Last time, I took a look at how the teams in Allsvenskan have performed this first part of the 2018 season leading up to the World Cup break. As I promised then, I will now look closer at individual player performances. Before we begin though, it is important to underline that Stratagem’s data is a bit different than other sources, so please read the beginning of this post to be able to better understand the stuff I’m about to show.
Note: In some of the scatter plots below I’ve excluded what I deem to be outliers due to the small sample size.
Scoring 4 goals against Sirius in the last match before the break, Djurgården’s Tino Kadewere tops the league in non-penalty goals at 8, overperforming his second place xG of 5.5. He has also gotten into most chances so far, showing some great form.
Another strong performance comes from Hammarby’s Pa Dibba, the speedy forward being one of the main reasons behind their attacking success. He leads the league in xG at almost 6 to go with his 7 non-penalty goals, but what really makes him stand out is his time-weighted performance, dominating with over 1 goal and 0.92 xG per 90 minutes played.
Nikola Đurđić has been the other focal point in Hammarby’s attack and the Serbian has been just what Hammarby needed. Besides goals, he has also brought grit and a mentality which has maybe been missing in Hammarby.
Romain Gall has impressed with 5 goals for Sundsvall, and will likely be on the radar of the bigger clubs for the upcoming transfer window. Interestingly, IFK Göteborg’s Giorgi Kharaishvili leads the league in Chances per 90 minutes.
Plotting goals and xG we see just how good Dibba has been so far, and also that compared to last season, a lot of players are running really hot and overperforming their xG numbers. There’s a sample size problem here of course, as we’ve only seen 10-12 matches per team but it will be interesting to see if it continues the same way after the summer break.
Looking at Player Attacking Styles we see how Dibba has been combining a lot of chances with a high average quality. Moberg-Karlsson, Paulinho and Kharaishvili have similiar chances per 90, but of considerably lower quality and hence have scored less goals. Inversely, Alhassan Kamara, Dino Islamovic, Carlos Strandberg and Đurđić have ended up in chances of roughly equal quality as Dibba, but less often, again having scored less goals. From the previous plot we see that Kamara and Strandberg also have efficiency problems compared to their xG but if they can keep their high average chance quality they should get the goalscoring running again soon, as they’re both usually very strong in front of goal.
The creators behind the chances then? Well, Örebro’s Nahir Besara is as usual up there when it comes to assists, as is Ken Sema of Östersund. Hammarby’s Jiloan Hamad has had a strong season so far as well, being one of the main driving forces behind Hammarby’s attack. Tino Kadewere shows his versatility by producing 5 assists to add to his goals, though it is worth mentioning that two of these are rebounded shots. Another attacker showing some creativity is Đurđić who’ve created over 3 xA so far.
Adjusted for minutes played we see that old boy Tobias Hysén is still important to IFK Göteborg’s chance creation, and that Östersund’s Hosam Aiesh has created most xA per 90 at about 0.5. The small sample size sees Brommapojkarna’s Marko Nikolic make the list with his 2 assists from 340 minutes played.
Häcken’s Daleho Irandust is one of the most frequent creators, leading the league in Chances Created per 90, ahead of Arnor Traustason and Alexander Jakobsen of Malmö and Norrköping, respectively.
Plotting actual and expected assists, we again see a lot of overperformance which is of course linked to what we saw with the goals earlier. Malmö’s Markus Rosenberg has been one of the most notorious under-performers against xG in my models for years, but here he interestingly shows up underperforming xA instead. This of course has a lot to do with the sample size, but also indicating that he has switched role in Malmö’s attack a bit, and that his teammates haven’t been that clinical when he’s set them up with chances.
Looking at how the players create chances, we see how some like Irandust, Jakobsen and Traustason focus on volume, while Đurđić, Kalmar’s Måns Söderqvist and Nahir Bahoui of AIK create chances less often, but of a higher quality. As with goals, the strongest producers like Besara, Hamad, Kadewere and Sema manage to combine both aspects when setting up their teammates. AIK’s Rasmus Lindkvist and IFK Göteborg’s Emil Salomonsson are the only defenders showing up here, both operating as wing backs in front of a 3-back line.
Tino Kadewere dominates when it comes to raw numbers, leading the league in G+A, xG+A and Chance Production, but drops a bit when taking playing time into consideration as Djurgården’s lack of options up front has seen him play a lot of minutes.
Dibba and Đurđić again show up as strong producers, and Sundsvall’s Linus Hallenius also deserves a mention being third in G+A per 90 and fifth in xG+A per 90. Norrköping’s young icelander Arnór Sigurdsson has also impressed with over 0.6 xG+A per 90, as has AIK’s Anton Salétros, whose fine performance and 0.84 G+A per 90 earned him a move to Rostov in the Russian league.
