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Site Changes

16 Dec

Due to a mini breakthrough in presenting the stats and making them interactive, I’ve moved the site from WordPress to Blogger. What does this mean to readers? Not much, you’ll still be able to find the site the usual way, but the format and layout will be a bit different.

So for upto date interactive tables on Player Comparisons and Team Stats:

La Liga Stats

Premier League Stats

Serie A Stats

Bundesliga Stats

Each league now has interactive/sortable stats, showing top scorers, points earners, team stats, and player comparisons by the usual average position and range of opponents.

Any feedback is welcome.




Site Update

20 Nov

For all of you that are looking for the weekly stats, they’re now found in the above menu bar:

There, you’ll find the leading goalscorers by average opposition and range of opponent, as well as points won by player, and a mixture of Wins, Clean Sheets, Failure to Score, and every now and then, a new metric.

In terms of features and player comparisons, they’ll be found on the home page, or on the menu above.

The Rio Ferdinand vs John Terry piece is near completion, and should be up within the week.

As always, if there are any requests, please let me know.





Premier League Round 6

1 Oct

Premier League Stats:

Based on rank of opposition at the start of the round. Upto date as of 01/10/2012

2012-13 – Goals by Player

2012-13 – Points by Player

2012-13 – Clean Sheets by Team

2012-13 – Wins by Team

2012-13 Defeats by Team

2012-13 Goals by Team

2012-13 Conceded by Team

2011-12 Stats (based on final positions)
2010-11 Stats (based on final positions)

Eredivisie Season Review: 2011-2012

20 Jun

Although we haven’t tracked it throughout the year, I’ve been asked a few questions on the Dutch League, so figured it’d be interesting to have a look at it now that the season is over. I’ll admit to not watching a great deal of this league, so with that in mind, i’ll present the stats in a slightly lighter (or is that Liter?) version of the season review

The 2011-12 season saw a familiar look at the top of the table -Ajax won (for the 31st time), Feyenoord finished 2nd and PSV finished 3rd. Big deal, what’s new I hear you say. Well it’s actually the first time that the big three have finished in the Top 3 in seven seasons (Feyenoord finished 10th last year and lost 10-0 to PSV along the way) after AZ, Twente and even NAC gatecrashed the party. Ajax were the deserved champions with the most wins, least defeats, most goals and one of the best defences (behind AZ), so can we expect to see the Average Opposition stats to weigh favourably in their favour? Well no, not necessarily.

First up is the player stats – who were the big game players, and most important to their team?


Goals versus Top 5

The first measure to determine who the big game players were is to see how they did against the top opponents in the league. Unlike the elite leagues in England, Spain and Italy, there’s only 18 teams in the Dutch top flight, as a result, I’ve changed the range from Top 6-Mid 8-Bottom 6 to 5-8-5.

And there’s only one place to start, or more specifically, one family – the de Jong family. As if to try and prove that the big game mentality is something to do with upbringing and surroundings, the two brothers have each been very impressive against the Top 5 teams. Luuk de Jong, 21 (the younger of the two brothers), scored a very decent 25 goals last season for Steve McClaren’s free scoring FC Twente and as you can see above, seven of them were against the big teams. And taking into account Twente’s 6th placed finish, this meant that he did so in a maximum of 10 games. Bearing in mind his age, he’s surely one to look out for in the future.


Interestingly, his older brother Siem (23) also excelled against the other Top 5 teams. Playing for Champions Ajax in a slightly deeper attacking role, the Swiss born youngster (they moved to Holland aged 4 and 6 respectively) scored four of his 13 league goals against the best teams with one against title rivals PSV and a hat trick away at 5th placed Heerenveen. It certainly does raise an interesting point in what makes a player cope better in a big game – they had the same upbringing, and despite being at different clubs, they both thrive in the big games.

Roda’s Malki also hit 25 goals last season, six of which were against the Top 5 teams. What’s impressive about his performance is that his team finished in the bottom half of the table (10th). The league’s top scorer was Heerenveen’s Bas Dost with a whopping 32 goals. There’s hope in Holland that he could become the next great goal scorer, and Wolfsburg have moved quickly to sign the big front man (6ft 5 apparently). He’s only 23 so the signs look promising, but in terms of prolific strikers in the Eredivisie, for every van Nistelrooy, Makaay and Kluivert, there’s an Alfonso Alves, Dirk Kuyt (did well for Liverpool but was in no way prolific) and Mateja Kezman. It’ll be interesting to follow his progress next season. His 32 goals contained 5 against the four teams above.

