Munich - Now that the dust has finally settled on another rip-roaring Bundesliga season, it's time for a spot of quiet reflection on the events of 2013/14. And as bundesliga.com discovered, even imperious champions FC Bayern München have room for improvement in the forthcoming campaign.
Where were the goals scored from? Pep Guardiola’s obsession with possession is reflected in FC Bayern’s goals, with the side reluctant to shoot without a clear sight of goal from inside the penalty area. A massive 95 per cent of the Bavarians’ goals came from inside the box, whereas Hamburger SV, thanks in large part to the efforts of , netted over a quarter of their efforts from distance.
Hertha Berlin’s first campaign back in the top flight was a success after an 11th-placed finish, achieved with a whopping 38 per cent of their goals coming from set-pieces, while Roberto Firmino and Sejad Salihovic were chiefly responsible for ensuring that Bundesliga entertainers 1899 Hoffenheim finished top of the pile in terms of penalties converted.
Hamburg fans should not get too excited at seeing their side top of the table above, as it reflects the amount of goals conceded in 2013/14, although HSV did concede the fewest from set-pieces. Bayern’s backline was the meanest overall, but and Co. actually let in more goals than anyone else from inside their own penalty area, with Bayer 04 Leverkusen conceding the fewest.
FC Augsburg only just missed out on qualifying for Europe last term, and one area coach Markus Weinzierl can certainly improve on in 2014/15 as they aim to go one better is defending dead ball situations. An astonishing 40 per cent of the goals the Bavarian outfit conceded arose from set-pieces. Conversely, Hamburg were the best side in this regard: their struggles, therefore, clearly came from open play.
Which players scored the goals? No other Bundesliga side was as dependent on their attacking players for goals as 1. FSV Mainz 05, with a tiny 2 per cent of their efforts being scored by defenders. Hoffenheim’s backline were far better in this aspect, contributing almost one of every five goals the team scored.
Leverkusen and Augsburg would both do well to sprinkle their attacks with a dash more variety next season, with the former’s strikers hitting a league-leading 58 per cent of all their goals. Augsburg’s frontline was far less effective, but the team’s midfielders more than made up for that, grabbing 68 per cent of their final tally.
Borussia Dortmund may have had the second-best defence in the league last term, but, curiously, as many as 16 per cent of the goals they conceded were scored by an opposition defender - more than any other team. Eintracht Braunschweig on the other hand had one of the most porous backlines in the top flight, but were the best side at keeping their opponents’ defenders at bay, succumbing just five times.
SC Freiburg are famed for their tireless work ethic but it seems the Baden-Württemberg club had difficult tracking runners from deep over the course of the campaign, conceding a league-high 61 per cent of their goals from opposition midfielders.
While Leverkusen netted 85 per cent of all their league goals from inside the penalty area, no other club was quite as unpredictable in terms of the manner in which they scored their goals. Led by aerial beast , a quarter of the Werkself’s efforts came from headers, with Kießling himself grabbing seven of his 15 goals with his head. Freiburg posed the least danger in the air, finding the target just 5 per cent of the time with headers, as right-footers instead scored the vast majority of their goals.
The shoe was quite literally on the other foot in Wolfsburg, who led the way in terms of left-footed strikes. (11), (six) and (five) all contributed their fair share for the Wolves.
A few efforts also crossed the line off the chest, backside or other body parts not normally associated with scoring, while Schalke, Frankfurt and Bremen have the dubious honour of having forced opponents into scoring more own goals than anyone else.
Odd as it may seem for Bayern to top a chart in the goals conceded column, the Bundesliga champions were in fact, along with Freiburg, more susceptible to left-footers than any other team. However, Bayern were tough to beat in the air, with only nine per cent of the goals let in coming from headers. Schalke had rather more trouble defending the high ball, though, and were breached via that route 23 per cent of the time.
When were the goals scored? Teams would do well to keep a close eye on VfB Stuttgart in the opening quarter of an hour next season, as the Swabians grabbed almost a quarter of their goals in that period, a league high. However, Stuttgart tended to run out of steam towards the end of matches, grabbing just 14 per cent of their goals in the closing stages.
The exact opposite is true of relegated Eintracht Braunschweig, who were the slowest out of the blocks (with just 3 per cent of their goals coming in the first 15 minutes). Yet the plucky Lions always kept going until the final whistle, scoring more than any other side in the last few minutes.
Indeed, Stuttgart’s difficulties in scoring in the final 15 minutes seem to be part of a wider issue, with VfB letting in more goals (32 per cent) in that window than any other club. Schalke tended to start sluggishly, with almost one in every five goals against arriving in the first 15 minutes.
Statistically speaking, the best time to attack Bayern was just before the break, as Guardiola’s troops appeared to have half an eye on their half-time cups of tea, letting in 30 per cent of their total haul in this period, also more than any other side.