Naturally we see a lot of overperformance when combining goals and assists as well, and we should expect to see some of these players’ output to normalize over the season. Who that will be is of course a lot down to chance itself.
Plotting xG and xA we can get a glimpse of the production style of players. Dibba is of course the typical striker with a lot of xG but little xA created, while Aiesh seem to be the direct opposite. A strong group of players lead by Đurđić combine both execution and creation.
The small sample size is of course a problem and could be one of the reasons we see no real one-sided ‘role players’ besides Aiesh and Dibba yet. Sema, Traustason, Irandust and others should all belong to the more creative group but have for various reasons failed to create enough xA for it to show yet. On the other side of the scale, we know that Kamara, Strandberg and Kalle Holmberg are all strong strikers heavily focused on being at the business end of chances just like Dibba, but they’ve struggled a bit so far. It will be interesting to see how things develop over the season.
I mentioned Tino Kadewere back in 2016, at the very end of this post. Since then, he’s missed much of 2017 to injuries and when fit struggled to get back to form. One of the reason for this is him having to adopt to a new role as the sole striker up front as goalscorer after goalscorer have left Djurgården. His display has been sometimes puzzling this season as he at least early on mixed insane misses and poor touches with equally jaw-dropping dribbles and smart play. As time has progressed though he’s looked better and better, being instrumental in Djurgården’s Swedish Cup win with 4 goals in 7 matches, to add to his 8 in Allsvenskan. Previously used as more of a creative support attacker he has now evolved into a centre forward with impressive hold up play and a presence in the box, which is evident from his very good chance locations. Add his creative side and it’s no wonder he’s rumoured to be on the radar of clubs abroad.
Pa Dibba has impressed as well, and though usually applauded for his speed and counter-attacking skills adding a dimension to Hammarby’s attack, he has some very useful skills poaching in front of goals on crosses and set pieces as well, as can be seen from the 3 high-quality chances close to goal.
Nikola Đurđić’s return to Allsvenskan (10 goals in 11 matches for Helsingborg in 2012 and 5 in 12 for Malmö in 2015) is another reason for Hammarby’s success so far. Overperforming his xG a bit, he has still gotten into some very good chances and brings a lot of overall quality as well, creating high quality chances for his teammates. As mentioned he has also brought in a kind of grit and mentality that I think has been missing in Hammarby for quite some time.
Sundsvall’s Romain Gall has been one of the most in-form players so far and could be on his way to a bigger club soon. As can be seen from the above plot though, his 5 goals is a bit flattering compared to his xG, but if he can get the right coaching and learn to be a bit more selective when it comes to chance locations, I think he could grow into a very strong winger.
Just like last season, Nahir Besara has been the driving force behind Örebro’s attack. Possibly limited a bit by Axel Kjäll’s more cautious approach, he has still had an impressive spring. Combining some good quality chances inside the box with efficient long-range shoot and strong passing foot, it’s tempting to think about what he could do at a bigger club.
Daleho Irandust is Allsvenskan’s most frequent creator, third in raw quantity and leading the league in chances created per 90, but what good does that do when his teammates simply refuse to score? Not super high average chance quality though but given time and his undeniable talent, assist will come.
Jiloan Hamad is the main creator in Hammarby’s midfield, being the driving force behind much of their attack. He can score as well and his strong season so far saw him involved in the discussions for Sweden’s World Cup squad, though he was eventually left out.
Another strong creator who was in contention for the Swedish squad is Ken Sema. Though not yet as impressive as last season, he has been creating chances for Östersund this spring and his strong performance in the Europa League could very well earn him a move abroad soon as quite a few players could be leaving the club after Graham Potter’s departure.
Arguably one of the best strikers in the league, Carlos Strandberg has, just like all of Malmö, struggled so far. Still getting into great chances and scoring goals, he is lacking a bit in volume though and will need to get up to speed and improve a lot if Malmö are to climb the table after the summer break. He has a great left foot and should shoot more, in my opinion.
Left wing-back Rasmus Lindkvist has been a big part of AIK’s attack with his 4 assists and 12 chances created so far. Interestingly, he doesn’t use his wide position to whip in crosses, instead using his good pace and passing foot to combine his way into the box where he sets up his teammates in front of goal, which seems to work out quite well for him.
If you want to see any more Player Chance/Creation Maps, just let me know on Twitter.
This article was written with the aid of StrataData, which is property of Stratagem Technologies. StrataData powers the StrataBet Sports Trading Platform, in addition to StrataBet Premium Recommendations.