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Ball of Shame Decathlon Day #8: The 10 Premier League players who hit and hope

Today’s fast-paced Premier League leaves little room for the genuinely fat footballers of old, but when our Ball of Shame team took a look at official Premier League stats for the first half of the season, it was clear that fatness of mind persists in the English top flight...

by Sean Goff | January 11, 2014

Our eighth #BallofShame Decathlon reveals the players who seem to smack the ball from wherever they happen to be standing – rather than puff their way closer to the goal.

Below are the 10 Premier League players who’ve taken the highest proportion of their shots from outside the penalty area. To make it fair, we’ve only looked at players who took at least 20 shots during the first half of the season.

Every Premier League side has had at least 12 shots from inside the six-yard box – except Aston Villa, Paul Lambert’s side have had a frankly pathetic three.

Spearheading this team non-effort is Karim El Ahmadi, who’s hit all but three of his shots so far from long range. Given that two of these three were the only shots of his to find the back of the net, you think he’d have learned by now that running those few extra yards forward tends to pay off.

Our silver medal goes to recent England debutant Andros Townsend, who shoots more often than any of Spurs’ first team regulars.

It works out at once every 28 minutes on average – but clearly at the expense of doing anything more constructive with the ball. He only has one Premier League goal to his name so far and only one-in-three of his speculative efforts are even on target.

The recently-shorn Tom Huddlestone’s infamous goal drought is suddenly less of a mystery as he tops the podium. Virtually nine out of every 10 shots he’s taken have been from long range. Which – along with the sight of his enormous barnet looming into view – would have given opposing goalkeepers plenty of warning.

So that’s three bronze medals for Aston Villa now and a first podium appearance for both Hull and Spurs with two two team events left.

  • Sunday’s ‘Mini Breaks’ looks at the Premier League clubs whose players have accumulated the greatest amount of injury time this season.


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