Premier League clubs may well be getting more intricate in their build up play and taking fewer pot shots from outside the penalty area if figures marking a trend in the distance at which shots are being taken are anything to go by.
Fascinating data shared online suggests that Premier League shots in 2017/18 are being taken more than a metre closer to goal on average than several years ago in 2013/14.
In the Premier League, shots are getting closer to goal.— Tom (@Worville) November 9, 2017
Average distance from goal in metres, by season:
17.30 - 2013/14
16.78 - 2014/15
16.49 - 2015/16
16.32 - 2016/17
16.15 - 2017/18
It would appear that average shooting distances have been shortening year on year, with the average distance from goal marked at 17.3m in the 2013/14 campaign.
That apparently dropped to 16.78m in 2014/15, then 16.49m in 2015/16 and 16.32m in 2016/17. Now, in 2017/18, the average distance to the goal from which shots are being taken in the Premier League is 16.15m.
Technical possession based football has become an increasingly popular style in England's top flight in recent years after the likes of Spain and Barcelona perfected the art c.2008.
That influence can be seen in a number of Premier League clubs, where keeping possession, even in potentially dangerous defensive areas, is viewed as ever more important.
It is therefore only logical that teams should be increasingly looking to craft better opportunities closer to goal, rather than try their luck from further out, where the probability of scoring is considerably lessened, and waste possession.