Tuesday, 9 October 2012


A rose plot is often used in weather science to describe the direction and strength of winds. Since Opta were kind enough to include the angle of each pass (in radians no less) with respect to the direction of play, I thought I'd create some "pass roses". These show the direction and distance of each pass a player made in the game.

I'm not convinced how much you should read into these plots, but that should never stop a armchair football pundit. Can't be worse than the MOTD lot ;). In these plots 0˚ points towards the opposition goal, and 180˚ points to the defending goal.
  • Sergio Agüero mostly passes backwards, which makes sense since he's probably the most advanced player. It looks like most of his failed passes are in the (vague) direction of the goal; 4 out of 6. Also, he doesn't pass the ball more than ~23 yards.
  • Kolorov mostly passes infield (not surprising for a left back; and Richards is similar but opposite).
  • Joe Hart passes short and wide much more often than Jääskeläine. When going long, both keepers are fairly unsuccessful.
  • Jääskeläine's rose shows that I've not plotted the (successful) patch quite right, and don't have time to work out a fix for it. I put the shading in for aesthetic purposes.
Click the images for bigger versions.

I'm not sure there is much future in pass roses, the lack of initial position information makes it a bit superficial. Over the course of the season, I suppose it might show that a player can't reliably pass in a particular direction ;).  Pretty unlikely though. Anyway, it was a bit of fun.

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