White Hart Lane

Next Game

Tottenham v Liverpool

Sunday, 31 August 2014, 13:30

Barclays Prem

White Hart Lane

Last Game

Tottenham 3 - 0 AEL

Thursday, 28 August 2014, 19:45

Europa League Qual Play-Offs Round

North London quartet among most improved

WhoScored's Martin Laurence outlines the top five most improved players this season, which features an Arsenal duo and a pair from Tottenham.

Last Updated: 03/10/13 at 10:16 Post Comment

Olivier Giroud: Focal point of Gunners attack

Olivier Giroud: Focal point of Gunners attack

With the Premier League season now six games old, players have had a chance to pick up some form, looking to progress from the previous campaign with a decent run in their respective sides. In this piece, WhoScored.com analyse the most improved players at the start of the 2013/14 season from the previous campaign, based on their unique statistical ratings.

It comes as no surprise to see Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey top the list, doing so having an accrued a, not at all average, average rating of 8.2 in his six appearances thus far.

That's enough to see him rank as the best-rated Premier League player this season and is a considerable increase on the 6.92 he picked up for his efforts in 2012/13.

The Welshman is shaping up as the complete all-round midfielder, leaving boy wonder Jack Wilshere in his shadow, having made more tackles this season than any other player (33). His average of 5.5 per game is more than double that of his figure last season (2), while he's contributed to twice as many league goals this season in six games (4 goals, 2 assists) than he did in 36 league appearances last time around (1 goal, 2 assists).

The fact that Ramsey's rise to prominence has been so spectacular has masked the improvements of team-mate Olivier Giroud to a degree. With an average rating of 8.13 this season and identical goal and assist tallies of 4 and 2 respectively, the Frenchman is only second to the midfielder in WhoScored.com's overall player ratings. That's a significant jump from the respectable 7.08 he garnered in his first season in England's top flight.

Giroud is not just the focal point to Arsenal's attack but a key link man in the Gunners' moves in and around the box. His shots-per-game figure of 3.1 from last season is up to 4 this, while a conversion rate of 16.7% is substantially higher than his modest 10.3% in 2012/13. Meanwhile an average of 1.7 key passes per game is up from 1 last time round and the 27-year old is arguably the Londoners' most importantly player given their shortage of options up front.

Away from Arsenal, but staying in north London, many would have predicted that Gylfi Sigurdsson's days were numbered at White Hart Lane following an influx of midfield talent at Spurs this summer. While the Icelandic star may yet drop down the pecking order, if he continues to score goals that earn Tottenham points it will be hard for AVB to leave him out. With 3 in the league already this season, his average rating currently stands at an impressive 7.33.

That figure is up from a meagre 6.51 in the previous campaign having only started 12 of his 33 league appearances. He's already matched his trio of league goals from 2012/13 with his average shots (1.6 to 2.6), key passes (0.8 to 1.2) and dribbles per game (0.2 to 1.2) all on the rise. Having adapted his game to play out wide, he's reaping the rewards with a run in the first team, but with Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli breathing down his neck, Sigurdsson can't afford to allow his form to slip.

The only defender on this leaderboard is Southampton's Jose Fonte, with the Saints' start this season under Mauricio Pochettino the polar opposite from their return to the top flight last time round. The Southerners had conceded a league high of 18 goals after six matches in the previous campaign, while their success this season - sitting in 6th - can be attributed largely to the joint-best defensive record in the league, with just two goals finding the back of Artur Boruc's net.

Much of that is down to the successful forging of a partnership between Fonte and summer signing Dejan Lovren. Both have scored important goals this season, with the former's averages for aerial duels won (2.6 to 3.8), interceptions (1.4 to 2.8) and clearances per game (8.8 to 9.5) all having improved from the 2012/13 campaign, earning the Portuguese a mark up in rating from 6.87 to 7.61.

Completing our top five is another Spurs player and our fourth from either of the north London sides, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. The Frenchman is the second-best shot-stopper in WhoScored.com's ratings thus far with his figure of 7.33 up from a fairly lowly 6.66 in his debut season at the club. No other regular first-choice keeper made fewer saves per game last season than Lloris (1.88) who, in contrast, has averaged 2.83 this season.

That increase comes despite having kept a joint high of four clean sheets so far this term and he's been beaten just twice, in tough matches against Arsenal and Chelsea respectively. Having made a total of 17 saves from just 19 shots on target faced this season, Lloris' save success rate of 89.5% unsurprisingly leads the way of all keepers in the league and Spurs' bid for a Champions League berth may well rely on their solidity at the back, ending with their dependable last line of defence.

Martin Laurence - follow him on Twitter here

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Scottish Premiership: Dundee v Celtic team news

Team news for Sunday's Scottish Premiership cash between Dundee and Celtic at Dens Park (12:30 KO).

Premier League: Mark Hughes wants Stoke to push on after win at Manchester City

Mark Hughes has urged Stoke to push on in the Premier League after they stunned Manchester City 1-0 at the Etihad.

Ronald Koeman: Morgan Schneiderlin stays at Southampton

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman praised Morgan Schneiderlin for his two-goal display in Saints’ 3-1 win over West Ham.

Mail Box

Surely A Spurs Fan Should Remember...

...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?

Ginger Pirlo? Don't Make Me Laugh...

A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property