Stathursday: KAA Gent's Tiki-Tariki football

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Every Thursday, we zoom in on some interesting statistics provided by our data partner StatsPerform in the 'Stathursday' section. This week, we stop in Ghent, where Tarik Tissoudali has shown amazing form in recent weeks. Data shows that KAA Gent is very dependent on the Moroccan striker.

Tarik Tissoudali has unleashed his talents at Hein Vanhaezebrouck's Buffaloes this season. With 14 goals and 3 assists in 25 games, the Amsterdam street footballer is one of the best forwards in the Jupiler Pro League. According to statistics from StatsPerform, he has contributed to 39% of the goals. Only 7 players in 1A have more assists or goals.

His importance for the Buffaloes is especially noticeable in KAA Gent's stats when Tissoudali is not in the starting eleven. This has happened a total of eight times this season: four times he came on during the game and four games he missed due to the Africa Cup. Of those eight games, KAA Gent only won one, which translates into a winning percentage of 12.5%. The 21 league matches with Tissoudali in the first eleven resulted in 13 wins, good for a winning percentage of 61.9%. A huge difference.

The same conclusion can be drawn for the number of goals scored. KAA Gent scored an average of 0.9 goals in the eight games Tissoudali did not start. When this excellent dribbler is in the starting eleven, the number of goals Gent scores rises to an average of 1.8 a match, a doubling compared to when he doesn't start. This is not illogical considering the winger is sixth in the list of top scorers. When Tissoudali starts, KAA Gent has 1.2 more shots on average per match. 

He is sometimes accused of wasting chances, but is that really true? According to StatsPerform's xG data, he has scored 2.59 goals more than expected. According to that statistic, he is the tenth most efficient player in the Jupiler Pro League. However, in absolute numbers Tissoudali has not scored more goals.

High intensity runnings

At K. Beerschot V.A. in the 2020-2021 season, he scored an average of 0.68 times per game, the same as this season. That's already higher than the 0.57 goals per game he scored last season in the spring at KAA Gent. It suggests he needed a period of adjustment. But of course it's difficult to compare different seasons. Hernan Losada at K. Beerschot V.A., for example, played very offensive football.

Apart from being a goal scorer, Tarik Tissoudali is an explosive player who likes to get in on goal. StatsPerform recorded that he averages 17 sprints per game this season. And the ratio between his total distance covered and high intensity running is also above average. The KAA Gent forward runs 11.38 percent at high intensity (more than 24 km/h) against a league average of 9.15 percent.

Tissoudali also regularly tries to dribble past his opponent. This season he attempted no less than 96, good for an average of 3.84 attempts per game. This puts the Moroccan in eighth place in the Jupiler Pro League, but only 38 of those dribbles were successful (an average of 1.52 per match). A successful dribble ratio of only 39.58 per cent. Tissoudali is in the 120th spot in that statistic according to StatsPerform. 

Dribbling skills

This too is not illogical. As a forward, the Moroccan puts more risk in his game than an average midfielder or defender, and therefore has a higher ratio. Compared to other dribblers like Loïc Lapoussin (R. Union SG/48.57%), Rabbi Matondo (Cercle Brugge/38.18%) and Faïz Selemani (KV Kortrijk/32.32%), Tissoudali's score is average. 

Still, he puts his dribbling skills to much better use than last season at K. Beerschot V.A., where he attempted an average of 2.3 dribbles per game and completed 38.6 percent of them successfully. At KAA Gent, Tissoudali tries to get past his opponent more often and he also manages to complete the attempt more successfully. Street football is in his DNA, but Tissoudali has now added efficiency. A success formula that also proved successful for Mbark Boussoufa.  

This article was created with the insights delivered by StatsPerform. Our exclusive partner collects the most diverse performance data from all the matches in the Jupiler Pro League and 1B Pro League. The agreement with StatsPerform has three goals: technical support for our clubs, better quality reporting on Eleven Sports and stronger communication.

Among other things, our clubs will be able to rely on live tracking data, so trainers can make adjustments based on data during the matches. As for the television and communications part of the partnership, the Pro League and Eleven focus on creating added value for fans. The official data from StatsPerform offers fans a unique insight into the performance of their favorite club or player.

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