Tagged: West Ham

Barcley’s Premier League Week 26 in Review

The CPWP Predictability Index has been on a pretty good run since starting it up about 3 weeks ago; so if things go well I’d expect about five/six out of eight games being spot on after this weekends games.

For now here’s what I offered last week followed by the outcome:

Aston Villa v Stoke City: Stoke City should earn the points here and this (could?) be the beginning of a stretch where Stoke may maximize 21 points out of 27 in the next nine games.

Stoke City took three points…

Chelsea v Burnley: Chelsea should earn maximum points here but on short rest it is likely the squad taking on Burnley will have a few regular non-starters…

Chelsea “should” ahve earned maximum points but they didn’t – they still got a point however.

Crystal Palace v Arsenal: Arsenal should take maximum points here but given they have Monaco in four days time it is likely, they too, rest a starter or two. Intriguing here is that Monaco is a team who likes to cede possession – with that perhaps Wenger has one or two players going back to back games that we might not normally consider happening. Both games are a must three points given the severity on what’s at stake…

Arsenal earned maximum points.

Hull City v QPR: Hull City should earn points here, I’d expect a happy face from Steve Bruce after this one.

Hull City earned maximum points.

Sunderland v West Brom: Although playing away from home I can still see West Brom earning at least a point here.

West Brom did earn that point.

Swansea City v Man United: United really need to continue taking maximum points and this game may take the shape where Swansea actually wins the possession battle but loses overall control when it comes to goals scored. United earn points in this one.

Swansea lost the possession battle – big time – and took three points!

Man City v Newcastle: Like Arsenal, Man City have their Premier League game first – they need three points here or even the confidence of making Europe next year could come into question… Man City earn points.

Man City took three points in a BIG way.

Spurs v West Ham: Again a wicked good London derby – I see Spurs taking maximum points here but never-ever doubt the will of Allardyce and the Hammers – Sam would be glowing if he got three points but, in the end, I think he would settle for one… I doubt Spurs think the same way on that score…

Never-ever doubt the will of Allardyce – Spurs got a point – but not maximum points.

Everton v Leicester City: Martinez needs his team to take three points here – anything less would begin to fuel the talk that perhaps another leader is needed to manage the blues… or at least it would be crystal clear their current set of strikers really suck…

Martinez failed to take maximum points – they got a point but that’s it…  given the past track record in teams performing badly, as rated through PWP (using MLS as an example – as well as Paul Lambert) Martinez may be on his last legs with the Toffies…

Southampton v Liverpool: This is the best game (outside of Spurs/Hammers) this next round – a can’t miss if your any type of football fan! The Saints are not underdogs here – I see them as favorites even though the Pudlians are on a bit of a run… Koeman v Rogers… game on – Saints should earn the points here – if not – then perhaps the chrome fenders are beginning to show some rust?!? As for Rogers – he really needs to get points here to!?!

The chrome fenders may be beginning to rust – but have heart there were some dubious calls in this game and PWP does not account for odd non-call PK’s… anyhow – no excuses Southampton did not earn three points or even one.

All told eight of the ten games showed the CPWP Predictability Index team getting at least a point – that makes the CPWP Predictability record:

  1. Eight of Ten
  2. Seven of Ten
  3. Eight of Ten
  4. Eight of Ten
  5. for a combined 31 out of 40… seems like a good bet where the odds show ~75% accuracy in picking the teams who take points…

So how about Week 27?  A short week so to speak…

West Ham v Crystal Palace:  West Ham should take at least a point here but really should take maximum points – but there may be a slight let down given that late equaliser on the PK rebound against Spurs…  That being said Crystal Palace will most certainly play for a point knowing that any sort of mistake by West Ham could see them taking three…

Burnley v Swansea City:  Who knows how this will go given the point Burnley stole from Chelsea – that said Swansea should take at least one but very likely three – no thanks to the Ref I might add.

Manchester United v Sunderland:  No brainer this one?  MUFC take three – if they don’t – wow…..

Newcastle v Aston Villa:  I don’t see Tim Sherwood getting any better result here than he did last week – Newcastle should get the point – if not three.

Stoke City v Hull City:  This game may be closer than some expect – even with Hull City playing at Stoke City.  That said a draw may be the eventual outcome but the initial odds indicate Stoke should be on the pluc end more than Hull.

