Defensive Contributions Compared to Average

It‘s been a while since I last did some work around defense, but in my spare time my interest was sparked again – so I started trying to figure ways in which I might be able to advance some of the quantifiable ways players can be judged by defense. This time, instead of merely introducing a new way of judging players defensively via work done at statsbomb, I’d like to expand upon the work already done.

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Emre Can: Liverpool’s Next Great Midfielder

With Steven Gerrard recently leaving Liverpool to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy, Liverpool lost not only their legend, but their general. With Gerrard having played various roles in central midfield at Anfield for the better part of two decades, Liverpool has a massive hole to fill. They not only need to replace a versatile midfielder – capable of filling any central role at any given time – but a leader. The task is challenging, the task is daunting, but the task may already be completed.

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France’s Midfield Problem

To be completely honest, this started as an attempt to explain why France is criminally under-utilizing two of the best midfielders on the planet. It started with some statistical adjustments to this equation to not only put players on an even field in terms of possession, but also in terms of competition. The goal is to account for as many factors as possible that will alter the numbers but are out of player control to give a better indication of what “true talent” a player harnesses.

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Benteke’s Evolution

Liverpool has been an interesting team the past three years because they, well, look totally different each season. In the 2013/2014 season, the SAS combo of Suarez and Sturridge wreaked havoc on opposing English defenses scoring a combined 52 goals. Steven Gerrard fed ball after ball when SAS wasn’t doing it for each other, while up-and-comers Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho learned how to replicate the magic in front of them . Then, all of a sudden, Suarez was at Barcelona, Sturridge was out, and Gerrard finally showed his age. The offense went from absolutely explosive, to absolutely dismal within the matter of a few months. Brendan Rogers could not muster up enough offense to even be considered presentable, despite the additions of Mario Balotelli and the shift of Raheem Sterling from the wing to striker. At the beginning of the 2015/2016 season, Rogers was ousted for his team’s poor performance, but not before adding former Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke.

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Major Saver Squad

After a few weeks of number crunching, I figured this would be a good time to relax a bit on the numbers and have more of a “fun” post. This isn’t meant to be anything crazy serious, just trying to find some really good players for really cheap using a few numbers. For today’s task, I’m going to try to “build” a team that can remain competitive while collectively having a market value under €110m (that equates to €10m per position). The market values themselves will come from transfermarkt.com, while any other valuations or decisions will be based upon numbers from squawka.com, whoscored.com, and the occasional eye test.

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Alvaro Morata – Spain’s next great forward

Over the last week or so, I covered two methods in which we should judge forwards for their goal production. Rather than just looking at goals and assists, I argued that we should look at shots on goal rates and chances created rates – following the process that leads to goals instead of the fickle nature of goals themselves. Right after I’d done that, I did some work for Barca Blaugranes combining the two statistics to try to find all around forwards in the game – forwards that will produce both with their passing and with their shooting.

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