PlayerStat Data’s September Team of the Month

September was a slightly quieter month than August, owing to Dundalk’s involvement in the EL and just one midweek fixture. Shamrock Rovers are getting closer to the league title, the race for Europe is getting exciting and teams at the bottom are scrapping for their lives to remain in the Premier Division.

Over the 19 games, we collected 25,891 player performance data points across 178 outfield players. Trends are beginning to emerge; we notice facets of some players’ games where they are stronger than in other facets. An interesting trend is the number of central defenders that are keen on bringing the ball out from the back themselves; dribble metrics among central defenders increased noticeably on August’s numbers.

In addition to this, some other interesting statistics:

· 476 established touches by players in the opposition’s 18-yard box

· 10,939 passing attempts (4,501 in a sideways/backwards direction)

· 563 occasions where the player in possession is dispossessed by the opposition or loses control of the ball himself.

Below is September’s TOTM (min 180 mins played)

GK – Brendan Clarke (St. Pats) – as mentioned in previous blogs, we are still testing our GK model. As a team, we narrowed this position down to Clarke, Alan Mannus and Brian Murphy. It was an incredibly competitive position. Brendan Clarke gets the nod (with all contenders keeping 3 clean sheets from 4), since he has been arguably the busier of the three keepers and his performance against Shels recently tipped him over the edge. Solid distribution across the 4 games and a continuation of his excellent keeper-sweeper duties over the month are enough to get him in ahead of the other two excellent goalkeepers.

RB – Rory Feely (St. Pat’s) – another extremely difficult choice (Georgie Poynton was the other candidate) but Feely’s defensive numbers gave him the slight edge. 100% tackle success, 81% progressive regain success & 68.97% def. aerial success rate: fine numbers from the full-back. Pretty tidy in possession too: 5 dribbles, 3 established touches in the opp. Box and a pass completion rate of just under 86% (75.68% of his progressive passes were successful also). Poynton had stronger output in a creative/attacking sense (i.e. chances created, assists and att. 1v1 success), but Feely was chosen on his slightly higher defensive metric numbers.

CBs – Luke McNally (St. Pat’s) and Roberto Lopes (Shamrock Rovers) – both centre halves were standout performers over the month [Lopes getting his 2nd nomination for Player of the Month in a row]. McNally had an excellent 85.25% progressive regain success rate, 95% success in def. aerial duels. 80% tackle success rate and a pass completion rate of 79.87% (3 from 4 passes made towards the opposition box found a teammate also).

As for Lopes, stunning numbers. 1 goal, 100% shot efficiency, 91.56% pass completion rate and 9 out of 10 progressive pass success rate. Defensively, 100% tackle success rate, 86% clearance success rate and 91.3% progressive regain success.

LB – Tyreke Wilson (Waterford FC) – the best left back in the country in September. 1 goal, 2 assists, 1 pre-assist and created 8 chances for his teammates. 84% pass completion rate and over 3/4s of his progressive passes finding a teammate. At the back, 3 blocked shots, 2 blocked crosses and nearing 75% progressive regain success. Like Feely, part of a defence that kept 3 clean sheets from 4.

DM/CM – Aaron McEneff (Shamrock Rovers) and Robbie Benson (St. Pat’s) – dynamic performances in the middle by McEneff in September. 1 goal, 7 dribbles, 90.5% pass completion rate and over 80% of his progressive passes finding a teammate. Defensively, he was even more impressive: he won all his tackles, just under 80% progressive regain success and won 2 from 3 aerial duels.

Benson was another tough choice, but we thought that his numbers in the creative/attacking sense won the day here. Defensively sound, winning all his aerial duels and regaining possession (with a progression afterwards) on 3 from 4 occasions. In an attacking sense, Benson had 1 assist, 8 efforts on goal, created 6 six chances for teammates and had 9 established touches in the opposition box [85% pass completion rate]. With a strong all-round performance in September, we picked Benson to sit in the middle beside McEneff.

AM – Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers) – no-brainer. 3 goals, 5 assists, 3 pre-assists. 84% success rate on 277 pass attempts. 60% shot efficiency, 11 chances created for others and a 76.5% progressive pass completion rate. Call-up to the Irish squad and nomination for player of the month again! No-brainer.

RW/LW – Ali Coote and Matt Smith (Waterford) – two creative dynamos for Waterford in September. Ali scored twice (from 9 efforts on goal), assisted another and 1 pre-assist. Smith scored one (from 6 attempts) and assisted one. Both players took on 13 dribbles in the 4 games (Smith with 100% success rate in att. 1v1 situations); both had comparable established touches in the opp. box (Coote – 6 and Smith 7) and both players had a similar pass completion rate (in and around 75% each).

ATT – Aaron Greene (Shamrock Rovers) – clinical in September. 3 goals from 6 efforts on goal, a shot efficiency of 83.33%. TWENTY established touches in the opp. box, created 10 chances for teammates. In possession, he had a pass completion rate of 82.35% and progressive pass success rate of 78.38%. Great numbers from the Rovers player.

The 5-man PlayerStat Data Bench

Brian Murphy

Georgie Poynton

Ryan De Vries

Graham Burke

David Cawley