Always a popular category, here is a breakdown of some of the passing stats amongst players from the 2012-13 Premier League season.
Top 10 completed passes
Here is a breakdown of the players who completed the most passes during the 2012-13 Premier League season:
Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta leads the way, completing 92% of his 2,750 pass attempts in the middle of the pitch. Of the players in the top 5 positions in this table, the Spaniard attempted the fewest passes in the final third of the pitch.
Manchester United’s Michael Carrick attempted the highest number of passes in the Premier League this season. He may not be England’s answer to Xavi or Andrés Iniesta, but his percentage of forward passes (37%) was higher than anyone in this table.
Yaya Touré took control of games for Manchester City, wanting possession and using it to spray passes out to his team mates. Of this top 10, only Santi Cazorla completed the more passes in the final third than the Ivorian, The Spaniard and Steven Gerrard are the only players to have recorded more assists than Yaya Touré (4) in this table too.
Successful passes in the final third
Here is a look at the ambitious attacking players who completed the most passes in the final third of the pitch:
Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla was in a league of his own when it came to completing passes in and around the opposition penalty area. The Spaniard’s completion rate was pretty successful too at 82% (league average: 68%). As we will reveal later in this article, he put the ball to good use in creating a number of chances and recording assists.
Manchester City’s David Silva continued to cause defences problems in and around their own penalty areas during the 2012-13 season, completing over 700 passes in the final third. The nifty Spaniard was useful in creating chances and goals for his team mates who finished second in the league having won it the previous season.
To make it a hat-trick at the top for Spain, Chelsea’s Juan Mata is third on the list. A strong candidate for PFA Player of the Season, Mata squeezed into the top three narrowly ahead of club team mate Eden Hazard. The pair were involved in a number of Chelsea’s goals this past season.
Open play chances created
A created chance is defined as setting up a team mate for a shot or goal. Here are the top 10 players who created the most opportunities for their team mates this season:
As well as being the league’s second top goalscorer, Liverpool’s Luis Suárez also set up the most chances in open play. Starting 33 games, the Uruguayan forward averaged more than two chances created per game.
Southampton’s Rickie Lambert was not only the joint-highest English goalscorer in the Premier League but the forward was also the joint-second highest creator in the Premier League from open play. The target man setup 75 chances for team mates and led the Saints in scoring goals too.
Tied with Lambert was Manchester City’s David Silva. The little Spaniard was a threat to a number of defences throughout the season and statistics back that up.
The following 10 players recorded the most assists in open play during the 2012-13 Premier League season:
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard was the only player to reach double figures in goal assists from open play. The Belgian forward didn’t have too much involvement in the club’s set pieces, but those dead balls that he did take he failed to set up a single goal from.
For all the passes Santi Cazorla completed in the final third, the Arsenal playmaker used them to good effect in setting up 9 goals for his team mates this season. The Spaniard who arrived from Malaga last summer created a further two from set pieces.
Another player who completed his first season in both the Premier League and with Arsenal was German forward Lukas Podolski. Like Cazorla, Podolski also created 9 goals for his team mates and netted 11 of his own too (compared to Cazorla’s 12). Team mate Theo Walcott also made this top 10.