Honourable Mention to – Utrecht’s French forward Edouard Duplan. The fans player of the year has never been prolific but steps up for the big games. Five of his seven goals were against the Top 5 teams, and just to illustrate his dislike of playing the dross at the bottom, he didn’t score one goal against the Bottom 5 teams.

Highest Average Opposition – Jozy Altidore, 8.60

I’ll be completely honest, based my memory of Jozy Altidore’s time at Hull City, I’m left with one of two conclusions. Either the Dutch Top Flight has got a lot weaker, or that the USA International has got a lot better. A quick check of the official stats backs up what I recall from memory – he scored just one league goal all season, back in 2009-10. Since then, he three league games for Villarreal and 12 for Bursaspor, managing one league goal. So it’s with some surprise that I saw his name next to 15 goals, and that he’s the big game player from an Average Opposition perspective.

Looking at all of the players with 10 goals or more, it’s the big American that leads the way quite comfortably. A third of his goals have come against the Top 5, including goals both home and away against PSV Eindhoven, whilst of the mid table opponents he scored against, there was a brace against 6th placed Twente. The worst team he scored against was 16th placed VVV. So whether it’s the fact that he’s improved (possible given he was only 21 in his debut season in England) or that the Dutch league has got a little weaker, one thing is for sure, he’s enjoyed the best season of his career.

The next name on the list will interest Man City fans. John Guidetti is on loan from the Premier League champions to Feyenoord, and despite an injury ravaged season, the 20 year old Swede scored an incredible 20 league goals in just 23 appearances. And included in that run was a four match spell that saw three hat tricks, including a decisive one in a 4-2 win over eventual Champions, Ajax. Whilst they were the only goals against the Top 5 teams, he regularly scored against the higher ended mid table clubs, with another hat trick against Twente (6th), and also goals against 7th placed Vitesse (5 in two game), to help push his average up.

Flat Track Bullies?

At the other end of the scale, the player with the worst average ranked opponent per goal was NEC’s Lasse Schone with 13.55. Of his 11 goals, none of them were against the Top 5 teams as he specialised in scoring against teams in the bottom half of the table. To be fair to the Danish international, he was playing in midfield so 11 goals is a good achievement. It doesn’t appear to have put of Ajax either as the Amsterdam club have allowed him a chance to emulate his hero Michael Laudrup.

Schone was the only player not to bother the Top teams in terms of scoring for those with 10 goals and more. That’s not to say that he was the only Flat Track Bully. Whilst Bas Dost had a great season, he scored 14 of his goals against the Bottom 5 teams, leading to his low average of 12.13, which is far and away the highest number in the league.

Bremen Bound – Bas Dost

Most Valuable Goals – Bas Dost, 20 points

No great surprise that the player who scored the most goals won the most points, but it’s not always the case – Zlatan Ibrahimovic top scored in Serie A but only won 9 points. Bas Dosts’ 32 goals were worth a very decent 20 points as Heerenveen jumped from 12th in 2010-11 to 5th and a Europa League spot.

Whilst Dost won the most outright points, it was Sanharib Malki who was most important to his team. His 25 goals won Roda 14 points which was 31.82% of their total 44. The Syrian International is another who really made the step up in quality this season, with very little of note beforehand.

Elsehwere, Guidetti’s goals were worth 13 points, whilst Everton and Texeira both won more points than goals scored, for Heracles and Groningen respectively.

Pointless goals? Ajax wonderkid Christian Eriksen hit 7 goals, none of which were decisive for the Amsterdam giants. After a lightly disappointing European Championships, he’ll be looking to make more of an impact in the coming season.