West Brom v Southampton: Critical mass here for Southampton – three points really is a must – and going against West Brom should get them three; or at least one point at a minimum.

Liverpool v Manchester City:  The tough one this week – Liverpool are on a run and I spurned that run last week against Southampton – that said Man City have the best overall team possession statistics of anyone in the BPL – it’s really hard to bet against Man City in this one; even with Liverpool at home.  My call is Man City gets at least one point here.

Arsenal v Everton: This game will be even tighter than the Liverpool v Man City game – Everton continue to be one of the top teams in possession-based attacking – what they have lacked is finishing.  Given that Monaco just came into London and took three points in the UEFA Champions League I really doubt Wenger will be in the mood to see his team drop three points here.  My call is Arsenal takes at least one point – with three points really being the expectation – and another nail in the coffin of Martinez (didn’t I use that phrase the week before Lambert got sacked?).

All to play for this weekend…

PS:  When I get time I will go back and try to show how the CPWP Predictability Index has faired for the Bundesliga and La Liga – just finding it hard to find the time.

Best, Chris

COPYRIGHT, All Rights Reserved.  PWP – Trademark

 

Chelsea sits atop… Saints continue to March…

For most, the stunning team this year continues to be Southampton – worthy view as the Saints continue to march towards Europe.

I’m not on their bandwagon yet as nearly half the season remains – but if they keep up their team performances, as they have the first 21 games, it is likely they squeeze out either Man United or The Arsenal…

Wouldn’t that shake up things up a wee bit?

As for now, here’s my CPWP Index and how the teams compare, in overall performance without using points, after Week 21:

CPWP Index English Premier League Through Week 21

General thoughts:

There appears to be a four tiered level of performance so far – with Man City and Chelsea at the top; Man United, Southampton, and Arsenal next – followed by Everton, Liverpool, and Swansea – while West Ham and Spurs continue to stay in the race.

Even here Southampton are near the top – it’s no fluke they are where they are in the League Table.

As for West Ham and Spurs – those two London sides, along with The Arsenal need to pick things up a bit or they may be stuck in Europa League next year.  Somehow for The Arsenal I don’t think that’s a goal… Allardyce and Pochettino —> maybe?

But Wenger, no – it would likely lead to many dissenting voices and the unwise move of sacking him.  Personally I think he’s one of the best Head Coaches, ever, in Soccer…

So you know – since Pardew was sacked by Newcastle, prior to Game 21, I will be able to do a compare and contrast later this season – especially since he’s now coaching Crystal Palace… I wonder how those two teams will look at the end of the season?

I’ll also poke around West Brom too; now that Pullis is in charge.

Correlation – R2 = .92; continues to remain relevant and strong.

Attacking PWP Index:

APWP Index English Premier League Through Week 21

Defending PWP Index:

DPWP Index English Premier League Through Week 21A few thoughts…

The two teams at the top of the table are the two teams at the top of both the APWP and DPWP Index.

If I were a betting man I’d bet Newcastle brings in some defensive support rather quickly – if they don’t perhaps they fall as far down as the relegation zone?

Liverpool clearly need more support up top – they lack goal scoring and there is the Capt. Obvious that Suarez is missed – clearly Balo-telly is lacking.

West Ham continues to punch way above its weight – can they sustain that approach?

I’d imagine Allardyce will be shopping for another defender to two to strengthen his bench for a sprint run to the finish…

I’d also imagine Spurs will look to do the same thing – they are surviving because Kane scores goals – but as seen this last weekend – they are also taking it in the shorts because they can’t prevent goals against.

Giving away two goals to Crystal Palace is shameful…

Wow – might DeAndre Yedlin get a look in soon?  He had 60 minutes with the youngsters the other day but may need another few weeks to get adjusted; time will tell.

CPWP Predictability Index:

CPWP Predictability Index English Premier League Through Week 21

I include this for others more than myself.

In a trial run for the MLS, going strictly with this Predictability Index, I varied from 35-70% accurate (week to week) on picking the winning team based upon the “home and away PWP Predictability Index”.

But since home teams won 155 times in MLS, as opposed to losing just 77 times, it’s a good bet the home team wins or draws every single game regardless of any predictability model.  For more details on that information read here:  The Comforts of Home in MLS.

I make no case that this IS a solid betting tool but many bet on soccer and the usual predictability products vary in accuracy with a reasonable model offering up 30% accuracy.

