Thursday, October 25, 2007

Player ratings: first 10 games

Here are the ratings for first ten league games. The scores are compiled from the average ratings on talkboards and in the media after each game (substitute appearances are in italics and bold denotes Man of The Match).





I've been comparing these scores to the latest Actim Index, which currently has five City players in the top 25 - Elano (3rd), Petrov (5th), Richards (12th), Garrido (22nd) and Johnson (25th). Arsenal also have five in the top 25, Portsmouth have four, Villa, Everton and Newcastle have two and United and Chelsea both have one. Also featuring in the top 100 are Dunne (28th), Corluka (35th), Schmeichel (68th), Hamann (74th), Ireland (78th) and Mpenza (91st).

I've always been curious about how good a guide the Actim scores are. The Index was created in 2004 by Dr Phil Scarf and Dr Ian McHale from the University of Salford's Business School. The pair have have co-authored papers with titles such as 'Modelling soccer matches using bivariate discrete distributions with general dependence structure', so I'd imagine there's some pretty hardcore mathematics involved here.

Although details of the formula remain secret there's a general guide to how it works at PA Sport, which helped create the Index. Last season points were introduced for clean sheets and assists and my guess is that the new formula has a bias against midfielders who play deep, which might explain their absence from the top places as well as Hamann's surprisingly low ranking.

Not doubt the Index will be tweaked and improved, but my belief is that football fans will always be a better judge of a player than a mathematical formula.

~ The player ratings are now filed in the Stats & Squad section, which also includes details of when the contracts come up. Links to more player and team stats can be found here.

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