Bottomed Out

By Patrick Murphy  ::  04/02/2013 Following the long and arduous debate about Everton dropping silly points against lower tier teams, I have put the Premier League clubs into three categories, using data of matches played since start of 2008-09 up to present day.

Category 1 clubs include the expected monied sides Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City and Spurs. The current bottom 5 clubs and all those relegated from 2008-09 onwards are treated as Category 3 tier teams. The remaining teams are Category 2 teams which include Everton.

PPG = Number of points won / number of games played

At home, Everton have an overall PPG of 1.80 with all the Cat1 teams having above 2.00 and Liverpool just under at 1.97.

Everton have an appreciably worse record against Cat3 teams, gaining only 1.78 compared with our main Champions League qualifying rivals who all comfortably attain a minimum of 2.18. Even the likes of Fulham, Stoke, Southampton, WBA and West Ham gained a larger PPG than Everton against Cat3 sides.

Only Man Utd have more than 2.00 pts per game against fellow Cat1 teams, followed closely by Spurs with 1.78. Everton have 1.52 the same as Liverpool.

Against teams of the same category as Everton (Cat2) Man Utd have a PPG of 2.70 and all other Cat1 sides have a figure above 2.00 however Everton excel in this range of fixtures, beating Spurs (2.06) and Liverpool (2.00) with a PPG of 2.11. No teams outside of these 7 clubs has a better than 2.00 ppg with Fulham the closest at 1.80.

Away from Goodison Park, Everton have an overall PPG of 1.3, equal to Spurs and slightly below Liverpool and Man City on 1.4. Yet again, it is Man Utd (1.9) who have the best PPG with Chelsea (1.7) and Arsenal (1.6) the closest to them.

Manchester United (2.24) are the most ruthless when it comes to taking points off Cat3 teams; only Chelsea (2.09) and Arsenal (2.00) come close. All other CL challengers have a PPG between 1.6 and 1.7. Aston Villa (1.81) are a surprise package; Everton (1.32) yet again underline what many have thought with a rueful score against Cat3 teams.

However Everton (1.72) redeem themselves a touch against teams from their own category, with only Man Utd (2.0) and Chelsea (1.77) bettering it. Liverpool (1.47) and Man City (1.47) whilst Arsenal (1.61) get the better of their neighbours Spurs (1.39) a relatively low score for a prospective CL qualifier.

Only Man Utd (1.42), Chelsea (1.09), and Arsenal (1.00) have a point or better from matches with fellow Cat1 teams. Of the rest, Liverpool (0.96) are the best with Everton (0.84) above Spurs (0.83) but below Aston Villa (0.86).

Basing the numbers on this season alone, including the weekend's results, as usual for overall PPG, Man Utd (2.23) lead the way, on their travels, whilst Man City (1.92), Chelsea (1.85) and Spurs (1.77) are closely grouped. Everton (1.5) are ahead of Arsenal (1.42) and Liverpool (1.15).

Man Utd have beaten all of four of the Cat3 teams they have faced on the road giving them a perfect score of 3.00; Liverpool (3.00) also have a perfect score, Chelsea (1.67) have dropped significantly and Arsenal (2.00) maintain their form of recent seasons.

Worryingly Everton (1.20) have fallen from their already relatively lowly figure of 1.32 and it is of some concern that Spurs (2.50) and Man City have all improved their PPG against the lowest catergorised teams. In point of fact, Newcastle (1.33), WBA (1.75), Southampton (2.33) and Fulham (1.25) all score better than Everton.

For games with Cat2 opponents, Man City (2.00) are out in front; and with those clubs vying for CL, Everton (1.83) lead the way yes that's right! with Spurs (1.67) and Chelsea (1.63) the closest challengers. Man Utd (1.4) are ahead of both Arsenal (1.25) and Liverpool (1.29).

Fixtures involving the CL chasers against the monied teams pan out as follows: Chelsea (3.00) with a perfect record, rather surprisingly lead Man United (2.50) and Man City (1.67). All the other CL chasers (Everton, Arsenal, Spurs & Liverpool) have exactly 1.00 PPG.

What is to be made of this information? Well I think it reinforces the problem that Everton have often had and that is the failure to put to the sword those teams they should expect to beat. It also shows how well we can perform against teams at or above our level.