I’d be more inclined to offer that this model is probably more accurate for some teams as opposed to other teams – my research continues to indicate that some basic statistics for some teams have little to no relationship on what some basic statistics are for other teams…

In other words, one team may show a reasonable (game to game) correlation between possession and winning while another team may not.

A good example – Stoke City averages roughly 48% possession – their game to game correlation of possession to points earned is (R2) -.52 – meaning — over the course of this season so far Stoke City are more likely to earn points if a particular games’ possession is less than their average.

On the other hand a team like Chelsea – who averages ~58% possession has an (R2) correlation of .13…. meaning their is simply NO RELATIONSHIP between possession percentage and taking points in the league table – they can pretty much take points by either falling above or below their league average of 58%.

I will be doing a new article on Possession in the very near future – it’s an intriguing statistic that is abused in a big way – an aggregate R2 of .77, for a league, does not mean Possession is the overwhelmingly best indicator for team success.

But it does mean it’s a good indicator that one system of football is consistently being used to garner more points earned then another system of football… that would be ‘possession-based’ versus ‘direct-attack-based’…

In Closing:

It’s the winter break for me just like it is the teams – plenty going on to include co-hosting a podcast with Stephen Brandt (@Yellowcardedpod).

Our upcoming guests, in the next two months, include Commissioner Peterson from the North American Soccer League, Jamie Clark, Head Coach for the University of Washington, John Galas, Head Coach Lane United FC (USL PDL), and someone from the Portland Timbers organization – to be determined.

A new article, to be published by @7amkickoff, will speak specifically to how The Arsenal is performing in some key (game to game) areas.  This is hopefully the first of many articles where my PWP approach will be leveraged by other highly respected writers…

To set the stage for future articles leveraging PWP @7amkickoff provides his introduction to this approach as well as a great synopsis other Soccer statistics in general, to include Total Shots Ratio, published by Grantland, and Michael Caley’s discussion on Expected Goals.

So if you’re a writer, with an interest in leveraging my analytical approach, as part of the overall product you provide your readers let me know how I can help with that.

Best, Chris

COPYRIGHT, All Rights Reserved.  PWP – Trademark
You can follow me on twitter @chrisgluckpwp

Getting More from Less… Major League Soccer

If you’ve read my previous article on Expected Wins 4 (Is European Football Really Higher Quality than Major League Soccer) you’ll know that there are teams out there who can, and do win, ‘without’ exceeding 50% possession.

In my next evolution of analysis, using the Family of Possession with Purpose Indicators on Major League Soccer, here’s some more granularity to go with that observation.

The filters set up for this effort are pretty simple – five of them to be exact:

  1. Teams who won games in MLS last year with less than 50% Possession,
  2. Teams who won those same games with less than the league average in overall Passing Accuracy (77%) and,
  3. Teams who won those same games with less than the league average in Passing Accuracy within the Opponent’s Defending Final Third (66.8%),
  4. Teams whose volume of Pass Attempts fall below the League Average (428.01), and
  5. Teams whose volume of Pass Attempts, into the Opponents Defending Final Third, fall below the League Average (117.54).

Why this approach?

To highlight what teams, and what volume of games those teams won, where ‘CONTROL’ of the game would most likely be interpretted as ‘minimized’ given a poorer ‘team performance’.

In addition, I also sense it may be a good way to differentiate between teams who use a Counter-Attacking “tactic” as part of their Possession-based game versus a team more inclined to play a Direct Attacking style/system.

The really hard part here is I’m not using video and I don’t have access to X,Y coordinate data – this is all put together using public data.

However viewed I hope you find this interpretation beneficial.

In setting the stage for the teams who did best getting more from less here’s the raw data to consider:

There were 234 games last year where a team won in MLS.

Of those 234 games, 122 of them the winning team had lower than 50% Possession.

In other words, 52.14% of all games won last year saw the winning team possess the ball less than 50% of the time.

Of those 234 games, 70 of them the winning team had less than 50% Possession and less than 77% Passing Accuracy.

In other words, only 29.92% of all games won last year had the winning team performance fall below League average in Possession and Passing Accuracy.

Of those 234 games, 53 of them the winning team had less than 50% Possession, less than 77% Passing Accuracy (across the entire pitch) and less than 66.8% Passing Accuracy in the Opponent’s Defending Final Third.

In other words, only 22.65% of all games won last year had the winning team performance fall below League average in Possession and Passing Accuracy (both within and outside the Opponents Defending Final Third).