Team Stats

So after seeing impressive performances from the De Jong’s, Bas Dost and Jozy Altidore here’s the team stats for your viewing pleasure:

Clean Sheets:

  • Eight teams failed to keep a clean sheet against the Top 5 teams
  • AZ kept the most clean sheets (15), whilst Utrecht had the best average opposition per shut out with 7.83
  • FC Groningen kept the most clean sheets against the Top 5 teams with three

Goals Scored:

  • Ajax top scored with 93 goals, against an average ranked opponent of 10.41
  • FC Twente scored the most goals against the Top 5 teams with 24 strikes
  • PSV were the flat track bullies with the most goals against the Bottom 5 teams (29)

Goals Conceded:

  • AZ Alkmaar not only had the most clean sheets, but the least goals conceded (35)
  • Champions Ajax conceded the fewest against fellow Top 5 teams with just 11
  • AZ and NEC only conceded 2 goals each against the bottom teams, whilst FC Utrecht and De Graafschap each conceded 14.

Games Won:

  • Ajax unsurprisingly won the most games with 23, whilst relegated Excelsior won just 4 games
  • Four teams failed to beat a Top 5 opponent
  • Feyenoord and PSV had the most wins against the Top 5

Games Lost:

  • Heerenveen had a quite remarkable average opposition of 2.67 for each of their 6 league defeats. They lost twice to Ajax (1st), once to Feyenoord (2nd), twice to PSV (3rd) and once to Twente (6th).
  • Ajax had the least defeats with just 4, and only one against the Top 5 teams (4-2 to Feyenoord)
  • Heracles, Roda and VVV all lost three games to the Bottom 5 teams

Failure to Score:

  • Ajax (along with Heerenveen and Twente) only failed to score in two games, but those opponents were Groningen (14th) and Utrecht (11th), meaning they had the worst ranked opponent in terms of failure to score against
  • Excelsior failed to score in 50% of their games and were one of four teams to fail against the Top 5, on five occasions
  • FC Twente had the highest ranked opponent per shut out, with 4.50


In Conclusion:

So there you have it, Ajax were deserved Champions this season, whilst Twente were the best team to watch, and Heerenveen only struggled against good opposition. In terms of players, Heerenveen are going to greatly miss Bas Dost (who we’ll be tracking in the weekly Bundesliga update), whilst surprisingly Jozy Altidore is a man for the big occasions, along with Luuk De Jong.

If you have any questions or queries on any of the above, please post a comment or e-mail me.



Coming Soon

8 Jun

Due to a full time job, and getting used to becoming a new Dad, time is a little on the short side for all things Average Oppostion. With that in mind, I thought I’d just update any regular readers of what to expect over the Summer months.

  • End of Season Review for Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga
  • End of Season Review – Lite for Ligue Un and the Eredivisie
  • Team Comparison – Arsenal Invincibles 2003-04 vs Juventus’ Unbeatables 2011-12
  • Player Comparison – Carlos Tevez 2009-10 vs Sergio Aguero 2011-12 for Man City
  • Player Comparison – Thierry Henry vs Robin van Persie for Arsenal
  • Review of Euro 2012

Plus any requests that get sent in (within reason).




Premier League Round 36

1 May

A bit of a summarised version today as I’m short on time due to becoming a dad. First up is the main event – The Manchester Derby. Despite all the attacking talent on show, the game was decided by a defender. Kompany both scored the winner (3rd goal of the season after strikes against Villa and Liverpool) and kept a clean sheet, as he and his defensive team mates kept United quiet. That’s no mean feat, given the recent form of Rooney, who’s been close to matching Robin van Persie’s goal tally. It’s far from settled, as City have a tricky game with Newcastle, but they’ve shown they can handle the pressure now. It’s a great race for the neutral.

Aside from the big match last night, the round of fixtures were Goal-tastic, as there were a decent 35 league goals. Unsurprisingly, the only game with no goals was the Midlands derby between England boss Roy Hodgson’s West Brom and the much loved Alex McCleish’s Villa. Villa must be in with a shout of being the worst team to watch in the league and this was their 6th 0-0 of the season, and they’re second only to Stoke for the least amount of goals scored, with just 37 strikes. To be fair, Bent has been injured, Downing and Young were sold and Ireland and Nzogbia haven’t really set the world alight, but style of play is enough to put you off football. One thing is for sure, it’s certainly not Wolves.

