Friday, July 21, 2017

Ander Herrera - As Good As Busquets?

Right, I want to start this post by saying I am NOT a Manchester United fan. I would also like to add that Ander Herrera boils my piss and that he’s got one of those faces that needs a slap. But I am going to argue that Herrera is as good as (if not better) than Barcelona legend Sergio Busquets.

Some people will be automatically be thinking that there is no proof anywhere to show that Man United’s FA Cup and Europa League winner, Herrera, is as good as the three time Champions League winner Busquets but that is where you are wrong. Statistically Ander was twice the player in certain areas.

It's hard to believe but this guy was better than Busquets last season!
Both players are regarded as holding midfield players so we’ll begin by looking at their defensive stats. Last season Ander Herrera 84 tackles for the Red Devils, 1 more than the Barcelona man who had also played 2 more games. On top of this Busquets made 46 interceptions whilst the former Bilbao man made 81. This would imply that Herrera is twice as good as his counterpart at reading the game.

On top of those defensive stats, Herrera made double the blocks per game (0.2) that Busquets made (0.1) as well as almost four times as many clearances per game (2.1 to Busquets’ 0.6).

Ander Herrera is the kind of player who would kick you in the head and then go
down as if you hurt his foot...
Now I bet some people reading this are thinking “I bet Busquets bring more to the side in attack though” and if you are thinking this then you would be wrong. Last season Herrera scored 1 goal and got 6 assists whilst Sergio scored none and got 3 assists. On top of this Busquets created 13 chances for Barcelona last season whilst United’s Spaniard created 37, almost three times as many…

I think we’ll all agree that if you want to play for Barcelona, you need to be able to pass the ball and keep possession. Barca need players in their midfield who play simple passes, who are accurate with the ball and rarely give it away...surely Busquets will beat Herrera with these stats…

In 31 games, Ander Herrera played 67 passes last season, was dispossessed 19 times and had a pass success percentage of 87.6%.
In 33 games, Sergio busquets played 67 passes last season, was dispossessed 20 times and had a pass success percentage of 89.9%.

I'm not a huge fan of Busquets but he is an exceptional passer of the ball.
Passing stats are almost neck and neck, the Barca man edging it ever so slightly. Surely though when you take everything else into account you have to agree that statistically Herrera has had a better season than Busquets…

...But as I always say, statistics don’t tell the full story. When you look at how the two sides line up you’ll notice that Busquets, although starting in a midfield three, usually drops deep between the two centre backs, almost making a back three which allows the fullbacks to push forward and join in with the attack.

Whilst Ander Herrera plays as an out-and-out holding midfielder, there to win the ball back higher up the pitch, catch the opposition off guard  and is in the thick of it more often in games.There are a lot you don’t get from the stats but one thing I’ve learnt from this post is that I’ve definitely got too much fucking time on my hands.

Here's footage of Herrera winning the ball back higher up the pitch before playing
Rashford in behind against Chelsea last season.
All stats, facts and figures were lovingly given to me by the guys at

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Cheers for reading.

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