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Who is the best player in the premier league/who will have the best season next year? Watch

  • View Poll Results: Best player in the premier league
    Sanchez
    7.26%
    Ozil
    6.45%
    Hazard
    12.90%
    Mata
    1.61%
    Diego Costa
    2.42%
    Daniel Sturridge
    4.84%
    Raheem Sterling
    3.23%
    Robin Van Persie
    4.03%
    Vincent Kompany
    3.23%
    John Terry
    1.61%
    Fabregas
    4.03%
    Mertesacker
    0.81%
    David Silva
    1.61%
    Sergio Aguero
    8.87%
    Yaya Toure
    34.68%
    Other
    2.42%

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    (Original post by Nickini)
    Anyway, not sure if I cba for this any more. I'm just repeating myself here and you're not responding to my main points, just trying to accuse me of insinuating Hazard to be god's gift to football. If you want to address my main points (statistics not recording everything and therefore being inconclusive, certain statistics lacking the context to reliably analyse a situation etc.) then feel free.
    Oh come on now, that was never your main point. You are moving the goalposts because you know the statistics say I'm right. This is a debate about Hazard's ability as an individual, as well as compared to others; statistics have come into it but they have nothing to do with your main point.

    You are repeating yourself because this is how you operate:

    1. You claim Hazard does this and that
    2. I show you he doesn't
    3. You ignore the statistics and say he does more than what they suggest
    4. I show you he doesn't
    5. We repeat a few more times
    6. You decide that statistics are bull**** because you see things they don't.

    Read what Zurich had to say to you. He has studied maths to a very advanced level and knows what he's talking about.
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    (Original post by pane123)
    Oh come on now, that was never your main point. You are moving the goalposts because you know the statistics say I'm right. This is a debate about Hazard's ability as an individual, as well as compared to others; statistics have come into it but they have nothing to do with your main point.

    You are repeating yourself because this is how you operate:

    1. You claim Hazard does this and that
    2. I show you he doesn't
    3. You ignore the statistics and say he does more than what they suggest
    4. I show you he doesn't
    5. We repeat a few more times
    6. You decide that statistics are bull**** because you see things they don't.

    Read what Zurich had to say to you. He has studied maths to a very advanced level and knows what he's talking about.
    Just lol.

    We disagreed over something, you posted statistical "evidence" to support a claim which does not correlate with what we witness on the pitch. I therefore questioned the statistics as being inconclusive and not telling the whole story on several occasions. 3/4 posts later you have still not responded to my questions and are continuing on with your "but the stats say X" approach, and look to be avoiding giving a response yet again.

    I'll condense them nicely and clearly for you here:

    1a. The 'key pass' metric is defined by Opta as "A pass that leads to a shot on goal that is not converted", and therefore, for example, considers a 5-yard sidewards pass to a teammate who then blasts it over the bar from 40 yards as somehow equal to a 20-yard defence splitting throughball which forces the keeper into a fantastic save. This applies equally to assists too should the ball actually hit the back of the net. That is not a realistic model for comparing players.

    1b. Then given how 'Chances Created' is calculated by key passes + assists, that's three stats which would consider said 5-yard pass to be something as noteworthy as the aforementioned throughball - when in reality this is obviously not the case.

    1c. In addition, given the definition of 'Chances Created', the ball must reach a teammate who then takes a shot for it to be considered a 'Created Chance'. This means a cross whipped across the face of goal which a teammate is inches away from turning into the back of an empty net does not count as a 'Created Chance', but rather as a failed cross/pass. And so according to the wizards at Opta that 5-yard pass I mentioned earlier was more noteworthy and more of a "chance" than said cross - when in reality that isn't true whatsoever.

    2. Statistics fail to identify any difference between (for example) one player making a fantastic last ditch tackle to prevent a 1v1 with the keeper, whilst another winning the ball at the halfway line only to rescind possession immediately - obviously one tackle was more important to the team but you wouldn't know it just by looking at the statistics. See what I said about Young's goal line clearance for another example.

