With last season well and truly in the rear view mirror, and more importantly the legal issues with your author right here cleared with the estates of The Two Ronnies, we are back with some tables, charts and data to confuse, bemuse and put you into a snooze …
The Final Table
The table below shows the final spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch of Division 1 last season
A terrific season from Chelsea, chased all the way by Barcelona, James McKenzie and DanWally going the full 12 rounds, Real Madrid and Porto putting in solid seasons, with some pundits pre-season favorites Juventus having a tough time of it before turning it around in the last third of the season and finishing strong.
The Worm Chart
From about a third of the way through the season, James assumed the perch at the top of D1 and fought off the challengers, primarily Barcelona … Dan putting in a solid effort to fight it out. FC Porto have a nibble mid season but just couldn’t sustain the challenge, Real Madrid with a late flourish to climb over their rivals Barca late in the season before that was stomped out … and Juventus … the author feels a slight brief fleeting twinge of responsibility for their wretched season, selling wantaway SC Internacional star Bruno ‘Ego’ Fernandes, for him to only regress at Juve despite being given the responsibility (and honour) of the #10 shirt.
Possession (no … not The Exorcist kind)
Impressive display at the top of the tree, with the Top 5 being pretty even. Chelsea and Real Madrid with a lot of time ahead in matches, Juventus defensively super strong as always, matching Chelsea in not trailing in matches, but significantly spending more time scratching around for goals to go ahead with. Barcelona not able to consistently put in the shifts that keep them ahead in matches. At the caboose of the division, the trend is predictable, however Stoke City did find themselves spending more time ahead in matches, but were unable to close out them out with vital ‘keep me up’ points.
When the ball hits the back of the net …
I like this one … always interesting to know when the goals are scored. Starting at the top of the list, not very flippin’ often, authors team included. Further down the list … Arsenal and Real Madrid are the front running first half fancy’s, not so good when the legs get weary and the 6’2″ defenders studs are raking down the achilles for the fourth time. Chelsea and Barca, evenly distributing the net flaring goodness across the full ninety.
Same chart, but with percentages not goals scored
Look at the SC Internacional … scores fark all 50% in the first half … and the other 50% of fark all in the second half
If they don’t have the ball they cannae score
Chelsea leading the way, impressive effort that … at the foot of the table not surprisingly across a full season, even with the judicious application of slow ball, against the talent in D1, you just cannot crack high 40’s or 50%. The rebuilding Hertha the outlier, a wretched run of form to end the season blunting superior possession performance
Who has been a naughty naughty boy then
They say nice guys finish last, but AC Milan averaged a red card every five matches … even before VAR was in play to slow down the most inconsequential contact. Having the benefit of a lot of other data, I would lean towards the teams at the top of the table averaging higher YC counts per match being a result of playing a lot Hard football … comfortable in the knowledge that their squad depth can see the third or fourth midfielder easily being as good at a mid to bottom of the table starter. Stoke City and Liege being the Mr Nice Guys … thems was raised right by their parents by the looks of it.
Octopus or Concrete Mits … the GK stats
Now … some GK stats … which, I think, provides some key insights into how your team performs, and ultimately where you might finish.
The next few tables will show the Home fixture, Away fixture and Full Season stats for the D1 keepers, which I will explain underneath the first table
Alright alright alright … here goes nothing
Club & Keeper name – check, matches played – check …
Clean sheets kept – check, goals conceded – check … you still with me Gav …
Goals conceded per game (match) – check, average match rating – check … we doing ok so far
Average #of shots faced per game – check … average #of shots on target per game – check …
MoM – Man of the Match awards – check … ok … the easiest part is over
I use the following four categories to measure and rank each ol’ concrete mit’s
- Clean Sheets – the GK with the most gets ranked 1st … all the way down to last
- Goals Conceded per game – the GK with the lowest avg gets ranked 1st … all the way down to last
- Avg. Match Rating – the GK with the highest avg. rating gets ranked 1st … and you get the drill
- MoM’s – GK with the most … 1st … down to least MoM’s gets ranked last
You can also see the shaded “1” being that GK had the best rank in that specific category
I simply then add the four ranking scores together to get a total for each GK, and then I rank those totals from lowest to highest. He who has the lowest sum gets ranked 1st, etc. etc.
I will do this for the Away fixtures (see below) as well. And then for the full season (Home & Away) stats, I simply average the scores for each GK from the Home data and the Away data, and then add these four averages together, and then rank them again
Question – who finished 6th in storming Season 17 ?
Answer – Sami Hando’s team … RCD Espanyol … who is ranked as the best of the GK wild bunch in Home fixtures
And who is ranked 2nd … the author’s Division 2 playoff promotion winning side who I would suggest owes a very large part of their survival in D1 to the performances of Postman Pat
Same stats … but for the Away Fixtures below
Superlative performances in goal away from the comfort of Barcelona, Sami was a force for Espanyol, with Moraes at Porto being a top shelf operator as well. Cragno for AC Milan with more screen time fending off more shots than a Page 3 girl at Stringfellows in the 1980’s …
Now for the combined seasons stats
Pretty impressive … no … farken impressive work from Sami in goal all of Season 17. Probably the dominant reason that Espanyol were flying high and finished 6th. Experience matters, and Sami has it, and gave Glen a massive boost and huge rewards in Season 17. A new contract beckoned. Champions Cup football beckoned. It was to be a golden twilight to a magnificent career.
Narrators sagely serious voice footnote – on Saturday 18th June, the day before the first fixture in Season 18 Sami was sold to Ajax along with Robert Firmino for Paulo Dybala and Edin Dzeko. At the time this article went to press, Espanyol were languishing in 17th place, 2 points from safety with a final day home fixture against 13th place Hellas Verona needing a victory to remain in Division 1. Away from the bright lights in Division 1, Sami has struggled at Ajax in Season 18, with the Dutch powerhouse out of the playoff positions in 13th place, well ahead of the relegation places. Sami declined our request to be interviewed for this article, though his agent provided a sliver of insight into what he thought of his transfer one day before the start of the season, “did you see the photo’s of Glen leaving grab a granny at 6am last weekend … ?!”
“Though we will never know if Sami could have maintained his level of performance from Season 17, it can be safely stated that the Espanyol manager would have taken half of those performances not be in perilous danger of relegation the following season”
With the same level of record keeping for the soon to be completed Season 18 … there will be some charts tables and mildly comedic moments coming in the near future …