We've got a few more numbers about Aston Villa's goal drought this week (it's too fascinating to ignore), but I branch out a bit and look at some other things too. Did you know the defense is actually pretty good this year?
The minutes since Aston Villa have scored a goal presented in match time and real-time (as of kickoff on this Saturday) respectively. I promise, I'm not going to dwell on this for very long today. I've just got two more related numbers....
The number of Begovic-s since Aston Villa have scored a goal, where a Begovic is a unit of time equal to 13 seconds, the time it took for Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to score against Southampton on Saturday.
Aston Villa's last goalless drought that was longer than this one lasted 385 minutes. It came in the eventful 2010-11 season (you remember, Gerard Houllier?). There, Marc Albrighton scored a 16th minute goal against Tottenham Hotspur on October 2 in a 2-1 loss in London. Villa would then not score again until Albrighton's 41st minute strike against Fulham on November 6. You may remember that match as the one in which Fulham equalized in the fifth minute of stoppage time, thus denying Villa a win they'd come so close to.
In between those two goals, they were shut out by Chelsea (0-0 draw), Sunderland (1-0 loss), and Birmingham City (0-0 draw). The difference between then and now, and why there is an asterisk for this number? In the midst of that stretch futility, Villa scored twice against Burnley in the Capital One Cup. But I think I'll let that streak count. If Villa don't score by the 10th minute against Cardiff City on Saturday, I'll have a new number for next week's column!
Aston Villa's pass success rate in the middle third of the pitch on Saturday. In many fields, a success rate of over 70% would be fantastic. For instance, if any baseball player ever hit .716, we would end the sport immediately and declare the experiment a success.
But in football, a 71.6% success rating on passes is quite poor. Without Fabian Delph, this midfield is atrocious. I think we all sort of intuitively knew that, but his absence on Saturday gave us all of the proof that we need. Get better, soon, Fabian.
The ratio by which Aston Villa were out-passed in the attacking third against West Ham. In actual numbers, that's 193 passes by West Ham compared to Aston Villa's 86. One of the overwhelming narratives on twitter during the match can be succinctly summed up as "Hoooof." Normally, I'm wary of buying into that sort of mentality, but it certainly appears to have been true on Saturday. You don't get too many chances in the final third when your entire strategy is to smash the ball as far forward as you can and hope that someone can chase after it.
The number of goals Aston Villa have allowed while playing on the road this season. There is plenty to be upset about with this team, but the defense is not a part of it. This number includes three straight clean sheets away from Villa Park and is an average of .6 goals per match. Making this even more surprising is the fact that this would be an impressive number if we were only looking at the matches in which these goals were allowed. Three goals against Chelsea and Arsenal is not bad. The fact that they haven't allowed any since then is even better.