May 30, 2007

Ten of the Best: - The Times ranks every player in the Premiership, from 1 to 403, and take a look at five of the best and five of the worst by poisition. Let the arguments commence!

posted by JJ to soccer at 10:49 AM - 15 comments

Steven Gerrard=80th, behind teammates Bellamy and Hyypia who are about to be sold? Terry Henry is the 7th best player on The Arsenal? Carlos Bocanegra is Fulham's best player? Shay Givens is 264th best player in England? Umm OK. I bet if we made a 1-403 "worst lists in history" this would be around 401.

posted by r8rh8r27 at 11:18 AM on May 30, 2007

Terry Henry is the 7th best player on The Arsenal? Couldn't that be a function of his limited playing time? I'll admit I didn't understand the measurement all that well.

posted by yerfatma at 11:55 AM on May 30, 2007

I would be curious to know how they calculated the points above average player metric. Kudos to them for trying, but boo to them for not laying out how it was calculated (unless I somehow just missed it). Here's my issue with the points above average/replacement player formulation as used here. A team of all "average" players presumably would finish middle of the table. This year, Blackburn finished tenth on 52 points and Aston Villa finished 11th on 50 points. So let's split the difference and say middle of the table equals 51 points. Manchester United finished first with 89 points. So it would seem that Man United's players should be good for an aggregate of 38 points above the wholly average team. However, if you add up the points for Man United (including the negatives), you get something just under 100 points. Which suggests they should have finished on 151 points, which is obviously impossible in a 38-game season. Now maybe I'm just misinterpreting the metrics used by The Times, but something doesn't compute here. Two other complaints/criticisms: (1) why couldn't they have listed the rankings from 1 to 403 without breaking it down by team (or at least give you the option to view it that way); and (2) I think Essien was one of the ten most valuable players in the Premiership this year.

posted by holden at 12:06 PM on May 30, 2007

What he just said.

posted by yerfatma at 12:35 PM on May 30, 2007

They lost me at Hleb in the top 5 (ahead of Fabregas).

posted by trox at 12:56 PM on May 30, 2007

Hleb is the tenth best player in the Premiership? This will Wendell.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:22 PM on May 30, 2007

Silly, highly silly. Lehman in the top 5 and Robinson #402 just shows that the FinkTank academicians used the wrong variables for the analysis.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:56 PM on May 30, 2007

Robinson didn't perform all that well from a fantasy perspective... and I should know.

posted by trox at 03:09 PM on May 30, 2007

In fantasy terms they finished dead level, which is much more realistic than this daft Times exercise.

posted by squealy at 04:06 PM on May 30, 2007

What Holden, Yerfatmama, and the good ship Bismarck said; but also, Primus better than Toure? Erm.

posted by Boggis at 09:17 PM on May 30, 2007

I thought the list was very well thought out and accurate.

posted by sic at 11:07 PM on May 30, 2007

Well, there's something for everyone there. As long as that something is 'that's bollocks'. The Middlesbrough rankings are hilarious: Downing at 360, and Rochenback at 158? Huth at 83 after missing most of the season? Obviously, the journos are bored already. Though given that C-Ron comes top, the only metric appears to have been 'spectacular penalty-winning dives'.

posted by etagloh at 12:35 AM on May 31, 2007

You can't sabermetricise something as complex as football. Because you may as well start turning nouns into verbs.

posted by owlhouse at 07:31 AM on May 31, 2007

posted by yerfatma at 07:53 AM on May 31, 2007

Hah! Hah! Hah! Snort! Hahhhah! Haha!... I wondered what happened to the writers from Monty Python. Good to see they've all found a new venue....

posted by True Blue at 12:21 PM on May 31, 2007

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