Serie A Season Review: 2011-12 Part 2

27 Jun

Part 2 of the Serie A Season Review focuses more on the team stats, Part 1 can be found here with the individual player stats.

With Juventus winning the Title in such commanding fashion, it’s to be expected that they will dominate the Team Statistics. They didn’t rely on one outstanding performer, but rather it was a team effort, illustrated best by the fact that their top scorer only hit 10 league goals.

Clean Sheets:

Since the first part of the Serie A review focused on the glory boys knocking the ball into the net, it’s only fair that we start with the defences. And it’s no surprise that Juventus come out on top. Not only did they keep the most clean sheets with 21, they also had the most against the Top 6 teams with a very decent five shut outs in ten games (along with Napoli). They say that a title is built on the defence, so to go a whole season unbeaten, means it must be pretty tight and that’s certainly illustrated below. Every team from 2nd Placed Milan to 6th placed Inter were kept out on one occasion. In fact, Bologna and Catania were the only teams not to be kept out by the Juventus defence.

As well as keeping the most against the top teams, they also had the highest (along with AC Milan) number against the struggling teams, recording 9 clean sheets in 12 games.

And speaking of AC Milan, they also had the highest number of clean sheets against the mid table teams, with 8 (along with Inter Milan and Cagliari). Ominously for them though, they only kept one clean sheet against the Top 6 teams in ten attempts. In what appears to be a similar scenario with Ibrahimovic’s scoring for them, they’re not so much flat track bullies, more big game bottlers.

Elsewhere, Cagliari had the worst ranked opponent per clean sheet with 14.40, meaning their defence was poor against decent opponents, their only one clean sheet against the Top 6 was against Udinese early on in the season in a 0-0 draw. Inter Milan continued to defy logic by keeping 8 clean sheets against the Middle 8 teams, yet somehow could only keep two clean sheets against the struggling teams.

Goals Scored:

An area where Juventus didn’t excel was in attack. Whilst it’s well documented that they didn’t rely on one player for goals, they had the weakest attack of all the Champions of the major European leagues:

  • Real Madrid – 121 Goals
  • Manchester City – 93 goals
  • Ajax – 93 goals (34 game season)
  • Borussia Dortmund – 80 goals (34 game season)
  • FC Porto – 69 goals (30 game season)
  • Montpellier – 68 goals

You get the idea. To be fair though, I should point out that AC Milan won the league with 65 goals in 2010-11, whilst Inter won it with 75 and 70 goals for the 2009-10 and 2008-09 seasons respectively. It’s not a high scoring league, though it’s far from the defensive based football that the stereotype suggests.

Despite only scoring 68 goals, Juve did make them count when it mattered. Along with Roma and Genoa, they scored the most goals against the Top 6 teams with 18. Once again, AC Milan’s inability to do it against the big teams is highlighted in this measurement. Whilst they scored 2.5 goals per game against the Bottom 6, and 2.2 goals per game against the Middle 8 teams, they scored a very poor 0.9 goals per game against the top teams. To put it into perspective, relegate Novara managed as many goals as AC Milan against the decent sides (albeit with 2 games more).

That’s bad, but not as bad as Chievo, who managed just three goals in the twelve games that they faced the best. Not that it will particularly worry them, as they finished in a respectable 10th place. If you were a Chievo fan though, you’d turn up to the big games knowing that it’s unlikely to end well for you.

And worse still is Cesena’s over recored of just 24 goals. Ouch.

Goals Conceded:

As you can see from the green below, this one (much like the losses one) is a pretty straight forward homage to Juventus again. Now I hate to concetrate so much on one team, but they are champions after going unbeaten, so fair’s fair. Least goals conceded, and the lowest against all ranges of opposition. The amazing thing about the Juve defence is that it is mainly the same players that played in 2010-11 when they let in a rather less impressive 47 goals on the way to finishing 7th. Praise must go to Antonio Conte, and it must also beg a question of why attacking players make such good defensive coaches (I’m thinking George Graham, and there’s probably more but the mind has gone blank).

Juventus aside, just look at Inter Milan’s record against the bottom 6 again. Shambolic springs to mind. Four of those were in a crazy 4-4 draw with Palermo and another four were in a crazy 4-3 defeat to Palermo.

Lazio had the worst average ranked opponent per goal conceded, with their defence actually performing better against the stronger teams. At the other end of the scale, Lecce conceded a lot of goals (56) but at least it was mainly to teams that finished above them. Their average of 8.13 was the highest.

Games Lost:

This is perhaps the most telling measurement when looking at AC Milan’s season. None were lost against the bottom teams, only one was lost against the mid table teams, but a massive 5 were lost against their Top 6 rivals. This is illustrated by their average ranked conqueror’s of 5.83, an average only bettered by Heerenveen’s 2.67 in the Eredivisie.

Cesena lost the most games against both the Top and Mid teams with 11 (out of 12) and 10 respectively. Not a surprise that they finished bottom of the league then. Whilst strangely, Bologna finished 9th despite being terrible against the Bottom 6 teams – losing five times.

Juventus. That’s a pret-ty good record. And i’ll give it a bit more praise when I compare them to the Arsenal invincibles of 2003-04.

Kudos to Chievo who despite being pretty rotten against the good teams, achieved their mid table respectibility by refusing to lose to the stragglers at the bottom of the table.

Failure to Score:

A new measure, and a new reason to slate AC Milan and their big game bottler status. As you can see, they had no trouble whatsoever against anyone outside the Top 6, but as well as losing five games to the big boys, they also failed to even score on four occasions.

Cesena managed to only score in 17 of their 38 games which you don’t need me to tell you is bad. Chievo’s inability to give their fans anything to cheer about when facing any one good is confirmed here, with a failure to score on 9 occasions against the Top 6 teams. Catania finished below them but still only failed to score against the Top 6 teams on two occasions – a total only bettered by the Champions.

And just to confirm why Juventus were deserved winners, and to highlight the importance of doing well against the teams around you, here’s a couple of mini leagues for your viewing pleasure:

Top 6 Mini League:

Bottom 6 Mini League:

That’s all I’ve got for the Serie A review for 2011-12 season. If you have any questions then please e-mail me or write in the comments box below.

Cheers,

Liam

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