Jorginho Mocked by Chelsea fans
Jorginho has been cast as the villain of the piece at Chelsea but he is not to blame for the team’s struggles. Adam Bate takes an in-depth look at the stats and urges a reappraisal of the midfielder’s contribution. Booed on against Malmo and jeered off against Wolves, Jorginho’s relationship with the Stamford Bridge crowd is not good. The missed penalty in the Carabao Cup final shootout didn’t help and even his wonderfully struck goal at Fulham hasn’t quelled the criticism. The Chelsea midfielder is seen as the epitome of all that’s wrong under Maurizio Sarri. In a recent interview with the Guardian, Jorginho sought to address that. “I certainly don’t consider myself a golden boy,” he said of the accusations that he’s Sarri’s favourite. He added: “Even if they think I am Sarri’s man, I want to show them why Sarri likes me, that I am a good player and they are wrong to have that attitude towards me.”
For Jorginho’s critics, the statistic that he is yet to provide a single assist
For Jorginho’s critics, the statistic that he is yet to provide a single assist in his Premier League career seems to sum it all up. Endless passing but no end product. The man in the middle expected to make the play who doesn’t actually create a thing. But delve just a little deeper and this picture of ineffectiveness isn’t all that it seems. As well as assists, Opta calculates expected assists. This measures the likelihood that a pass will result in an assist based on various factors. As a result, expected assists (xA) provide a deeper insight and allows the player who made the pass to be assigned a more appropriate level of credit regardless of what happens to the ball from that point onwards. While Jorginho is not one of the 11 Chelsea players to have provided an assist for a goal this season, his expected assist total is 3.3. Only Eden Hazard and Willian can top that, with their numbers bolstered by being Chelsea’s set-piece takers. Jorginho should not be judged because other players have been missing the chances that he has created.
It’s just been bad luck for Jorginho
For example, Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure has six assists this season but the stats show that the quality of the chances that he has created for his team-mates have actually been inferior to the opportunities that Jorginho has fashioned. Paul Pogba has an amazing nine assists but his expected assist tally is only marginally superior. The scale of Jorginho’s misfortune in this respect is emphasised by looking beyond Chelsea. He is ranked as the 35th most creative player in the Premier League and not only do the 34 players above him have an assist but so do the 34 players below him on the list. He has by far the biggest disparity between expected assists and assists. In fact, he has actually played more through-balls than any midfielder in the competition.