Following yesterday’s list of the most inaccurate crossers in the Premier League so far this season, today’s follow up is a list of the best 10. Those that complete crosses to their team mates in open play.
10. Jason Puncheon (Southampton) – 29%
The former Barnet winger is finally getting a run out in the Premier League having been on loan at both Blackpool and Queens Park Rangers in recent seasons without getting much of a chance at the top level. Nigel Adkins has given Jason Puncheon a chance and the Saints winger made a real impact during their 3-1 win at Loftus Road last weekend. As well as that, Puncheon has completed more than a quarter of his cross attempts this season. The league average is 20%.
9. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) – 29%
David Moyes’ big summer signing at Goodison Park won the fans over quickly with some impressive performances. The Belgian forward scored for fun in the Greek Super League last season and whilst he has only scored 1 goal in his first 10 Premier League games on Merseyside, his impressive performances have included a 29% cross success rate. Mind you, he does have both Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic to aim for in the box.
8. Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United) – 30%
The Newcastle United central midfielder has proven his good crossing ability both in open play and from set pieces in just over a season since joining from Lille. The French midfielder hasn’t received as much praise this season, coinciding with Newcastle not hitting the form they produced last season. But Yohan Cabaye is playing well and completes nearly 1 of every 3 cross attempts he makes.
7. Seamus Coleman (Everton) – 31%
An injury at the start of the season to Tony Hibbert made way for Seamus Coleman to get a run out in the first team once again. I’m not the biggest fan of the attacking Irish full back and winger, far from it. But the youngster has completed 31% of his cross attempts to start the season. He doesn’t have a single assist from open play so far this season though.
6. Leighton Baines (Everton) – 31%
The third Everton player to make the list of left back Leighton Baines. The England international has had a reputation of providing a good ball from the wing for a long time at Goodison Park, both in open play and set pieces. As well as ranking highly in his accuracy, Baines has attempted the most crosses in the Premier League so far this season. Combining well down the left wing with Steven Pienaar has caused defences problems this season, a big part of Everton’s early start. That and the target men he has to aim for.
5. Emmerson Boyce (Wigan Athletic) – 34%
The Wigan Athletic wing back has really benefited from Roberto Martinez’s tactical change towards the end of last season. The Barbadian has shown his attacking ability with a couple of goals in the current formation that has three central defenders with Boyce and Maynor Figueroa playing on the opposite flanks supporting both the defence and attack. As well as scoring the odd goal, Emmerson Boyce has completed 34% of his crosses from the right-hand side.
4. James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion) – 35%
The first of four players on the list to have completed 35% of their crosses so far this season, James Morrison props up my list on the pack on the basis that he has had fewer attempts than the other three. The Scottish midfielder has played a big part in West Brom’s surprisingly impressive start to the season where they currently sit in 4th position after 12 games.
3. George McCartney (West Ham United) – 35%
Part of a newly-promoted West Ham defence that has kept 5 clean sheets to start their season (he wasn’t apart of 2 of them), George McCartney has provided 31 cross attempts when pushing on from left back. Playing under Sam Allardyce, there’s always a big target man for his wide men to aim for, and for McCartney he’s had both Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole at times to aim for in the middle. On the opposite flank, right full back Guy Demel has only attempted 18 crosses, completing 5.
2. Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) – 35%
Renowned for being a good crosser of the ball, Sunderland’s right midfielder Sebastian Larsson makes second place on the list having completed 12 of his 34 attempts in open play. The Swedish international has completed a further 8 from 18 set pieces. Although they’ve not produced a great deal, with only Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City scoring fewer than the 10 goals Sunderland have scored through 12 games.
1. Nicky Shorey (Reading) – 35%
Perhaps a surprise to some to see Reading’s left back topping the list, but Nick Shorey, with 2 England international caps to his name has completed 17 of his 49 attempts to start the season. However, for all his endeavour, Shorey does not have a single assist from open play so far this season. The Reading number 3 did record his first assist from set pieces when his curling free kick was headed home by Adam Le Fondre in the Royals’ 2-1 victory over Everton on Saturday.
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