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The Woolster

Queen Bee at 73

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Last season over on the MF I had a thread called Bang on the Drum to 71, which started off looking at various ways that we could track what we would need to do to probably finish in the top 4, as the season went on it developed to also look at what would be needed to probably finish first and how we compare to each of the other 'big 7' teams by each measure.

 

There were 2 main inspirations for starting the thread last year. After Rodgers' first season there was a load of moaning about Rodgers' record against the better teams and how there was no chance we would finish in the top 4 if he didn't turn that around, and I wanted to show that wasn't really true, and that to finish in the top 4, you just need to beat the teams you are better than. The other main reason was to try and dampen down the negativity after every game that we dropped points. Points will be dropped over the season, it not the end of the world! 

 

It ended up being quite a popular thread, so this season I am bringing it over to the masses.

 

To begin with, I need to decide what points targets are to finish 4th and to finish first, and I'm using a slightly different method this season. I've looked at the points totals for 4th and 1st for the past 10 seasons, and have taken the 8th highest number as our target. As this number has only been beaten for that position twice over 10 years, if you hit that target and you don't finish 4th or 1st, depending on the target, then you can consider yourself unlucky.

 

So this year's targets are 73 points for 4th (up from 71 last season) and 90 points for 1st (same as last season).

 

Next I'll look at the various measures.

 

 

Method 1: What we should get against each team

 

Top 4

Here I am going to split that matches into home and away and give each team a rank to decide whether it is a match that we should win, lose or draw, and essentially give it a par score. This is of course is subjective and at this stage we don't know where the respective teams will finish come the end of the season, but I'm not going to get into a debate about the rankings as its just to give an indication of how we are doing.

 

The rankings are loosely based on where each team finished last season, but I have made adjustments based on various reasons for why a team might do better or worse this season. I will change the rankings as the season goes on if a teams performance is vastly different from their rank for a decent amount of time.

 

I've split the teams into 3 groups, the top 7, a middle 4, and a bottom 9.

 

The bottom 9 are the promoted teams and the weakest 6 in my rankings, so made up of Palace, West Ham, Sunderland, Villa, Hull, West Brom, Leicester, Burnley and QPR. Any team looking to finish in the top 4 should look to win all the games against these teams both home and away, so the aim is 54 points form these games.

 

The middle 4 is made up of Southampton, Newcastle, Stoke and Swansea in that rank order based on where they finished last season combined with their away results. These are teams that a team fighting for 4th should in theory not lose any games against, however you would expect to draw some of them. So for the these games the expectation is to draw away from home against all of them, to draw with Southampton and Newcastle at home as well, but to beat Stoke and Swansea both home and away. The aim is 12 points form these games.

 

The reality is that these 2 groups are actually one big group, and all the teams will blow hot and cold throughout the season, so essentially you are looking to score 66 points from the 2 groups, and points dropped from bottom group can be made up from the middle 4.

 

Then we have the top 7, which itself is split into 2 groups, the top 4 from last season, City, Chelsea, us and Arsenal, then a 2nd group of Spurs, Everton and Utd.

 

The 2nd group of Spurs, Everton and Utd you should be looking to draw with both home and away as par scores if you have aspirations of finishing in the top 4, that gives us 6 points and takes us up to 72 points in total and only 1 point off our target of 73.

 

From our point of view then, we would then have a draw at home to Arsenal as the par result to get us to 73, and losing away to Arsenal, and both games against CIty and Chelsea can also be considered as par results. If you are looking at it from Arsenal, City or Chelsea's point of view, they can't play themselves, so I use us to replace them, if that makes sense.

 

Champions

I have used the same groupings as above for this. To get to 90 points, you should win all of your home games up to and including Arsenal, and you can draw at home to both City and Chelsea. That gives you 53 points

 

Again you should win all your away games against the bottom 9, but you can draw all of your other away games as that gives you the 37 points to hit 90.

 

 

Method 2: Compared to how we did against each team last season

 

So, last season we scored 84 points, which means we have a headroom of 11 points that we could drop and still hit the target for top 4, but have a target of 6 more points to finish 1st.

