Click DONATE to support BFB this festive season.
Everyone has their own point-of-view on things. Mine is usually that pie is a solid breakfast. Also, I like statistics mixed with a heavy dose of perspective. I’m a fan of numbers because they sound fancy and you can bend them to your will fairly easily, yet I can claim to not understand them.
Today’s statistical analysis is merely an overview of what has transpired so far this season, focusing mostly on Barça’s current achievements and personnel, for obvious this-is-a-Barça-site reasons.
After 6 matches, there is one undefeated team and no teams without any points. Because Xerez scored this past weekend, there are also no teams who have failed to score a goal this year. With just over 15% of the league completed, that shouldn’t be a particularly impressive feat, but until Emiliano Armenteros scored in the 47th minute to give Xerez the 1-0 lead, some were pondering if they could go an entire season without a goal, earning points merely on 0-0 draws. Now the nay-sayers will move on to whether or not they can get a win.
Because of a fairly absurd run of results — 6 matches, 6 wins — Barça are top of the league, 3 points clear of Sevilla in 2nd and Real Madrid in 3rd (who are in 3rd despite having a better goal differential based on their head-to-head record; for me Sevilla is in 3rd). Depor are back to their Super ways, coming in 4th with 12pts. A note about Mallorca in 6th: they’re the only team to have allowed 0 goals at home this year (9GF 0GA). Only Real Madrid have scored more at home (11) while Barça have scored the same number.
At the bottom of the table we have Malaga (4pts), Villarreal (3pts), and Xerez (2pts). The surprise is, of course, Villarreal, who are so far down, but for one silly blogger, it’s a double whammy because he predicted both they and Malaga would be in European contention by season’s end. It could still turn true, of course, but at this rate Villarreal are estimated to get 22.80 points via Pythagorean Expectation (using 2 as our exponent, by the way). Of course, Xerez is estimated to get 0.79 points for the entire season…which is awkward because they already have 2 full ones.
Regardless, here are my predictions vs the reality:
Depor La Coruña
So I only have 2 of them correct. Whatever. I’d have 4 if it weren’t for the numbskull approach that the LFP takes towards determining standings. Goal differential means more to me than head-to-head record. I’d be more than happy to explain why to anyone in the comments if they so choose, but for now I’ll stick to what we have at hand, though I will note that Marca, surprisingly, lists RM in 2nd.
Here’s a perfect example of why I don’t include assists: when compiling stats, commenter Boat Forever has previously taken into account the fact that if you give someone the ball on the wing and they cut inside of 6 defenders, shoot, and score, you shouldn’t receive an assist. Soccernet makes no such statement on their assists page, meaning I’m stuck wondering what the criteria is. After all, even the NBA has no defined assist rule; if they can do this, they can do anything. So I prefer to ignore the assist as a concrete stat and merely understand that creative passing happens and that is part of the overall value of a player. Feel free to point out that I use decimals to discuss goals (see below) and could just come up with my own criteria for the assist if I so chose.
Now, to Barcelona.
For those of you wondering, I’m going to be focusing entirely on the league here, so leave your CL and SuperCup stats at the door. We’re going purely on the league results, which I think are stand-alone insofar as it is possible to be because there’s a different level of competition and a different style of reffing that creates massive differences between the various leagues and tournaments. A one-off final is immensely different from a league match both in approach and in, ultimately, the way it is viewed by those in charge (ref, coach, etc). So it’s just the league we’re talking about.
No bonus points for guessing which outfield player has the most total minutes, but what about most minutes per appearance? That’d be Carles Puyol, averaging 88 minutes 36 seconds on the field every time he gets out there. Xavi, for his part, is slacking, appearing for only 88:30 every appearance. Sheesh, step it up, Xavi! We’ve played 561 league minutes (including extra time), of which Xavi has played 531.
But to the goodies:
Fewest minutes played per league goal: Messi, 76:12 (5 in 381:00), followed closely by Bojan (1 in 81′).
Least expected minutes-per-goal stat: Pique, 189:30 (2 in 379:00).
Yellow cards accumulated by team: 9 (1 every 62:20)
Red cards accumulated by team: 0 (1 every infinity +1 minutes, booyah)
Most yellow cards for a player: Ibrahimovic, 2
Fewest minutes per yellow card earned: Iniesta and Chygrynskiy, 1 every 185:00.
I’m going to highlight a specific player during these statistical posts and go more in-depth on their stats. This is possible thanks to the record-keeping going on over at the FCB Official Site. You can find everything here. Because it’s the first of its kind, I’m going with, well, the one who always go first in our world: El Capitan, Sir Carles Puyol.
5 league appearances, replaced once. 443 minutes played, 1 yellow card, 3 fouls committed, 3 received. The subjective numbers are 47 balls won back, 7 balls lost, 3 corners conceded.* When you compare his minutes per league appearance (88:36) with all of his appearances, you find that the Captain is holding back. Because of the UEFA Super Cup, in which he played 120 minutes, that total average is 93:00. That’s a lot of minutes per appearance and proves that our beating heart also has one of his own.
Rock on, all, let’s hear your thoughts about this information in the comments.
*They’re subjective because you can call these things either way; it’s true.