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  • Jlock Jlock Sep 26, 2012 07:49 Flag

    Statin' 'ell!

    A stat is just a correlation of related numbers. The football league table is effectively a stat, as it links games played to points and goals scored for/against.
    So we all use and see stats in regards to football. But embedded in those stats are also simple facts.
    You could look at some stats and wonder what the relevance is. The one that always amazes me, for two reasons, is the '...Spurs haven't won at Anfield since....' type stat - as that seems to imply that somehow unrelated teams (ie Spurs may have change their squad, style and manager n times over during that period) always perform badly at a location. Surely it can't predict? But somehow it seems to. Some teams have bogey teams. How does that work? So the surprise to me, is that although the stat looks to be a nonsense, it does seem like quite a good predictor.

    As for Crouch/Daffy and England, I thought that it was generally accepted that they both had a relatively good strike rate. National teams are an issue though, as you can't guarantee the quality of the opposition (you could be mixing Brazil and San Marino). EPL goals scored (or even CL goals) would show if a striker is consistent around roughly consistent opposition.

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    • Thanks for replying,

      I thought you may have enjoyed this one.

      'EPL goals scored (or even CL goals) would show if a striker is consistent around roughly consistent opposition.'

      I don't feel there is a consistent level in the EPL, its a higer average level than some leagues, but the league itself is pretty inconsistent in terms or quality/ability. There is some truth in the old adage 'He never plays well against the good teams', if each team was much of a muchness, we wouldn't heard these or similar comments, would we?


      • 1 Reply to Joe
      • Joe,
        fair comment. In any league you will have good/bad. But what I was getting at, is there isn't a league as such for internationals (although they have rankings), so a team, that is 100th often plays a team that is in the top 10.
        A league with promotion/relegation attempts to get around that, by keeping a number of clubs that are on paper within 'n' on the ranking scale (ie league position) together.
        Much the same really as most goal scoring records tend to split out goals in cup competitions - for one or two reasons that I can see. One is that you can't guarantee the opposition, so scoring a hat trick against a club 3 divisions below isn't quite the same as scoring a hat trick against a top 4 club. Secondly, it means you can't compare on 'seasons' as cup runs can mean what, 10-20 games more?
        In general though people accept the 'top EPL goal scorer' charts - as it is a way to roughly judge how 'prolific' a striker has been.

        I personally think that the EPL is a good league for how close the gap is between top and bottom teams - so is a fair'ish way to judge. My perception is that Spain seems to have a bigger gap between the big teams and the bottom (especially in goals scored last season)- so for a striker to get 40+ for RM or Barca, to me isn't the same as a striker getting the same number in the EPL.