Premier League Wages Stalling?

Hello this is going to be a shorter blog then normal I just felt I had to share the early findings. Inspired by the R4DS online learning community recent tidy Tuesday article in which we looked at a dataset which had the wages of various positions in the NFL. Reviewing it showed that while some positions salary was increasing at a high rate, others it was shown were not growing at all.

I decided to look at wages on in the English premier league. I got the data from the same website which had the wages for all players for every year from 2013 to the current year. I took that data and plotted the graph below which shows the wages for the top 50 players in each position.

wage2

Now despite all the money going into the league now with the latest increases in TV deal money. The wages for all players seems to staying at the same level. This shocked me and I can only think of couple reasons as to why:

  • The increase in TV money has been spent on things other then wages – transfer fees or gone to the owners of the clubs
  • If higher wages have been paid it has gone to the less skilled lower paid players

Stay tuned I have an few ideas how we can review this further and come up with some ideas if this is true.

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EFL Championship Win Odds

Hello welcome to another blog this time looking at win odds in the championship so far this year and comparing each teams odds. The aim is to review the data and see if their are any trends we can spot. To get the data i downloaded the raw CSV from the football data. The CSV is available on their website for free and contains lots of other interesting information.

odds

The summary above shows each team in the sky bet championship with the home and away game odds plotted. The big thing to take away is the spread for some teams. If you look at Wolves they were generally well fancied in their home and away games. Burton however even in their well fancied games at home they were still less fancied then other teams at home. Also the better team the more overlapping of home and away odds.

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I have now updated the graphs to focus just home and away games. The home games again Wolves generally have the lower odds for home games. The only team that has some odd close the Wolves is Aston Villa who are obviously a well fancied home team. The biggest surprise for me is that despite Burton having clearly the higher odds then any other team in the division they dont hole the least fancied odds for a home team. That accolade goes to Barnsley. A similar pattern is seen with the away odds, obviously they are generally higher then the home odds.  This data seems ot suggest that the better teams have both lower odds and smaller grouping of odds. Also this could be a way to review how closely matched a league is the more spread out the odds the closer the teams are in terms of quality.

home wins

The graph above compares the number of home wins for a team against their average odds to win. As expected the lower the average home win odds the more home wins a team has got. However there are some outliers which are interesting. The two big overachievers when looking at the bookies odds are Cardiff and Bolton. Cardiff look like they should have similar amount of wins to the teams in the playoff mix and Bolton look like they should have theoretically the second lowest home wins in the league. Underachievers look to be maybe Brentford and Norwich though there seems to be more teams Overachieving then Underachieving.

away wins

Finally away wins shows the same trend however this time there are clear teams at the bottom and top showing how much harder it is to win away from home. The big overachiever away from home is Burton which suggests they play well when teams underestimate them. A team which has under achieved is Middlesbrough who look to have been expected to get more then 10 wins away this season but have only 7.

 

 

Should Middlesbrough Sack Monk?

Middlesbrough started the season as the undisputed favourites to win the Sky bet Championship and gain promotion back to the Premier League. This came from the chairman’s publicly stated ambition to “smash the league” and a total transfer spend of over £40 million (although net transfer spend was only around £15 million). There was high hopes across Teesside that the newly put together team would be able to do just that. However things haven’t turned out anything like that for the Teessiders. In the wake of Saturday nights chastening defeat to Bristol City the team are now 14 points behind Cardiff City and the second automatic promotion place.

I want to try and cut through the opinion and look at one graph which probably wont give a definitive answer on the question above however will inform some views on how Steve Gibson should be thinking.

middlesbrough Trend

The graph above plots the points per game. For reference I have added the points per game on average required to avoid relegation, reach the playoff and achieve automatic promotion. On that I have plotted the actual points per game and the expected points per game, which is the critical piece of information. The expected points if derived from expected goals for each match and I have included it as that value will give an understanding of the luck. If a team was outperforming expected points then they could be termed as lucky and vice versa. Reviewing the trend for Middlesbrough this has unfortunately not being the case. Their actual points is within 2 points of the expected points therefore i think they are exactly were there performances deserve to be. This is bad news for Gary Monk as this performance is far below what i expect the minimum expectation was for the season, automatic promotion. I wouldn’t say this definitely means he should sacked however this is not good statistics. I will do further posts over the week to dissect if there are any clear reasons why.

Goalkeeper Usage in the Championship

In this post I wanted to have a look at how much goalkeepers are used in football. There’s a lot of talk about how goalkeepers are used in modern football particularly due to Pep Guardiola wanting a goalkeeper that can help play out the back. In order to do this i looked at the Championship in England. Mainly because my team is in that league.

 

team gk usage

I took each teams total touches per match and the number of goalkeeper touches. I then calculated the percentage of touches for the goal keeper. The results for the Championship are in the table. What is immediately apparent to me that goalkeeper usage is probably not just tactical way of playing but also influenced by how good the team as a whole is. Teams not comfortable on the ball are more likely to use the goalkeeper to knock the ball long. Wolves have signed players all comfortable on the ball which has meant the goalkeeper has been used less. Also goalkeeper usage is influenced by the number of goal kicks. this could be removed from future analysis as this could effect the results that are seen.

The graph below shows how the number of points a team accumulated over the first 11 games is related to the % of touches the goal keeper had. There seems to be a fairly weak correlation with the number of points a team has however it will be interesting to see how this develops as the season goes on.

gkusagepoints

I am going to further review other positions touches for the teams in the championship. Possibly look at centre backs and where they touch it and full backs.