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A New Beginning

Folks,

We would like to thank all of you for visiting and supporting this blog. We hope you have enjoyed our articles.

As the new season dawns upon, we are looking to increase the range of our analysis from English Premier League to the top European Leagues. Hence we are moving to our new website STAT Screamer. Please check us out there with the following links:

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Warm Regards,

EPL Statistics Team

Manager-in: Meet Manchester United’s new boss – Louis van Gaal

Manchester United have signed Louis van Gaal (LvG) in a 3 year deal. He is the first Non-UK (United Kingdom) Manchester United manager. He is very much in contrast to David Moyes. He has managed at the clubs (Barcelona and Bayern Munich) at the highest level, has won trophies (La Liga, Bundesliga, Champions League and UEFA Cup) which are at the highest level and has succeeded a manager (Bobby Robson at Barcelona) at the highest level & coped up well. These 3 factors (none of which David Moyes possessed) are a great fit for Manchester United currently. His signing was supposed to happen 12 years back (2002) when Sir Alex Ferguson thought of retiring (before a change in his decision). After 12 years, it’s happened. Let’s have a look at his managerial statistics.

Louis Van Gaal Managerial Record

Louis Van Gaal Managerial Record

LvG has got a better winning record at every club he has managed. He has even surpassed the record of Sir Alex Ferguson (58.14 % wins in career) in winning percentage with 61.33% career wins. David Moyes was never near both of them at just 44.58%.

LvG vs SAF vs David Moyes

LvG vs SAF vs David Moyes

Sir Alex Ferguson is famous for delivering trophies consistently at Manchester United. David Moyes on the other hand doesn’t have any major trophies to add his name to. Louis van Gaal has the experience winning key trophies like Dutch Eredivisie, Spanish La Liga, Copa del Rey, German Bundesliga, UEFA Super Cup, Inter Continental Cup, UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League. This will prove to be a key factor in turning around things at Old Trafford.

Louis van Gaal Trophy Cabinet

Louis van Gaal Trophy Cabinet

He is one of the philosophers of attacking football and his impact at the clubs is on a positive side. His sides in most of the cases have focused on scoring more goals. AFC AJAX had an instant impact of him. They had an average of 73.5 goals per season in the four seasons before he came. In his first 5 seasons, he managed an average of 91.8 goals per season.

AFC AJAX - GOALS SCORED PER SEASON

AFC AJAX – GOALS SCORED PER SEASON

In Barcelona, he managed an average of 78.33 goals per season. In the 3 seasons before he was signed, they had an average of 78 goals per season. There wasn’t much impact in terms of average, but he was consistent in goals and won the league two times & came second once. In Bayern Munich he has managed the team to score the highest number of league goals (81 goals in 34 games) in 23 years. Hence his footballing philosophy always revolves around scoring more goals, which is a very good trait for a Manchester United manager.

Do you know that, Louis van Gaal’s AFC Ajax side lost only 1 match (in KNVB Cup) in the entire 1994-95 campaign in 49 matches.

The concern about him is that he is very stubborn and arrogant. This might help or prove bad for United. He has been sacked by Barcelona in 2003, has resigned as Technical Director from Ajax in 2004 due to internal conflict and has been sacked by Bayern Munich in 2011. He has had highs and lows in his managerial career. Whether he will prove to be a success in United is yet to be seen.

Do you think he will be a success at Manchester United?

2013-14 Premier League: Transfer Impact Analysis

Any club signs one of these 3 players: (1) A prospective young player – one who will be signed and loaned out or kept as an understudy (2) An in form player – one who could come, fit in the team and make an impact immediately (3) A very experienced player – one who is in his final few years of career and could add his experience and maturity to the team. In this article, we are going to mainly assess the type 2 instant impact signings of all English Premier League clubs with certain statistics.

More than 915 Million Euros have been spent on signing new players to the Premier League in 2013-14 season to make it more competitive and exciting. Each clubs’ spending on signing players along with the goals and the assists contributed by those signed players this season is represented in the below table.

