Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Visualised EPL individual player offensive/defensive contributions

The following charts detail how regularly an EPL player's team scores and concedes while he is on the pitch. 

His team's rate of scoring is plotted on the X-axis, meaning the further a player is located to the left, the more frequently his team scores when he plays. Concession rate is plotted on the Y-axis, meaning the higher a player is located in the chart, the more his team concedes while he is on the pitch. 

Notable outliers include Don Cowie (Cardiff City) and Sandro (Tottenham Hotspur).

The "average" player for each team is plotted and marked in green.

To feature in a chart, a player must have played 500 minutes for his club. Note that Brad Guzan (Villa), Steven Caulker (Cardiff) and David De Gea (United) have played every minute for their club this season. 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why Liverpool aren't my choice for champs

Recently, ESPN blogger Musa Okwonga posted an interesting take on which English Premier League team he, a United fan, would prefer to win the title. Specifically, the piece focused on the two title favourites – and United’s most passionate rivals – Manchester City and Liverpool.

His argument essentially matched old and new; the somewhat boorish manner of Manchester City’s ascendence – that many, if not most United fans hope to emulate in 2014-15 – against longstanding disdain for the other Reds and much of what they have long stood.

It’s a great article, and absolutely worth a read. However, I’m compelled to add my own brief spin.

For the length of time I’ve supported United, they’ve been managed by two men – one for nearly 97% of that time. That man, Sir Alex Ferguson, moulded the club into the single most successful entity of football’s modern era behind one simple goal: “To knock Liverpool off their f***ing perch”.

The reasons underlying his vehemence are still somewhat murky and may rest with an imagined slight dating back to his days with Aberdeen and Scotland, but it was fuel enough for Fergie. With his last league title – Manchester United’s twentieth and his thirteenth – Sir Alex Ferguson edged United to a safe margin and the most Championships in league history.

If it weren’t for Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United might have less than a handful of titles to show for the past thirty years. The expectation of excellence that took less than twelve months to evaporate may never have evolved. That “success gap” means the club would be almost certainly unrecognizable from the multinational behemoth it is today.

A Liverpool championship, as likely as it now seems, would be their nineteenth and right back near to the mountain’s apex and begin to (further) unravel everything that Alex Ferguson sought after. While the old enemy are playing the most irresistible football and at this point in the season absolutely deserve to win, having them win would counteract part of his legacy immediately upon his exit. It's a little demoralising to see nearly thirty years of his vocation equalled so quickly after his retirement. 

For that reason – almost alone – I’d prefer a City title victory. And I feel dirty all over for saying it.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Individual plus/minus: Aston Villa, Cardiff City, Manchester United, Southampton & Tottenham Hotspur - 12th April 2014

Figures to date until 12th April 2014

Aston Villa
Player
G
Min
GS
GA
+/-
Scored/90
Conc/90
Team GD
Guzan
32
2880
35
48
-13
1.094
1.500
-13
Westwood
29
2557
30
43
-13
1.056
1.513
-13
Delph
28
2463
32
39
-7
1.169
1.425
-13
Bacuna
30
2337
29
38
-9
1.117
1.463
-13
Vlaar
26
2265
31
34
-3
1.232
1.351
-13
Benteke
26
2170
26
38
-12
1.078
1.576
-13
Weimann
31
2240
30
36
-6
1.205
1.446
-13
Agbonlahor
25
2078
22
33
-11
0.953
1.429
-13
Clark
24
1947
27
34
-7
1.248
1.572
-13
Baker
24
1934
21
31
-10
0.977
1.443
-13
El Ahmadi
25
1805
25
32
-7
1.247
1.596
-13
Luna
17
1381
15
18
-3
0.978
1.173
-13
Lowton
18
1368
18
25
-7
1.184
1.645
-13
Kozak
14
781
10
9
1
1.152
1.037
-13
Bertrand
10
861
14
20
-6
1.463
2.091
-13
Albrighton
15
703
9
15
-6
1.152
1.920
-13
Tonev
17
596
6
8
-2
0.906
1.208
-13
Sylla
11
548
5
10
-5
0.821
1.642
-13
Bennett
5
244
0
2
-2
0.000
0.738
-13
Holt
7
261
2
4
-2
0.690
1.379
-13
Herd
2
171
1
4
-3
0.526
2.105
-13
Okore
3
167
1
3
-2
0.539
1.617
-13
Bowery
6
63
0
2
-2
0.000
2.857
-13
Helenius
3
49
0
1
-1
0.000
1.837
-13