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Indy_Bones

A season in stats

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We''ve all heard the complaints from some posters this season (such as myself) about Hughton''s more ''negative'' approach in exchange for defensive gains etc, and whether or not he''s getting the best of the players who did so well last season, but if we compared the same group of players from last season to this, and work out the averages in each area, what actual changes could we observe from this?I''ve taken all the data from the whoscored website, stuffed it into excel and noted the results. Please bear in mind that obviously there are 2 games missing from this seasons data, but unless we saw some incredible results in the next 2 games which would alter things massively, the averages are unlikely to change in any truly signficant manner, so onto the stats.Stronger areas last season (shown as average per player per game unless otherwise stated):Assists per player per season - 1.87 vs 0.93Goals per player per season - 3.20 vs 1.40Key passes - 0.83 vs 0.46Total passes - 29.7 vs 22.52Pass completion rate - 75.7% vs 71.43%Accurate crosses - 0.47 vs 0.37Accurate long balls - 2.56 vs 1.14Accurate through balls - 0.02 vs 0.01Shots - 1.09 vs 0.61Number of times fouled - 0.72 vs 0.56Number of times given offside - 0.13 vs 0.19Number of tackles - 1.31 vs 0.91Number of interceptions - 0.94 vs 0.77Offsides won - 0.93 vs 0.77Clearances - 3.12 vs 2.47Dribbled past by opposition - 0.54 vs 0.59Blocked shots - 0.43 vs 0.38Own goals - 0 vs 2Weaker areas last season (shown as average per player per game unless otherwise stated):Succesful dribbles past opposition - 0.19 vs 0.24Turnovers - 0.91 vs 0.64Fouls committed - 0.79 vs 0.68Dispossessed - 0.77 vs 0.53So what do these stats actually show us?Well, it shows that we were slightly better at dribbling and keeping the ball this season, have had less turnovers and have committed less fouls.Other than that, we did everything else better last season, be it passing, shooting or tackling.It could be argued that making more passes isn''t necessarily better, and I''d agree with this to a certain extent, but it also shows that we have played the ball around much less, which combined with our low possession this season (just 43%) clearly emphasises the more defensive outlook and willingness to concede large parts of the pitch to the opposition.These are also averages, so any larger outliers such as Holt''s 15 goal return, will somewhat skew the average stats in that area because of this, so again this has to be taken into account.Now I''m sure that different people will read different things into this information, but my own conclusion is that this clearly illustrates how Hughton has got much less out of the players we had last year, and that his more defensive approach hasn''t really suited the majority of them. Obviously some players have had VERY limited gametime this season which adds a slightly unfair weighting to their stats and this has to be accepted and taken into account as well.For reference also, here are the fifteen players compared:Andrew SurmanAnthony PilkingtonBradley JohnsonChris MartinDavid FoxElliott BennettGrant HoltJohn RuddyJonathan HowsonLeon BarnettMarc TierneyRussell MartinRyan BennettSimeon JacksonWes HoolahanI''ll let the rest of you draw your own conclusions from this, but it really points too Hughton not getting the best of last seasons squad IMHO.

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Don''t really understand why you would start a thread like this on today of all days.    Anyway, stats say what you want them to say.  The facts are still that we had a new manager who was thrown pretty much in at the deep end with precious little detailed knowledge of the squad.   Spent ten games trying to sort it out, sent us on an unbeaten run unparralelled by any other teams this season and who is on course to keep us up - especially if  we win today - which lets face it is what we should be concentrating on, points for the team, not point scoring against the manager - again.

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I''m not sure your methodology is reliable.To illustrate, can I just query these stats?Accurate crosses - 0.47 vs 0.37In other words, I think this says we produced one accurate cross every two games?Accurate through balls - 0.02 vs 0.01That can''t be an average number per player per game, can it?Please explain to me how someone can produce 0.02 of an accurate through ball in a game?

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And i''m not going to dispute the main point behind your post which is we played better as a team last season, but there''s no going back so I don''t really see what the relevance of last season is on a day when we have to win.

