The kings of English football - how Portsmouth are incredibly now leaving Liverpool, Leeds, Chelsea, Manchester City and rest of the game in shade

Pompey are now unsurpassed in English football.

By Jordan Cross
Thursday, 25th November 2021, 1:30 pm

When it comes to the intensity of their high press, no other side in the top four divisions of the game can match Danny Cowley’s side.

The approach of Cowley’s side this season has been characterised by closing down the opposition from the front.

But the relentless nature of that approach has intensified in recent weeks - and played a central role in Pompey rejuvenating their fortunes.

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That has been confirmed by stats expert The Analyst, who has compiled a list for the metric which measures pressing intensity in English football.

Passes per defensive action (PPDA) is calculated by dividing the number of passes made by the opposition by the number of their defensive actions.

The lower the number, the more a side are being proactive in winning the ball back.

After a promising start to the season, Pompey ranked joint highest in League One along with Rotherham.

Pompey are now officially the hardest pressing side in English football (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/

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The two sides still found themselves behind Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds, however, with the man from Argentina the godfather of the pressing game.

Now it’s been shown just how formidable Pompey and their work ethic has been, amid their eight game unbeaten run and recent five-game winning streak.

Pompey’s PPDA of 8.9 is now unsurpassed among the 92 English club, with Rotherham’s 9.6 their nearest rival.

In the Premier League, Leeds now have a PPDA of 9.3 with Jurgen Klopp’s gegenpressing at Liverpool returning a score of 9.9.

Bournemouth (10.3) and West Brom (10.2) have the best scores in the Championship with League Two leaders Forest Green (10) and Mansfield (10.3) fairing best in the fourth tier.

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