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Carling Optastatistics courtesy of
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Nationwide Footie Facts Blues Shooters
Team Name Shooting Accuracy Inside the Area Team Name Goals / Shots Ratio Inside the Area
Wigan Athletic 60.96% Wigan Athletic 26.03%
Wycombe Wanderers 59.85% Bury 24.63%
Luton Town 59.52% Luton Town 24.60%
Gillingham 58.78% Blackpool 24.32%
Oxford United 58.78% Bournemouth 24.22%
Wrexham 57.93% Oxford United 23.66%
Burnley 57.23% Bristol Rovers 23.43%
Bristol Rovers 57.14% Colchester United 23.13%
Colchester United 55.97% Notts County 22.63%
Blackpool 55.86% Gillingham 22.30%
Oldham Athletic 54.49% Preston North End 21.55%
Preston North End 53.59% Wycombe Wanderers 21.17%
Millwall 53.24% Burnley 20.81%
Reading 53.05% Stoke City 20.63%
Stoke City 52.50% Brentford 20.00%
Bournemouth 52.34% Millwall 18.52%
Cambridge United 50.96% Scunthorpe United 18.18%
Scunthorpe United 50.41% Reading 16.46%
Cardiff City 50.31% Oldham Athletic 16.03%
Brentford 48.97% Cambridge United 15.92%
Bury 48.51% Wrexham 15.24%
Notts County 47.45% Cardiff City 13.66%
Bristol City 46.04% Bristol City 12.87%
Chesterfield 43.40% Chesterfield 7.55%

Sean Devine - top scorer at Wycombe - picture with kind permission of Paul Dennis
Where is Sean in the OPTA stats attack?

You have to shoot to score…

Wycombe may be marooned in mid-table with a sixth season of Division Two looming in the distance, but in some categories Lawrie Sanchez's team are performing far more accomplishedly. 

The recent Opta article on passing may have shown the Chairboys to be a side who struggle to move the ball fluidly, but the latest figures released by the Football League's official statisticians show that Wanderers are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to shooting.

Former manager John Gregory introduced a system at Adams Park, whereby any player shooting from outside the penalty area was fined £10, so convinced was he of the folly of long-range efforts, and there is no doubt that pulling the trigger inside the box produces much better results.

The Chairboys have a shooting accuracy of 59.85 per cent inside the penalty area, which puts them second, just over one per cent behind Wigan, a team who look likely to achieve promotion at the end of the season.

Much of this prowess can be attributed to one man, the beloved figure of Sean Devine. The former Barnet forward has been a revelation since joining the Blues last season, and his 16 league goals represent almost half of Wycombe's total. In addition he has five goal assists too, leaving just 14 goals without the Irish 'B' internationals stamp on them.

Nevertheless, shooting accuracy does not equal goals. Wycombe's goals to shots ratio from inside the penalty area is far less impressive. In fact, only 21.17 per cent of shots taken by the Chairboys in the 18-yard box have resulted in a goal. 

Interestingly, when the teams are ranked in this way, the results are not dissimilar to the league table. Wigan are top once again, while the strugglers at Chesterfield are rooted to the foot with an abysmal 7.55 per cent. This is a truly woeful figure and goes a long way to explaining why the Derbyshire side have struggled so much this season. Indeed, between the 5th of September and the 7th January, John Duncan's team scored just five goals.

Wycombe are in 12th place, precisely where they lie in Division Two, though such clubs as Burnley, Stoke and Millwall are beneath them. As a team, the Wanderers are performing well enough, but the team stats do not reveal the extent to which the side rely on Devine. Without his deadly instincts in the penalty area, Wycombe could be in as bad a position as Chesterfield.

Duncan Alexander
4 Feb 2000

Statistics courtesy of Carling Opta

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