Penalty Problems

Recently I have been updating a list of the most recent penalties in the Champions League knock-out phase and, also by the amount of reactions, I think it is quite interesting: only four of the last thirteen penalties in the Champions League KO round have been scored; a not so staggering 31%.

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World Cup for Clubs 2016

Tomorrow, 8 December 2016, starts the 2016 World Cup for Clubs with the qualification game between the champions of the host country Japan and the winner of the Oceania Champions League: Kashima Antlers vs Auckland City. It will be the 13rd time the tournament is played under this name (it still had a different format in the 2000 edition though), but if we would count all World Cups on club level (known as Intercontinental Cup before) that were disputed in history, it would be edition number 56. For the rest of this blog we will consider the latter.

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Argentina with and without Messi

I am not busting myths by saying that Argentina is not the same team with and without Lionel Messi. The Albiceleste are currently experiencing a rather difficult qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup and lot of the blame goes to the absence of La Pulga. Argentina won three out of three games when the man from Barcelona was playing (Bolivia, Chile and Uruguay) and only one of the seven in which he was not present (Colombia, 4 draws and 2 defeats). Argentina have only scored 11 goals and besides Messi (2), defender Gabriel Mercado (2) is the only player to have scored more than one goal.

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Premier League substitutions: 3. Do subs score more than starters?

Super-subs, the sub effect, pinch hitters and more. Players like Jermain Defoe (23 Premier League goals as a sub), Nwanko Kanu (17), Ole-Gunnar Solksjaer (17) and Javier Hernández (14) have done a lot of work to promote this terminology over the past decade(s). But how certain are those concepts? Are their players that consistently score more goals coming on as a sub? And what is the general tendency; do subs, fitter than starters when they come on, score more goals then starters? Let’s see.

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Premier League substitutions

I have been writing quite a lot on Premier League substitutions lately and here is an overview of the posts:

  1. Premier League substitutions: 1. What and When?
  2. Premier League substitutions: 2. The Decision Rule
  3. Premier League substitutions: 3. Do subs score more than starters?
  4. Premier League substitutions: 4. The double-substitution at half time
  5. Premier League substitutions: 5. Olivier Giroud (draft)
  6. Premier League substitutions: 6. Jürgen Klopp


Premier League substitutions: 4. The double-substitution at half time

As argued in one of my previous blogs, building on the “Decision Rule” from Myers, Premier League managers could increase their chances of turning around a game if they would make earlier substitutions. As can be seen here managers on average implement their first, second and third substitutions in the minutes 62. 72 and 81 respectively.

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Premier League substitutions: 2. The Decision Rule

Data that is discussed in this blog was described here.

Replicating Myers’ study to substitutions

WHY am i digging this up?

Although there is seemingly very little a manager can do during a game and substitutions seem to be their main way to have an impact on the game, there is very little discussion about them. When getting the data on Premier League subs, as discussed beforeI remembered some statements from the book “The Numbers Game” where a study from Myers is mentioned. I wanted to see how much of his conclusions hold true over a larger time period in the Premier League (the dataset from Myers covers only one season).

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Premier League substitutions: 1. What and When?

Tactics have been transmitted to the players, set pieces have been prepared (or more likely not..) and opponents have been thoroughly studied. Then it’s game time and the manager sees his influence slip out of his hands. There seems to be only so much he can do during the 90 minutes. Walking impatiently along the sideline, shouting at the fourth official and handing notes to throw-in takers is probably not going to do it, but one of the obvious things he can do to try to impact an on-going game is to bring on substitute players. Little has been written on this matter, so here is my (first) try.

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Player influence on team goal difference (Premier League)

This blog was written on 26/4/2015, after Round 35 of the Premier League 2015/16.

You know that situation when you leave the pitch when your team is winning 2-1? At the end of the 90 minutes the opponents have turned everything around and won the match 2-3.  Stubborn as you are you tell your manager and teammates that you DID win the game, having left the field in a winning situation.

Taking those situations into account we can calculate the effectivity of each player in his team: how many goals does his team score when he is on the pitch compared to when is not present? And what impact does he have on the total goal difference?

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