Stylized tactical graphics based on a 3D model of Craven Cottage for a blog post analyzing Aston Villa’s creative struggles in the opening game of the 2011/12 season at Fulham’s famous ground. On the right we see the focus of attack for the two teams.
All images were created in Paintshop Pro and Photoshop using 3D models from Google combined with custom graphics. The data was created by Opta and sourced via ESPN, WhoScored and The Guardian’s Chalkboard app.
The crux of the problem (in this author’s opinion): this heat map reveals the Villa fullbacks’ reluctance to get forward, greatly reducing the ability to provide the somewhat limited attack with any real width in lieu of using out-and-out wingers.
Gabby Agbonlahor has a better left foot than he’s often given credit for so a lack of ability doesn’t explain how many passes he sent backwards from the left flank in the final third. This graphic, like the fullbacks’ heat map, reveal how timid Aston Villa were in the final third of the pitch.