Stats highlighting Crystal Palace's lack of end product in wide areas

Selhurst Park - Crystal Palace - 23/02/2014

Crystal Palace have highly-rated creative talent in the form of Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha but need better delivery from those on the flanks.

When looking at the cream of the Premier League delivery crop – wingers and attacking full-backs – you find that they tend to send over, on average, one accurate cross in every four.

We are talking about the likes of Manchester City’s Jesus Navas and Everton’s Leighton Baines, players who have made a career out of providing ammunition from the flanks.

They are the ones that set the benchmark.

It is unrealistic to expect every player deployed in those positions to scale such heights and deliver such numbers, but you would be looking for them to get close.

One issue Alan Pardew may want to address then upon inheriting the reins at Crystal Palace is the lack of end product from his wide men.

The ability is there, that is without question, with the likes of Jason Puncheon, Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie some of the most highly-rated creative talent in the English top-flight.

Martin Kelly and Joel Ward are also defensive options that are more than capable of posing a threat in the final third of the field.

  Accurate CrossTotal CrossTotal Cross NocornerAccurate Cross NocornerAppearancesMins Played
Jason Puncheon 17 89 51 8 19 1,303
Yannick Bolasie 16 111 80 11 20 1,688
Wilfried Zaha 8 35 35 8 13 665
  Accurate CrossTotal CrossTotal Cross NocornerAccurate Cross NocornerAppearancesMins Played
Joel Ward 7 52 36 4 20 1,800
Martin Kelly 6 26 26 6 17 1,457

What the Opta statistics above show is that while plenty of balls are being fed towards dangerous areas, the Eagles’ radar has been a little off.

Puncheon’s crossing accuracy ratio is just 19.1 per cent, Bolasie’s 14.4 and Ward’s 13.5.

Zaha and Kelly fare a little better, at 22.9 and 23.1 respectively, but they have attempted fewer deliveries than their Selhurst Park colleagues.

If these numbers can be improved over the coming weeks then the likes of Fraizer Campbell, Dwight Gayle, Glenn Murray and whoever is drafted in during the January transfer window will have better service on which to feed and will be expected to start edging Palace away from relegation danger.

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