I ran a provisional end-of-season table using these stats and, without checking it, we miss out on Europe and tie for joint 6th place on 62 points with our arch-rivals from over the park.

If I can get an accurate read of the data, I will bore you to death with it (but only if it improves Everton's chances!)

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Tony Marsh
043 Posted 05/02/2013 at 16:15:19
My brain hurts...
Brian Waring
047 Posted 05/02/2013 at 16:46:22
I couldn't believe that against the bottom 8 teams we have dropped a total of 17pts up to now.
James Martin
077 Posted 05/02/2013 at 19:22:52
Unfortunately a problem inherent within transitioning to becoming a top side. When you're at the bottom of the league every game regardless of the opposition is an absolute lottery. When you're better than that (Everton 2004-2012) if you're in form you can beat most teams below you at home quite comfortably because they fancy some points ff you so give you the opportunity to play and make your quality tell.

Against the top sides, however, you don't get anything because they recognise you as more than mere cannon fodder so always put in a proffessional performance. When you become a team at the top of the league the bottom sides start to accept that they won't get anything out of you by playing football so shut up shop often frustrating you, at the beginning of the transition stage like we are now the team still lacks the abundance of quality in the team and off the bench to break these sort of teams down consistently. The upside is that against the top sides your improved quality gives you a better chance of winning the big games as w ehave seen with our improved record against the perceived top sides (RS aside) over the last few seasons.

Hopefully we can kick on to the final stage where we remain a challenge for top teams both home and away, and we have the quality and the fear factor that just makes lesser visiting teams roll over and surrender at Goodison like they do at Old Trafford rather than putting in ridiculously competent displays of defense and counter attack football ill-befitting of their ranking in the league.

Trevor Lynes
082 Posted 05/02/2013 at 19:36:30
Stats, stats, stats.....

Do the maths again and give us how many points gained per player used and you will find us above almost everyone.

Si Cooper
083 Posted 05/02/2013 at 19:22:11
Underlines that, as well as DM has done thus far, there is still potentially room for improvement.

Am I allowed to say that without a formal statistics qualification or will people imagine I have a ginger-haired voodoo doll that I am currently sticking pins into?

Kevin Tully
084 Posted 05/02/2013 at 19:29:18
The bookies agree with your predicted results Pat, they have us both on 11/2 to finish in the top four, with Le Arse even money!

Just a shame we have to go away to the four grounds we have never won at under D.M.

As I mentioned on another thread, he has nothing to lose going for it at these grounds, and I am sure he is aware of his record.

If this is his last season with us, does he intend to go out with a roar or a whimper?

Si Cooper
086 Posted 05/02/2013 at 19:43:11
Kevin - we apparently gambled three points against Villa in order to make sure Pip is firing on all cylinders for the Manure game.

I can't work out what that means in relation to your question; can anybody?

Patrick Murphy
087 Posted 05/02/2013 at 19:39:58
I'm sorry Trevor, but even I am not that anal, but without a dash of statistics what informs our opinion? I always believe that my bank account should have more money in it than it has, but when I check the statement, it always proves that I was wrong in my assessment of how much money I thought I had.

I was only attempting to clarify in as an unemotional way as possible to highlight what many fans have argued about in the last few weeks. We have underachieved against the lower placed teams in the last five seasons and this season we have managed to drop even more points against these teams than we usually do.

Kevin Tully
089 Posted 05/02/2013 at 19:51:54
The trouble is Si, we're not allowed to want to win at these grounds, ask most posters on here.

They have spent more money so why bother turning up?

Si Cooper
094 Posted 05/02/2013 at 20:04:41
Kevin, I think most people recognise that the players will automatically be up for the challenge on Sunday and the way their players react to the initial onslaught will go a long way to determining what we come away with.

Ultimately, however, I suspect that it is whether our 'weakest links' are up to the task that will determine things at this stage of the season. Unless he was injured (which I haven't seen reported anywhere) I can't see that Pip was left out against Villa for any other reason than he is thought to be essential for our chances against Utd. The draw at home with Villa can't be considered to be anything but 2 points dropped given their general form this season, so nothing but a win at Old Trafford will suffice to square the circle.

