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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 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.
    How do you even have time to sleep?
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    How do you even have time to sleep?
    Uni work has almost been non-existent :lol:

    Hazard doing well with key passes this half vs. Newcastle...

    Spoiler:
    Show
    All sideways passes to Willian
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    Mad that Aguero got so few votes.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    Mad that Aguero got so few votes.
    ... yeah, you voted for Hazard
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    Already addressed your points repeatedly. Not sure why you keep trying to make out I'm saying statistics are useless either when time after time I have stated they have their uses. And again, how is comparing Reus and Hazard relevant at all? Unless Reus is somehow the benchmark for being a "top player".

    (Original post by pane123)
    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.
    So why has it taken you this long to admit statistics are not infallible? And why have you repeatedly ignored any such notion up until now?

    Why have all your posts heavily implied statistics are indeed infallible? Such as when you declared Willian more important than Hazard "as fact"? Or Hazard not being better than Fabregas as "not up for debate"? Both statements which you didn't declare as your opinion, but as unquestionable statements due to having certain statistics to back them up. So yes, when your 'unquestionable' statements fly in the face of what we witness first hand on the pitch and are based on numbers which you just admitted are inconclusive, your entire argument does crumble.

    Also, you claim you haven't "cherry picked" metrics, and yet somehow goals scored and assists aren't some of the "metrics we should be looking at when comparing attacking midfielders"? Yeah I'm done with this. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by JamesR12)
    ... yeah, you voted for Hazard
    I know, just surprised that more people didn't vote for Aguero.
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    (Original post by Nickini)
    Already addressed your points repeatedly.
    One last try:

    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?

    I will address the rest of your points when you have answered the questions I have asked several times. Admitting limitations to statistics is not the same as saying they are useless when comparing players, which is what you seem to think.
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    (Original post by pane123)
    One last try:

    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?
    These questions would only be relevant if I'd claimed statistics to be useless, which again I state that they are not. But anyway:

    Because football is subjective and sending scouts to every game is impractical and expensive?

    Why do football clubs still use scouts if they could just load up FM? Hell, why does anyone even bother watching football at all when statistics exist? :rolleyes:

    I will address the rest of your points when you have answered the questions I have asked several times. Admitting limitations to statistics is not the same as saying they are useless when comparing players, which is what you seem to think.
    Are you genuinely retarded? Or do you just lack the ability to read?

    I have stated over and over and over again statistics are not useless. They are however, limited and therefore cannot be used to conclusively compare players as you have done so several times. What is so hard to understand ffs? I have stated said point in almost every post I have made to you and yet you still fail to grasp said concept.

    Yet again you refuse to actually respond to my points which are directly related to the matter at hand, instead accusing me of something I have repeatedly stated to the contrary.

    It's funny to watch you squirm and try to distort the argument tbh. :lol:
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    (Original post by Nickini)
    These questions would only be relevant if I'd claimed statistics to be useless, which again I state that they are not. But anyway:

    Because football is subjective and sending scouts to every game is impractical and expensive?

    Why do football clubs still use scouts if they could just load up FM? Hell, why does anyone even bother watching football at all when statistics exist? :rolleyes:
    The questions are relevant because statistics in the examples I gave are more accurate than human judgement over thousands and thousands of bets. You, however, think your judgement is superior.

    (Original post by Nickini)
    Are you genuinely retarded? Or do you just lack the ability to read?
    No need for this but I am not retarded and I have the ability to read.

    (Original post by Nickini)
    I have stated over and over and over again statistics are not useless. They are however, limited and therefore cannot be used to conclusively compare players as you have done so several times. What is so hard to understand ffs? I have stated said point in almost every post I have made to you and yet you still fail to grasp said concept.

    Yet again you refuse to actually respond to my points which are directly related to the matter at hand, instead accusing me of something I have repeatedly stated to the contrary.
    I don't know why you have it stuck in your head that I'm avoiding your points. You seem to have a new 'main point' every post but I have responded to every one.

    Statistics cannot be used to conclusively compare players, which is why I have repeatedly said that other players do the unmeasurable stuff just as well as Hazard, or even better than him. Combine the measurable with the unmeasurable and these players are still better. I have included my personal opinion on players several times, but you seem to have assumed your opinion is correct.

    (Original post by Nickini)
    It's funny to watch you squirm and try to distort the argument tbh. :lol:
    This just isn't happening.
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    Just going to cut right to the chase to prevent further squirming as I grow tired of this now. Not that it'll make any difference.

    (Original post by pane123)
    Statistics cannot be used to conclusively compare players, which is why I have repeatedly said that other players do the unmeasurable stuff just as well as Hazard, or even better than him. Combine the measurable with the unmeasurable and these players are still better. I have included my personal opinion on players several times, but you seem to have assumed your opinion is correct.
    So why did you claim Willian being more important than Hazard was "fact"? Or Fabregas being better than Hazard as "not up for debate"?

    Spoiler:
    Show
    Neither Willian or Fabregas (ie. the point of this debate despite your best efforts to distort the subject), particularly the former, do the immeasurable 'stats' as well as Hazard. This is evident from watching said players week-in week-out.

