In our teaser info-graphic published last week (shown below) we illustrated the most error prone teams in the 2012-13 Premier League with Arsenal, Newcastle, Wigan and Liverpool coming to the fore. We’re going to be looking at the percentage of goals conceded via errors, the percentage of total errors that result in goals and the frequency of errors.
Premier League 2012-13: Frequency Of Errors
To begin with lets look at the frequency of errors that have been committed in the Premier League this season. Obviously the worst offenders are Arsenal, Newcastle, Wigan and Liverpool with the Gunners and Magpies committing an error every 87.69 minutes, a staggering error per game, whilst Liverpool and Wigan were just marginally behind on an error every 95 minutes. Sam Allardyce’s West Ham United commit errors the least often with an error every 244.29 minutes that’s an error every 2.7 games.
The top six teams that committed errors the least were (in order): West Ham United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and Reading. The major surprise here is that Reading were in the bottom three for the majority of the season but didn’t commit as many errors.
Percentage of Goals via Errors in Total Goals Conceded
The radar chart below illustrates which sides conceded the highest amount of goals via errors as a percentage from their total goals conceded. When it came to conceding goals from errors Arsenal were the worst as a mammoth 40% of their conceded goals came from errors they committed. The average for the Premier League was just over 17% so it’s some achievement for Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League whilst committing so many fatal errors in games. It could also be said that Arsenal would have finished much higher had they not conceded from so many errors.
Meanwhile Newcastle United, who committed the same amount of errors this season (39) found that only 16% of their conceded goals were via errors. If they’d conceded a percentage like Arsenal’s they surely would have been relegated.
Reading were the surprise here – not many errors committed and not many conceded from either. The analysis shows that Reading didn’t need to commit errors to concede goals – they were conceding them regardless!
Further Look At Arsenal’s Errors
Arsenal have intrigued me here and I delved further into their stats for errors committed. In their first 28 Premier League games this season they committed 37 errors of which 14 led to goals. So what changed in the last nine games in which they committed only 2 errors, conceded from neither and were undefeated for all 9 winning 7 of them? Let’s show you via an info-graph:
The win away at Bayern Munich was the point in which Arsenal’s season turned around. Since they beat Bayern Munich at Allianz their confidence increased and this seemed to have had a massive effect on their defence as they stopped committing errors. Going from 37 errors in 28 games to 2 errors in 9 games in a massive shift. The line chart shows how Arsenal’s points fluctuated when depending on the amount of errors they committed – a clear indication of how their errors rattled them in their games.
Does Luck Play a Part? Percentage of Errors that Resulted in Goals
How much luck is involved when conceding goals via errors? During a nerdy statistical discussion an interesting point was made by Dan Kennett, from the Tomkins Times, his point was that the metrics being recorded, by Opta, are for errors that led to shots on goal and should be taken as a total regardless of whether they led to a goal or not. At the end of the day an error has been committed and it depends on how lucky/unlucky you are for a goal to be conceded from the error. It’s an interesting thought so we decided to analyse the percentage of errors that led to goals.
The final info-graph below could show one of the reasons for Wigan’s demise this season. A staggering 47% of the errors they committed led to goals so going by Dan’s theory were they the unluckiest side? Surprisingly Manchester City were one of the unluckier sides, they had the tightest defence in the league yet 40% of their errors led to goals – a season of what could have been for the former Champions.
Liverpool conceded the 2nd most errors this season but they seemed to have got lucky when it came to conceding goals from these errors as only 27.78% of their errors led to goals. Only Chelsea, West Brom and Manchester United, who all had lower figures for errors committed, conceded conceded fewer goals via errors than Liverpool.
From the analysis we can see that the errors conceded by some teams have cost them dearly (Wigan) whilst a few teams were able to commit a lot of errors but improve their game and achieve their goals for the season (Arsenal). The key is to keep the errors at a minimum and success will follow (Manchester United & Chelsea) however a little luck is required on the way (Newcastle) else you could really end up with nothing (Manchester City & Wigan).
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