 

So we can measure our results against how we did against the same teams last season and see if we are doing better or worse. For the relegated teams, we substitute in the promoted teams in the same order of finishing, so Norwich become Leicester, Fulham become Burnley, and Cardiff become QPR.

 

This is a simpler method, with the only debatable bit is how to deal with the relegated teams, as the promoted teams may be relatively stronger, but I'm keeping it simple.

 

Method 3: This stage last season

 

This one simply looks at how many points we had after the same amount of games last season and does not take strength of schedule into account. Again we have 11 point headroom for 4th and need 6 points for 1st. When comparing all the teams together I'll be using a rolling 38 game table.

 

Method 4: How many points per game do we need

 

The simplest method. Basically its 73 divided by 38 to finish 4th, so 1.92 points per game to hit that target, and 90 divided by 38 to finish 1st, which is 2.37 points per game.

 

 

So those are the 4 methods I am using, hopefully they are not too complicated but I'm happy answer any questions. If anyone else can think of other simple to look at this, I am more than happy to include them

 

None of them a particularly original, after I started last seasons thread I found someone had been doing a 'par score' method for a number of years over at RAWK, the comparison to last season method I copied from a statto on twitter (@SimonGleave), but I've also seen others doing similar and have a feeling there is also a thread on RAWK.

 

Each week I will do an update on how we are doing and how the other big 7 teams are also doing. But I'll update how the season is going so far in my next few posts.

 

Be warned, I will make mistakes, probably by misreading my spreadsheet and possibly by putting the wrong results in the spreadsheet, and especially if I change the team rankings, but I will try to spot them as soon as I can.

 

Hope you enjoy!

 

 

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Queen Bee at 73 Update

 

Method 1: What we should get against each team: -2 

 

So far this season we have gained 4 points by beating Spurs away and Southampton at home, but dropped 6 points losing to Villa and West Ham. Losing to City is considered par, so all in all we are currently 2 points below par.

 

Method 2: Compared to how we did against each team last season: +10

 

We gained 3 points beating Southampton having lost to them last season, but we dropped 3 against West Ham and a further point against Villa. The City and Spurs results were the same, so we are down 1 point, but still 10 ahead of target.

 

Method 3: This stage last season: +7

 

Last season we were on 10 points after 5 games, so we are 4 points down, but are still 7 points ahead of traget.

 

This means that from the last 38 games, we have scored 80 points

 

Method 4: How many points per game do we need: -3.6

 

6 points from 5 games is 1.2 points per game, and we would be on 9.6 points if we were going at the required rate.

 

 

Next Game

 

Home to Everton means a draw is par. We won this game last season.

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Good Frode Myhrol that's actually nothing really like him, you're just a good Frode Myhrol that's actually nothing really like him...

Seriously though, I enjoyed the bits I understood last year.

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Top of the Shop Update
 
Method 1: What we should get against each team: -5 
 
So far this season we have gained 2 points by beating Spurs away got a par score against Southampton at home, but dropped 7 points losing to Villa and West Ham and drawing to City away, so all in all we are currently 5 points below par.
 
Method 2: Compared to how we did against each team last season: -7
 
We gained 3 points beating Southampton having lost to them last season, but we dropped 3 against West Ham and a further point against Villa. The City and Spurs results were the same, so we are down 1 point, and now 7 points behind target.
 
Method 3: This stage last season: -10 

Last season we were on 10 points after 5 games, so we are 4 points down, but are 10 points behind target.
 
Method 4: How many points per game do we need: -5.8
 
6 points from 5 games is 1.2 points per game, and we would be on 11.8 points if we were going at the required rate.

 

From the 31 games remaining, we need 84 points, which is 2.55 points per game
 
 
Next Game
 
Home to Everton means a win is par.

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Top of the Shop table

 

Chelsea gained a couple of points winning at Everton, otherwise all their games have been par. City gained a couple beating us but dropped 3 against Stoke. Arsenal dropped 2 points drawing with Leicest, the rest were par. Spurs dropped points against us, West Brom and Sunderland. Everton dropped points against Chelsea Arsenal, Palace and Leicester. Finally Utd have dropped points in all their games apart from against QPR

 

Che: +2

City: +1

Arse: -2

Liv: -5

Spurs: -6

Eve: -8

Utd: -10

 

 

Queen Bee Table

 

All in all quite similar to the above, so I'm just giving you the table here. The reason for City and Chelsea swapping is City have played more top teams and not lost them, so gained from different par scores.