    3. Certain aspects of football are not measured in statistics. E.g. space created, pre-assists, tracking back, a player hassling an opponent into giving the ball away (beyond perhaps an interception to the player who receives the ball), etc. If important aspects of the game are not considered by statistics how can they be considered completely reliable and infallible as you suggest?

    And bonus question:

    4) How much did you watch Chelsea last season or this season? I never accused you of not watching football, but rather of not watching Chelsea, as your claims of Willian/Cesc being more important than Hazard are in line with that of someone who does not watch Chelsea, or at most very infrequently.

    Please either respond to those points or not at all.
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    (Original post by Zürich)
    Context is only meaningful for individual incidents. But that one incident is not statistically significant, over thousands of minutes, these outliers will wash out and you'd get a figure which perfectly describes the players contribution. If you have enough data, you have enough to predict average long term results. That is a statistical certainty.

    You'd be described at what statisticians can predict. They'd be able to tell you to 95% accuracy how many times out of 100 Ronnie O'Sullivan would pot a tricky long shot given enough data.
    Whilst what you say about O'Sullivan is statistically accurate, football doesn't work that way. Context is meaningful for individual incidents, yes, but why does that invalidate it being meaningless overall? Your econometrics is pretty good iirc, so I'd think of it as there being some unobservable heterogeneity... there will be certain traits that players have that will affect the displayed statistics. Certain players will pretty much always play in the same way, and hence pre-assists for example (that Nickini mentioned) will be a lot more common for certain players than others; it's flawed to suggest that just because others outperform Hazard in particular statistics, that they will also be performing in others. That's why I believe watching will always tell us more about the game, it's just that statistics help to collate everything together and allow us to analyse things without having to memorise every single detail of every single match.

    As well as being a statistician, I also work for EA Sports. Even they're quite anti a lot of statistics, for quite a few reasons I can't be bothered to go into right now.
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    (Original post by Nickini)
    Just lol.

    We disagreed over something, you posted statistical "evidence" to support a claim which does not correlate with what we witness on the pitch. I therefore questioned the statistics as being inconclusive and not telling the whole story on several occasions. 3/4 posts later you have still not responded to my questions and are continuing on with your "but the stats say X" approach, and look to be avoiding giving a response yet again.
    If you believe this to be true, you are delusional.

    You think I am avoiding your question because you do not understand statistics. All the numbers I gave were per 90 minutes and we have thousands of minutes to compare. As Zurich told you, these individual events level out and we get a more accurate picture as we gather more data. We have enough data for the statistics I provided to present an accurate picture of each player's contribution over the course of last season. This is why we use the per-90 metric, instead of looking at average per-game, for example.

    If you do not understand this then I think the debate is over. If you do understand this then you confuse me. The paragraph above addresses every question you asked about statistics, although I suspect you won't believe me and will accuse me a question dodging.

    You also seem to be forgetting that I do watch the players I mentioned, like Reus. I see him doing the things you see Hazard doing, so this unmeasurable stuff will be present in most top players' games.

    I did not count how many time I watched them, but I would have watched every single one of their televised matches and I would have seen highlights of all their games. Some of these highlights would have been 60 minutes long, so I'd say I saw quite a lot of them. I understand that Hazard is your favourite player and it's cute that you want to defend him, but your refusal to accept any statistical evidence is actually quite weird.
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    (Original post by pane123)
    As Zurich told you, these individual events level out and we get a more accurate picture as we gather more data. We have enough data for the statistics I provided to present an accurate picture of each player's contribution over the course of last season. This is why we use the per-90 metric, instead of looking at average per-game, for example.
    .
    You're right that they will level out (to a certain extent, anyway) but I disagree that this implies we have enough data to "present an accurate picture of each player's contribution". If the definition of a metric is flawed in terms of what we want it to show, as Nickini is hinting at, then this flaw really needs to be considered in everything we look at.
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    At the end of the day ya'll would love a bit of Hazard
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    (Original post by little_wizard123)
    You're right that they will level out (to a certain extent, anyway) but I disagree that this implies we have enough data to "present an accurate picture of each player's contribution". If the definition of a metric is flawed in terms of what we want it to show, as Nickini is hinting at, then this flaw really needs to be considered in everything we look at.
    What would be your solution?