Money Spent on New Signings by Premier League Clubs

Money Spent on New Signings by Premier League Clubs

POOR RETURNS:

1. Manchester United had two high budget signings. Marouane Fellaini (32.4 M Euros – 0 goals, 1 assists in League) hasn’t made his mark at all and Juan Mata (signed in winter – 44.73 M Euros – 6 goals, 4 assists) has so far made decent returns for the club. United have spent 7.08 Million Euros per goal contribution for both of these players.

2. Arsenal haven’t got good returns since Mesut Özil hasn’t really scored or assisted as much is expected of a 50 million signing. He has scored 5 goals and assisted 9 goal.

Mezut Ozil hasn't met his expectations yet

Mesut Ozil hasn’t met his expectations yet

3. Among the bottom clubs, Cardiff (7th highest in the league) burnt a lot of money with very poor returns (just 7 goals and 3 assists).

BEST RETURNS:

4. Among top 7, Everton reaped high benefits due to key signings (Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry) on Loan. To put it in perspective, Everton spent 0.6 M Euros less than Fellaini’s (0 goals, 1 assists) cost in signing players who scored 16 goals and made 10 assists.

5. Newcastle United has signed a very high impact player in Loïc Rémy (2.3 M Euros – 14 goals, 3 assists) and Stoke City’s key signings Peter Odemwingie, Marko Arnautovic and Oussama Assaidi made a good impact.

Newcastle United's Loïc Rémy has made a very good impact

Newcastle United’s Loïc Rémy has made a very good impact

HIGH SPENDERS:

6. Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham had spent more than 100 million each. These three clubs have received returns around the same range (Around 22 goals and 15 assists). This results in high cost per goal contribution.

DEFENSE ORIENTED SPENDERS:

7. Liverpool and Southampton spent money predominantly on strengthening their defense. Hence their direct goal contribution is less.

Goals contributed by the newly signed players are listed in the table below:

Percentage of goals contributed by new players

Percentage of goals contributed by new players

If the percentage of goals contributed by new signings is less, it could be because the existing teams’/youth team players’ contribution is very high or the transfers haven’t worked out as expected. It could be either be a sign of stability or a sign of transfer failure.

HIGHLY STABLE TEAMS:

8. Liverpool, Arsenal and Southampton had highly stable and capable teams which produced 98%, 92.6% and 90.7% of goals respectively of their clubs. Their new signings’ goal contribution is very minimal.

HIGHLY UNSTABLE TEAMS:

9. Crystal Palace, Hull City, Sunderland, Norwich, Swansea, WBA and Tottenham had a huge change in terms of their squads from the previous season. In these clubs, there is a minimum of 40% of goals that these new signings have brought in.

BALANCED TEAMS:

10. Everton, Newcastle United and Stoke City are the clubs with both a good impact on the goals and a relatively less change to the squad over the previous season.

BETWEEN THE STICKS:

11. Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet (10.6 Million Euros) has conceded 7 goals more than his predecessor Pepe Raina and Fulham’s Maarten Stekelenburg (5.6 Million Euros) has conceded 25 goals more than his predecessor Mark Schwarzer. Chelsea’s free transfer of Mark Schwarzer alone has been good in the Goal Keeper’s space. He is a very experienced player and filled in the space when Petr Cech was injured.

Top five cost players along with their contribution has been listed below:

Top 5 cost transfers

Top 5 cost transfers

HIGH COST PLAYERS:

12. Among the top 5 cost players, the payout for the money spent is usually very low. The money spent on each goal contributed is very high for these high cost players.

 The following table lists our pick of low cost – high impact transfers this season.

High Impact Transfers - 2013-14 Premier League season

Low Cost – High Impact Transfers – 2013-14 Premier League season

Share with us your list of high impact players.