By the way, for those curious, in only 19.66% of all games lost this year (234) did the losing team EXCEED the League Average in Possession and Passing Accuracy (both within and outside the Opponent’s Defending Final Third).

So more teams got more from less than teams who got more from more…

Here’s the teams who got more with less, and how many times they were successful in that effort:

MORE FOR LESS BY TEAM 2014

The Red Bars signify Eastern Conference Teams while the Blue Bars show Western Conference Teams (last year).

For now it should be noted that DC United took 24 of 59 Points where they performed far below league average in passing.

In addition, New England also took 21 of their 55 Points in games where they performed far below league average – and six of those seven wins came after Game 25 – in other words after they signed Jermaine Jones!

With respect to Philadelphia – five of their six wins, using this filter, came after Jim Curtin replaced John Hackworth.

In looking at Toronto – all of their five wins, in this fashion, came in the first 11 Games of the season – two things perhaps to consider from this:

  1. Other teams in MLS figured out the counter-attacking/direct attacking nature of the team and changed their defending habits accordingly, or
  2. They had an injury or two that impacted this style of play and, under Nelsen, were unable to recover from a key attacker being missed.

Of note – Chicago recently brought in two DP Strikers – is that a signal to the rest of MLS that Frank Yallop really intends to go all out in this type of attacking approach?

Finally, FC Dallas appeared to be the more counter-attacking/direct attacking team in the Western Conference – and this data appears to substantiate that.

Oscar Pareja’s approach was good enough to make the Playoffs last year – but with Houston (under Owen Coyle) and Sporting, another possession-based team, set to join the Western Conference, might we expect to see Pareja take a different approach next year?

East meeting West:

MORE FOR LESS BY CONFERENCE 2014

Pretty telling if you ask me…

A marked difference in volume of teams that got more with less in the Eastern Conference.

This provides some pretty good evidence to support those having the belief or feeling that the two conferences played different styles…

Now what?

Well, for me, over the past few years I’ve found it pretty hard to differentiate between a team that works towards Direct Attacking, as a style, as opposed to Counter-Attacking.

And to be honest I’m not sure what the difference is; at least up until now.

Here’s my draft definition on how to define a team that Counter Attacks (as a tactic) as opposed to using Direct Attacking (as ‘the’ tactical system/style/approach).

  • The league average for passes attempted across the entire pitch is 428.01.
  • So for the purposes of this effort all teams that fall below that average will be viewed as Counter-Attacking teams until I see that their volume of passes attempted in the Opponent’s Defending Final Third also falls below that League average of 117.54.
  • My rationale is this – a consistent trend of low volume in passes attempted both within and outside the final third indicates to me that the team is attempting to play longer or quicker balls into the final third – that have less chance of being completed – in other words looking to penetrate with less overall control of the ball.
  • I welcome any additional thoughts on this…

In looking at these 52 games:

  • Only one game did the volume of Pass Attempts exceed the League Average of 428.
  • In that one game the volume of Pass Attempts within the Opponents Defending Final Third did not exceed the League Average.
  • DC United had that game.
  • Only 11 games saw the volume of Pass Attempts in the Opponents Defending Final Third exceed the League Average of 117.
  • New England had five of those games, Seattle had one, DC United one, Vancouver one, and Philadelphia three.
  • Therefore in 40 of the 52 games played, using this filter, it would appear that the team that won played Direct Attacking Football.
  • Meaning the teams that performed best in Direct Attacking football were DC United (7), Toronto (5 under Nelsen), Dallas (5), and Chicago (3).

Gut-Check on my Direct Attacking hypothesis – a pretty well known/attributed Direct Attacking team in the English Premier League is West Ham.  

Of their 19 games this year every single game saw their total Pass Attempts fall below the League Average of 426.73.

In 11 of those games their Pass Attempts, within the Opponents Final Third, fell below the League Average of 131.82.

They won seven of those 11 games.

In conclusion, the gut-check pans out – it appears that the outputs from West Ham match those developed based upon what is seen in MLS.

The data also confirms that Sam Allardyce, and his Hammers, are doing a pretty good job of executing that system as well.

In closing:

Doing more with less had a significant advantage for DC United, New England, Philadelphia, and Toronto – all those teams, tops in this filter, are in the Eastern Conference.

