An analysis of English Premier League results
In the following charts, a goal difference of (say) (2) represents a score of 0-2 or 1-3 or 2-4 etc; a positive goal difference of 1, 2, 3 etc indicates a home win, while a difference of 0 represents a draw whatever the score.
This season, I have watched too many games where the statistics are at odds with the actual entertainment value. I have, therefore, decided to show only whether a team is under or over performing according to the statistics.
From and including the results for week 21, I will no longer give an entertainment score.
This chart shows the number of games that each team has either held possession for 40% or less of a game (blue line) or 60% or more (orange line). No surprise that Man City tops the orange line, yet Chelsea being almost equal with them, given its relatively lowly ranking (11) on the Performance Achievement League (PAL) (see below), is somewhat surprising. As I have said before, it suggests that Chelsea is not using its share of possession to the best advantage. Possession for possession's sake is not good enough.
As far as the blue line is concerned, you would expect to see the bottom three clubs - Cardiff, Fulham and Huddersfield - feature at the top of the blue line. In fact, Cardiff (18/13) is there in top place followed by Brighton (17/17), Burnley (15/3), Newcastle (13/2) and Southampton (16/4). (The numbers in brackets are their current positions in the EPL/PAL). The fact that Burnley, Newcastle and Southampton are so high in the PAL suggests that they are punching above their weight during the final stages of the season. Brighton, however, is on slippery ground and is the only team that Cardiff can realistically catch.
Performance Achievement League
The League Table above compares the actual performances of teams with their potential assessed over weeks 20 - 34. At the bottom end, you can see that Chelsea and Tottenham are performing well below their true potential and will be the two fighting it out for the last top five position in the EPL. Although Man Utd have slipped behind Tottenham in EPL points, they have been performing more consistently until recently but could hold on to a top five spot.
My money is still on Man City to claim and keep top spot from Liverpool.
At the other end of the table, Bournemouth and Brighton have slipped a bit in the second half of the season. However, Bournemouth is safe and it will take a minor miracle for Cardiff to catch Brighton and escape relegation.
Results - Week 35
Results - Week 34
Results – Week 33
Results - Week 32
Results - Week 31 (Split week)
Results - Week 30
Results - Week 29
Comment of the Week (game 2)
Man City held the ball for an amazing 74 minutes out of the ninety. Bournemouth, on the other hand, could not manage one single shot at goal - not one!
Even more amazing was Bournemouth Manager, Eddie Howe's alleged post game statement: "You are waiting for a mistake so you can counter and they made very few."
Sure, no doubt Man City were very impressive stroking the ball around the park, but unless you put them under pressure you will never contain them, let alone beat them. Yes, all right, you might concede a goal in the process but, hell lads, go down fighting not waiting. When all is said and done, all teams like Man City are doing is running around passing the ball. So, have some roamers whose job it is to dispossess them, put them under pressure...chase them...hunt as packs...whatever...but do not just sit back and watch them, hoping that they will make a mistake. They probably won't and your fans will be totally disheartened and not bother to come back next week.
Results - Week 28
Results - Week 27
Results - Week 26
Results – Week 25
Results – Week 24
Results – Week 23
Game 3 didn't achieve its potential in terms of goal difference because Crystal Palace, despite only holding the ball for 27 minutes in total, still scored 3 goals. Well done Palace!
Likewise, in game 4, Man Utd, despite playing some very attractive football and mixing up the close stuff with spreading the ball wide to open up Brighton's defence, could only manage a 2-1 win.
It was good to see Arsenal bounce back from losing to West Ham last week. The Gunners only had the ball for 32 minutes but won 2-0. I suspect that Chelsea fell into their close tip-tap routine, which looks good but is very easy to defend against.
Results – Week 22
Watford (game 5) only held the ball for 41 of the 90+ minutes, yet they not only won the match but also had the highest number of shots when they had the ball than any other team.
Similarly, Southampton (game 6) despite only holding the ball for 25 minutes, won the match and had the highest ratio of goals per 10 minutes on the ball. Yes, yes, I know, luck can play a part. Even so, it does underscore that it is what you do with the ball when you have it that is important and not how long you hang on to it.
As usual, well almost, Man City (game 10) had more of the ball (68 mins) than any other team this week and used it well to achieve their potential of 3 clear goals. This is what you expect from a class side.
Results - Week 21
Comments on Week 21 Results:
In game 1, statistically Everton should have beaten Leicester by one clear goal, based on past results. However, as you can see, Everton actually lost by one clear goal even though they had control of the ball for 54 of the 90 minutes. They also had 3.5 shots at goal for every 10 minutes they had the ball compared with 2.2 by Leicester. Clearly, Everton under-performed this week - or were they just unlucky?
The biggest under-performers of the week were Wolves (game 8), who should have won by two clear goals yet managed to lose 2 - 0, and
Chelsea who should also have won by two clear goals yet, despite holding the ball for 65 minutes, could only manage a draw with Southampton.
The best over-performer this week was Tottenham.
Results - Week 20
A lot of under-performers this week; too much good cheer, perhaps?
You may be wondering why the four goal game between Saints & Man City is rated "possibly boring" . Well, look at the difference in possession - 54%!!! Man City had 77% possession yet could only score three goals! What were Man City doing with the ball the rest of the time? And what were the Saints doing...watching or praying?
Compare that with the Liverpool v Arsenal game - six goals and virtually 50/50 possession...great stuff.
Results - Week 19
Well, you know what they say: there are lies, damned lies and statistics! Liverpool are a delight to watch, and yet statistically the game was possibly boring. With 76% of the ball - 68 minutes of the 90 - they scored only 4 goals.
In contrast Everton, who were thrashed a few days ago by Spurs, scored 5 goals yet only had 51% possession.
It is not how long you hold the ball but what you do when you have it that is important!
Results Week 18
This week the difference in possession is shown rather than the entertainment score. Dominance in possession is a major factor in the entertainment equation. For example in game 4, Chelsea controlled the ball for 72% of the game against Leicester's 28% (difference 44%). Yet Chelsea not only lost but couldn't find the net once! I watched this game and Chelsea were playing a very skillful and, yes, entertaining short passing game. Unfortunately for them, it was predictable and easily defended by Leicester who simply packed the penalty area. Mix it up with a wide game, please, Chelsea, as Spurs did to such great effect at Everton.
Results Week 17
Results Week 16
Results - Week 15
Results - Week 14
Results - Week 13
Results - Week 12
Results – Week 11
Results – Week 10
Results – Week 9
Results – Week 8
Results – Week 7
Results - Week 6
There were a lot of under-performers in Week 6: Bournemouth had 63% possession yet lost 4 zip! Man Utd with 64% possession and at home could only draw. And Chelsea, with 72% of the ball, couldn't squeeze one goal at West Ham.
On the other hand, Man City kept the ball for 79% of the game and hammered 5 passed Cardiff. But it was too one-sided to score more than the lower end of "E" for entertainment .
Results Week 5
Results Week 4
Results - Week 3
Results - Week 2
Results - Week I
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