Personally, I would see retaining Oviedo at RB (and leaving Pip on the bench) as a greater example of really chancing our arm, but that sort of comment tends to get you castigated on TW these days.

Andy Crooks
095 Posted 05/02/2013 at 20:18:09
If Philip Neville was rested against Villa to save him for a more important game then, err, I just can't think of a response , It's just mad,

Kevin, good post #089. Our first eleven can beat anyone but our failure at certain grounds is due to a negative, defeatist mindset. We can all recognize the qualities of David Moyes but when he goes to Old Trafford and beats that overrated side, thumps a poor Liverpool team at Anfield and wins at Arsenal, we will recognize them more. We can do it if Moyes believes we can.

Si Cooper
096 Posted 05/02/2013 at 20:30:05
Do you have an alternative suggestion for why Pip wasn't at RB for the Villa game that does make sense, Andy?

Just asking because I've been told over and over again that the manager had no real alternative to playing Jags there, and yet I have not heard that Pip was left out because he was injured.

If he was left out because he was tired, then I think he should have been scheduled for some R&R for the coming game rather than the one just gone.

James Martin
097 Posted 05/02/2013 at 20:39:02
Andy, I do believe that there has in the past been a negative defeatist mindset amongst the players going to big grounds, but I do think that it is slowly changing. The stat about not winning away is an annoying one as we would have beaten City this season (presuming of course that all the previous wins at the etihad don't count on TW) if it had not been for a ridiculous penalty call.

We would have beaten Arsenal had it not been for Vaughan's poor finishing and a ridiculously unlucky deflection of Lucas Neill's boot to allow Arsenal a draw. We've always played quite well at Stamford Bridge but Chelsea always seem to be in good form when we play them (as in not in the sort of form theyre in now).

Old Trafford and Anfield have been the biggest examples of our mental blocks. This needs to change this season undoubtedly if we are to have any chance of getting fourth. Football isn't played on paper though so all this looking at fixtures is largely meaningless. Wigan went and won at Anfield and the Emirates en route to staying up last year so comparing run ins is fruitless.

Bobby Thomas
098 Posted 05/02/2013 at 20:47:38
If we played 2 holding players at home to United (Gibbo and Neville), it's fair to say that Moyes may well want to at their place.

The only issue is the right back position. But Phil Neville is nailed on to play, either right back or holding role.

Ian Bennett
101 Posted 05/02/2013 at 21:13:29
United will not fancy playing us on Sunday, with Real coming to town on Wednesday for a Champions League showdown. My guess is he will play Ferdinand and Evans at the back, who are getable with the strength of Fellaini and a sparked up Vic.

One thing is for sure, if we turn up and give them a bit of roughing up, Whiskey Nose will revert to his cat calling and snide long ball comments. If they win, it will compliments to the great job young Davey is doing:

Howard
Baines
Neville
Jagielka
Distin
Gibson
Osman
Pienaar
Mirallas
Fellaini
Big Vic

John Crawley
104 Posted 05/02/2013 at 21:03:12
Patrick really interesting analysis, thanks for all the effort you put in to work it all out. It made me go back and take a look at the 2004/5 season as I had always remembered that the reason we did so well was our record against the bottom teams.

I picked the bottom 5 teams for the 2004/5 season and our overall PPG was 2.5, with a home record of 3 PPG and an away record of 2 PPG. So at least my memory stacked up but interesting to see the difference when we played the bottom teams in that season.

Trevor Lynes
106 Posted 05/02/2013 at 21:29:52
Patrick, stats are used to suit virtually any argument, e.g. Nowadays the pundits on TV only talk about the Premier League results and they avoid talking about football since its inception. Man Utd's trophies have mainly been won since the advent of foreign players and the use of three subs from seven.

Liverpool won their trophies when there were no foreign players and only two subs. We won more titles than Man Utd before the start of the Premier League. Unfortunately, stats are used to brainwash people into believing any argument that suits the media.

Talking about teams below us, most of them spent more money than we did over the past couple of seasons and used more players.