8 statistics that haunted David Moyes’ United tenure

1. POOR TABLE POSITION

Manchester United are not going to finish in Top 3 for the first time in Premier League

Manchester United - First time out of Top Three

Manchester United – First time out of Top Three

2. LOW POINTS EARNED

Even if United wins the remaining 4 games, they will be able to earn only 69 points, which is 6 less than their lowest in Premier League

Manchester United - Lowest Points Tally ever in Premier League

Manchester United – Lowest Points Tally ever in Premier League

3. OLD TRAFFORD’S PRESTIGE PUT AT STAKE

Old Trafford has become a 3-points gifting stadium. Apart from the top 6 clubs, Stoke City, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Hull City, Norwich City, West Ham United, Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion have all performed better than United at their respective home stadiums in one aspect or the other as depicted below.

Premier League Home Table 2013-14 Season

Premier League Home Table 2013-14 Season

4. HUMILIATIONS GALORE

Humiliations have been so common that so many teams recorded their first wins against Manchester United in the recent times

David Moyes' Humiliations at United

David Moyes’ Humiliations at United

5. VERY POOR PERFORMANCE AGAINST THE BEST TEAMS

Manchester United performance against Top 5 teams have been so abysmal in the last 5 years. Incidentally, this table shows a decline in form against Top teams during Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure itself.

Under David Moyes, United against top 5 teams

Under David Moyes, United against top 5 teams

6. INABILITY TO ACHIEVE STABILITY

Even towards the end of the season, David Moyes had never finalized on his preferred starting line up. Manchester United have the maximum number of players utilized in the league (28) among the Top 7 teams.

David Moyes - 51 Starting Line Ups at United

David Moyes – 51 Starting Line Ups at United

7. LACK OF TRANSFERS ACUMEN

Sir Alex Ferguson always have spent less money to get high output from the players he has signed. David Moyes failed in that miserably as his signings Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini didn’t actually contribute as much as expected.

Money Spent per goal and assist - Manchester United

Money Spent per goal and assist – Manchester United

8. VERY POOR INTENT IN FRONT OF GOAL

Basis of scoring is to show more intent by having more shots per game. This key indicator has steeply decreased this year and it’s noticed that even under Sir Alex Ferguson last season, this dip was noticed.

Manchester United - Shots per game over seasons

Manchester United – Shots per game over seasons

Share your opinion on what all went wrong for David Moyes at Manchester United.

7 Liverpool Statistics influenced by Brendan Rodgers

After securing league positions of 7, 6, 8 and 7 in the last 4 seasons, not many would have guessed Liverpool to be one of the title contenders at the end of this season (2013-14) with 5 games in hand. Considering the relative Financial Position of Liverpool, they were not the candidates (at the beginning) to challenge the financial giants Chelsea and Manchester City. However, with their performance they have changed the opinion. Most quoted reason for this transformation is “Brendan Rodgers”. In this article, we are going to produce some of the statistics to support the points on how Brendan Rodgers have transformed Liverpool.

Liverpool - League Position over seasons

Liverpool – League Position over seasons

1. INSTILLING THE PASSING STYLE

One thing that no one can refute is Liverpool’s play is so beautiful to watch this season. Their players are enjoying themselves on the pitch. Brendan has transformed the team into a passing side. His philosophy of “Death by Football” has been well instilled into the team. Their pass success percentage has increased really high.

Liverpool Pass Success Percentage over seasons

Liverpool Pass Success Percentage over seasons

Liverpool players who are moved out of the club since Brendan Rodgers took over

Players – Out

2. CLEARING THE DEAD WOOD

9 players with equal to or more than 28 years of age have moved out of the club. This is really important since it cleared out space for a lot of young talent and it has helped them to grow as well. Apart from these 9 players, Charlie Adam and Andy Caroll were moved out since they didn’t actually fit the system well and were costing a huge amount of money. Clearing these players helps in reducing Liverpool’s wages expense too. Sticking to players who fit in the system is pivotal for the team’s development and Brendan has been pretty clear in this mission.

