Final Third Efficiency 2010/11 to 2012/13

Back in March, I wrote an article which investigated a new statistic I had devised: final third efficiency (and you can read the original piece here). In case you missed it, FTE is calculated as follows:

By dividing accurate final third passes (FTC) by shots on target (SoT), you can create a final third efficiency (FTE) figure for both teams, to see which team made the most of the ball up front.

I then subtract Liverpool’s score from their opponent’s to give them a FTE Difference for each match. The previous article had the data for the 68 matches from last season and this upto-and-including Southampton away; I have now added the remainder of this season as well as the available matches from 2010/11, giving an enlarged dataset of 102 games.

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Final Third Efficiency

After Liverpool capitulated to a 3-1 defeat against Southampton, I noticed that the Reds had completed their second lowest number of final third passes in the league this season: 58.

Although I didn’t see the match, my instant thought was “no wonder they lost, as you won’t create many decent opportunities from so few passes in the attacking third of the pitch”.

Which lead me to this thought: in order to win games you need to score goals. You therefore need to have as many shots on target as you can, and in order to create those you need to pass the ball well in the final third of the field. By dividing accurate final third passes (FTC) by shots on target (SoT), you can create a final third efficiency (FTE) figure for both teams, to see which team made the most of the ball up front.

Having looked up Liverpool’s stats for the 68 league games from the past two seasons, the findings suggest that a good performance in this metric will definitely lead to a successful team. Obvious perhaps, but I have now been able to quantify it.

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