This information also supports the views, by many, that the two Conferences are different; the Eastern Conference has more teams that were successful in doing ‘more with less’ and more teams, who were more successful, in their Direct Attacking style/system.

It seems reasonable to me that this is a way for me to better quantify the difference between a team that counter-attacks as a ‘tactic’ versus a team that prefers to play more direct.

Best, Chris

COPYRIGHT, All Rights Reserved.  PWP – Trademark

You can follow me on twitter @chrisgluckpwp

 

Chelsea and Man City Lead the Pack

The headline is Capt. Obvious; especially when the League Table sees both these teams beginning to separate themselves from the others.

The question for most is who qualifies for Europe in positions three and four while Man City and Chelsea go toe-to-toe for the League Championship.

Too early you say?  Not for me.

By Week 19, the Composite Possession with Purpose Index, in Major League Soccer had already nailed the League Champion, LA Galaxy, as being best in overall team attacking and defending performance.

Of course that didn’t translate to the Supporter’s Shield winner, but, then again, Major League Soccer doesn’t have an equal schedule, so the only real measurement to go by is the Champion crowned after the Playoffs are finished.

With that said, there were some teams who did move up and down in the CPWP Index (and MLS League Tables) after the halfway point.  So I suppose it’s possible Man United, Arsenal, or someone else could close the gap, and make it a three horse race?!?

In moving on though I’m not seeing that – at least not yet.  Why?  Well given my CPWP Index after Week 17, just below, it seems pretty clear both Man City and Chelsea are performing much better than the others:

CPWP Strategic Index Week 17

Given that my main focus today is sorting out the picture for the two remaining spots for next years UEFA Champions League.

I’ll call them my Bubble Teams (lacks creativity most likely, but hey… it’s late).

I see five with a chance.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Southampton (really?), West Ham (really?), and Spurs (really?).

At this stage, all five of these teams are within five points of each other at near the half-way point.

Others like Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle, and Swansea aren’t shut out (yet)…  but I sense those teams probably need more than one player to give them that edge and Everton blew their chance this weekend in getting thumped 3-nil by Southampton…

As for Liverpool – they need more than a striker in my opinion (they need another defender too) and I just don’t think they have the money to upgrade.

Brendan Rogers can go on all he wants about his team getting their form back – but in my view – he’s giving lip service to save face after that debacle in signing Balotelli.

So with that said – three new diagrams for your consideration; the first being the Game to Game CPWP Index outputs for the five teams under consideration:

CPWP AMBER BUBBLE BAR TEAMS THROUGH WEEK 17First off – my apologies if there are too many lines here – I tried to stay with team colours – hope you don’t mind…

The diagram itself – you’ll probably be seeing more of these (with just one or two teams more likely in the future).  You can click to enlarge.

The line graphs – most should know by now the CPWP Index is the difference between the Attacking PWP Index and Defending PWP Index.  As is always the case with the CPWP Index – Higher is Better.

Note the frequency of change from game to game in some cases.  To get a better understanding of how much variation there is for each team, week to week, I calculated the Standard Deviation.

Those numbers are provided at the bottom – in this case the lower the number the better.  In other words the lower the number the less deviation a team had, from week to week, in how they performed (in total).

I’ll not offer that Lower = Better Team; at least not yet – but in this case I am going to assume that lower means more consistency.  Sometimes being more consistent doesn’t mean better.  Chivas USA were one of the most consistent teams last year – sadly that consistency was centered around consistently losing…

With that being the case; West Ham is most consistent (.36) with Spurs next (.52), than Man United (.54), followed by The Arsenal (.58) – then Southampton (.67).

Next up the Attacking PWP Index for my Amber Bubble Bar Teams – I suppose that is a goofy name – I’ll change it next week…  suggestions are welcomed!

APWP AMBER BUBBLE BAR TEAMS THROUGH WEEK 17As with the CPWP Index, higher here in the APWP Index is better.

It’s interesting to note that all five of the teams here are pretty much even at this stage – trending up is Southampton (after that lull for three weeks) while Man United seems to be taking a bit of a dip.

From a consistency standpoint – West Ham again lead the pack here (.24) while Arsenal sits at (.29), Spurs at (.31), followed by Man United (.34) and Southampton, again the least consistent, sitting at (.40).  Again – lower is better…

With APWP – I tend to believe that consistency in attacking is a good thing; especially given that rotation of home and away games – for me that shows a team is comfortable in how it attacks.

