Wagon wheels roll into soccer

I follow cricket from time to time and I've noticed that their broadcasts have been at or near the forefront of sports broadcasts in terms of data visualization over the past 20 years.  One example has been the on-screen score "watermark" (not sure of the precise term) which I believe predates its inclusion in football broadcasts by at least five years.  Another example is the wagon wheel, which details all of the scoring shots made by a batsman in their innings.  It visualizes very nicely where the batsman has scored most of his runs, which also gives an indication of a batsman's preferred shots.  Here is an example from Opta Sports' cricket package.


I had felt that such a visualization could be useful in football for describing the passes of players on the field.  It is true that a player does not stand in one place and pass the ball, but if you know the start and end points of the passes (and we do thanks to Opta and other data companies), you can develop the passing vectors from the same point. 

Graham MacAree of the We Ain't Got No History blog has developed a beautiful visualization that achieves this in football.  He calls it a radial passing graph, but it's the same concept as the cricket wagon wheel.  As far as assessing match influence is concerned, you would be interested in the rest of the players and how they interact with each other, but for developing a talking point (which is what fans and the media are really interested in), I think it's an excellent visualization tool.  And yes, it's really really cool.