3. IMPACT MAKING TRANSFERS 

The impact made by Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, Simon Mignolet, Kolo Touré and Mamadou Sakho among other Brendan’s signings have been really high. All these players have been continuously featuring in the starting XI. The average age of all these players except Kolo is pretty much on the lower side. Signing players who fit in and showcase high impact is one of the key trait of a great Manager. Brendan seems to have got it.

4. EFFECTIVE UTILIZATION OF YOUTH ACADEMY

Liverpool’s Youth academy has been producing players who directly walk into the First team. It may not be entirely Brendan’s effort, but giving opportunity for emerging talents in the main squad is definitely a trait to be appreciated. Players like Jon Flanagan and Raheem Sterling have been contributing like major transfer signings. An interesting statistic is that 37% of Liverpool’s PL goals and 38% of Liverpool’s PL assists have been contributed by the new signings and the youth academy promoted players. 

Liverpool - goals and assists by Brendan's New Players

Liverpool – goals and assists by Brendan’s New Players

5. DEVELOPING KEY PLAYERS

Three key factors have helped Brendan to build his Red army.

(1) Retaining Luis Suarez and making him lethal in front of goal. 

(2) Signing Daniel Sturridge and creating a wonderful strike partnership with Suarez.

(3) Developing Steven Gerrard even at an age of 33.

Brendan's Red Army - Sturridge - Gerrard - Suarez

Brendan’s Red Army – Sturridge – Gerrard – Suarez

These three players have together contributed 72% of Liverpool’s PL goals and 49% of Liverpool’s PL assists.

6. MAKING ANFIELD A FORTRESS AGAIN

The following statistics will be self-explanatory to prove this point. 

a) If Liverpool secures 6 points from the 3 remaining games at Anfield, they will surpass their highest home Premier League points of 48 (Current home points is 43).

b) Liverpool are one win away from their highest number of Premier League home games won in a season.

c) They have just lost 5 points at home so far (14 Wins 1 Draw 1 Loss)

d) Current goal tally of 48 home goals and their current Goal Difference of 35 are their highest ever in Premier League.

Anfield is a Fortress again

Anfield is a Fortress again

7. ATTACKING EARLY AND KILLING OFF OPPONENTS

One interesting characteristic of the current Liverpool side is that they usually score early into the game and kill off the opponents. They are known to have scored majority of their goals in the first half of the game. 60% of their goals have been scored in first 45 minutes of their game. This has helped them in securing wins comfortably and settling  the game to bed early.

Liverpool - Goals by Scored Time

Liverpool – Goals by Scored Time

With all these observations, we can definitely say that Liverpool have a great manager in Brendan Rodgers at just 41 years of age. There is a lot to be expected from Brendan in the upcoming seasons and it will be exciting for the Premier League to have such managers in hunt for the title. 

Please share your opinion as comments. 

1000 Games – Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal Milestone

Arsène Wenger was appointed in 1996 immediately after Premier League finishes of 10th, 4th, 12th and 5th positions. He brought in the stability (not seen since World War II) at the top four of the Premier League ever since he took over. It’s a big milestone to manage 1,000 competitive games with a single club and Wenger joins elite few comprising of Sir Matt Busby, Dario Gradi and Sir Alex Ferguson. At this juncture, let’s look at how he has built Arsenal castle with these 1000 bricks.

1. Season wise performance – Stable throughout

Season wise Win-Draw-Loss percentage of Arsene Wenger

Season wise Win-Draw-Loss percentage of Arsene Wenger

Apart from the initial season, he has managed a minimum of 50% wins every season and he has never lost more than 25% of games every season. The split up of wins, draws and losses along all seasons haven’t changed drastically. He has achieved a stable split over seasons.