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[quote user="Indy_Bones"]We''ve all heard the complaints from some posters this season (such as myself) about Hughton''s more ''negative'' approach in exchange for defensive gains etc, and whether or not he''s getting the best of the players who did so well last season, but if we compared the same group of players from last season to this, and work out the averages in each area, what actual changes could we observe from this?I''ve taken all the data from the whoscored website, stuffed it into excel and noted the results. Please bear in mind that obviously there are 2 games missing from this seasons data, but unless we saw some incredible results in the next 2 games which would alter things massively, the averages are unlikely to change in any truly signficant manner, so onto the stats.Stronger areas last season (shown as average per player per game unless otherwise stated):Assists per player per season - 1.87 vs 0.93Goals per player per season - 3.20 vs 1.40Key passes - 0.83 vs 0.46Total passes - 29.7 vs 22.52Pass completion rate - 75.7% vs 71.43%Accurate crosses - 0.47 vs 0.37Accurate long balls - 2.56 vs 1.14Accurate through balls - 0.02 vs 0.01Shots - 1.09 vs 0.61Number of times fouled - 0.72 vs 0.56Number of times given offside - 0.13 vs 0.19Number of tackles - 1.31 vs 0.91Number of interceptions - 0.94 vs 0.77Offsides won - 0.93 vs 0.77Clearances - 3.12 vs 2.47Dribbled past by opposition - 0.54 vs 0.59Blocked shots - 0.43 vs 0.38Own goals - 0 vs 2Weaker areas last season (shown as average per player per game unless otherwise stated):Succesful dribbles past opposition - 0.19 vs 0.24Turnovers - 0.91 vs 0.64Fouls committed - 0.79 vs 0.68Dispossessed - 0.77 vs 0.53So what do these stats actually show us?Well, it shows that we were slightly better at dribbling and keeping the ball this season, have had less turnovers and have committed less fouls.Other than that, we did everything else better last season, be it passing, shooting or tackling.It could be argued that making more passes isn''t necessarily better, and I''d agree with this to a certain extent, but it also shows that we have played the ball around much less, which combined with our low possession this season (just 43%) clearly emphasises the more defensive outlook and willingness to concede large parts of the pitch to the opposition.These are also averages, so any larger outliers such as Holt''s 15 goal return, will somewhat skew the average stats in that area because of this, so again this has to be taken into account.Now I''m sure that different people will read different things into this information, but my own conclusion is that this clearly illustrates how Hughton has got much less out of the players we had last year, and that his more defensive approach hasn''t really suited the majority of them. Obviously some players have had VERY limited gametime this season which adds a slightly unfair weighting to their stats and this has to be accepted and taken into account as well.For reference also, here are the fifteen players compared:Andrew SurmanAnthony PilkingtonBradley JohnsonChris MartinDavid FoxElliott BennettGrant HoltJohn RuddyJonathan HowsonLeon BarnettMarc TierneyRussell MartinRyan BennettSimeon JacksonWes HoolahanI''ll let the rest of you draw your own conclusions from this, but it really points too Hughton not getting the best of last seasons squad IMHO.[/quote]
The same conclusion that I draw, though LDC makes a good point that he had to swim before he knew how with this squad and put us on a good path to safety. I''ve never been one for stats, you either win or you don''t... or you draw. Any stats that hold relevance are for the training ground meaning I can''t do diddly squat about them.

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[quote user="Mister Chops"]I''m not sure your methodology is reliable.To illustrate, can I just query these stats?Accurate crosses - 0.47 vs 0.37In other words, I think this says we produced one accurate cross every two games?Accurate through balls - 0.02 vs 0.01That can''t be an average number per player per game, can it?Please explain to me how someone can produce 0.02 of an accurate through ball in a game?[/quote]well, as far as i understand it, that means one successful through ball in fifty games. in other words, once a season and a third. this figure is so ridiculously small it is impossible to analyze accurately using statistics.

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on the through ball data it does back up what we see game in game out,

For the last two seasons we attack down the flanks, rather than pass through the middle. Even with teh diamond the aim was to get the ball to wes then out wide and create a goal scoring chance from there.

If anything that has become more accentuated this season - with our incredibly heavy preference for the right flank (snoddy and grants space).

As such I can see that the number of through balls played (primarily passes to a striker in on goal from central midfield) will be low both seasons, and given our poor passing from there this year (and the preferred pass either backwards or sideways) why the figure is so low.

Because we dont try it does not make the data statistically irrelevant, but it does in the right context explain how we play.

The proportion of longs balls played is most telling for me.

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Interesting post, thank you for that. Whilst it reflects what a lot of us feel about this season and last, Im not sure its a fair comparison (as you stated yourself)

The team has changed significantly (almost an entirely new back four), and so these players contributions cannot be taken into account.

But I realise the point of your analysis was to look at the players both managers had to work with.

Certainly those players have been less effective thi season, but as you''ve said, theyve played less as Hughton has brought in others.

On the face of it the interpretations look obvious, but of course, this only looks at Lamberts players, and how relevant is that one has to ask.

Very interesting reading though and thanks for putting that together

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[quote user="Mister Chops"]I''m not sure your methodology is reliable.To illustrate, can I just query these stats?Accurate crosses - 0.47 vs 0.37In other words, I think this says we produced one accurate cross every two games?Accurate through balls - 0.02 vs 0.01That can''t be an average number per player per game, can it?Please explain to me how someone can produce 0.02 of an accurate through ball in a game?[/quote]No problem Chops.Starting with the accurate cross stat, this means that on average, each player of the 15 compared will accurately cross a ball just under once every two games. To put this into perspective however, you''ll find that players like Turner and Bassong (and similar), will rarely if ever actually cross a ball which brings the overall group average down. If I simply looked at our wingers (say Pilks and Snoddy), they come out with 0.8 and 2.2 average per game each (which is 23 successful crosses out of 119 in 23(5) apps for Pilks, and 77 successful out of 273 in 33(2) apps for Snoddy) - much higher than the overall average across the 15 players as a group together, but then for example you have Holty who managed just 0.1 per game with only 4 successful crosses out of 33 attempts in 26(6) games...And it''s pretty much the same with the through balls stat, but in this case virtually none of our players actually attempts them and even when they do we aren''t that great at it. Wes is our best player in this respect, but even his individual stat of 0.2 per game isn''t enough to counteract the fact that 10-11 of the players compared either don''t try them or fail miserably when they do...

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