My reply to your stats is a fair one if you consider it properly rather than flippantly. I played the game at a pro level and understand the importance of being able to use more players. Personally, I have never agreed to the present use of subs as its unfair to teams with less money and makes it less of a level playing field.

I honestly believe that when Liverpool won their titles it was more difficult than today. Now the title is devalued and it's becoming more and more like the SFA.

Si Cooper
112 Posted 05/02/2013 at 22:07:32
Trevor, what Patrick has done in presenting these figures is show an apparent anomaly, in that you would expect to have a fairly consistent points per game figure against teams generally considered poorer in strong contrast to that accrued against those regarded to be better.

Patrick's figures show that when the teams are considered as three groups, paradoxically the lowest teams do better than those above them but still below us. This pattern does not fit nicely with your point about the number of players used as the lowest group has a poorer record overall irrespective of the amount of players used.

Logically, there is another major factor to consider, potentially a psychological one that either affects the opposition or our players.

Patrick Murphy
114 Posted 05/02/2013 at 22:04:14
I didn't use the stats to prove an argument, I researched and collated the information and if the bottom line had have been different then I would have still sought to have it published. I didn't have a concrete conclusion in mind, although even I was surprised at the amount of points we failed to gain from those lower placed teams.

Perhaps as an ex-professional you could explain how Everton manage to do so well against teams above them and around them, but cannot perform to that level against the teams they should not only be beating but beating comfortably?

Of course when you're much admired Liverpool team were winning Leagues, stats were never ever mentioned. Nobody was aware of the number of times that Ian Rush scored and LFC were unbeaten in games, The infuriatingly long unbeaten runs were just skipped over without mention by the media. The number of Titles won, were never ever referred to as a way to influence the public that this was a club like no other. The number of medals won by Phil Neal were never ever mentioned.

I know these stats not because I want to remember them, but because even with the limited TV coverage of the 70s and 80s, I was bombarded by them, week after week.

From 1962-1971 all the traditional big clubs won the title at least once, with Man City and Leeds shipping in with a Title apiece, so no lack of competition in that era.

But I beg to differ with you assessment of it being more difficult for LFC to win the titles they did during the mid 1970s to the early to mid 1980s

In their hey-day exactly which clubs of considerable size were they competing with, Everton only for 3-4 years. Man U not realistic challengers for the title until SAF arrived. Arsenal mostly mid table team for much of the period. Aston Villa similar to Everton a couple of seasons and a European Cup and then disappeared.

So it was Forest, Derby, Ipswich, Southampton and perhaps the mighty Watford, hardly clubs of a size to be considered long-term threats to Liverpool's monopoly.

Admittedly Brian Clough did have a large part to play in the 70s and but for his failure at Leeds he may have come to Goodison and we may have seen a different tale.

All of this nostalgia doesn't explain how Everton can't compete in the PL due to lack of finance and yet at the same time they are able to compete with all their main rivals on a game by game basis.

If like you say even the lower placed teams spend more money than us, whose fault is that?

Would the Goodison faithful even if they could afford it pay 50-60 to watch a game to improve the income stream?

Peter Jones
115 Posted 05/02/2013 at 22:30:11
Everton plays up and down to competition. But we knew that. Good analysis though. I'm just hoping to see our starting eleven for once. God forbid if we can string 8 games or so with them fit, I'd tip us to buck the trend of underperforming against weaker sides. Pretty frustrating when everyone knows who our best eleven is, yet they are never actually on the field together.

Honest question. How many times has this lineup taken the field this season?

Howard
Coleman Jags Distin Baines
Osman Gibson
Mirallas Fellaini Pienaar
Jelavic.

Brendan McLaughlin
117 Posted 05/02/2013 at 22:40:39
Patrick
There's an argument that as Everton improved the clubs below us decided that a point against us was a good result & therefore set themselves up not to lose. On the other hand the teams above us still feel if they adopt a "we play, you play attitude" against us then more often than not they'll take the points. I thought John Crawleys post (#104) tended to support this view.
Not sure if your statistics can be tweaked to test this view but just thought I'd ask.
Si Cooper
124 Posted 05/02/2013 at 23:17:28
Brendan, you seem to be forgetting that there are 3 categories of opponents not just 2, and that we do badly against the lowest category teams in comparison with the likes of Stoke and Fulham which means other teams have presumably found ways to counter the 'park the bus' tactics. Aston Villa and Southampton have both recently shown that going full-tilt at us is as valid a tactic as any other if you are having a bad season, and I don't recall Reading, Wigan or QPR being shrinking violets either.

