statistics.
The 0-0 draw with Jamshedpur wasn’t as entertaining as we would have hoped, but Joao de Deus will not be too concerned just yet. NorthEast United managed 18 shots on the Jamshedpur goal, got in an incredible 25 crosses and had more take-ons than any other team in the league. Accuracy maybe something that gets worked on this week, as only 22.2% of the shots made it on target, as opposed to the weekend high of 44.5% from Teddy Sheringham’s ATK.
As you can see from here, NorthEast were marginally below the league average for accurate crossing – Bengaluru were far less in terms of quantity, but 9% better off than NorthEast in terms of accuracy. Jamshedpur, playing NorthEast crossed the fewest amount of times but hit their intended target 40% of the time. After one game, you can see that a higher amount of ISL attacks came down the right flank.
When it came to 1v1 dribbling, once again NorthEast attempted it most often and saw over 50% of them succeed – compared to Kerala, ATK and Jamshedpur who attempted if on fewer occasions but had a higher success rate.
What does any of this tell us so far – firstly, please note that the data for FC Goa is not available yet and that we are looking at data just one match into a season but it does tell us a little about whether a team was “trying to do the right things” and by “right things” I mean trying to win a game of football. Sure, NorthEast United now need to work on success levels, but they were prepared to attempt the events that lead to a goal. I would not be too concerned at this early stage by their failure to beat Jamshedpur who already have a reputation for being difficult to beat. If you flip the stats around – are they? They’ve allowed the highest number of shots on goal, the highest amount of crosses into the box and left themselves in situations where they can be dribbled at 1v1 more than anyone else. Allow that too often and you will concede goals.
The naked eye on Friday night told us that Teddy Sheringham clearly wants ATK to dominate the ball. They led the way for the highest amount of passes at 481 and were successful 89% of the time – a very high percentage rate. However, does that tell us the full story?
Take a look at passes into the final third – again, ATK lead they way with 76 attempts at a success rate of 82%, way above the league average of the weekend of 68%. Don’t forget though, ATK only converted all this ball-keeping to 11 shots (4 on target). The layman’s verdict on this has to be a lack of end product. Bengaluru were far more efficient, few passes with a lesser success rate leading to more shots on target and, eventually, a 2-0 win. Sheringham will be looking to find a better balance ahead of ATK’s next match.
As you would expect from two teams that kept clean sheets, Jamshedpur and NorthEast United feature prominently in the defensive rankings. However, Mumbai City are a surprise here. They lost 2-0 to Bengaluru but were on average the second best performing team defensively in the ISL. Should they be panicking in Mumbai just yet? Probably not, though their very direct attacking game failed to yield anything of value. Defensively, however, they looked solid and will have been disappointed to have conceded the first goal, with the second coming very late when they were chasing the game.
Player Power Rankings
These don’t have a great deal of context just yet but are fun to look at nevertheless.
As I said, just for fun at this stage – 4 out of the 5 guys that had the most shots at the weekend failed to get on the scoresheet.
Zequinha seems all action for ATK, getting shots and crosses in regularly.
Mumbai City’s Goian is a centre-back featuring on the 1v1 dribbling list, fair play to him for attempting to bring the ball out.
ATK’s Thomas individually backs up what we learned about ATK in their first game – plenty of passes, but have they done anything with them? He doesn’t feature in the through passes or key passes list. His midfield partner Lyngdoh also backs this up.
We already know that NorthEast, Jamshedpur and Mumbai City looked impressive defensively, and this is backed up by the individual performances. However, keep an eye on ATK’s Pereira. He could well be the best left back in the competition.
These two images are meant to work hand in hand for the men between the sticks. You can see that Kerala’s Paul Rachubka faced 5 shots and he saved all 5, meaning he was my goalkeeper of the weekend. Pal also achieved the same, but for me the Kerala shot-stopper made the save of the weekend which you will be able to see below. Credit once again to NorthEast who really did put on a good display – they restricted Jamshedpur to just one shot on goal, saved by Paramba.
Player of the Weekend
I’ve narrowed it down to my three for this first weekend in the ISL.
#3 Paul Rachubka, Kerala Blasters
As I’ve already mentioned, a fine keeping performance from Kerala’s number one.
#2 Manu Lanzarote, FC Goa
Probably the best goal of the opening weekend from the man we tipped to be one of the top scorers this season.
#1 Sunil Chhetri
It was hard to beat Lanzarote, but Chhetri’s general performance was superb and capped off with a well-deserved goal.
Do you agree or disagree? Let us know on @indianleagueuk