 

City:+4

Che: +3

Arse: -1

Liv: -2

Spurs: -5

Eve: -5

Utd: -10

 

 

Match Comparison Table

 

Here I show the end of season scores if all the remaining results are the same as last season, with the difference from last season in brackets.

 

Only Chelsea of the big 7 teams have actually done better than their corresponding games last season. Utd are a massive 10 points down already against relatively easy teams, so they have got a lot of ground to make up. 

 

City: 84 (-2)

Che: 83 (+1)

Liv: 83 (-1)

Arse: 78 (-1)

Eve: 69 (-3)

Spurs: 68 (-2) 

Utd: 54 (-10)

 

 

Last 38 Games Table

 

Whilst I am doing this for us, I'm getting all the other teams scores from here, http://www.thechels.co.uk/last-38-league/ , so am relying on it to be updated correctly

 

Che: 85

City: 84

Liv: 80

Arse: 76

Eve: 68

Spurs: 64

Utd: 62

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Good Frode Myhrol that's actually nothing really like him, you're just a good Frode Myhrol that's actually nothing really like him...

Seriously though, I enjoyed the bits I understood last year.

 

Think it gets easier to understand after I've done a couple of updates

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Following the draw against Everton

 

Queen Bee at 73 Update
 
Method 1: What we should get against each team: -2 
 
A draw was par, so we remain 2 points behind target. 

 
Method 2: Compared to how we did against each team last season: +8
 
We won this game last season, so we drop to 3 points less than in the corresponding games, but still have headroom of 8 points.

 
Method 3: This stage last season: +5
 
Last season we were on 13 points after 6 games, so we are now 6 points down, but we still have headroom of  5 points ahead of traget.
 
This means that from the last 38 games, we have scored 78 points
 
Method 4: How many points per game do we need: -4.5

7 points from 6 games is 1.17 points per game, and we would be on 11.5 points if we were going at the required rate.

 

From 32 matches remaining we need 66 points, which is 2.06 points per game.

 

If we continue at our current rate for the rest of the season, we'd finish on 44.3 points

 
Next Game
 
Home to West Brom means a win is par. We won this game last season.
 

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Top of the Shop Update
 
Method 1: What we should get against each team: -7 
 
A win would have been par, so we drop to 7 points behind target.
 
Method 2: Compared to how we did against each team last season: -9
 
We won this game last season, so we now need to make up 9 points on last seasons games to hit the target

 
Method 3: This stage last season: -12 

Last season we were on 10 points after 5 games, so we are 6 points down, and 12 points behind target.
 
Method 4: How many points per game do we need: -7.2

7 points from 6 games is 1.17 points per game, and we would be on 14.2 points if we were going at the required rate.
 
From the 31 games remaining, we need 83 points, which is 2.59 points per game
 
Next Game
 
Home to West Brom means a win is par.
 

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Top of the Shop table
 
In the 2 derby games, the home teams both dropped 2 points, whilst the away teams both scored at par. The City, Chelsea and Utd wins were all par results, so no change.
 
Che: +2
City: +1
Arse: -4
Spurs: -6
Liv: -7
Eve: -8
Utd: -10
 
 
Queen Bee Table
 
By this method, the home teams in the derbies both scored at par, but due to ranking differences, Everton gained a point whilst Spurs scored at par. This is one of the issues with this method as there is a bit of an arbitary step up in par scores.
 
City: +4
Che: +3
Arse: -1
Liv: -2
Eve: -4
Spurs: -5
Utd: -10
 
 
Match Comparison Table
 
Us and Arsenal both drop 2 points compared to last season, Everton and Spurs both gain 1 point. The other 3 results were the same
 
City: 84 (-2)
Che: 83 (+1)
Liv: 81 (-3)
Arse: 76 (-3)
Eve: 70 (-2)
Spurs: 69 (level)
Utd: 54 (-10)
 
 
Last 38 Games Table
 
Whilst I am adding this up for us, I'm getting all the other teams scores from here, http://www.thechels.co.uk/last-38-league/ , so am relying on it to be updated correctly
 
Che: 87 (+5)
City: 87 (+1)
Liv: 78 (-6)
Arse: 74 (-5)
Eve: 66 (-6)
Spurs: 64 (-5)
Utd: 65 (+1)
 

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+1

 

I think two of key questions this season are going to be:

 

Can we replace the goals Suarez scored and made? And,

Can we fix-up a leaky defense?

