Fantasy EPL is not exactly the real game. We’ve covered this a number of times in the past, there is not always a direct correlation between the numbers which substantiate on-field success and the numbers which define fantasy EPL success. Building on Tuesday’s News & Notes, in which we discuss the amazing statistical record of Santi Cazorla using Opta stats from EPLIndex, there was a post on Arsenal.com by Michael Cox. Mr. Cox breaks down Cazorla using chalkboards. He astutely notes, as we did earlier, that Mikel Arteta and Cazorla are tied to one another this season with each having attempted more than 500 passes in the League:
Cazorla played a key role against West Ham because he frequently received the ball in dangerous central positions between West Ham’s midfield and defensive lines. Arsenal’s most common passing combination at Upton Park – unsurprisingly, given the aforementioned statistics – was Arteta to Cazorla. But it’s not just about the frequency – it’s about how centrally Cazorla receives the ball.
This is an important revelation and substantiates to a large degree our assertion that Cazorla’s early successes are repeatable over the entire season. We have advocated the ownership of Santi over any other Gunner and believe that he will continue in the mold of David Silva or Juan Mata last season, with a chance to lead the league in assists:
— FantasyGaffer (@FantasyGaffer) October 7, 2012
There are other chalkboards in the post on Arsenal.com, but the ‘board which caught our attention was this shooting chart from the match against West Ham when he scored his second Barclays Premier League of the season:
He clearly no objection to attempting shots from outside the box. Given his propensity to try the long-shot and ability striking the ball, he could keep up his scoring pace – two goals in seven BPL fixtures is pace for 10-11 goals on the year. Cazorla has scored two goals and added three assists, keeping three clean sheets and adding five bonus points to a fantasy EPL campaign that has seen him earn the minimum of two points only once in seven outings. Cazorla has scored one goal from outside the box (above) and one from inside the box (in the 0-2 win against Liverpool at Anfield when he scored and assisted on the two Arsenal goals). Podolski — two goals in BPL — has scored one from inside the box and one outside while the Gunners leading scorer, Gervinho, has scored 100% of his three BPL goals from inside. From a fantasy EPL perspective, it is always nice to see the physical representation of the rather arbitrary ideas that we spew — and we swear we believe them to be substantiated – and it is important to have visible evidence of the immense versatility we’ve attributed to Cazorla in earlier posts.
This article provides an excellent insight into the movement of Cazorla, both on and off the ball, and gives concrete graphic evidence of the positioning and attacking prowess of the Spaniard. Fantasy EPL managers have plenty of information at their disposal and we’re always looking to contribute additional resources, like Mr. Cox’s article, for our consideration.