Controlled Zone Entries: Rangers at St. Mirren

Jason Holt, courtesy of RFC

written by – Rangers Report

Note:  For an explanation of this statistic, please read this introductory post.

Player CZE Pos Res Success Rate Highlighted Team results
Barrie McKay 7 3 0.43 shot
Jason Holt 5 4 0.80 3 shots
Andy Halliday 5 2 0.40 2 shots
Lee Wallace 4 3 0.75 2 shots
James Taverier 4 2 0.50 throw-in, corner
Kenny Miller 2 2 1.00 2 shots, goal
Martyn Waghorn 2 1 0.50 throw-in
Dean Shiels 2 1 0.50 shot
Fraser Aird 2 1 0.50 shot
Gedion Zelalem 2 0 0.00
Nicky Clark 1 0 0.00
Totals 36 19 0.53

CZE:  Controlled Zone Entry, Pos Res:  Positive Result, Success Rate:  percentage of controlled entries turned into a positive result

This data is meant to be an entry point to further understand where Rangers attack is being generated.  It is, however, only a starting point.

These stats would have much greater meaning if passing in the final third was tracked.  The players mentioned above are the catalysts for advanced play in the attacking third, but the ultimate results usually fall upon the feet of their teammates.

  • In the previous matches in which Rangers struggled in the final third, their success rates on CZEs was in the 60% range.  Today, it was a dreary 0.53.  When they are playing well, the success rate is above 70%.
  • Rangers only had 14 Controlled Entries into the final third going into half-time, so Mark Warburton’s adjustments did make an impact – just not to the extent we normally see from Rangers.
  • Gedion Zelalem’s involvement in the United States’ Olympic qualifying efforts has actually turned into a real set-back in the teenager’s progression.  The US has a crowded midfield at the U23 level & this forced management to play Zelalem out of position as a wide midfielder, where he really struggled & was eventually left out of match day squads.  (Nearly) every player will have these kinds of setbacks to overcome & it looks like Warburton will be charged with guiding the American through this critical stage in his development.  Before he left, Zelalem was the focal point in launching Rangers attacks into the final third – on Saturday, he only had two CZEs & never looked comfortable.
  • Even though Barrie McKay led the team in CZEs, his impact was not up to his recent form.  It would be interesting to analyze what drives a team’s success once they have that Controlled Entry into the final third – is it all on a player’s teammates or is there something to be learned about ‘when’ a player drives possession into the final third?
  • Jason Holt was the most effective player going forward as 60% of his CZEs led to a shot.
  • Kenny Miller had a pretty effective match, even though his finishing really let him down.  He had a team high three shots & it was his CZE that set up Martyn Waghorn’s pass to Jason Holt on the game’s only goal.
  • James Tavernier had a poor match on Saturday as he was forced to defend more then he usually has had to this season.  Defensively he was fine, but his passing was out of sync & again he did not have a significant impact on driving possession into the final third.
  • Even though Fraser Aird was only on the pitch for nine minutes, his direct play led to two CZEs & one shot.

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