Football MCFC Analytics - Data about Football


Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
Have any of you any interest / seen / done anything with this?

It's basically a whole bunch of opta stats for the 2011-12 season not just for Man City, but for all EPL teams. Some people have already done some interesting things with it, has a collection of what people have done so far.

Most CTA members know me as a bit of an excel junkie and will not be surprised to hear that I have received the data and it's a total goldmine if you like data and you like football, which I do! There might be one or two others out there who are similarly inclined :crazy: hope you enjoy!

I haven't got anywhere else to post stuff like this, so maybe if Brogan doesn't mind, maybe I can put a few odds and sods up here when I understand what the numbers say. So far, I have clearly identified a correlation between scoring goals and winning games, which is good, no? ;)

The next challenge is to figure out how goals come about... :thinking: Shooting, perhaps? :s So how do you get to a shot... Passing, tackling, defending, crossing, set pieces....??? :dunno:.

I shall seek to find out :goodday: .

PS. Anyone else want to join in? The registration is at the above link.
So, from the beginning...
  • There are 380 matches recorded. 287 of these were won and 93 were drawn
  • The winning team scored 2.39 goals on average, the losing team 0.55. In drawn matches, teams average 0.97 goals / game
Teams that won those 287 did the following things
  • Scored the winning goal in 277 of the matches (the other 10 were when the winning goal was the opposition scoring an own goal)
  • Scored the first goal in 238 matches. Only 49 times did a team not score the first goal but still won the match
  • Scored more than 1 goal in 234 matches
  • Scored a right foot goal in 227 matches
  • Had more than 1 big chance in 201 matches. A big chance is defined as when a player should reasonably be expect to score (eg a 1 on 1 or from close range). You can score without it being recorded as a big chance!
  • Had more than 4 shots on target (including goals) 199 times
  • Had more than 7 shots inside the box (including shots on, off target and blocked) 187 times
  • Had more Big Chances than the opposition 187 times
  • Took more than 5 short corners in the match 181 times
  • Played at least one through ball 176 times
  • Won more challenges than they lost 175 times
It is also interesting to look at what they didn't do. Again out of 287
  • Only 9 winning teams had a man sent off
  • Only 19 times did the team winning score from a Direct Free Kick
  • Only 26 times did the winning side concede more than 1 goal
While on the subject of Direct Free Kicks. I noticed that one team (Sunderland) and one player in particular (Larsson) stood head and shoulders above the rest. He took 10 free kicks, 8 were on target, 1 off target and 1 blocked. He scored 3 goals.

In fact only 29 goals were scored from DFK's all season, out of 553 attempts which to me seems frankly rubbish (5.2%). What is even more rubbish is that only 25.7% of DFKs are actually on target / not blocked.

Compare that to open play. 8.8% of shots in open play end up as goals and 30% are on target / not blocked. All that falling over to try and get a free shot on goal just seems even more like a waste of time in this light.

Unless you are Nicklas Bendtner and you have Seb Larsson in your team...

PlayerGoals from DFKsDFK On TargetOn Target %Goal %
Sebastian Larsson3880%30%
Ryan Taylor1419%5%
van Persie1741%6%
Funnily enough, teams didn't give Sunderland many free kicks :dunno:

TeamGoals from DFKTotal DFKOn Target %Goal %
Aston Villa02035%0%
Blackburn Rovers22921%7%
Bolton Wanderers02528%0%
Manchester City12627%4%
Manchester United22839%7%
Newcastle United33318%9%
Norwich City12619%4%
Queens Park Rangers33938%8%
Stoke City01527%0%
Swansea City12536%4%
Tottenham Hotspur13816%3%
West Bromwich Albion21729%12%
Wigan Athletic12110%5%
Wolverhampton Wanderers01625%0%
I downloaded the data but haven't had time to do anything with it, and am not likely to now. Still I'm interested!

I suppose to compare DFK you need to exclude shots from open play from inside the 18yd box, perhaps? Many of those on target in open play must have been from very close range.

I have always felt that my team would be better off taking all free kicks short, and corners too, but it is a devil's job to make the summary stats work hard enough to answer the question.
Looking at possession might be interesting, e.g. average possession in games won/drawn/lost, possession vs. goals scored, possession vs. goals conceded, match possession difference vs. goal difference, that sort of thing. They say possession in 9/10th of the law, but is it really?

I barely have time to breathe at the moment though so I won't be able to do it myself for now.
There was definitely a link between teams having more than median possession in their own half / own third and winning games. That didn't seem obviously intuitive and the relatioinship was much weaker when looking at possession in the final third with winning. I will post that when I get back to these numbers - been on something else this week. :)
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