    It's not just my opinion, it's an opinion shared by the vast majority of the people who watch Chelsea regularly. On this thread alone you had four/five other Chelsea fans all agreeing with the sentiment of Hazard being our best/most important player. You are the first person I have ever come across to even suggest Willian was more important than Hazard for instance.
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    (Original post by Nickini)
    Just going to cut right to the chase to prevent further squirming as I grow tired of this now. Not that it'll make any difference.

    So why did you claim Willian being more important than Hazard was "fact"? Or Fabregas being better than Hazard as "not up for debate"?

    Spoiler:
    Show
    Neither Willian or Fabregas (ie. the point of this debate despite your best efforts to distort the subject), particularly the former, do the immeasurable 'stats' as well as Hazard. This is evident from watching said players week-in week-out.

    It's not just my opinion, it's an opinion shared by the vast majority of the people who watch Chelsea regularly. On this thread alone you had four/five other Chelsea fans all agreeing with the sentiment of Hazard being our best/most important player. You are the first person I have ever come across to even suggest Willian was more important than Hazard for instance.
    Because I believe there is enough evidence to suggest both statements are true.

    As I have pointed out again and again, it would take a remarkable series of coincidences for Hazard only to be as good as you say he is by doing things we can't measure. All the other top players in Europe do both but maybe Hazard is a unique case, in which case I congratulate you for discovering him.

    I have given several examples of statistical models using data thousands and thousands of times over and proving to be far more accurate than human judgement, yet Hazard is missed by the statistics.

    I have at least thought about things you have said and have admitted Hazard does appear to be on the road to being a top player, yet your mind has been made up from the start.

    Instead of considering your judgement might be incorrect, you decided to accuse the statistics of being inaccurate. In fact, any evidence that went against popular (your) opinion, was dismissed as rubbish without any consideration.

    We have been going on and on for ages and this is where we are: I thought Willian did more for Chelsea than Hazard last season, based on both my opinion and statistics. Instead of convincing me that Hazard was in fact brilliant, you tried to convince me that the statistics were painting a very incorrect picture. I still think Willian did more for Chelsea than Hazard last season.
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    And yet more squirming and attempts to distort the argument. You are incredibly predictable.

    (Original post by pane123)
    Because I believe there is enough evidence to suggest both statements are true.
    Your evidence being statistics, which you have admitted are both limited and inconclusive? How can you declare something as "fact" when you yourself admit the evidence which brought you to such a conclusion is "limited" and "inconclusive"?

    Fair enough if you watched Chelsea last season and came to form such an opinion (which I still find bizarre but I am unable to convince you otherwise), but it is said "limited" and "inconclusive" evidence which you cherry-picked in order to declare your opinion as "fact" - therefore your statement is not true by your own admittance.

    As I have pointed out again and again, it would take a remarkable series of coincidences for Hazard only to be as good as you say he is by doing things we can't measure. All the other top players in Europe do both but maybe Hazard is a unique case, in which case I congratulate you for discovering him.

    I have given several examples of statistical models using data thousands and thousands of times over and proving to be far more accurate than human judgement, yet Hazard is missed by the statistics.

    I have at least thought about things you have said and have admitted Hazard does appear to be on the road to being a top player, yet your mind has been made up from the start.
    Except for the hundredth time, this isn't about Hazard being a top player and comparing him to players across Europe, and never has been. It's about him being Chelsea's most important player and comparing him to Willian and Fabregas specifically.

    Yet another attempt to distort the argument and yet another accusation of me having a Hazard love-in.

    Instead of considering your judgement might be incorrect, you decided to accuse the statistics of being inaccurate. In fact, any evidence that went against popular (your) opinion, was dismissed as rubbish without any consideration.
    Because it is not my judgement alone? It is the judgement of many individuals whose opinion I hold highly and literally hundreds of people who agree based on thousands of minutes of football witnessed first hand.

    How can you actually try and accuse me of dismissing any other opinion except my own when you're the one coming out with statements such as: "It's not really up for debate" on Fabregas vs. Hazard and "No, I stated as fact that Willian was more important to Chelsea last season than Hazard."? Are you for real? :lol:

    We have been going on and on for ages and this is where we are: I thought Willian did more for Chelsea than Hazard last season, based on both my opinion and statistics. Instead of convincing me that Hazard was in fact brilliant, you tried to convince me that the statistics were painting a very incorrect picture. I still think Willian did more for Chelsea than Hazard last season
    No, I questioned your reasoning behind said statement (which you declared as "fact" not opinion) to which your response was to spew a whole selection of numbers as "evidence" - which again I questioned. After much squirming and many attempts to distort the topic at hand you finally agree with me and admit said "evidence" is "limited" and "inconclusive". You may still hold the opinion that Willian did more for Chelsea than Hazard, and I along with many, many others, may still hold the opposite, but at least you can finally drop the pretence of your opinion being "fact".

    inb4 squirming
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    (Original post by Nickini)
    And yet more squirming and attempts to distort the argument. You are incredibly predictable.