    My suggestion would be to take the statistics like the ones I provided and watch the players to look for the stuff we can't measure. I think I might have focussed too much on statistics, because in my mind it goes without saying that guys like Reus are exceptionally good at the thing we have to watch in order to notice. In my opinion, Reus was a much better player last season than Hazard was, and that's without looking at statistics. In forming this opinion, I must have taken into account the unmeasurable stuff. I keep using Reus because he's my favourite player besides Ronaldo and Messi, in case anyone is wondering.

    My opinion on Hazard last season is that he was one of the best players in the Premier League to watch but he needed to do more. Flashes of utter brilliance have skewed opinion on his overall importance to the team. That, however, is only my opinion but it just so happens statistics back me up.

    I have to go out but I am genuinely interested in what you have to say, especially considering you have an interesting job. I have my theories on why EA doesn't like stats too much, and one of them is that by using the statistics that affect FIFA, Willian would be better than Hazard and people wouldn't like that.
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    Aguero.
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    (Original post by pane123)
    What would be your solution?

    My suggestion would be to take the statistics like the ones I provided and watch the players to look for the stuff we can't measure. I think I might have focussed too much on statistics, because in my mind it goes without saying that guys like Reus are exceptionally good at the thing we have to watch in order to notice. In my opinion, Reus was a much better player last season than Hazard was, and that's without looking at statistics. In forming this opinion, I must have taken into account the unmeasurable stuff. I keep using Reus because he's my favourite player besides Ronaldo and Messi, in case anyone is wondering.

    My opinion on Hazard last season is that he was one of the best players in the Premier League to watch but he needed to do more. Flashes of utter brilliance have skewed opinion on his overall importance to the team. That, however, is only my opinion but it just so happens statistics back me up.

    I have to go out but I am genuinely interested in what you have to say, especially considering you have an interesting job. I have my theories on why EA doesn't like stats too much, and one of them is that by using the statistics that affect FIFA, Willian would be better than Hazard and people wouldn't like that.
    Just casually throw in any one of the 'Hazard is poor against the good teams' stats and you're good to go.

    You're on TSR, don't pretend you have a life :holmes:

    I can't really say too much regarding EA (given confidentiality agreements etc.) All we can really say for sure is that statistics are essentially true reflections of their definitions. Unless we know exactly how they are defined, and then every time a statistic is used the definition of that statistic is recognised, the biases are going larger than you really want. Even 'objective' statistics like goals will be taken out of context the majority of the time due to set piece goals. Different sites have different definitions of assists, which unless you play fantasy football ( :mad: ) you'd think they are fairly objective metrics.

    I think that some people are using statistics 'badly' to back up their own opinions from watching games. That approach in general is great (that's what imo statistics should be used for to get the most out of them) but if the statistic is flawed in itself (which the majority of the time it is) then it's not really supporting anything properly.

    My favourite use of statistics are ones that are accurate, and go completely against the general consensus of a certain opinion. They're hard to find, though.
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    Aguero this year.
    Next year Hazard.
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    Tbh I don't get why you didn't refute my point which showed that Hazard got more key passes per game than Willian on another website, thus showing how flawed your evidence is anyway.
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    (Original post by jam277)
    Tbh I don't get why you didn't refute my point which showed that Hazard got more key passes per game than Willian on another website, thus showing how flawed your evidence is anyway.
    Per 90 minutes and per game are very different measurements so your point is totally wrong.

    Anyway, I love how you assume your statistics are bang on and it's mine that are wrong.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
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    (Original post by pane123)
    If you believe this to be true, you are delusional.

    You think I am avoiding your question because you do not understand statistics. All the numbers I gave were per 90 minutes and we have thousands of minutes to compare. As Zurich told you, these individual events level out and we get a more accurate picture as we gather more data. We have enough data for the statistics I provided to present an accurate picture of each player's contribution over the course of last season. This is why we use the per-90 metric, instead of looking at average per-game, for example.