There is always the possibility that we occupy a particular sub-group caused by our relatively long-term position as the 'best of the rest', but it still comes down to the coaching staff finding a way to make us more effective in these games somehow.

Phil Walling
153 Posted 06/02/2013 at 07:49:58
Good stuff, Patrick! One of my kids works in statistics and I'm always getting him to do exercises like this. His projection has us finishing on 60 points (just one behind RS) to finish in seventh place.

Personally, I feel that 58 will be enough for seventh and have wagered accordingly. But then, I'm no good at sums!

Derek Thomas
155 Posted 06/02/2013 at 07:54:12
James Martin #077 I think you have the gist of Patrick's well researched piece. Yours put into words what I have thought and tried to put into words in various threads.

We're just not quite good enough and victims of our thus limited success.

Gavin Ramejkis
160 Posted 06/02/2013 at 08:37:15
Ian 101 I hear Evans is out with shingles so they are down in defence.

I have asked this before but when was the last time Everton hammered someone? Moyes has a habit of getting his players to sit back on a lead when they could go up a gear and get a much better goal difference, an opposition side under the cosh will be concentrated on defending thus very little risk of attack and more chance of a clean sheet to boot.

Brian Waring
162 Posted 06/02/2013 at 09:07:23
If it's a case of we're just not good enough to break down the bottom teams who come and park the bus, then how come in a lot of those games we are having loads of attempts at goal? An example, against Villa we had 22 shots on goal, with 13 of those on target and that seems to have been the kind of stats against most of the bottom teams, against Reading we should have been 4 up at half time.

It's plain and simple what it's down to, fucking woeful finishing.

Roman Sidey
167 Posted 06/02/2013 at 09:59:34
I always thought that season 10-11 was Everton in microcosm. I think after that year I put the following table together. We finished 7th, which means we were in the top 7 and the bottom 14. The first section is the points gained by teams IN the top 7 AGAINST top 7 teams. The second is the points gained by teams in the bottom 14 against teams in the bottom 14.

Top 7 ladder /36

1. Man Utd 21
2. Arsenal 19 + 4
3. Everton 19 +3
4. Liverpool 15
5. Tottenham 14 -1
6. Chelsea 14 -2
7. Man City 11


Bottom 14 /78

1. Fulham 45 +17
2. Bolton 39 +8
3. Stoke 38 +5
4. Blackburn 37 +0
5. WBA 37 -1
6. Villa 36 -1
7. Sunderland 36 -3
8. Newcastle 35 +7
9. Everton 35 +3
10. Wigan 35 -1
11. Brum 31
12. Blackpool 28
13. Wolves 27
14. West Ham - 26

Shows that amongst the big boys were third best, but against the lower teams we got less than half the points available and this is where our season was a real let down.

Sam Hoare
171 Posted 06/02/2013 at 10:35:04
Interesting stats. Sort of. One thing I agree on sadly is our finishing place. I reckon 6th is about right. Another case of close but no cigar. Many on here will blame moyes when the main culprit is a shallow squad, in other words a lack of player investment.
Trevor Lynes
176 Posted 06/02/2013 at 11:26:14
My argument about the level playing fields during the old First Division days are based on the fact that every team had an equal chance of winning the title and teams like Ipswich and Leeds did so. Managers were far more important then and built sides of home grown players without the influx of foreign players to cloud the water. Subs were limited to two so large squads were not so important.

In those days, some national teams were better as the youngsters came through more readily than they do today because ready made foreign stars were not bought.

Liverpool won their European titles with home grown players who were good enough to beat foreign opposition. The same goes for Man Utd's team when it won its first European title. Many English teams including everton won euro titles long before foreign players came to our shores to ply their trade.

I have no problem with players going abroad to earn higher salaries but it should not be at the expense of developing our own young players. It's no coincidence that our national side is hampered by the lack of young English players. The emphasis on the clubs is getting into europe so the owners are buying up foreign players for quick fixes rather than building teams.

