In this data analysis, I will be using data to help produce the team of the season so far for the 2020 Eliteserien season. The statistics and data used in this analysis have been obtained from Wyscout and the formation used will be a 4-3-3 similar to that of Liverpool and, more importantly, Eliteserien champions-elect Bodø/Glimt.
To make the team a little more interesting and diverse, I will be excluding players from the aforementioned league-leaders, and players must also have played more than 1000 minutes in order to be considered. Players who are no longer competing in the Eliteserien have also been excluded.
This data analysis will be done in three parts, the second of which will look at the midfield (one defensive player, two box-to-box style players). It is also worth mentioning that the majority of data considered will look at attacking returns for all bar a few positions given the aim to pick a team suitable for replicating the tactics of Bodø/Glimt.
In the specified tactics, the middle player of the midfield trio will be the most defence-minded player. His job is to stop opposition attacks and counter-attacks and build attacks and counter-attacks for his own team. As such, the data metrics I have chosen to explore are interceptions, defensive duel success, aerial duel success, short/medium-range passing, long-range passing and passes to the final third. On the top of the rules already stated, to be considered for this role players must have played a good portion of their minutes as either a single-pivot or in a double pivot.
The above column chart shows the number of interceptions recorded on average per 90 minutes played and is displayed in ascending order. The top five players in this category are as follows:
Ipalibo Jack – The Strømsgodset man leads the way with an average of 6.93 interceptions per 90 minutes.
Andreas Hopmark – The Kristiansund players averages 6.14 interceptions per 90 minutes.
Emil Bohinen – The Stabæk man has an average of 5.55 interceptions per 90 minutes.
Fredrik Aursnes – The Molde player averages 5.33 interceptions per 90 minutes.
Fredrik Oldrup Jensen – The man in his first season for Vålerenga has averaged 5.25 interceptions per 90 minutes.
The above graph plots the average number of defensive duels each player is involved per 90 minutes against the success rate of these duels, a position in the top-right quadrant showing a player to be involved in a high amount with a high success rate. The two players who clearly stand out in that portion of the graph are:
Edvard Tagseth – The Rosenborg youngster leads the way on both counts, winning 63.33% of his average 12.05 defensive duels per 90 minutes.
Joe Bell – The Viking man wins 61.75% of his average 9.51 defensive duels per 90 minutes.
Four others are also worthy of mention in my opinion and these are as follows:
Kristoffer Barmen – The Brann player has the second-highest success rate, winning 63.16% of his average 6.12 defensive duels per 90 minutes.
Etzaz Hussain – The Molde man scores reasonably high on both counts, of his average 7.51 defensive duels per 90 minutes he wins 60.9%.
Emil Bohinen – On top of his interception statistics, his defensive duel numbers are also solid with 60.87% of an average 6.79 per 90 minutes being successful.
Andreas Hopmark – Second in the interception stakes, he also boasts reasonable defensive duel numbers in winning 59.32% of his average 7.55 per 90 minutes.
The above graph plots the same as the previous one but for only aerial duels. I don’t consider this quite as important as overall defensive duels, though it is included simply to compliment the previously shown defensive data.
Andreas Hopmark is the standout here in winning a very impressive 70% of his average 5.12 duels per 90 minutes, and this reaffirms him being strong defensively. Of those yet to be mentioned, Brann’s Daniel Pedersen and Aaelsund’s Parfait Bizoza measure up well here but not by enough for them to be considered overall.
For the next three graphs, which will look at passing data, I have made the decision to include only those who registered well in the analysis of their defensive play. Each of the graphs will plot the accuracy against the average number of passes made of that type.
First of all, we can see that none of the nine players under consideration excels in all three categories. The only obvious initial conclusion is that Ipalibo’s passing statistics do not measure up and can be easily excluded as such.
Kristoffer Barmen also fails to reach the standards of others so will be excluded as well as Andreas Hopmark. Despite scoring highly on defensive metrics and long passing accuracy, I feel his data leads to him being better-suited playing in the middle of a defensive three, a formation becoming popular in the EPL (Conor Coady probably the best example of such a player). This leaves us with the following six players from which to choose:
Emil Bohinen – The Stabaek midfielder completes 91.35% of his average 43.7 short/medium passes per 90 minutes, 67.44% of his average 2.54 long passes and 84.27% of his average 5.26 passes to the final third.
Edvard Tagseth – The Rosenborg youngster completes 91.77% of his average 49.82 short/medium passes per 90 minutes, 64.86% of his average 2.97 long passes and 81.08% of his average 5.95 passes to the final third.
Fredrik Oldrup Jensen – The Vålerenga man completes 92.16% of his average 47.31 short/medium passes per 90 minutes, 62.63% of his average 5.64 long passes and 73.85% of his average 7.42 passes to the final third.
Joe Bell – The Viking midfielder completes 90.79% of his average 39.51 short/medium passes per 90 minutes, 60.94% of his average 3.33 long passes and 82.17% of his average 6.71 passes to the final third.
Etzaz Hussain – The first of the two Molde players completes 90.43% of his average 54.37 short/medium passes per 90 minutes, 60.56% of his average 8.67 long passes and 71.84% of his average 11.8 passes to the final third.
Fredrik Aursnes – The second Molde player completes 93.27% of his average 61.29 short/medium passes per 90 minutes, 51.56% of his average 5.68 long passes and 75.54% of his average 10.34 passes to the final third.