    If you do not understand this then I think the debate is over. If you do understand this then you confuse me. The paragraph above addresses every question you asked about statistics, although I suspect you won't believe me and will accuse me a question dodging.

    You also seem to be forgetting that I do watch the players I mentioned, like Reus. I see him doing the things you see Hazard doing, so this unmeasurable stuff will be present in most top players' games.

    I did not count how many time I watched them, but I would have watched every single one of their televised matches and I would have seen highlights of all their games. Some of these highlights would have been 60 minutes long, so I'd say I saw quite a lot of them. I understand that Hazard is your favourite player and it's cute that you want to defend him, but your refusal to accept any statistical evidence is actually quite weird.
    Avoiding the question and accusing me of having a Hazard love-in...what a surprise. :rolleyes:

    You point blank refuse to even acknowledge what I'm saying and admit there are limitations to statistics even when they're staring you in the face...and I'm the deluded one? Whatever you say pal. :lol:

    Although to be fair you at least tried to answer my first point, and over a season, particularly playing on the same team, perhaps key pass statistics do average out and have slightly more reliability. However, I maintain that it is still a deeply flawed stat; giving equal weight to play at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. This is also true for a lot of statistics; chances created, assists, pass completion, blocks, tackles etc. As I have repeated several times; statistics do not give enough context to give the full picture.

    You also failed to answer on how statistics can be considered reliable when many important aspects of the game are not recorded. You say this doesn't matter when comparing top players playing in similar positions such as Hazard and Reus* which is probably true, but when compared to Willian and Fabregas (ie. the whole point of this debate), Hazard is done a disservice. If stats such as pre-assists, space creation, 'play leading to goal' were recorded, or if chance creation stats were measured properly (point 1c in my previous post), Hazard's worth, in terms of being Chelsea's most important player (particularly in comparison to Cesc and Willian), would be far more evident. Again, this is a flaw in the statistics and a reason as to why they cannot be considered completely reliable.

    *When has this ever been about Hazard vs. Reus? This is about Hazard's importance to Chelsea, particularly over the likes of Willian and Cesc, so I have no idea why you keep trying to bring him up and turn this into "is Hazard a top player".
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    (Original post by pane123)
    Per 90 minutes and per game are very different measurements so your point is totally wrong.

    Anyway, I love how you assume your statistics are bang on and it's mine that are wrong.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Not really. Regardless of the difference between the stats you'd expect a guy who plays less minutes to get a better ratio of key passes per 90mins, because he's fresh and playing at full fitness anyway compared to a guy who plays 90 mins.

    Playing key passes per game when both players generally started most of their appearances in the league is an equally bad stat to use to 90mins because of fatigue issues. We also add in the factor that he would have a few more super sub appearances than Hazard which skews his key pass per 90 mins stats and you can see why per 90 is just as equally flawed a stat to use.

    Also as said before key passes are nonsensical when it could be somebody passing it sideways and shooting it in row Z anyway.

    I think your use of statistics are clearly skewed anyway and when i've shown other stats that clearly favour Hazard and saying why things like Pass accuracy mean nothing when Terry, Joe Allen, Arteta and Koscielny top the charts then it's quite clear you are just trying to suit your frankly wrong agenda.
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    (Original post by Nickini)
    Avoiding the question and accusing me of having a Hazard love-in...what a surprise. :rolleyes:

    You point blank refuse to even acknowledge what I'm saying and admit there are limitations to statistics even when they're staring you in the face...and I'm the deluded one? Whatever you say pal. :lol:
    I'm not point blank refusing to acknowledge anything. Of course there are limits to statistics, that's pretty obvious. I'm not quite sure why you think getting me to admit this is going to make my entire argument crumble.

    What we have is a collection of statistics and when we combine them we get an idea of a player's contribution. The metrics I used weren't cherry picked, either; they are widely accepted as the metrics we should be looking at when comparing attacking midfielders. Over thousands of minutes, Willian contributed quite a bit more to Chelsea than Hazard did. You keep talking about the things we can't measure, but all you are able to provide is your opinion on Hazard's movement etc. My opinion is that Willian does more, your opinion is that he does not. I have statistics to back my opinion up, and instead of backing up your opinion with any sort of evidence, you can only point out limitations in the statistics. Even if the limitations are there, my opinion is that Willian gave more to Chelsea than Hazard.