I believe that a maximum of four foreign players should be allowed per club. I also believe that the number of subs on the bench should be limited to four with only three used

Martin Mason
183 Posted 06/02/2013 at 12:07:42
Roman@167

Very interesting stats. Could it be that the top clubs play more to win against us and let us play in return. The bottom clubs especially at Goodison come and park the bus and that's when our creative limitations show.

Tony J Williams
184 Posted 06/02/2013 at 12:08:19
"We finished 7th, which means we were in the top 7 and the bottom 14" - Absolutely fantastic.....bottom 14, brilliant. That Man Utd, they're crap, they finished in the bottom 19 last year.
John Crook
202 Posted 06/02/2013 at 13:58:53
Excellent stats, Patrick. Watch out for cars with blacked out windows outside your house. It will be the bookies hit-men waiting for you. Seriously good write up and very interesting. As a betting man, I'm always looking into the numbers and I like the way you categorized the teams on PPG. Interesting stuff!
Phil Walling
206 Posted 06/02/2013 at 14:10:59
I think we`ve averaged 7th over Moyes`s time here, which given the resources made available to him, is just about on target. Thus talk of his overachieving is nonsense as he`s delivered value for money. No more, no less.

I think he`s well overpaid for that achievement although I`m sure there are many of his contemporaries (Hughes, McLeish, McCarthy, Strachen to name but four) who would have made a complete balls of the job, however much they were paid!

I have to admit the man may have not fulfilled OUR expectations but he`s delivered well for his mate BK. Together, they`re a `project` and history will show they `done okay`. Trouble is, us older guys want for more! Think we might be waiting a while longer, eh?

Kevin Tully
211 Posted 06/02/2013 at 14:56:09
Phil, I think the average finish is 8th under Mr Moyes.

A good manager who will never find a job so well paid, with the brief of avoiding relegation.

You have got to say though, he may have gone on to greater things if he had been backed by the Board the Catch-22 there though is, would another Chairman have given him 11 years in the job, if he had many millions to spend? Doubtful.

Sam Hoare
213 Posted 06/02/2013 at 15:04:55
No Phil. It is overachieving. For transfer/wage spend we are on average somewhere around 9th-12th in the table. So we are somewhere between 2-5 places higher than we perhaps should or might be. Doesn't sound a lot but in arguably the most competitive top league in the world, it is.
Phil Walling
221 Posted 06/02/2013 at 16:35:58
Sam, no figures to hand but think our ten year transfer/wages spend is more like 7th/8th.
James Martin
226 Posted 06/02/2013 at 16:47:38
Average league finish means nothing though does it. the figure is massively distorted by that one disastrous season with a 17th placed finish and the season he took over from Smith. Since then we've seen 4th, a couple of 5ths and 6ths, a few 7ths and one 8th and one 11th. That does not mean as some people like to think we always finish 8th.

On the contrary our mode and median position would be somewhere around 6th. Unfortunately the 4th placed finish does not distort the figures as much as an 11th placed finish would even though its a lot harder to move up that one place than it is to slip a few down in midtable.

Phil Walling
235 Posted 06/02/2013 at 17:44:58
As a few have said here, James, you can make figures mean anything. All the Moyes fans will always believe that with more investment we would be Champions of Europe whilst the MOB would see us as relegation fodder!
Sam Hoare
236 Posted 06/02/2013 at 17:44:26
Phil. I'd be surprised. Obviously Manu, city, chelsea, spurs, Arsenal, RS are above us and i'm pretty sure the likes of QPR, Newcastle, Villa and Stoke are above us certainly recently.

A swift google effort has us 17th for net spend in the last 5 years!

http://www.transferleague.co.uk/league-tables/transfer-league-table-last-five-seasons.html

Anto Byrne
237 Posted 06/02/2013 at 17:41:58
A very average report if you know what I mean. I reckon all this regression is pretty anal-y-sis. You statisticians are all deviants and it's all very standard under the old bell curve.
John Ford
249 Posted 06/02/2013 at 18:20:17
Thanks for posting Patrick, interesting stuff.