2. Opponent wise analysis: High success rate against Small clubs, Low success rate against Big clubs

Teams Wenger has faced more are Manchester United (51 games), Chelsea (49 games), Liverpool (45 games) and Tottenham Hotspur (43 games). Taking teams whom he has faced more than 10 games:

  • He has never lost against Portsmouth (15 games – 10 wins, 5 draws) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (12 games – 11 wins, 1 draws)
  • He has lost almost half the matches against Manchester United (51 games – 16 wins, 11 draws, 24 losses). This is followed by Chelsea (35%), Liverpool (31%) and Manchester City (29%).
Arsene Wenger has lost almost half the matches against Manchester United

Arsene Wenger has lost almost half the matches against Manchester United

  • Top 5 win percentage against Wolverhampton Wanderers (92%), Wigan Athletic (75%), Charlton Athletic (75%), Derby County (75%) and West Bromwich Albion (74%)
  • Apart from Manchester United (31%), Chelsea (39%), Liverpool (40%) and Tottenham Hotspur (49%), he has managed to keep a win percentage of minimum 50%.

3. Opponent Manager wise analysis: High loss percentage against managers with strong personality

Managers whom he has played against most number of times are Sir Alex Ferguson (51 games – 16 wins, 11 draws, 24 losses), Harry Redknapp (32 games – 15 wins, 13 draws, 4 losses), David Moyes (27 games – 18 wins, 6 draws, 3 losses), Sam Allardyce (25 games – 13 wins, 7 draws, 5 losses) and Rafael Benitez (22 games – 9 wins, 6 draws, 7 losses). Considering managers whom he has faced more than 5 games,

Arsene Wenger has never won against Jose Mourinho

Arsene Wenger has never won against Jose Mourinho

  • Never lost against Kevin Keegan, Dave Jones, Glenn Hoddle, Steve Coppell, Mick McCarthy, Glenn Roeder, Ruud Gullit and Gary Megson.
  • Highest loss percentage against Jose Mourinho, Josep Guadiola, Carlo Ancelotti, Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini
  • Among current Premier League managers, he has high win percentage against David Moyes (67%), Roberto Martinez (64%), Tony Pulis (62%), Brendan Rodgers (57%) and Mark Hughes (52%)

4. Competition wise analysis: FA Cup is Wenger’s strong battle ground

FA Cup is Arsene's strong battle ground

FA Cup is Arsene’s strong battle ground

In FA Community Shield, FA Cup and League Cup matches, Wenger has managed to keep a win percentage of more than 60%. When it came to meeting Europe’s elite clubs, Wenger hadn’t made a big impact since he has won just half the games in Champions League.

Arsene has won FA Cup 4 times

Arsene has won FA Cup 4 times

In the home games, he has won 69% of games whereas he has won just 46% of away games. In the neutral games, he has won 54% of games, but the loss percentage is also high at 42%.

5. Arsene Wenger (57.2%) has a higher win percentage than Sir Alex Ferguson (56.4%) in the first 1000 games with their respective clubs, but Arsene inherited a much better squad than Fergie.

Share with us the interesting Arsene Wenger statistics that you know here or in EPL Statistics

Final Sprint towards the Finish Line

Who do you think will be crowned as Champions of 2013-14 season? Had I asked the same question in the starting of the season, the answers would have definitely included Manchester United. But now, it seems genuine title contenders for this season are Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. So, who among these 4 will finish first.

Premier League Table - As it stands

Premier League Table – As it stands

As it stands, Chelsea leads the race but Manchester City are behind them by 6 points and 3 games in hand. Liverpool and Arsenal are both 4 points behind with a game in hand. Let’s analyze the factors which will now affect the title race and find out which team among the four is favorable to win the title.

