The question of which team in England plays the most attractive football, can sometimes be quite subjective. However, as we are exposed to lot more statistics these days, the answer to that question is becoming much more measurable. With accurate stats on things like pass completion rate and the average length of passes readily available, it has become easier to compare and contrast playing styles.
Unsurprisingly, Manchester City are among the best at most of these measures so far this season, as they seem to be continuing where they left off in May. Chelsea under new boss Maurizio Sarri also look really easy on the eye and the stats certainly bare this out. The current league leaders have had an of average 65.8% possession in their 5 games so far. While Man City still have more shots per game and a slightly higher pass completion rate, the stats certainly prove how much influence Sarri has had on this Chelsea side already.
What is surprising however is that the team that sits third in country in terms of possession stats, is not from the Premier League at all – it’s Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United. Leeds, who sit pretty at the top of the EFL Championship, have averaged a staggering 58.9% possession per game, a number far higher than any of their Championship opponents. The Whites who are unbeaten in the season so far, also boast of having completed more short passes and a have lower passing distance, compared to anybody in their division.
A journalist who works for ESPN posted Leeds United’s stats on Twitter and it turns out Bielsa’s team come out on top in a whole host of metrics.
— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) September 16, 2018
Those who have followed Bielsa’s career closely know that he gets his teams playing fast, sharp, high-pressing football. These stats demonstrate how quickly the Argentinean has been able to enforce his philosophy at the club.
While it is still early days in the season, Leeds fans can certainly be excited with the level of dominance their team is showing right now compared to their competitors. Who knows what this squad can achieve given more time to adapt to the manager’s philosophy.