There has been a lot of debate with regards to the Player of the Year for the 2012/13 season and with the debate in mind we thought we’d put together a brief statistical analysis of the players being mentioned and their form this season. We’ve predominantly used goals scored and clear-cut chances as the two stand out stats to judge them from.
So why haven’t we used assists? The reason is because a goal assist is a two-way relationship that is dependant on the striker converting the chance for the player. A clear-cut chance is a chance that is much more likely to be converted than a regular chance and is defined as a chance that puts a player with a “clear” attempt at goal (basically a one-on-one, penalty or unmarked/less pressurised attempt at goal).
The four players we’ve chosen for the comparison are: Gareth Bale, Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez and Juan Mata – In our eyes these are the stand out players from the 2012/13 Premier League season. There are a few others we could have mentioned like Leighton Baines, Santi Cazorla or even David Silva lately but the four we have mentioned have been the stand-out performers that everyone has been talking about more or less for the majority of the season.
Player of the Year Stats
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Pay particular attention to the “Mins Per” stats in the table above as these are a fairer reflection of how players have performed. Why? Well none of the players above have played the same amount of minutes so its best to divide their stats by the minutes they have played to analyse their performance on an equal standing rather than go for total numbers.
Luis Suarez and Juan Mata come out looking good from those stats as Suarez scores most often and Juan Mata is creating the most often. Robin van Persie comes 2nd in both goal scoring and creating clear-cut chances emphasising his excellent two-thirds of the season.
Player of the Year Form
So how do we analyse these stats further? A lot of our followers have mentioned form on Twitter and how players have dropped in and out of form. So we’ve split their stats and up and taken their total clear-cut chances and their goals from over the season – combined them and had a look at how well they’ve done over the course of the season.
The goal involvement statistic above shows how many goals have been directly influenced by the player – either a goal or assist. Luis Suarez has definitely pushed his team a lot more than his rivals and without him Liverpool really would have struggled.
(Note: Mata only played two Premier League games in December – away for World Club Cup – in comparison to the other three playing almost all of their games)
Whilst there are limitations (playing time etc) with the analysis above the line chart shows each players contribution of goals & clear-cut chances combined month by month. As you can see Luis Suarez has finished in the top two in 7 out of the 8 months. Robin van Persie had a great start to the season but since December he has dipped the most whilst Gareth Bale had a dip from December to January but then shot up in February. Luis Suarez also dipped in February but bounced back to top March whilst Mata has also been quiet but this is a mixture of being rotated by Rafa Benitez to play in the FA Cup or Europa League.
Robin van Persie has also been rotated or injured for a game but he’s not scored for 422 minutes in the Premier League. He’s going through a club goal drought (has scored for the Netherlands) which has spanned 11.5 hours which is the longest he’s gone without a goal in his career or since his Feyenoord days where he played as a winger.
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The final table shows in which position each player finished in each month with regards to a combination of clear-cut chances and goals scored. You can see that Robin van Persie started like a rocket and Gareth Bale showed phenomenal form at the end of the year and in 2013. Juan Mata is without a doubt Chelsea’s star player this season – they miss him when he’s dropped for rotation and he makes them tick however he also started really well this season topping October’s combination of goals and clear-cut chances. Finally Luis Suarez has been constantly performing at a high level for Liverpool and contributed so much to their season – if you were really going to pick out of the four it would be the unpopular decision of going for Luis Suarez.
Do the stats lie? Have your say – pick your winner by using the poll below!
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All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.[/box_light]