There’s nothing more fun than trying to figure out if statistics mean anything. They don’t tell the whole story but you can certainly infer trends and tendencies from them. We’ve already covered the league’s top tacklers so…
Best passer? Wake up and smell the coffee everyone, stop your drooling daydreaming; Fabregas, Arteta, and Stevie G don’t even come close. In fact, according to the hot off the press Opta Stats the Best Passer in the Premier League is Paul Scholes, with 478 passes and a whopping 89% accuracy.
This puts Scholes in a league of his own, he is literally untouchable at the top of this table. Second placed is Vidic with 336 passes, and third is Rio Ferdinand with 328, but both teammates well adrift of the ginger bonced maestro. Even more stunning is that Scholes’ passing completion percentage is greater than that of both Rio and Vidic despite the fact that most of their passes are back and forth to each other in their own half.
So Manchester United players are the top three passers in the league, and the remaining two slots in the top five are filled by Hamann and Essien. While this doesn’t tell us who the best passer is, it does show who tends to be the fulfrum of these clubs’ attacks. The ball passes most through United’s centre backs, then to Scholes. Chelsea use Essien to set up play from halfway and City do the same with Hamann. Sounds about right.
But where are the Arsenal players, with their futuristic superior passing that is light-years ahead of everyone else? We’re pretty surprised that Cesc isn’t on this list as he looks like he attempts about 100 passes a game. Are their passes so quick that, like a scud missile flying past a speed camera, they are simply not detected by Opta? More than likely the passing at Arsenal is spread around with no player acting as the primary fulcrum.