    The argument is about whether Hazard was more important than Willian, whether Cesc is a better player, and whether or not Hazard was overrated last season. By comparing Hazard to Reus, I am able to provide evidence that Hazard was overrated last year, and was not the 'top player' many believed him to be.

    Things like pre-assists can be recorded, so I'd welcome you to provide me with figures. If Hazard excels in all the stuff my statistics miss, then I'll be happy to think about everything I've said. I know we can't measure things like dragging players out of position etc, which is why the comparison to Reus helps. Reus is better at all the stuff we can measure, as well as being better at the stuff we can't measure, although the second bit is just my opinion. Unless Reus did none of the things we can't measure (he did a lot of them), he had a far better season than Hazard, suggesting that Hazard might not have been on the same level as the 'top players' of last season.

    Short of getting me to admit that the statistics provided by companies like Opta are completely worthless, I'm not sure where you want this to go. Also, there are a couple of questions I think you might have dodged, so here they are again:

    Why do bookmakers use algorithms instead of sending you to the game with a notepad and pencil? Why does Opta exist? Top managers use Football Manager, which costs about £30, so imagine what you would get for the kind of money big clubs spend for big data.

    Football is a sport which can be statistically modelled and statistics like the ones I provided are used in these models. If Hazard gets injured before the Newcastle match, for example, a model would adjust to remove his impact from the game, creating new probabilities of each team winning. Some of these models return tens of millions of pounds a year, despite operating in efficient markets (the Premier League, for example). So why is it that statistical models are favoured by large investment groups, if the statistics are so flawed in the first place?

    You may well be correct about flaws in the statistics, but it would have taken a remarkable series of coincidences for Hazard to have had the incredible season you said he had without excelling at anything measurable - beyond dribbling and key passing - especially when other players who are regarded as 'top players' were excellent at the measurable stuff.

    Another point I'd make is that Hazard does seem to be getting better. Will you be happy to accept my statistics if I come to you with a comparison at the end of this season and tell you that Hazard has made a huge improvement on last season? I think you will and I will be more than happy to do it.


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    (Original post by little_wizard123)

    As well as being a statistician, I also work for EA Sports. Even they're quite anti a lot of statistics, for quite a few reasons I can't be bothered to go into right now.
    I am well jelly :eek:

    Is the job as cool as it sounds?
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    I am well jelly :eek:

    Is the job as cool as it sounds?
    It's only part time (full time PhD and full time civil servant (I know, craaaazy times). But yeah, editing stats for FIFA games is pretty cool tbh - I also like seeing the match day teams I've put together based on the current PL GW appearing in the updates. Only learnt that overall ratings on FIFA are pretty meaningless when I started working there.

    Also to answer the actual question in the OP. Aguero is the best and next year it'll be Hazard's year I think. Very disappointed with van Persie this year. I know he's gone downhill since 2012 but really thought van Gaal would turn him around.
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    (Original post by little_wizard123)
    It's only part time (full time PhD and full time civil servant (I know, craaaazy times). But yeah, editing stats for FIFA games is pretty cool tbh - I also like seeing the match day teams I've put together based on the current PL GW appearing in the updates. Only learnt that overall ratings on FIFA are pretty meaningless when I started working there.

    Also to answer the actual question in the OP. Aguero is the best and next year it'll be Hazard's year I think. Very disappointed with van Persie this year. I know he's gone downhill since 2012 but really thought van Gaal would turn him around.
    Do you still do any betting? The betting thread has died somewhat.

    I have had a bit of a nightmare with changes in UK law meaning the likes of Pinnacle stopped operating here, but I've managed to get some new accounts recently.
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    (Original post by pane123)
    .
    I never did it properly, I only really ever did matched betting just to make easy money really fast.
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    David Silva > Eden Hazard
 
 
 
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