This unplanned post has been prompted by the following tweet from Ben where he outlined how similar, with the exception of goals, the stats were for Coutinho (during his time at Liverpool) and Shelvey:
Shelvey might have had more shots on target per 90 than Liverpool’s new acquisition, but there is a very good reason for the difference in scoring rates – Shelvey’s awful shot placement.
As always with these images, we are looking at the goal mouth from the striker’s Point of View.
Look at how many shots were placed at a goalkeeper’s height and centrally ,which of course are the easiest saves to make.
His goal (which could be a generous dscription given the circumstances it was scored in) was the effort that went closest to the left corner, whilst he could arguably consider himself unlucky that Begovic saved the shot that was destined for the bottom right corner.
Coutinho was much cannier with his shot placement with the shots tending to be daisy cutters and / or angled into the corners.
Looking at the map, you probably wouldn’t have expected a return of 3 goals based on the shot placements. However, it’s clear that see that Coutinho at least looks like he has put some thought into where the shots might end up.
Unfortunately based on the Shot Placement chart above it doesn’t look like Jonjo Shelvey can make the same claim.
The Location of the Shots
To put some context on the shot placements I thought I would use some charts created by Constantinos Chappas which shows where the two players took their shots from:
When we see how advantageous the shooting positions of Shelvey were (not just in comparison to Coutinho, but in absolute terms) he’s got to be really disappointed given where the shots ended up.