But…. the drawback here is that consistency in attack also sometimes means a lack of vision in changing things up a bit to play less predictable.

A great example of that this past weekend was The Arsenal going into Liverpool and almost taking three points while playing to an attacking style most would normally attribute to Sam Allardyce…

Moving on to the Defending PWP Index:

DPWP AMBER BUBBLE BAR TEAMS THROUGH WEEK 17

In the case of the DPWP Index – Lower is Better; to remind those – this number is the Attacking PWP number of the Opponent as they attack you – if higher is better when you attack – then it stands to reason a good defending team performance means a lower number.

After Week 17 it would appear all but The Arsenal are near each other  – that two goals conceded against Liverpool no doubt had influence.

With respect to consistency West Ham (AGAIN) lead the pack in being most consistent (.27); with Spurs next (.37), followed by Man United and The Arsenal tied at (.41) and last (AGAIN) Southampton at .47.

For me, consistency here is good, very good, provided points are being earned in the League Table.

By the way – it’s this deviation or consistency that I also look for in viewing Home and Away games to see if a team changes it’s style.

For example the Standard Deviation for West Ham in Away games is .18 while for Arsenal it’s .42 – indicating that Wenger will change their tactical approach depending upon their opponent while Allardyce won’t.

Since all five of these teams are within five points – it seems reasonable that all these teams are getting points.

So what, in the end, are my thoughts after taking this info in?

Before offering that here’s my traditional Indices starting with the APWP Index:

APWP Strategic Index Week 17

Quick observations…

Spurs are consistent in attack – but not consistent in being strong.

Southampton are not consistent in attack – and they are dropping back further and further compared to about 5 weeks ago.

Man United and Arsenal remain dangerous in attack – and remain consistently dangerous as well.

West Ham continues to remain high up this Index – a challenge to be sure – but what bodes well is they are also consistent in that attacking performance.

Now the Defending PWP Index through Week 17:

DPWP Strategic Index Week 17

A few observations…

While Southampton is not very consistent in team defending – at least for now they are not very consistent in a good way – what happens if that inconsistency begins to swing towards the opponent performing better?  A likely slide I’d expect.

West Ham are not only consistent – they remain consistently good – again can that pattern hold?

The Arsenal and Man United remain near the best in team defending performance – quite an achievement given the new approach in Manchester and the injuries in London…

Like in APWP, Spurs lack in overall performance compared to many teams lower in the league table.  The real test comes when they entertain Man United and Chelsea at White Hart Lane, on short rest, just after Christmas.

In Closing:

I think all of these teams will be in the mood to shop for a player, two, or three come January.

Who do I think each team looks to add – from an individual, player standpoint, I haven’t got a clue…

But from a team standpoint here’s my initial expectations:

West Ham looks to add another midfielder and another defender – they are solid and the Allardyce style is working – but do they have the legs to compete the entire season?  I don’t think so – at least not without at least one more defensive thinking/positioning type player given the Allardyce style of football.

Man United looks to add a defender – most probably a center-back who can handle playing 3 or 4 at the back.  But can they afford to?  Lots of money spent already but I’d expect at least one new signing during the transfer window.

Southampton looks to add some more firepower by adding an attacking winger and/or striker – goals will need to be scored to keep them afloat if their defending remains inconsistent.  I also think they could do with another defender if they really are intent on making a run for Europe.

Spurs – hmmm… tough one here – I could see them adding a defender (maybe two?), and a midfielder/forward – they have points in the league table but their team attacking and defending performance lags far behind many other teams with fewer points.

Arsenal – I’ve already opined I think Arsenal need a new Central Defending Midfielder – I also think they need another Center-back and perhaps some more depth at Fullback.

Finally, I will take another look at the bubble teams in about 3 weeks time – there are plenty of games this holiday season and at least a nine point swing could occur.

Best, Chris

COPYRIGHT, All Rights Reserved.  PWP – Trademark

You can follow me on twitter @chrisgluckpwp

EPL – Charting progress after 12 Weeks

It’s been a couple of weeks since I checked in with the English Premier League so here’s a quick fly-by on who’s leading the league in team performance, exclusive of the League Table.

