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Aston Villa by the numbers: Fruitless shots and passing fancies

Aston Villa's leader in completed pass percentage will almost certainly surprise you.

Julian Finney

I've decided to try and start a new column here, and it's an idea that I've shamelessly stolen. If you like college (American) football at all, you absolutely should be reading the work of SB Nation's Bill Connelly. My favorite column of his, though, is The Numerical, in which he presents numbers without context and then contextualizes them for you.

So here's your first edition of Aston Villa By The Numbers


The number of goals per shot Andi Weimann is averaging this year. I suppose the more useful way to look at this number would be to note that Weimann has 1 goal in 24 shots. At this rate, he'll need 168 shots to reach the same seven goals he had in Premier League play last year. It's safe to say that this isn't the same Andi we saw last season, but it's a little bit tough to tell what's wrong, really. As XuBrent pointed out in the comments, it seems that Andi is taking a lot of shots that he really has no chance of converting.

At some point you have to worry about this cascading into some sort of echo chamber of suck. He takes shots, he can't convert, and he gets more and more desperate for a goal. It really has the feeling of being one of those things that he'll just need one or two goals to get out of. But if they don't come quickly, it may be time to sit the Austrian Predator.


The percentage of possession that Aston Villa had in Sunday's match. A number that is worryingly low, especially in light of recent problems in that area (like 33% against Manchester City). But maybe we shouldn't be worried, given the fact that some of the club's best performances have come when they've had low possession. After all, they had 55% in the Hull City match, and I can't imagine any of us want to relive that.


The number of passes completed (in 44 attempts) by Fabian Delph on Sunday. This includes two successfully completed long balls. Delph is obviously Villa's best player right now, and it's his willingness to distribute the ball almost mechanically this is making so. In fact, on the season...


The percentage of passes successfully completed by Fabian Delph this season in EPL play. Which you'd logically assume was the best amongst regular starters on the team, but weirdly...


The percentage of passes successfully completed by... Karim El Ahmadi? Well that's certainly not what I was expecting to see. Oddly, amongst the starting trio of Ashley Westwood (83.6%), El Amhadi, and Delph, the unanimous best player has the worst pass completion percentage. (Ron Vlaar, too, has a success rate of 83.6%) But, as with any statistics, it's easy to make numbers lie.

Delph has put up those strong numbers over 367 total passes, while KEA has only attempted 209. Even if you break it down to average passes per match, Delph is far outpacing El Ahmadi 45.9 to 26.1. KEA may be a bit more successful, but Delph is obviously taking far more chances and is thus helping the team even more.


The number of minutes (not counting stoppage time) between the goals of Edin Dzeko in the Manchester City match and Andros Townsend this Sunday. For all of Aston Villa's myriad problems, the defense is actually looking significantly better this year, and it's stretches like these that really showcase the improvement.


The number of minutes (again, not counting stoppage time) that Aston Villa have played without scoring a goal. Their last was Andi Weimann's game winner against Manchester City. So, for all of his shooting woes, Andi on the season is still doing better than the rest of the team combined in the past 2+ matches.