16/38’s EPL Update: You’re Getting Sacked in the Morning!

16/38’s of the EPL season has gone by (reducible to 8/19’s for the mathematicians out there), and boy are the narratives coming in with the type of fervor that’s very English Premier League. We’ve had two managers sacked in Andres Villas Boas and Steve Clarke, two managers who if anything were sacked in part because of circumstances that were out of their controls. Whether people are attributing the circumstances involving AVB’s firing to the lack of time involving merging the talents involved in the £107 million spending spree, or how they’re a victim to the volatile nature of the reliance on SV% is up to them (we’ll talk about this in a bit more depth in a little bit).

Steve Clarke’s firing is different, but at the same time not violently different. Steve Clarke did not have a £107million spending spree over the summer transfer window, hell they only spent 12.5% of what Tottenham spent on the likes of Nicolas Anelka, Sessegnon, and Victor Anichibe. By Week 11, West Brom sat at 10th place in the EPL, with a signature win at Old Trafford, where their counter attacks were as graceful and violent as the Moscow Ballet. A funny thing though was happening with that West Brom side. Despite their 10th place showing, a lot of it had to do with their SH% vs the league average at the time. West Brom had a SH% of 34.3%, the league average was 28.13%. Their PDO at that point was 1098, the league Average was 1002.6. 5 weeks later and we now see the effects that PDO has. West Brom’s SH% dropped to 30.9, much closer to the League Average of 29.05%. Their PDO has now dropped to 1012, and with 4 straight losses at the helm, Steve Clarke paid the price. Ironically enough, their shot ratio metrics have risen up from 0.461 in WK 11 to 0.489 present day. Being presented with the real scenario of relegation could’ve prompted ownership to make this move, however short sighted it is. Their improvement in Shot ratio is a sign of a possible bounce back, and with their 5 next fixtures involving; Hull (Home), Spurs (Away), West Ham (away), Newcastle (Home), and Crystal Palace (Home), West Brom could easily scrap together a 2-2-1 or even a 2-3-0 record, which would give them enough breathing room from the relegation fight. Their season last yr was the best in their history, though they also were one of the beneficiaries of a significantly weaker Premier League.

Anyways, here’s the customary TSR/PDO/Final Third Touches table with some notes that involve rambling and other miscellaneous stuff:

Teams Games Played Points TSR SH% SV% PDO Final Third Touches
Arsenal 16 35 0.533 35.1 74.6 1097 3342
Liverpool 16 33 0.568 36.1 75.0 1111 2954
Chelsea 16 33 0.618 34.0 67.3 1013 2966
Man City 16 32 0.638 45.6 65.4 1110 3083
Everton 16 31 0.564 29.7 74.6 1043 2809
Newcastle 16 27 0.537 26.9 69.0 959 2119
Tottenham 16 27 0.614 16.3 69.1 854 2869
Man United 16 25 0.516 32.5 71.7 1042 2955
Southampton 16 24 0.562 27.0 71.7 987 2571
Swansea 16 20 0.521 27.9 64.4 923 2719
Aston Villa 16 19 0.476 27.1 70.4 975 1983
Hull 16 19 0.445 29.6 71.6 1012 2093
Stoke 16 18 0.442 27.8 75.0 1028 2222
Norwich 16 18 0.421 25.9 68.8 947 2415
Cardiff 16 17 0.372 26.7 75.6 1023 1983
West Brom 16 15 0.489 30.9 70.3 1012 2415
West Ham 16 14 0.460 25.5 73.6 991 2217
Crystal Palace 16 13 0.462 21.2 64.7 859 2039
Fulham 16 13 0.340 27.3 69.1 964 1967
Sunderland 16 9 0.410 27.9 58.9 868 2081

Notes:

  • Anybody else find it odd that Fulham’s Final Third Touches equals to 1967, the same year that the country of Canada turned 100 years old? Or how about this; 1967 is the same year that Anna Nicole Smith, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jamie Foxx were born. Spooky stuff isn’t it?
  • Luis Suarez= God…
  • With Fulham’s incremental improvement in their shot ratio, we suddenly have an interesting race between Cardiff and Fulham for worse shot ratio in the Premier League. I also can easily see a scenario in which both these teams either stay up or sent down. Last yr, Wigan were the only 1 of the 3 relegated sides with an actual shot at staying up during the last few weeks of the season. This yr seems prime for 2, possibly all of the relegated sides to feel what Blackpool and Birmingham felt in the 2010-11 season
  • Somethings that’s interesting to note with Tottenham this yr is despite the woes that they’ve had at generating goals, what helped them stay within the sphere of the Top 4 (which to be fair, they still are ) was how much better their SV% was compared to the league average through 11 weeks.

SV%

  • Through 11 weeks Tottenham had a SV% of 82.9%, the second highest SV% in the Premier League. The league average at that time was 72.12%. 5 weeks later, Their SV% has dropped to 69.1%, while the league average currently is at 70.04%. A lot of factors have contributed to the drop. Despite their high SV% at the time, they still played the high pressing line that AVB has loved to implement. The Hugo Loris injury situation also might’ve had a part while playing Man City at home does tend to screw up a team’s defense. Tottenham’s defense, despite the grief it has gotten over their performance against Liverpool, has to this point kept Tottenham within 5 points of a CL spot and 8 points from 1st place. Their season is far from doom despite the AVB hysteria, and if their SH%’s ever return to near league average (though their low SH% may be in part due to their inadequacies in their shooting despite the ratios), they’ll be fine, though I bet you whoever the incumbent manager is, he’ll get the plaudits for not being AVB
  • Aston Villa are in the bottom 3 in Final third touches, yet they’re the highest in the table from the 3 in question. The reason why I’ve included Final Third Touches is it’s been correlated for future goals scored. Something that’s been fascinating to me is  how different types of passes might correlate to future point standings, similar to TSR. I tried to see if there was a strong link between possession and points. Going about this, I used the last 4 completed seasons from Whoscored’s database. The following might either shock you or just confirm what you think of possession:

Correlation

  • As you see, Having lots of possession doesn’t necessarily equal lots of success. Just ask Stoke or even Swansea from the last few yrs. I’m planning on doing some more correlations revolving different types of passing, defensive stats etc…
  • HAHA, United sucks!

 

We’re 16/38’s through the Premier League season, which again is reducible to 8/19’s. Two more managers have been let go/sacked, bring the grand total up to 5. We still know as much, if not less than what we did before the season, though some patterns are beginning to emerge: United’s midfield is downright abysmal, Playing City at home is a death sentence for your SV%, never rely on PDO and it’s corresponding stats, Aston Villa love the long ball, and Luis Suarez is the best player in the EPL (though we could’ve said that before the season). It’s been a hell of a ride so far, and as the late Nate Dogg once said;

 

Hope you ready for the next episode Heyyyyyyyyy

 

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About Moesquare

Marseille supporter, #FancyStats supporter. Troller of all things Twitter. I write words and hope they make me sound SMRT
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