That’s not to say I’ll ignore the League Table – in summary here’s the top six and the bottom six respectively:

  1. Chelsea, 32 Points
  2. Southampton, 26 Points
  3. Man City, 24 Points
  4. Man United, 19 Points
  5. Newcastle, 19 Points
  6. West Ham, 18 Points
  7. Swansea City, 18 Points

Bottom Six:

  1. QPR, 8 Points
  2. Burnley, 10 Points
  3. Leicester City, 10 Points
  4. Hull City, 11 Points
  5. Aston Villa, 12 Points
  6. Crystal Palace, 12 Points

Now for my Composite PWP Strategic Index:

CPWP Strategic Index EPL Week 12

 

In comparing the top six in the League Table to the top six in my Index Chelsea, Southampton, Man City, Swansea City, and Man United are all in.

Everton and Arsenal continue to ride high in this Index – whether that continues or not is yet to be seen.

The question I have is this — is it the results that end up catching up with the team performances, or is it the team performances that end up catching up with the results?

In Major League Soccer the team performances usually seemed to lag when compared to the results – if that is the case here then I’d expect Everton and Arsenal to drop further in the League Table if there are systemtic attacking or defending issues.

On the other hand – like Newcastle – the team performance lags the results and both Arsenal and Everton should begin winning more games…. more to follow…

As for West Ham, we already know they will be on the shorter end given their more direct style of play but the surprise mover is Newcastle; especially since in Week 5, where they were 6th worst in the Composite Index (see below).

Clearly team performance has improved considerably – not only in results but in team performance; that’s a good thing when considering the viability of the Index.  Besides, I don’t read too often anymore where Alan Pardew’s head coaching status is in question.

CPWP Strategic Index EPL Week 5

As for the bottom six; well we have QPR bottom in both, with Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Leicester City, and Burnley all in; the odd one out is Hull City.

Might that mean Hull City are more on the ‘lucky’ end of results than their team performance indicates?

I’m not sure but when we peel back APWP and DPWP we might be able to see where the general weaknesses and strengths are that help Hull City stay outside the relegation zone as the season continues.

Attacking PWP Strategic Index:

APWP Strategic Index EPL Week 12In considering the top six teams in the League Table it appears to me that the Attacking team performances for Chelsea, Man City, Southampton, Man United, and West Ham are a strength more than a weakness.

Defending PWP Strategic Index:

DPWP Strategic Index EPL Week 12Given that the DPWP for Newcastle is stronger than the APWP, I’d offer that it’s the Defending team performance that is helping to push Newcastle near top of the table.

Not to be missed though is that Southampton, Man City, Chelsea, and Man United are also all in the top six.

The lone wolf, in defending, is West Ham.  But we already know from previous analyses that Sam Allardyce likes to play more counter-attacking football – so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see them in or around the middle.

It’s when their DPWP starts dipping below the halfway point that those forever blowing bubbles should be considered.

In Closing:

Southampton continues to find success; granted their 1-1 draw with Aston Villa was probably disappointing, but with that 80th minute goal they were able to scratch out at least one point against Villa.

The surprising result to me, and probably most everyone else, was the 3-1 pasting Liverpool took against Crystal Palace.

The most amazing statistics for me out of that game was seeing Palace offer up 15 shots taken with just 71 completed passes in the Liverpool Defending Final Third – and of those – 15 shots were taken with five of them were on goal!

I guess that shouldn’t be surprising to the average stats person given that winning teams in the EPL average just over five shots on goal with at least two goals scored.  In this case Palace got three goals.

On the other hand, with 519 passes offered, 460 which were complete, and 96 of those were completed in the Palace Defending Final Third, you’da thought Liverpool would end up with more shots taken and more shots on goal.

They didn’t.  What is even worse is they had five of those 12 shots come from prime locations and only one ended up on goal!

For me, this means reinforces two things:

  1. Time and open space has great value when considering the quality of shots taken, regardless of location, and
  2. Liverpool have yet to find a striker who can take shots and put them on goal.  I would expect Liverpool to be in the market to buy a top striker as soon as possible!

If you’re a betting person; here’s the latest CPWP Predictability Index.  This does not yet to into account the differences between team performance on the road versus at home.

It should be noted that teams playing at home, in the EPL, have taken 182 points – versus teams playing on the road have taken 143 points.

In terms of a ‘rough estimate’ that means 56% of all points earned are earned at home games.

Not much of an edge – but – if you’re a team like Crystal Palace, playing a team like Liverpool, who is clearly shaken – and not stirred – there will always be the chance of an upset!

CPWP Perdictability Index EPL Week 12

Best, Chris

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