Among the goals at the weekend were the former future of Liverpool and the Current Future of Liverpool. Both have had their ups and downs sunce movin to their current clubs last January, but there are signs of consistency starting to emerge from both. Whilst the average of each player is relatively low (Torres has an average tanked opponent per goal of 15), both are flying high after big game goals in recent Semi Finals. Suarez’s treble against Norwich, took his league tally to 11 goals, whilst Torres’s hat trick at home to QPR means that he’s within touching distance of double figures, on 8 league goals. For the talent they both have, they should be on more, but there’s progress. And hats off to Suarez, whatever you think of him as a person, that was one of the best hat tricks I’ve ever seen.

Wigan – another Top 6 win. Another good opponent for Shaun Maloney to score against after Liverpool and Man United.

RvP got back in the score sheet from open play with his poachers goal against Stoke. That’s 28 league goals this season, and he leads the way against Top 6 teams with 7. Adebayor continues to be the big Game player from an average point of view with 8.15.

At the other end of the scale, it’s still Lampard and Dzeko that stink the place out with averages of 14.55 and 14.54 respectively. Another bully appears to be Rafael van der Vaart. His goal against Bottom 6 QPR was his 6th against struggling teams, and his average of 14.20 reflects this. Strangely, he was the big game player last year.

Cisse vs Jelavic are surely two of the best January signings, and whilst Cisse has more goals, Jellyfish has done it against better opposition.

And in honour of City’s Vincent Kompany, and Aston Villa’s Entertainers, here’s the clean sheets this season by average opposition:

Serie A Round 30

3 Apr

There’s only one place to start this week, and that’s at the San Siro. Andrea Stramaccioni took control of his first game for Inter Milan after the sacking of Claudio Ranieri. Despite every man and his dog being linked with the job, owner Moratti insists that this is not a temporary appointment and that the 36 year old (younger than Zanetti) has the job. He’s never managed at senior level before, but is fresh from winning the Next Gen Series (think of a Champions League for Under 19s). In what appears to be an attempt to copy the Guardiola model at Barcelona (but without the history and connection to the club), the young manager was introduced to the media, only for Mad Mario Balotelli to turn up at the press conference – as you do.

Inter Milan + Argentinians = Happiness

Needless to say, the new manager effect kicked in and Inter put behind them a run of 1 win in 10 to over come 14th placed Genoa. But that’s only half the story. The final score was 5-4! It’s clear that the Inter defence needs a lot of work on it. They’ve let in 42 goals – which is the 7th worst in the league. Although it was a new manager, it was an old tradition of the club that shone through – all of their five goals were scored by Argentinians. Part of the reason the club was founded was to create an International club for all nationalities. Argentina have certainly featured heavily in the club’s history from legendary manager Herrara to the current squad of players.

On this occasion, Diego Milito (10.53) did what he does best and scored against mid table opposition. That’s 13 of his 17 goals that have been scored against the middle 8 teams – thanks to a hat trick against Genoa. After a very disappointing 2010-11 season in which he only scored 5 league goals, the 32 year old striker now has returned to the sort of form that he showed on the way to the treble in 2010. Also in on the act was and Mauro Zarate, who’s season can be firmly described as disappointing. This was just his first goal in the league, in his 17th apperance. The other goal was scored by Walter Samuel who was obviously too busy attacking to worry about defending. Add in Cambiasso, Zanetti, and Ricardo Alvarez, and there’s a pretty strong Argentinian contingent at the club.

And South Americans scoring in Serie A this weekend seemed to be a theme. Other South American scorers this weekend were Cagliari’s Pinilla (Chile), Lazio’s Scaloni (Argentinian), Roma’s Osvaldo (Argentinian born), Genoa’s Palacio (Argentinian), Roma’s Marquinho (Brazil) and Hernandez (Uruguay), Vidal Pardo (Chile) of Juventus, and AC Milan’s Robinho (Brazil). You probably get the idea by now. Plenty of South American Stars do well in Italy.

In the race for the title, Juventus continued their unbeaten season, and recent good form with a 3-0 win over Napoli (4th). What’s more impressive is that Napoli are currently second in the form table over the last eight games (Behind only AC Milan). Mirko Vucinic, Vidal Prado and Quagliarella were on the scoresheet against the Top 6 opposition. That’s now 3 wins in a row for the Turin giants, and coupled with AC Milan’s 1-1 draw against 7th placed Catania – courtesy of goals from Robinho and Catania’s Spolli. This leaves just 2 points at the top of the table, and AC Milan have to face Inter in their penultimate game.