    Your evidence being statistics, which you have admitted are both limited and inconclusive? How can you declare something as "fact" when you yourself admit the evidence which brought you to such a conclusion is "limited" and "inconclusive"?

    Fair enough if you watched Chelsea last season and came to form such an opinion (which I still find bizarre but I am unable to convince you otherwise), but it is said "limited" and "inconclusive" evidence which you cherry-picked in order to declare your opinion as "fact" - therefore your statement is not true by your own admittance.

    Except for the hundredth time, this isn't about Hazard being a top player and comparing him to players across Europe, and never has been. It's about him being Chelsea's most important player and comparing him to Willian and Fabregas specifically.

    Yet another attempt to distort the argument and yet another accusation of me having a Hazard love-in.

    Because it is not my judgement alone? It is the judgement of many individuals whose opinion I hold highly and literally hundreds of people who agree based on thousands of minutes of football witnessed first hand.

    How can you actually try and accuse me of dismissing any other opinion except my own when you're the one coming out with statements such as: "It's not really up for debate" on Fabregas vs. Hazard and "No, I stated as fact that Willian was more important to Chelsea last season than Hazard."? Are you for real? :lol:

    No, I questioned your reasoning behind said statement (which you declared as "fact" not opinion) to which your response was to spew a whole selection of numbers as "evidence" - which again I questioned. After much squirming and many attempts to distort the topic at hand you finally agree with me and admit said "evidence" is "limited" and "inconclusive". You may still hold the opinion that Willian did more for Chelsea than Hazard, and I along with many, many others, may still hold the opposite, but at least you can finally drop the pretence of your opinion being "fact".

    inb4 squirming
    Your accusations of squirming are becoming confusing. I am perfectly calm, responding to all your posts and am not the one resorting to name calling.

    (Original post by Nickini)
    And yet more squirming and attempts to distort the argument. You are incredibly predictable.
    I don't understand these claims of me distorting the argument. I said Fabregas was better than Hazard is currently, I said Willian was more important than Hazard last season and I said Hazard was overrated last season. The only distortion is coming from you, as you seem able to address only one point per post.

    You seem to be vastly overestimating the limits to statistics and are acting as if I've admitted to them being utterly useless, which I most certainly have not. As I've said before, any statistics I have given are over thousands of minutes and are per-90 minutes, making them pretty accurate. They might not allow you to build up a perfect picture of exactly what a player does on the pitch, but they do give a very good idea of overall contribution. You have pointed out limitations in the stats, but have at least accepted that over thousands of minutes, stats like "key passes" level out:

    (Original post by Nickini)
    Over a season, particularly playing on the same team, perhaps key pass statistics do average out and have slightly more reliability
    We appeared to be getting somewhere but you have gone back to claiming to statistics are too limited to conclusively compare players, which I went along with. I cannot, however, go along with your accusations of me 'cherry-picking' statistics.

    I have chosen statistics which are bog standard when comparing players in the position we are talking about, but I welcome you to choose some more stats that will work in Hazard's favour. As I've conceded, Hazard might be amazing at the invisible stuff but it's exceptionally unlikely that he creates enough space, or drags enough defenders out of position to make up for his otherwise poor stats. It's interesting to note that you have observed an improvement in his tracking back, as this is picked up in the stats, too.

    You don't seem able to get past the idea that scoring and assisting more does not necessarily mean one player was more important than the other. I have shown that outwith dribbling and key passes, Hazard excelled at nothing measurable. The idea that he is somehow better than Fabregas is genuinely shocking to me, and I believe the statistics paint a very accurate picture of what the story is on the pitch: taking Fabregas out the team would have a much bigger impact than taking Hazard out. It's no surprise that Chelsea have improved the way they have from last season with a player like Fabregas in the side. As I said in another post, only Fabregas and Xavi have provided 20 assists in any of the top 5 leagues in the last 8 or 9 years, and Fabregas is well on his way to doing it again, with 11 for the season. Combine this with everything else he does and you have a truly elite player, which Hazard quite simply is not. How you can see this any differently is beyond me.

    The way in which I went about accusing you of having a Hazard love in was a bit immature, but I think I'm right. I would much rather watch Hazard than Willian but it doesn't change the fact that Willian did more. This would have been lost on us many years ago but statistics help us discover the unsung heroes. Your determination to highlight the weakness of statistics is odd, given they stand up in many other areas that you have highlighted.

    You told me to watch Newcastle v Chelsea, which I did, and I was unable to see anything beyond a guy who was willing to run at players. Fortunately for you, I am not daft enough to think 90 minutes proves anything. I do, however, remember Hazard being responsible for lazy defending against Atlético last season, which led to your departure from the Champions League.



    This is a positional map of Chelsea against City, and it's Fabregas who has the most influence in the Chelsea team.

    The same is true against Villa:




    While I am willing to admit that statistics wouldn't allow me to discover a 16 old League 2 player who is definitely good enough to play in the Premier League, they do offer an excellent basis of comparison for players playing for the same team in the same league.

    The difference in these examples is context. