This year, as you may have heard on recent podcasts, I am forming my own database for player analysis using three statistics that I hope will show which Chelsea players are performing best and which are performing worst.
So far, with just three league games played the stats accumulated are affected by a low sample size but do reflect form and as the month of August is in the books I thought it was time to debut the results in conjunction with the Chelsea Football FanCast Player and Goal of the Month awards.
This is quite simply my ratings of the players for each game they play in, weighted by time spent on the pitch, ie; someone on the field who gains a rating of 8 (out of 10) over 90 minutes will see more of a benefit than a player who gains a mark of 9 for a 15 minute cameo. While subjective of course, I hope to be consistent from one game to the next and over the course of a 60 game season fluctuations should be ironed out.
For August the top performers were:
• John Terry – 7.67
• Alex – 7.67
• Ashley Cole – 7.67
• Didier Drogba – 7.64
• Florent Malouda – 7.44
I didn’t record ratings for the Community Shield as I wasn’t able to watch the game while on holiday (I hear Ashley Cole did not play well that day so perhaps you won’t vote for him!). Interestingly, despite his 4 goals and 3 assists, Didier Drogba rates out lower than the trio of defenders, who of course kept three clean sheets in the league. Drogba, in spite of his devastating impact in the 6-0 wins was almost completely anonymous in the first half of both of those games.
Plus / Minus:
This is an ice hockey statistic that shows a player’s impact on team performance. Quite simply, if a player is on the field when Chelsea score a goal he is credited ‘plus one’ while if the Blues concede he receives ‘minus one’. The figure is also expressed over 90 minutes. So far, John Terry is “+3” meaning that while he is on the pitch Chelsea have netted an average of three goals per game more than the opposition.
• Petr Cech – + 4.67 (per 90 minutes)
• Alex – + 4.67
• Didier Drogba – + 3.86
• Nicolas Anelka – + 3.66
• John Mikel Obi – + 3.56
Interestingly, Yossi Benayoun is +5 in his short Chelsea career to date, benefitting by being on the field for just 54 minutes (which is why he is excluded from the above list) including a ten minute cameo at Wigan when the Blues scored twice.
Goals + Assists:
Add up goals and assists and weight by the amount of time on the pitch, simples!
• Didier Drogba – 2.25 (per 90 minutes)
• Salomon Kalou – 1.80
• Nicolas Anelka – 1.13
• Florent Malouda – 1.12
• Frank Lampard – 0.57
At this early stage, this stat is affected by playing time, seemingly more so than the others. For instance, Daniel Sturridge recorded an identical figure to Didier Drogba, but is excluded for only having 40 minutes of game time. To start the season, Drogba directly contributed to more than one goal per game more than any of his teammates, reflecting his hat trick against West Brom and hat trick of assists at Wigan.
Worst Performers so far:
On average rating, Branislav Ivanovic (5.33), Paulo Ferreira (6.00) and Frank Lampard (6.28) are well behind the majority of teammates with a similar amount of playing time while both Ivanovic and Ferreira have low a low plus/minus score with +1.96 and +2.12 respectively, although during the course of the season one would be very happy with those figures, just not when your team has won two games 6-0 to open the season!
Hopefully these statistics will provide some insight as to the Chelsea players performing the best.