The premier league table itself is a rather boring affair I’m sure you’ll agree. Not the contents – the record of how everyone is performing itself is great - but the format hardly set’s the world alight. A few years ago someone put together a different view which showed in a linear way how closely teams were on points and I thought that was a great idea. Before last weekend’s games I started to look at different ways you could factually explain the table and make it more interesting.
I started with the concept of a race from Land’s End to John O’Groats which, to the non-UK readers, is the most southerly mainland point of the UK to its most northerly. If the season was displayed this way then the leaders, Chelsea and City have just made it to Carlisle and are rapidly heading for the Scottish border. Behind them (and to be honest quite far behind them) come the rest of the pack; United are about 30 miles north of, well, Manchester and the Saints have just past Wigan. Arsenal and Spurs are stuck on a horrible section of the M6 by Knutsford and Congleton respectively which is very prone to both accidents and traffic jams. The next few teams are either parked up at motorway services by Stoke on Trent or at the entrance to the M6 Toll road.
Of course, the tail enders are doing pretty badly indeed with Hull and QPR enjoying their time in Portishead; West Brom are playing about on the pier at Weston Super Mare and Leicester have amazingly only just left Cornwall and are on the M5 motorway between Exeter and Taunton.
The trouble with this analogy though is that you end up with too many geographical issues; Newcastle being located between Stourbridge and Bromsgrove for example is just a bit too confusing so, inspired by the clock I have in front of me, I wanted to compare the season to a 24 hour day.
The first positive is that if the season was 24 hours, the time now would only be about 13:15 – plenty of time left! So if the leaders are at 13:15 where is everyone else? Here:
I think maybe I’ll look next time at an around-the-world race J Anyway, enough of that nonsense and back to the good stuff
Well who else got caught by Jose’s decision to play Cech rather than Courtois? Whilst I would have happily kept the 18 points that Cech managed I was happy with my teams 126 points without a goalkeeper. These things just can’t really be foreseen so we have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and look forward to week 22.
To start with, I should confirm that I have completed this week’s figures on the basis that both Courtois and Szczesny will return to their respective squads – it’s not guaranteed but I strongly suspect that this is the case.
From this week’s goalkeepers I’m happy to say that there are 6 that make the minimum requirement of a 32% chance of success: Lloris, De Gea, Mignolet, Adrian, Courtois and Robles. If you look at the graph you’ll see that only Courtois and Robles make the “value for money” cut. Adrian is nearly there though so if you’re holding him don’t despair. Personally I hold both Courtois and Robles so I’ll have to decide which one I go for – I’m fully on the fence at the mo.
Here’s this week’s table:
As you can see Tottenham are shown as the most likely to succeed which feels about right to me. Burnley also manage to score over 50% at home to Palace. Although they managed to get the better of Spurs last week I suspect that Turf Moor (especially if the snow begins to fall) will be a different matter – those managers who hold Danny Ings may well have something to shout about. The third best potential is shared between City and Southampton. Whilst I would normally back the home side I suspect that facing Newcastle is becoming a licence to print money.
Last week was a great week for the Poisson as it improves week on week until the end of the season – it correctly forecast 1-0 for Leicester, 2-0 for Chelsea, 1-1 for Swansea and West Ham, 1-0 for West Brom and 1-0 for Liverpool – that’s 50% of the correct scores which is quite frankly brilliant. I hope that it steered you in the right direction. I had another comment last week regarding labelling the axis on each chart – this isn’t as simple as it sounds in the way I’ve set up this spreadsheet I’m afraid. Just remember that the “Across axis” is the “Away team” and you should be fine.
That’s all for my weekly rant – see you next time