It's folly to make the assumption that because we do well against he better teams that we shoul by definition do better against the lesser teams. This is too simplistic. You could just as easily argue a case for doing less well against better teams. Are we overachieving against good teams or underachieving against lesser teams!?

I certainly think GP is a factor. We give the money clubs a riot of an atmosphere and our players will often respond. I'm encouraged also in a roundabout way by Brians observation that its our finishing which sucks. At least in this case we can improve. I'd be more concerned if we weren't actually getting on top or creating against lesser teams.

The other stat worthy of note is our points per pound spent on transfers which unsurprisingly has us at the top of the table. Even with salaries added we get decent bang for our buck. This won't detract from the dissapointment of not finishing in the top four, which I believe is beyond us. But then I've had a bad day at work, and of course tomorrow we'll be up to third, easy.

Mike Oates
334 Posted 07/02/2013 at 10:31:52
Patrick , I published 2 articles about 4 and 5 years ago ? on the use of stats to forecasts results and hence total points and likley finishing position based on those points. On both occasions I was slightly optimistic and forecasted about 7 points too many than we actually got.

I use 3 methods , but all based on each team having an initial factor based on their last season's position - ie this season Man City have a factor of 0.5 at home and 1 away, Man Utd Utd 1 and 2 away ..... West Ham 10 and 20 - some ways similar to yours.

First method is a one-off taking full Everton fixture list , looks at 3 fixtures at a time, ie 1-3, 2-4,3-5,4-6 , looks at teams factors does a single mean per fixture and against a histotical table works out whether we are likely to win, draw or lose. Adds total and this year is 66 points which will get us 5th place.
Second method is same but updated after every full Premiership fixtue ie the 10 games per week and every clubs factor changes based on their up to date performances (takes about 1 hr per week to update) and forecasts all the next fixtures results - this years up to date is Everton predicted just missing on 4th and winning 5th place but literally one point ahead of Liverpool.
Third method much similar to yours based on 4-5 years previous results aginst clubs and updated only slightly each week and presently forecasting 6 or 7th due to remaining difficult fixtures we normally only lose or draw at best , ie Man Utd (a), Liverpool (a), Arsenal (a), Stoke (h), Sunderland (a), Spurs (a) .

So overall I have been writing in regularly that 4th is beyond us with 5th a bonus but could even be 6th and with Swansea or Bradford already bagged one Europa place, we could be Europe free again next year, with severe ramifications.

Last note - unfortunately our near neighbours are currently (behind Utd) the team my stats are showing the best possible chance to get 4 or 5th

Roman Sidey
338 Posted 07/02/2013 at 11:07:10
Tony, I was merely qualifying the two divisions that we are part of, but, since you brought it up, I believe that if you're not first you may as well be last (except relegation fucks that up) so I guess you're right, United were bottom 19 last year. You know that that's probably how they see it right?

I think it would help to motivate the players: "Come on, Lads. Let's get out there and dig ourselves out of this bottom 16 scrap." As long as it doesn't come from Rounds, it could work.

Barry Rathbone
339 Posted 07/02/2013 at 11:15:10
I'm qualified in statistics and quantitative analysis and it's bollocks, always bear in mind this quote:

"Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital."

Derek Thomas
342 Posted 07/02/2013 at 11:25:32
Phil #235 The ( me ) members of the MOB only wanted Moyes to do what he has been doing for the last 12 moths ( more or less ) no KITAP1 no knifes to gun fights.

If Moyes was to go there is no automatic relegation, just like there is no automatic Prem title...total none arguement

Pro's and anti's we all agree that more money wouldn't hurt.

I think Patrick accurately nails where and why we are where we are.

We are just not good enough, but good enough to frighten the bottom half into parking the bus.

Derek Thomas
344 Posted 07/02/2013 at 11:38:53
Barry # 339...Or as Churchill said...I never believe any statistics I didn't make up myself.
Geoff Trenner
345 Posted 07/02/2013 at 11:57:12
98.734% of all statistics are made up1
Mike Oates
365 Posted 07/02/2013 at 13:46:18
Good fun for all us mathies though, once you get that 1 in a 10 right it makes it all worthwhile, got to go now just analysing my last 200 golf rounds to detect areas for improvement besides driving, iron play and putting.

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