Bolton Wanderers: the stat attack - How did the numbers stack up for Dougie Freedman’s Whites?

Darren Pratley was top of the average fouls per game chart

Darren Pratley was top of the average fouls per game chart

First published in Sport
Last updated

WE all know that Jermaine Beckford was Wanderers’ top scorer with nine goals, and most could guess that Jay Spearing was the club’s leading appearance maker with 45 Championship starts.

But how do the numbers stack up elsewhere? We looked at some of the lesser-known statistics to see what we could deduce.

Does the fact that Lukas Jutkiewicz had nearly twice as many shots as anyone else in the Whites camp mean he is more important to us than first thought? Or does the Middlesbrough striker flatter to deceive? After all, he also gave the ball away more than anyone else.

Here is a summary of the stats and what we think they might mean to Wanderers.

Top pass percentage (More than 24 starts):

1 Jay Spearing – 81.5

2 Neil Danns – 80

3 Chung-Yong Lee – 79.6

4 Medo Kamara – 76.4

5 Tim Ream – 74.3

What we can deduce: It is no surprise that the players who kept the ball most were the ones that Dougie Freedman most relied upon. Critics would perhaps point to the lack of penetration at times in Spearing, Chung-Yong and Medo’s play but they are certainly effective in controlling a game.



1 Jay Spearing – 6 Chung-Yong Lee – 6

3 Neil Danns – 5

4 Tim Ream – 4

5 Lukas Jutkiewicz – 3 Andre Moritz – 3 Chris Eagles – 3

What we can deduce: The influence of Spearing, pictured, in midfield is clear, although Chung-Yong’s bright finish to the season brought him level on goals created. Kudos should also go to Tim Ream for creating four goals from full-back.


Worst pass percentage (More than 24 starts):

1 Adam Bogdan – 40.8

2 Andy Lonergan – 42.9

3 Zat Knight – 60.2

4 Matt Mills – 65.5

5 Alex Baptiste 68.2

What we can deduce: Goalkeepers or defenders don’t traditionally have good passing accuracy, although you can expect that to change with Freedman asking his players to be more measured in possession.


Aerial duels won per game:

1 Matt Mills – 4.5

2= Lukas Jutkiewicz, Alex Baptiste – 3.9

4 David Wheater – 3.6

5 Zat Knight – 2.2

What we can deduce: Mills and Wheater tend to enjoy the aerial stuff more than strikers who get the ball down and run. At the other end, Jutkiewicz added a dimension that Wanderers haven’t had since Kevin Davies.


Shots per game:

1 Lukas Jutkiewicz – 3.5

2 Chris Eagles – 2.6

3 Neil Danns – 2.1

4 Jermaine Beckford – 2

5 Joe Mason – 1.9

What we can deduce: As the old saying goes, if you don’t buy a ticket... Only four players in the league bettered Jutkiewicz for shots on target – Ross McCormack, Danny Ings, Jordan Rhodes and David Nugent. Pretty impressive, huh?


Average tackles per game:

1 Medo Kamara – 3.7

2 Kevin McNaughton – 3.4

3 Jay Spearing – 2.5

4 Alex Baptiste – 2 Chung-Yong Lee – 2

What we can deduce: Medo has endeared himself to the Wanderers fans and is not afraid to get stuck in. This stat also shows up just how sorely Wanderers missed Kevin McNaughton’s grit when he returned to Cardiff City.


Average interceptions per game:

1 Kevin McNaughton – 2.3

2= Medo Kamara – 1.9, Jay Spearing – 1.9

4 Tim Ream – 1.7

5 Matt Mills – 1.3

What we can deduce: That two-man protective shield in front of the back four worked much better in the second half of the season. Again, class shone through in the way McNaughton, pictured, read the game.


Clearances per game:

1. Matt Mills – 9.8

2. Zat Knight – 7.7

3. David Wheater – 7.6

4. Alex Baptiste – 5.3

5. Tim Ream – 5.2

What we can deduce: Mills has been the mainstay of the Wanderers defence this season and by far the most consistent centre-back. You would imagine David Wheater’s figures would be higher had he not suffered with injury problems early on.


Average fouls per game:

1 Darren Pratley – 1.8

2 Medo Kamara – 1.6

3 Mark Davies – 1.5

4 Lukas Jutkiewicz – 1.4

5= David Ngog – 1 Jay Spearing – 1 Neil Danns – 1

What we can deduce: Pratley can hustle and bustle with the best of them in the Championship and it will be good to have him back again next season. Mark Davies isn’t worried about putting himself around – and his return to full fitness is also sorely overdue.


Blocked shots per game:

1= Matt Mills – 1, David Wheater – 1 3

Zat Knight – 0.7

4 Kevin McNaughton – 0.6

5 Jay Spearing – 0.5

What we can deduce: Once again, Mills and Wheater, pictured, put their bodies on the line in time-honoured centre-half style.


Successful dribbles:

1 Chris Eagles – 1.4

2 Chung-Yong Lee – 1.1

3 David Ngog – 0.9

4 Neil Danns – 0.8

5= Medo Kamara – 0.7, Rob Hall – 0.7

What we can deduce: Eagles may not be as easy to replace as people think – two of the top three players in this list will be lost next season. Does that mean Wanderers will be less direct?


Average times fouled per game:

1 Lukas Jutkiewicz – 1.8

2 Rob Hall – 1.6

3 Darren Pratley – 1.5

4 Mark Davies – 1.3

5 Chung-Yong Lee – 1

What we can deduce: Playing as a lone front man, you can probably expect Jutkiewicz to get a few bumps and bruises. Hall’s trickery also draws challenges but Pratley also shows here that he gets into the thick of the action.


Times offside per game (average):

1= David Ngog – 0.8, Joe Mason – 0.8

3 Jermaine Beckford – 0.7

4 Neil Danns – 0.5

5 Chris Eagles – 0.3

What we can deduce: Faster players tend to get caught offside more – but Beckford’s total must have been inflated by the Sheffield Wednesday game alone.


Dispossessed per game (average):

1 David Ngog – 1.4

2 Jermaine Beckford – 0.8

3= Lukas Jutkiewicz – 0.5, Neil Danns – 0.5

5 Chris Eagles – 0.3

What we can deduce: Ngog gave the ball away too much, or perhaps did not get the support that Jutkiewicz and Beckford did later in the season.



Given possession away (average):

1 Lukas Jutkiewicz – 2.3

2 David Ngog – 2.2

3 Neil Danns – 1.8

4 Chris Eagles – 1.7

5 Chung-Yong Lee – 1.6

What we can deduce: The front men often feature highly here – especially if they are targeted with higher, direct passes that they have to win in the air. Wanderers will want to reduce this next season, particularly in midfield.


Accurate crosses per game:

1 Chris Eagles – 1.2

2 Andre Moritz – 0.9

3= Jay Spearing – 0.8, Rob Hall – 0.8

5 Chung-Yong Lee – 0.7

What we can deduce: Do Wanderers have genuine width? Liam Feeney averaged 2.3 in his three-and-a-half games on loan.

Do they need it?

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