The volume of the two Molde players’ passing outweighs the rest but their accuracy on long passes and passes to the final third (the two metrics I consider more important than the other) lets them down. Bell is beaten by at least one other for both volume and accuracy of each of the three passing types so can also be ruled out whereas as Tagseth’s overall accuracy falls below Bohinen’s despite similar volumes of passes.
With all this in mind, I believe the best two for the position to be Jensen and Bohinen with the latter getting my vote due to his consistency in all six metrics I have shown.
The midfield is completed by two players which I feel are best described as ‘8’s’. Their role is to provide box-to-box support in both defence and attack, winning key battles and contributing to the team’s attacking output. As such the data metrics I have chosen for this part of the analysis are defensive duel success, offensive duel success, key passing, assists and goals.
On top of this, I have decided to select players who can offer something of a running threat as well as a passing threat so progressive runs and passes will also be explored. As well the overall rules, players must have played the majority of their games as one of the more advanced members of a midfield trio or in a double pivot and, for obvious reasons, Emil Bohinen has been excluded.
The above graph plots the average number of defensive duels each player is involved per 90 minutes against the success rate of these duels, a position in the top-right quadrant showing a player to be involved in a high amount with a high success rate. We have already seen the numbers of two players who score well here in Tagseth and Hussain but two others worth mentioning are as follows:
Bruno Leite – The Haugesund man boasts the highest success rate, winning 66.38% of his average 7.61 defensive duels per 90 minutes.
Olaus Skarsem – The Kristiansund youngster sits in the top half for both volume and success, winning 58.7% of his average 8.3 defensive duels per 90 minutes.
The above graph plots the same as for the previous one but for offensive duels. Two familiar names in Skarsem and Bruno Leite again stand out here. The former sits second overall for both volume and success, winning 55.42% of his average 9.98 offensive duels per 90 minutes. The latter tops the volume numbers with an average of 10.89 offensive duels per 90 minutes with his success of 47.59% well above the mean. Others worth mentioning here are:
Tortol Lumanza Lembi – The Stabaek man scores highly on both counts, winning 51.46% of his average 9.7 offensive duels per 90 minutes. It must be said, however, that his defensive numbers fall below the mean.
Vebjørn Hoff – The Odds man sits above the mean on both counts, winning 48.57% of his average 5.97 offensive duels per 90 minutes.
Having explored the data of these duels, I created a combined duels dataset and decided to exclude a number of players from further analysis, these were players who scored particularly low on overall success rate or fell well below the average in terms of total duels contested per 90 minutes.
With the players left under consideration all showing themselves capable of winning key battles, let us now explore their attacking outputs.
The above column chart shows the number of key passes played on average per 90 minutes and is displayed in ascending order. Wyscout defines a key pass as one that immediately creates a goalscoring opportunity for a teammate. The three players to excel here are as follows:
Lumanza Lembi – The Belgian averages 0.68 key passes per 90 minutes.
Jonathan Lindseth – The Sarpsborg 08 man averages 0.67 key passes per 90 minutes.
Joshua Kitolano – The Odds youngster averages 0.57 key passes per 90 minutes.
The above stacked-column chart shows both the number of non-penalty goals and assists averaged per 90 minutes. I believe it’s important to use this data in conjunction with the key pass data so as to not to prejudice against players who are simply let down by the finishing of their teammates. The top five performers are as follows:
Kristoffer Zachariassen – The Rosenborg midfielders’ output comes exclusively from non-penalty goals, averaging a very impressive 0.45 goals per 90 minutes.
Johan Hove – The Strømsgodset youngster’s total output is 0.44, averaging 0.35 non-penalty goals and 0.09 assists per 90 minutes.
Eirik Schulze – The Start player’s total output is 0.38, averaging 0.33 non-penalty goals and 0.05 assists per 90 minutes.
Edvard Tagseth – The youngster’s total output is 0.32, averaging 0.08 non-penalty goals and 0.24 assists per 90 minutes.
Jonathan Lindseth – The midfielder’s total output of 0.31 is well balanced, averaging 0.13 non-penalty goals and 0.18 assists per 90 minutes.
From the data presented so far, I have trimmed the list of potential selections to ten. These players have shown themselves capable of above-average duel success as well as providing an attacking threat.
I shall now explore progressive passing and running data in order to help inform the final decision.
The above graph plots the number of progressive passes attempted on average per 90 minutes against the accuracy of these passes. Again, the top-right quadrant shows the top performers.
The above column chart, again displayed in ascending order, shows the average number of progressive runs a player makes per 90 minutes.
The player to stand out most from these two graphs is Anton Salétros. The Sarpsborg 08 man has hitherto not been mentioned in this analysis but has performed consistently in each metric and his progressive running and passing statistics win him a place in the team. He averages 2.32 progressive runs per 90 minutes and completes 84.92% of his average 10.08 progressive passes per 90 minutes.
The second-best performer in the progressive stakes in Etzaz Hussain and he completes our midfield. He averages 1.54 progressive runs per 90 minutes and completes 81.82% of his average 11.65 progressive passes per 90 minutes. He, like Salétros, has performed consistently throughout this data analysis (including in the analysis of the holding midfielder) and will add goals to complement the assists of the Sarpsborg 08 player.
Using key defensive and attacking data for midfielders, I have produced a midfield trio for the Eliteserien 2020 team of the year which is capable of winning key battles, will prove effective in transitions and provide goals and assists. Emil Bohinen is selected as the deepest-lying player of the three with former Manchester United academy player Etzaz Hussain and Anton Salétros playing either side of him.