Saturday, October 30, 2010

Commentator Sense

I am going to post a quick statistical dis-proof of all the 'common sense' nonsense the commentators spew on a weekly basis. The first is the oft-quoted rule that Drogba and Anelka can't play together. It is hard (if not impossible) to prove things like how well they interchange passes, link up and create space together but what can be proven is the ultimate result of all that work: goals.

Looking at this season only (a small but still useful sample size) we see the following data (including the Champions League and Community Shield):

Games played with Drogba and Anelka starting: 8
Goals per game in these games: 2.89
Goals by Drogba and Anelka in these games: 8 (3 for Anelka, 5 for Drogba)

Games played with either Drogba or Anelka starting: 7
Goals per game in these games: 2.29
Goals by Drogba and Anelka in these games: 7 (6 for Anelka, 1 for Drogba).

Conclusion
The pair seem to be able to play well together given that they are averaging over half a goal more per game when they do so. The only loser seems to be Anelka who has excelled when played as the focal point of the 4-5-1 this season (6 goals in 7 games). Two lessons to be learned: one, commentators rarely let statistics and facts get in the way of a convenient statement, and, two, if Drogba were to get injured Anelka might just be the most valuable fantasy player around.

2 comments:

Ryan said...
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Ryan said...
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