Revisiting the Serie A dept of useless information

By Frank Risorto

Last month we were cordially invited to drop in and check out the Serie A department of useless information and were so warmly welcomed, we’ve decided to visit their HQ again.

So, let’s look at some numbers that mean absolutely nothing, are weird and wonderful, yet are fascinating, nonetheless.

All stats courtesy of FBRef.com.

Ivan Perisic’s Indian summer and transformation to an Inter mainstay continues.

The 32-year-old, who’s contract expires this summer, is in the 99th percentile for attacking touches in the opposition attacking penalty area and is third in the league behind Empoli pair Nicolas Haas and Petar Stojanovic, for tackles in the opposition attacking third.

Perisic is yet to attempt or complete a single pass backwards to his defence when in open space or on the attack, and that’s in 17 matches and 676 attempted passes.

The Croatian’s ability to track back and work tirelessly for the team has been obvious to all since his arrival in 2015–16 and his ability to cleanly win the ball, 15 tackles in the opposition defensive third, is a stat only bettered in Milan by Alessandro Bastoni and …

Marcelo Brozovic who’s passing and tackling his way to his best season in Milan.

Will it be his last?

The Inter faithful surely hope not, as the 29-year-old has taken his game under Simone Inzaghi to a new level and if the season was stopped today, would go very close to winning player of the season.

Remarkably only Inter’s regular back three (Milan Skriniar, Alessandro Bastoni and Stefan de Vrij) Brozovic have more touches in their own penalty area than the Croatian.

Brozovic’s passes alone (25,982 metres) have travelled over 8500 metres more than Inter’s next on the list, Milan Skrinar (17,422 metres).

Brozovic has won more tackles and recovered the ball from the opposition more times than any other Inter regular and has successfully applied pressure to the opposition, resulting in them losing the ball, on 83 occasions, more than Milan Skriniar and Denzel Dumfries combined.

Publicly Inter have been hopeful and optimistic of renewing Brozovic’s contract soon despite interested from clubs across Europe, including a reported contract on offer from English clubs Newcastle United and Arsenal.

Pushing ‘Broz’ for the passing throne of Serie A is Sassuolo midfielder …

Maxime Lopez, who must be passing his way into some sort of alternative Serie A record book.

No player in the league has the ball at their feet more than the diminutive Frenchman.

Lopez has had the ball at his feet, in the middle third of the field, on 400 more occasions than teammate Davide Frattesi and is only trailing defender Gian Marco Ferrari and goalkeeper Andrea Consigli for possession in Sassuolo’s defensive third.

Incredibly, in nearly 50 games for the Reggio Emilia side, closing in on 4000 minutes of football and nearly 3000 passes Lopez is yet to register a single assist for Sassuolo.

Not one! That’s remarkable.

Speaking of remarkable, it’s incredible that here we are in January and we find ourselves still in awe of Antonio Candreva’s numbers.

Many expected the 34-year-old to taper off as the season progressed however Candreva has continued his career best form for I Blucerchiati.

Player of the season maybe not, however, check out these stats in comparison to a couple of other Serie A attacking notables.

Antonio Candreva.

19 starts, 6 goals, 5 assists, 17 shots on target, 46 successful defensive pressures, 1240 touches of the ball and 21 fouls drawn.

Player B.

16 starts, 6 goals (2 penalties), 7 assists, 9 shots on target, 57 defensive pressures, 1005 touches of the ball and 21 fouls drawn.

Player C.

12 starts. 1 goal, 1 assist, 6 shots on target, 35 defensive pressures, 374 touches of the ball and 19 fouls drawn.

Player B is Hakan Calhanoglu and Player C is Federico Chiesa who …

Must be surely be rethinking his belief and confidence in the Juventus — insert buzz word — ‘project’.

What looks more appealing by the day is re-joining Fiorentina, who look reborn under Vincenzo Italiano, and who’s reputation goes from strength to strength as one of Italy’s best young coaches.

Simply put, if you were a player where would you rather be next season?

Be it through fatigue or a lack of fitness Chiesa has disappointed after what could be considered a ‘coming of age’ Euros last summer, and finds himself on one goal at the seasons halfway point and more disappointingly, has recorded only one assist.

Chiesa has won more tackles than Matthijs de Ligt, Weston McKennie and Alex Sandro however Juve didn’t recruit him to win tackles.

Speaking of a regular goal scorer look no further than Genoa, where once again …

Domenico Criscito finds himself at the top of his sides scoring charts.

The two-time Russian Premier League champion has five goals across his first 15 matches, all penalties of course.

Criscito has missed two penalties (twice in 2019–2020) since the 2015–16 season when he started on regular penalty duties.

Defensively Criscito is doing his best to maintain order in Genoa near the top of his sides leader board when it comes to successful defensive pressures, blocks, tackles, and interceptions.

When it comes to the ball at his feet though Criscito has more touches in the attacking third than Milan Badelj, Goran Pandev and Mattia Destro.

If it’s stability Genoa are after, in particular on the field after making Andriy Shevchenko their 20th manager in 18 years, and want to usher in a new era at the club with the likes of Andrea Cambiaso, Nicola Rovella, Yayah Kallon and Flavio Bianchi, look no further than the 35-year-old to give it his all at both ends of the pitch.

Thanks for reading and your support as always. Stay safe and enjoy your Calcio.

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