INJURY TABLE: GUNNERS ARE GUNNED DOWN BY INJURIES

Ozil, Wilshere, Walcott and Ramsey are injured

Ozil, Wilshere, Walcott and Ramsey are injured

Arsenal is the worst affected among the four by injuries. Ozil, Wilshere, Walcott and Ramsey (all played a minimum of 13 league games this season) are in the injury table. Without these key players, it would be a tough challenge for Gunners. Next on injury troubled teams in Manchester City with Aguero and Nastasic (played a minimum of 13 league games this season) injured. But, they have a big squad enough to cover up couple of players anytime. Though Chelsea and Liverpool aren’t really impacted by injuries and are in an advantage, Chelsea faces a slight disadvantage due to double Red-Card (Willian and Ramires) in the last match against Aston Villa.

FIXTURE CONGESTION: BLUES GET THE BLUES

Chelsea faces a tough fixture ahead

Chelsea faces a tough fixture ahead

Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool has 11 more games (6 home), 10 more games (5 home) and 9 more games (5 home) respectively before Premier League ends. Chelsea on the other hand has to play 10 or 12 games (5 home or 6 home) before Premier League ends depending on their Champions League semi final qualification. Hence, Chelsea and Manchester City are placed with a packed fixture. Among this Chelsea have to travel a lot because of Champions League and that is a big disadvantage.

INSPIRATION: JOSE INSTILS TITLE WINNING MENTALITY

Jose Mourinho proves to be the difference

Jose Mourinho proves to be the difference

Though Jose Mourinho says he doesn’t believe that Chelsea are title contenders this season, he is the only manager with more elite league title winning experience (7 times – 2 in Portugal, 2 in England, 2 in Italy, 1 in Spain). Arsene Wenger (4 times – 1 in France, 3 in England), Manuel Pellegrini (0 times) and Brendan Rodgers (0 times) lack behind him in terms of instilling the winning mentality into their respective teams. At the end of the title race, this is an important advantage for Chelsea and could prove as a real difference.

CURRENT FORM: LIVERPOOL ARE IN RED HOT FORM

Liverpool 2013-14 Goal Tally So Far

Liverpool 2013-14 Goal Tally So Far

Liverpool are currently undefeated in 10 matches scoring 34 goals and are running really strong. They have scored only one goal short of their highest Goals Scored season’s goals tally. With Steven Gerrard’s form in new high levels aided by comrades Sturridge, Suarez and other vibrant Liverpool players, they are in a firm front foot. Arsenal’s recent form has been poor with only 2 wins out of their last 5 league games. Only if they are able to rediscover their form, they will be able to challenge for the title.

Sturridge Suarez Gerrard have been powering Liverpool's season

Sturridge Suarez Gerrard have been powering Liverpool’s season

FIXTURE DIFFICULTY: CHELSEA HAS AN EASY PATH AHEAD

Fixture Difficulty Levels for EPL Top Four

Fixture Difficulty Levels for EPL Top Four

The above table is created by how the opponent has performed so far in home and away. From the upcoming fixtures for the four teams, Chelsea has only two tough fixtures but they have predominantly lost points to easy opponents than tough opponents this season. Manchester City on the other hand have the toughest fixtures in the rest of the season. Arsenal and Liverpool have almost same difficulty levels, but Liverpool have all the tough fixtures at home whereas Arsenal have 2 of the 3 tough ones away from home.

Manchester City face a tough fixture ahead

Manchester City face a tough fixture ahead

With these factors, it clearly seems Liverpool and Chelsea have an advantage in this season’s title race & Arsenal and Manchester City have a tough ride in this final sprint. It will definitely turnout to be one of the best title fights ever.

Share your views and opinions on the title race in the comments section.

Breaking the myth of Fixture Congestion

It’s about resting up and getting ready to go. I don’t know about the Premier League but other countries seem to look after their teams representing them in the Champions League. I’m not sure we do so much here.”

complained Frank Lampard. But is it the reality? How far do the other countries accommodate their fixtures in accordance with that of Champions League (CL)? Findings on analysis seem to paint a different picture! For this analysis, the scope will be restricted to England, Germany and Spain clubs’ (each representing 4 teams in CL) schedules this season (2013-14).

