Aaron Cresswell – Liability or Unsung Hero?

Reading social media Aaron Cresswell is a bit like Marmite, some fans believe he adds to the team and some comment he should be dropped and sold.

I will give you some of his key stats from the last 4 games where we have had a constant defence in terms of players and positions.

 

Before looking at the stats let’s remember that Cresswell is now playing on the left side of three centre backs.

Not a position that I would imagine many fans or even he would say is his most natural position.

And at 5ft 7in, not the height expected of a centre back.

His role has been to the left of Ogbonna and inside of the attacking Masuaka

 

So first let’s look at his passing stats over the last 4 matches.

136 completed passes out of 174 attempted, 78% completed.

Of the 174 attempted, 124 were forward, 18 square and 32 backwards.

60 attempted passes into the attacking third of the pitch, 80 into the middle third and 34 into the defensive third.

 

But how does he compare to our other defenders?

For completed against attempted passes.

Cresswell      136 of 174   78%

Rice              102 of 137    75%

Ogbonna      100 of 124    81%

Masuaka       99 of 138      72%

Zabaleta       76 of 106      72%

 

Based on passing, Cresswell leads the way in total passes and 2nd in terms of completion %.

Also note that he left the field on 64 minutes in one of the games.

Mark Noble who is always top of our passing stats, completed 193 of 231 during the same 4 games.

 

Crossing, you would expect our wing backs to put in the most crosses in our team that lacks any real width without them.

Zabaleta crossed the ball 10 times during the 4 games used in the stats, Masuaka attempted 18 crosses.

Cresswell came in with 17 attempted crosses compared to Rice with 3 on the right side.

It could be argued that this stat is more to do with the amount of our attacks that go down the left side.

But that is due to how unbalanced our team is, Zabaleta is not a wing back and should be used as one.

 

From an attacking point of view Cresswell scores well in the stats but how does he compare in defensive terms.

 

Tackles

Masuaka        6 won from 13                   46%

Rice                5 won from 9                     56%

Cresswell        4 won from 4                    100%

Ogbonna        3 won from 8                    38%

Zabaleta         2 won from 5                    40%

 

Interceptions

Zabaleta        8

Cresswell       8

Rice               6

Masuaka        5

Ogbonna       4

 

Clearances

Ogbonna      21

Rice              19

Zabaleta       11

Cresswell      8

Masuaka       5

 

Creswell’s defensive stats are not as good as the attacking ones in comparison to his team mates.

The more natural centre backs taking the lead on clearances, but his stats are better on interceptions and tackles.

 

For me, overall Cresswell is doing well in a position that is not natural to him.

He covers and supports the more attacking Masuaka allowing him to push on, at the same time being able to put in crosses from a deeper position.

And he is adding value to his more central defensive position by increasing our ability to pass out of defence.

 

Have his abilities been noticed by the England Manager at the recent games he’s attended?

If so, then 25-1 to get into the World cup squad might be a good outside bet.

 

By DazP | @Kirtonhammer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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