 

Is there a way you can work some insight into those questions into your analysis?

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+1

 

I think two of key questions this season are going to be:

 

Can we replace the goals Suarez scored and made? And,

Can we fix-up a leaky defense?

 

Is there a way you can work some insight into those questions into your analysis?

 

Thanks!

 

Thats a bit out of the scope of the main analysis that I'll be doing every week, but I don't mind getting sidetracked along the way.

 

Can we replace Suarez' goals and assists? I don't think we would have achieved the same amount even with Suarez in the team, let alone without.

 

I think we were only the 3rd team to ever break the 100 goal barrier in the Premier League, its not an easy thing to do as it is. Added to that we converted set pieces at an above average rate, we won penalites at an above average rate, and I think we probably scored from outside the area at an above average rate. Each of these were unlikely to be repeatable even with Suarez in the team.

 

I do think we have more than enough firepower to score enough goals to get us into the top 4 again without Suarez though.

 

 

Can we fix the leaky defence? Of course, we have 1 new CB and 2 new FBs, and it should not be unexpected that they wil take time to gel, however I think our current system will always tend to leave the defence exposed, so would expect us to continue to conced more than the 'average big team'.

 

From a numbers point of view, our save percentage is currently running below average, and whilst I see a lot of negative comments about Mignolet, this is a number that can fluctuate a lot in the short term, which means there is a lot of luck in it, but it tends to regress towards the average over time. I would not be surprised if we have a run of clean sheets and everyone starts to talk about Mignolet's return to form, when infact he's possibly just had a change in 'luck' (random variation is probably the better description).

 

One of the main issues we have is the amount of errors we are making, but again I think this is part random variation and part new players and is something that will get solved. 

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Agree with your thoughts, was just wondering if there was a way we could quantify our defensive and offensive performance.  I think a lot of people see balance as being the thing we need to work on most so something that could give you a feel for that would inform the discussion.  

 

Have a look @ the stuff on statto.com, especially attack/defence/supremacy. maybe something obvious will suggest itself.  And the tables on that site can be easily imported into excel with a web query and auto-refreshed, so if you do get side-tracked it should be minimal effort.

 

Anyways looking forward to this.

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To be honest, you want to look past the goals as you are dealing with small samples, particularly at this stage of the season, and there are so may factors involved. Better to look more towards the underlying numbers. First raw shot numbers, and then types of shots to get an idea of the amount of goals you would have expected to have been scored or conceded.

 

Over on the Members Forum I have a "Stats Corner" thread where I post various articles that look at this kind of stuff (although I haven't been very active at posting on it recently). 

 

But otherwise, for just the data,  I'll point you towards here http://cartilagefreecaptain.sbnation.com/2014/2/12/5404348/english-premier-league-shot-statistics

 

and here http://objective-football.blogspot.com.es

 

 

Learning to do web queries is something I should really have done by now, but have never got round to doing it I'm afraid...

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Thanks very much for this Woolster. Much appreciated. Loved the thread last season, and having fallen on hard times, you've made my forum.

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Following the win against West Brom
 
Queen Bee at 73 Update
 
Method 1: What we should get against each team: -2 
 
A win was par, so we remain 2 points behind target. 
 
Method 2: Compared to how we did against each team last season: +8
 
We won this game last season, so we remain 3 points less than in the corresponding games, but still have headroom of 8 points.
 
Method 3: This stage last season: +5
 
Last season we were on 16 points after 7 games, so we remain 6 points down but still with headroom of 5 points ahead of traget.
 
This means that from the last 38 games, we have scored 78 points
 
Method 4: How many points per game do we need: -3.4

10 points from 7 games is 1.43 points per game, and we would be on 13.4 points if we were going at the required rate of 1.92 point per game.
 
