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Lucky Guidetti

agosto 7, 2015
by Seth Dobson. Versión en castellano aquí.

Celta de Vigo’s new striker John Guidetti spent last season playing for Scottish champions Celtic, on loan from Manchester City. It was a perfect opportunity for the Swede to shine under the spotlight at one of the biggest clubs in Europe.

Guidetti started the season strongly, scoring some spectacular goals, but after November his form declined. He eventually lost his starting spot to Leigh Griffiths.

“Super Guidetti” ended the season with a modest 0.40 open-play goals per 90 minutes played, 10th best among strikers with 500+ minutes played in the SPFL Premiership (see chart below).


So what went wrong? Why was Guidetti’s form so disappointing in the end? One possible explanation is that the Swede was unlucky. Conversion rates are highly volatile after all. However, if you take a closer look at the numbers, it seems the opposite is true: Guidetti was lucky.

As you can see from the chart below, more than 50% of Guidetti’s shots on target were aimed at the center of goal, and more than 50% of those shots were scored.


Obviously, in general, the center of goal is not the best place to aim a shot if you want to score because it is too easy for the goalkeeper to stop.

In the SPFL Premiership last season, only 13% of all centrally placed shots on target were converted in to goals. The conversion rate was slightly higher for strikers at 0.16. But, Guidetti’s conversion rate was much higher at 0.56, the second highest in the league behind Edward Ofere (formerly of Inverness Caledonian Thistle).

Given the fact that 71% of Guidetti’s open-play goals were scored from central shots on target, I would argue that he was lucky to score as many goals as he did last season.

So, what does all this mean for the Swede’s future at Celta de Vigo? I don’t know. But if I were head coach Eduardo Berizzo, I would pay attention to Guidetti’s finishing, specifically his tendency to place shots centrally, and provide whatever coaching is necessary to help avoid a repeat of last season at Celtic.

Note: all data used in this post are from and provided by Opta.

Seth Dobson is a Celtic supporter and purveyor of Scottish football analytics at He also writes and appears on podcasts for Follow him on Twitter @226blog.

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