Elsewhere, a couple of teams who certainly aren’t anywhere near the top of the form table are Fiorentina and Udinese. Fiorentina have just one win in eight games, and are freefalling towards the relegation places. They now sit just one place above the relegation zone. At the other end of the table, but in even worse form are Udinese. They’ve gone one worse than Fiorentina, and have just one win in nine games. Are they starting to miss Alexis Sanchez? The Barcelona winger scored 12 league goals for Udinese last year, as they finished in the Champions League places. The current form has seen them drop from 3rd to 5th.

In terms of the Average Opposition ranking, it’s pretty much as we were at the top. Fabrizio Miccoli remains the big game player with both the best average (6.17) and the most goals against Top 6 teams, with 9. He’s also the clear leader in the assists table with 12 (against good opponents again). He’s without doubt the big game player in Serie A, and all done with a very mid table Palermo (9th). Bologna’s Marco Di Vaio has done well with an average opponent of 7.80, with four goals against Top 6 teams, though has one more than Miccoli against the Bottom 6 with… Not bad.

At the other end, Roma’s Osvaldo is the flat track bully with an average ranked opponent of 12.20 per goal. He was on the score sheet against Novara in a cracking 5-2 win for Luis Enrique’s team. The fact that Novara were ranked in 19th at the start of play certainly didn’t help the Argentinian Italian.

That’s all for now, AC Milan have just been knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona, but Nocerino continued his best goal scoring season with the Italian club’s goal in a 3-1 defeat. It’s been quite the improvement in front of goal from the former Palermo man, who has now reached double figures in all competitions for the first time in his career. And scoring away at the Nou Camp/Camp Nou (remove as applicable) is always classed as a big game.



Premier League – Round 14

6 Dec

Bit of a shorter one today as there’s only one round of games to update. If you’re visiting this site for the first time, read the About section and for a few more details, have a look at the Rules and Workings section.

Click on the table if it doesn’t appear properly

With the formalities out of the way, let’s get into the movers and shakers. In terms of goals, there’s one outstanding contributor from the weekend – Feed the Yak and he will score is the saying. They must have prepared a feast because a) he still looks a little “strong” and b) he just scored 4 goals in one game – catapulting him up the table into 4th place in the goalscoring charts. There was a lefty, a righty and a header(y?) included meaning that he scored a perfect hat trick as well. No mean feat.

Yakubu is doing his best to save Steve Kean’s job but will surely need to keep up his impressive strike rate to do so. Getty Images

Although his opposition average per goal is a lowly 14.22, it’s worth remembering that with the exception of his brace against bottom placed Wigan, all of his goals have been scored against teams above Blackburn. This is the second time Yakubu has scored 4 goals in one Premier League game – the first time being for Pompey back in 2004 against future employers Middlesbrough.

Everton, the team Yakubu left in search of first team football have a total of 15 goals (average opposition per goal is 12.27). Their top league scorer is Greek youngster Vellios with three (ave opp of 10.0). To be fair to Everton, Yakubu scored just one goal for them last season, so his change of diet at Blackburn seems to be suiting him.

Robin van Persie’s one man attack on the rest of the Premier League sees him add another to his impressive tally. As Wigan were in 19th place, his average has gone down to 10.69, but he still leads the way in goals against the top 6 – with four. His closest challenger for the golden boot is Aguero who also scored at the weekend in Man City’s demolition of Norwich (ranked 9th). The big game player for the season so far, Balotelli also scored in this game. Given the nature of the Average Opposition Index, although team mates, Aguero’s average went up to 11.91 from 12.5, whereas Balotelli’s went down from 6.5 to 6.86.

Stuck at the bottom of average opposition index is another player who has sometimes been described as “strong” in the Yakubu sense, Frank Lampard. Lampard had the opportunity to improve his average from 15.83 to 14.1 if he’d managed to convert from the spot against Newcastle (#4). Tim Krul had other ideas and he remains on the worst average (for players with 6 goals or more).

Best Average after 14 games: Mario Balotelli

Worst Average after 14 games: Frank Lampard

I’ll be posting a feature on the players who have scored four goals or more in a Premier League game in the next few days.

I’m still working out how to format the tables, so please click on them to view a little easier.