Is Aleksandar Tonev’s Shooting That Bad?


 The Growing Pains of Aleksander Tonev’s Shooting


I’m not normally one for heat maps or those passing pitch diagrams that look like a scan of your brain when you’re hung over, but the above statistical diagram needed special attention.

Above is a visual representation of Aleksandar Tonev’s shooting in the League for Villa this season. It’s a picture of wonder…how does he find such angles? It’s almost worth framing.

The £2.5 million Bulgarian signed from Lech Poznan came with decent references , most notably from Stiliyan Petrov, but he’s certainly struggled to get to grips with life in the Premier League.

According to Tonev has completed just 75% of his passing (with most of them going backwards) and won less than half of his attempted challenges in midfield. Statistically, they make Tonev Villa’s worst signing so far (with Bacuna the best. Vlaar followed by Delph, are the best overall players).

Despite Tonev’s supposed gifted technique, the blatantly obvious attribute that has let him down though is his woeful shooting.

Tonev has hit the target with just 27% of his shots (which is better than you’d probably guess!). Most of the time, it’s down to the Bulgarian’s poor decision making. Better awareness of his teammates would negate the need for rash and wasteful shooting from 30-odd yards.

Will he improve as he settles into life at Villa Park? Lets hope so, because at the moment, when you look at the above diagram, the first thing that comes to mind is a certain Mr Heskey’s shot at Villa Park against Manchester United, a couple of seasons ago…




Still, there’s hope for Tonev yet. Maybe he just needs one screamer to go in? Remember Savo Milošević? He came to Villa Park from Eastern Europe at a similar age to Tonev. We used to call him  ‘Miss-a-lot-evic’, until he rocked Wembley Stadium in the League Cup final in 1996. UTV.


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  1. There’s something of the Gareth Bale about him. First couple of seasons at Spurs (2007-09), he looked out of his depth and next to useless. But, with time and experience, flourished into an incredible player with a phenomenal eye for goal. Agree he needs a goal to settle his nerves.

  2. i think he has great potential,,, I like the way he wants to shoot,,,

    just needs time and games,,, and support,,,,

    pleased we have him and helenius

  3. Good article.

    The shooting thing is infuriating… but he looked extremely dangerous against Cardiff. Especially when pushed out wide, had the ability to beat a player – which we haven’t had for a little while and certainly need. I really hope that when he finally gets a goal, it will settle his nerves and open the flood gates.

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