Heart By The Numbers - Week Nine

Melbourne Heart FC’s evolution into one of the most attacking and direct sides in the competition has marked arguably the starkest transformation of any side in the Hyundai A-League this season.

Melbourne Heart FC-s evolution into one of the most attacking and direct sides in the competition has marked arguably the starkest transformation of any side in the Hyundai A-League this season.

While last season-s iteration of the Red and White was largely defined by its inability to translate possession dominance to the score board, Head Coach John van ‘t Schip-s side has taken a different tack in 2011, with pace and mobility at the forefront.

Such an approach was evident pre-season in the guise of Heart-s player acquisitions, with Fred, Mate Dugandzic, David Williams and Jonatan Germano sharing one trait in particular, speed.

Van ‘t Schip-s emphasis on injecting pace has been borne out in a statistical analysis of the entire competition, with Heart sitting last in completed passes (1910) and passing efficiency (75.1%).

However, despite the decreased emphasis on retaining possession, Heart remains a potent attacking force, demonstrating incredible efficiency in creating scoring chances, ranking second in the Hyundai A-League for number of completed passes per shot on goal with 17.5.

Heart By The Numbers

• Leading scorer - Mate Dugandzic (3) • Most assists - Matt Thompson (2) • Most minutes played - Michael Marrone (720) • Most completed passes - Matt Thompson (241)

Match Notes

• These teams have not met for over a year when a 2-0 win to the Phoenix was the result at Westpac Stadium • The Wellington Phoenix have not won a game away from NZ in 303 days • The Heart have completed the least amount of passes of any team this year