Controlled Zone Entries: Rangers full backs lead the way against Hibs

James Tavernier, courtesy of RFC
James Tavernier, courtesy of RFC

written by – Rangers Report

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

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Player CZE Pos Res Success Rate Highlighted Team results
Lee Wallace 9 6 0.67 2 shots, 2 throw-ins
Nicky Law 7 4 0.57 shot, throw-in
James Tavernier 5 5 1.00 2 goals, 2 shots, free kick, throw-in
Martyn Waghorn 5 4 0.80 goal, 3 shots
Barrie McKay 2 2 1.00 shot, throw-in
Jason Holt 2 2 1.00 shot, throw-in
Danny Wilson 2 1 0.50 throw-in
Dean Shiels 1 1 1.00 free kick
Totals 33 25 0.76 10 shots, three goals

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 build-up to the match Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs proclaimed that teams had figured Rangers out & he pointed to the lack of goals coming from Rangers’ full backs as proof.  Stubbs explained, “You only have to look at how their full-backs have been nullified, to a certain extent, over recent weeks.”  D’oh!
  • Against Hibs, Rangers full backs combined for 14 Controlled Entries into the final third, which resulted in four shots & two goals.  James Tavernier’s ability to drive possession resulted in a goal on 40% of his CZE. #nullified?
  • Rangers had a real balanced approach to entering the final third with eleven CZE coming from the left (Wallace & McKay), ten coming centrally from Law, Holt, and Shiels & ten coming up the right flank through Tavernier & Waghorn.
  • While Rangers typically get 50+ CZE a match, they only managed 33 against Hibs.  However, some of that was a result of the game states.  At the half Rangers had 24 CZE, which means they only had nine in the second half.  Given that Rangers were protecting a lead & then down to ten men would suggest that they deviated from their normal mode of breaking down the final third in order to keep more players back defensively.
  • Rangers managed a shot on 30% of their controlled entries into the final third.  For some context, in the last two games tracked, against Morton & Dumbarton, they managed a shot on 23% of their 116 combined CZE.  That improvement suggests that the management team is making tactical adjustments to….do Plan A better & it may finally be working.

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