Analyzing the average time between kick-off of CL and other games (League and Cup competitions), the following points are found out:

Avg. time between games' kick-off (CL and others)

Avg. time between games’ kick-off (CL and others)

FIXTURE CONGESTED CLUBS: Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Arsenal and Bayern Munich are the clubs with least average time between games. Real Madrid have a deep squad enough to rotate players and play their usual game. Arsenal is already struggling to cope up with the fixtures. Bayern Munich with their strong position in the league can afford to rotate players according to their need.

LEAST AFFECTED CLUBS: Manchester United (Even without the recent fixture adjustment, their numbers are pretty high), Barcelona, Athletico Madrid and Chelsea are the clubs with the highest average resting time between games. The perception of Barcelona and United getting a preference in the fixture scheduling seems true. Frank Lampard’s complaint of English clubs not getting the support from The Football Association doesn’t seem to be substantiated with facts.

Analysis on averages could be skewed. Hence, it’s good to have an eye on the distribution of the time gaps between the games as well.

No. of times with less than three days between games

No. of times with less than three days between games

Real Madrid are the most affected team since they have to play six times with the gap between two games less than 3 days. This is really grueling for the players. Chelsea, though experiences a higher average time gap, is forced four times to play within a span of 3 days. In contrast, Arsenal which had a lower time gap has been forced to play within a span of 3 days only twice. 

Time gap analysis between games

Time gap analysis between games

Although, Chelsea is stressed out with games within 3 days the overall picture suggests it’s not very much stressed compared to its peers. If you consider the gap of 4 days, Chelsea enjoys the second best fixture schedule only next to Real Sociedad who are already out of the competition. Even Manchester City schedule is stressed out: for 11 times, 2 games are being scheduled withing a gap of 4 days. The same is the situation of Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal and Bayern Munich. This pattern also hints out that Spain clubs have a better accommodating fixture schedule than England and Germany ones.

If you see the overall picture,

Country wise Resting time analysis between games

Country wise Resting time analysis between games

1. German clubs have a tight fixture schedule followed by Spanish clubs and English clubs in terms of average resting time between games.

2. Only 59% of times, Spanish clubs are forced to play 2 games within a time span of 4 days. This is markedly higher for German clubs (73%) and English clubs (66%).

Hence the verdict is,

If at all, there needs to be support from the Football Association in terms of scheduling games in accordance to UEFA Champions League fixtures schedule, it’s the German clubs who need more support than English and Spanish clubs from its Football Association.

Football Associations' ranking in terms of scheduling support

Football Associations’ ranking in terms of scheduling support

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Premier League Analysis: How much does the “LITTLE HORSE” cost?

Jose Mourinho said “Two horses and a little horse in the race”. Manuel Pellegrini responded “Little, but Rich horse”. Are they joking? Managers of two heavy weight teams formed on millions of pounds are fighting over Financial Mediocrity! Let’s figure out the real scenario by analyzing the cost incurred in assembling the Premier League top 7 clubs. 

Premier League Top 7 Squad - Average Purchase Cost

Premier League Top 7 Squad – Average Purchase Cost

RED DEVILS SQUAD IS COSTLY TOO: Manchester United squad players (12.04 m Pounds per player) costed them almost twice more than Tottenham (7.74 m Pounds per player), Arsenal (7.25 m Pounds per player) & Liverpool (6.36 m Pounds per player) players and 6 times Everton squad players’ (2.71 m Pounds per player) average cost. They can’t afford to lose Champions League spot with such a rich squad. 

The average cost is not always spread to all players in the squad. Splitting the team into its main XI based on number of appearances in Premier League this season, the disparity between the main XI and other players’ cost in the squad shows the following observations:

Difference between Main XI and Other players' average costs

Difference between Main XI and Other players’ average costs

1. Youth Development Pro Clubs: Arsenal and Liverpool are showing a more interest in the development of young players through youth academy than their peers.

2. Chelsea spent money equally for Bench players and Main XI: Though Chelsea stands second in terms of overall squad average cost, they stand first in terms of average cost of players in bench.

