Passing. The bedrock of football. But who does it most effectively in the Hyundai A-League and in which parts of the pitch? We have the key player passing stats ahead of Round 27.
Who’s best at passing the ball around at the back?
Who keeps it in midfield? And who makes the most killer passes in the attacking third?
We delve deep into the 2016/17 Opta stats to discover the truth.
McGING METRONOMIC IN THE DEFENSIVE THIRD
Central Coast youngster Jake McGing has played more passes than any other outfield player in the defensive third with 476.
That’s twice as many as any of his Mariners teammates.
The only other player to top 400 is Adelaide’s ever-present centre-back Dylan McGowan.
But playing passes is one thing but how accurate are they?
While McGowan’s accuracy is impressive at 95%, it’s behind his Reds team-mate Iacopo La Rocca, who passes at 98% accuracy in the defensive third.
Brisbane’s long-held possession mantra sees their central defenders Jade North and Luke De Vere in the top five, both with an accuracy of 94%.
DIMAS DOMINANT IN ENGINE-ROOM
Western Sydney Wanderers captain Dimas Delgado tops the charts for passes in the middle third.
He is the only man to have made over 800 passes in the middle of the pitch, clocking up 840 at an impressive 87% accuracy.
Not content with passing the ball at the back, McGing also steps forward well, playing 771 passes in this third.
Phoenix veteran Vince Lia completes the top three with 754 passes.
Again, Brisbane is well represented, with midfielders Matt McKay and Thomas Kristensen both topping 700 passes with accuracy in the mid-80 percents.
TROISI TRUMPS THEM UP TOP
Melbourne Victory playmaker James Troisi’s superb season is borne out by his passing stats in the attacking third.
The Caltex Socceroo has played 755 passes in that part of the pitch, 40 more than his closest challenger, cross-town rival Luke Brattan.
But when it comes to finding the intended target, Brattan’s Melbourne City team-mate Neil Kilkenny leaves the rest in his wake.
As well as playing 510 passes in attacking situations, the 16-time Socceroo does so at 74% accuracy.
That’s easily the best of any player to have played 400+ passes in the attacking third.