Where does each Premier League team have more ball than their opponents – The Athletic


No stat in the history of football or statistics has ever been cool, but surely there was a time when possession was… all the rage? In the early days of football data, it seemed that simply counting a team’s throw-ins and comparing them to their opponent’s throw-ins could reveal something fundamentally important, like whether or not that team was coached by Pep. Guardiola.

Pretty soon, fans grew tired of hearing about possession percentages. Of course, a team can play a lot of passes and lose. Of course, they could barely touch the ball and win. “Possession doesn’t matter,” people started saying. “It’s what you make of it.”

Which is true, of course, if “what you do with it” means “putting the ball in the net”. But it’s also true that how much possession you have doesn’t matter as much as where you have it. The problem with simple percentages was that they couldn’t tell the difference between a hit near your own box and a hit near the other team’s.

And if instead of counting the possession, we visualized it?

At first, it looks like the world’s worst Tetris game. After a minute, shapes swim into view, like a pixelated cloud-watching session.

Tottenham’s red zones look suspiciously like lobsters. Leeds are forklifts, tough and powerful for their size but also susceptible to backing into a stack of pallets at full speed. Weird, asymmetrical West Ham are on an escalator to a European spot. Southampton and


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