3. High risk of losing main XI players: Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton are the clubs which have high disparity between the main XI and the rest of the squad.

Considering the least costing 11 players from the squads, the following observations were noticed:

Average Purchase Cost - Least cost players

Average Purchase Cost – Least cost players

1. Chelsea and Manchester City squads’ least cost 11 players cost more than Liverpool’s average cost of the overall squad. 

2. Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal have more players signed from youth academy or on loan relatively.

3. Manchester United’s least cost 11 players cost almost the same as Everton’s average cost of overall squad.

By position of players, the analysis leads to the following insights:

Average Purchase Cost by Position

Average Purchase Cost by Position

1. Arsenal is the only team to have spent very high cost on Midfielders compared to Forwards and Defenders

2. Strangely, the leaky Manchester United defense has the highest cost spent player across the top 7 clubs.

3. Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool have spent very high cost per Forward than per Midfielder. 

4. Arsenal have forwards and defenders with almost same cost per person.

5. Arsenal’s forwards cost much lesser than Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool.

Data used for the analysis could be found in Premier League Players Purchase Cost Data. Do share your views on this article in the comments section.

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Premier League Analysis: Big Clubs have high Player Longevity

Attrition (Rate of employees leaving an organization) is always low at the bigger organizations and institutions. This fits the scenario for Football players in the Premier League Clubs too. The table here shows the average years spent in the same club by its top 11 appearance making players. Observations from this analysis are as follows:

Average Years Spent at Club by top 11 appearance making players (2013-14 season)
Average Years Spent at Club by top 11 appearance making players (2013-14 season)

1. Longer the players stick around, Better the team performs

Top 5 clubs in retaining their main (Starting XI) players (Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton, Arsenal and Liverpool) are placed in Top 7 in the league table. In fact, none of the top 10 teams in the top half of the league table are in the bottom 6 in this list. Reverse is also true: Big and successful clubs retain their main men.

2. David Moyes didn’t stamp his mark in the club yet (whereas his peers did at their respective clubs)

Manchester United, Chelsea and Everton are the clubs with high average player longevity. All these clubs had a managerial change this season too. None of the players signed by David Moyes played regularly enough whereas Jose Mourinho had Willian break into the starting XI and Martinez had Barry, McCarthy and Lukaku break into the starting XI. Considering the recent 5 players from the main squad, the average time spent in the club is still very high for United at 3.4 years whereas for Chelsea and Everton its just 1.8 years. Hence, Chelsea and Everton are fresh teams with very old stalwarts supporting them whereas Manchester United is only a old team which needs fresh faces.

Top 11 appearance making players in United, Chelsea and Everton
Top 11 appearance making players in United, Chelsea and Everton

3. Arsenal is neither a young team nor a fresh new team anymore

Arsenal’s main XI has been sticking together for a long time too. Szczesny, Sagna, Gibbs, Ramsey and Wilshere have been in the club for around 6 years or more. And the average age of the club is also at 26.5 which is higher than 8 other clubs (notable among them where Liverpool and Tottenham). Arsene Wenger can’t use that as an excuse for not winning anymore, but on the same hand Jose Mourinho is wrong in saying his side is young as well. Chelsea main XI’s average age is 27.5 which is lesser than only 6 other clubs. Both Arsenal and Chelsea have a well balanced side with young, old, new and experienced players.

Arsenal Main XI Average Years Spent at club
Arsenal Main XI Average Years Spent at club

4. Longer a club stays in the league, more the club retains its players

There are 7 clubs (Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton, Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Tottenham) which have never been relegated in Premier League and 6 of them have the main XI stick together for more years than the other league clubs. The clubs which are recently promoted are the ones to have more new players playing for the team and they are clubs which are predominantly in the bottom half of the table.

PL Clubs - Player Longevity and Current Spell
PL Clubs – Player Longevity and Current Spell

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