Monthly Archives: September 2011

Tevez Outburst

With Tevez’s refusal to play as a sub for man City against Bayern Munich, there can be little doubt that his days at the club are numbered. However, his two seasons there have been extremely productive.
Here are how his goal contributions – scoring or creating – stack up in the Man City pantheon of the EPL years

Tevez has strong claims to being the best Man City forward of the past twenty plus years as only Anelka’s 2002/3 season, where the Frenchman contributed to 55% of the goals on a much less productive team, bears comparison.

It is not just within his club that Tevez has shone

Over the past two season’s only Drogba – another player out of favour – has pipped him as the leading attacking star on a club

MLB salaries

As part of a new open data initiative, BuzzData I uploaded a dataset of players salaries since 1988

I also took the opportunity to have a quick look at the data pertaining to the AL East. Here is a graph showing the trend in team’s outlay since Tampa Bay joined the league

Up until 2001, the Yankees had typically accounted for 5.5% of all teams’ outlay but there was then a spendthrift approach as the total rose from $112m to $208m in just four years – a level it has since hovered around – and a 9.5% share of the total salary pool
Here are the main beneficiaries in each of these years

In spite of earning the same stipend, Bernie Williams slipped from first to eighth spot in the rankings although some would say his play declined more steeply.

Particularly if the team does not fare well in post season, they may well set an all-time record as CC Sabathia is after a higher per and their desire to sign a top free-agent pitcher will probably offset any saving on Posada’s presumed departure.
N.B that Granderson, highly touted for league MVP, cannot crack the team’s top ten in terms of wages

Perfection Denied

Peter Crouch picked up his first goal in 14 league appearances against Man U, thus denying the champions six wins on the trot to start the season. However, five wins and a draw is not that shabby. The fiver to start has only been matched on three previous occasions and exceeded twice, by Chelsea’s 9 victories in 2005/6 and Newcastle’s 6 in 1994/5

However, the unbeaten sequence is still intact – as it is for cross-town rivals, City, Aston Villa and Newcastle
Here are how the 406 teams have fared in the EPL’s 20 year history in terms of unbeaten starts to the campaign

Typically, one team goes undefeated for at least ten games at the start of the year with the best performances United’s own run last year – before Wolves beat them in the 25th game of the season – and the unvanquished Arsenal squad of 2003/4

But is a fast start the secret of success? Here is a plot comparing the number of wins to start the season with final League position

Of the previous five teams which started with five wins or more, only Newcastle have failed to manage a top two finish. Other teams that started in a rush but soon ran out of steam include the 4 win Charlton of 2005/6 which finished 12th and Ipswich in 1993/4 who racked up 3 victories but who only just clung on to premiership status as they ended the season in 19th place in the then 22 team division

EPL Leading Goal-scorers

Based on this blog, I have produced a heatmap of the leading goalscorers by club by season. It is a compact way of highlighting data for further investigation as well as indicating the seasons that each club have been in the EPL.

Ideally I would sort this on total club goals scored (Man U lead Arsenal in that category) and will update if possible to cater for this

It is interesting to look back to the inaugural season when none of the top four leading scorers played for a team that finished in the top seven of the league whilst Wimbledon’s top scorers only managed in 4 in 1997/8 but they still avoided relegation.
One other highight is Andy Johnsons tally of 21 in 2004/5. Significantly more than any player has scored in a single season for ever-presents Everton (16) and Aston Villa (17) but not enough to save Crystal Palace from relegation

If you want to dig further for information try my stats website

aRsenal’s woeful staRt

Arsene Wenger has had the dreaded ‘vote of confidence’.
No surprise as, after losing two of most creative players in Fabregas and Nasri and doing some last-minute shopping at the transfer deadline, Arsenal are off to one of the worst starts in their 124 year history

After five games, the current situation ranks in the Top Ten worst of all time

Note that all wins have been converted to three points for comparability

The record is the worst for fifty years with a goal-difference as bad as anything in more than a century. Add to which, 3 of the 4 points earned came from a one goal home victory over a promoted club

The cumulative goal differences highlight that not all Premier League seasons have been successful for the Gunners

A couple of the early years were a struggle and in 1994/5 they carried a -3 goal difference as late as game 37 before back to back 4-goalers, with Ian Wright striking five times, got them into positive territory. There has been a season ending goal difference in the 25-50 range throughout Wenger’s tenure but even to match the worst of those seasons the team are going to have to outscore their opponents by an average of a goal a game from now on


In fact, as the graph now shows, Arsenal did well the rest of the season finishing third
overall and maintaining the goal difference range of 25+ by the thinnest of margins