From 31 matches remaining we need 63 points, which is 2.03 points per game.
 
If we continue at our current rate for the rest of the season, we'd finish on 54.3 points
 
Next Game
 
Away to QPR means a win is par. We won the corresponding game against Cardiff last season.
 

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Top of the Shop Update
 
Method 1: What we should get against each team: -7 
 
A win was par, so we remain 7 points behind target.
 
Method 2: Compared to how we did against each team last season: -9
 
We won this game last season, so we still need to make up 9 points on last seasons games to hit the target.
 
Method 3: This stage last season: -12 

Last season we were on 16 points after 7 games, so we remain 6 points down, and 12 points behind target.
 
Method 4: How many points per game do we need: -6.6

10 points from 7 games is 1.43 points per game, and we would be on 16.6 points if we were going at the required rate of 2.37 points per game.
 
From the 30 games remaining, we need 80 points, which is 2.58 points per game
 
Next Game
 
Away to QPR means a win is par.
 

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Top of the Shop table

 

Both Arsenal and Everton dropped a point losing away to one of the big 7 teams, all other results were scored at par.

 

Che: +2

City: +1

Arse: -5

Spurs: -6

Liv: -7

Eve: -9

Utd: -10

 

 

Queen Bee Table

 

Chelsea, Spurs and Utd all gain 2 points beating tough teams at home, which puts Chelsea top by this method. Everton drop a point losing away to Utd, whilst Arsenal's loss was par due to Chelsea's higher ranking. Liverpool and City remain unchanged.

 

Che: +5

City: +4

Arse: -1

Liv: -2

Spurs: -3

Eve: -5

Utd: -8

 

 

Match Comparison Table

 

City lost to Villa last season, so they nake up 3 points and are back into positive territory. The Utd-Everton result was reversed from last season, so Utd make up 3 points but remain 7 behind last season, and Everton drop to 7 behind last season's fixtures. The other resutls were the same.

 

City: 87 (+1)

Che: 83 (+1)

Liv: 81 (-3)

Arse: 76 (-3)

Spurs: 69 (level)

Eve: 67 (-5)

Utd: 57 (-7)

 

 

Last 38 Games Table

 

Whilst I am adding this up for us, I'm getting all the other teams scores from here, http://www.thechels.co.uk/last-38-league/ , so am relying on it to be updated correctly

 

Che: 87 (+5)

City: 87 (+1)

Liv: 78 (-6)

Arse: 73 (-6)

Spurs: 67 (-2)

Eve: 66 (-6)

Utd: 65 (+1)

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Following the win against QPR

 
Queen Bee at 73 Update
 
Method 1: What we should get against each team: -2 
 
A win was par, so we remain 2 points behind target. 
 
Method 2: Compared to how we did against each team last season: +8
 
We won this game last season, so we remain 3 points less than in the corresponding games, but still have headroom of 8 points.
 
Method 3: This stage last season: +7
 
Last season we were on 17 points after 8 games, so we have improved to 4 points down and headroom of 7 points ahead of traget.
 
This means that from the last 38 games, we have scored 80 points
 
Method 4: How many points per game do we need: -2.4

13 points from 8 games is 1.63 points per game, and we would be on 15.4 points if we were going at the required rate of 1.92 point per game.
 
From 30 matches remaining we need 60 points, which is 2.0 points per game.
 
If we continue at our current rate for the rest of the season, we'd finish on 61.8 points
 
Next Game
 
Home to Hull means a win is par. We won this game last season.
 

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Top of the Shop Update
 
Method 1: What we should get against each team: -7 
 
A win was par, so we remain 7 points behind target.
 
Method 2: Compared to how we did against each team last season: -9
 
We won this game last season, so we still need to make up 9 points on last seasons games to hit the target.
 
Method 3: This stage last season: -10 

Last season we were on 17 points after 8 games, so we are 4 points down, and 10 points behind target.
 
Method 4: How many points per game do we need: -5.9

13 points from 8 games is 1.63 points per game, and we would be on 18.9 points if we were going at the required rate of 2.37 points per game.
 
From the 30 games remaining, we need 77 points, which is 2.57 points per game
 
Next Game
 
Home to Hull means a win is par.
 

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