On August 16, 2011 the way we can view the Barclays Premier League changed forever. From background interviews with Opta, the football stats company, we have seen the developments made in statistics technology. With the help of FourFourTwo and Opta, all iPhone users can now access in-depth stats and information live from their smartphones. FourFourTwo Stats Zone powered by Opta comes loaded with the 2010/11 EPL season and for just $3.99 users can purchase full access to statistics from each match of this year’s campaign.
The application is extraordinarily impressive. It not only tracks shots, but also passes, completed or unsuccessful, on each part of the pitch by each player. Blocks, fouls, crosses, throw-ins, and goalkeeper distribution are also disclosed and any of the above statistic categories can be tracked player by player. The app includes a timeline feature, so that users can track what happened in a match after a substitution, goal, or tactical change. For example, in Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Swansea City last week, the influence Sergio Aguero had on the match is undermined if you look at the match as a whole, but if you look at the influence of players from his introduction until the end of the match, Aguero clearly had more control over the match than anybody else on the pitch, as he also boosted the performance of Dzeko.
The part of the app which tracks the passing of teams, makes it much easier to see a team‘s strategy. Swansea City have absolutely dominated their first two matches in the league (despite not scoring). If you thought that Barcelona’s performance in last year’s matches against Real Madrid were impressive possession wise, think again. Against City, Swansea held the ball for 58% of the match, and when playing Wigan this past weekend, they held the ball for 71% of the game, completing 471 passes. Viewing Swansea’s passing dashboard, it is clear that Rodger’s side has taken the idea that if the opposing team doesn’t have the ball they can’t score to a new level.
Matches from this season can also be compared with any other match that has taken place either this season or last season. Here, we can look at how Liverpool have improved and caught up with Arsenal. In last year’s match at Anfield, the Gunners were rampant, completing 460 passes, while dominating possession. Liverpool, a year ago, were nearing collapse at the time, and despite pulling out the 1-1 draw, the Reds completed a mere 224 passes in the match. To see the how the Reds have caught up to Arsenal, you can use the app to compare the 2-0 LFC victory at the weekend to the match last year at this time. In the Saturday morning fixture, the Reds held their own against Arsenal‘s passing abilities, mainly in part to their new midfielders Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, and Charlie Adam.
The above are just a few features of the app, and I highly recommend dishing out the $3.99. This is a phenomenal application for all EPL followers, who love having a hands-on way to analyze each and every match live. FourFourTwo Stats Zone is a must have app for all readers of this website who dedicate their weekends to viewing the world’s best league.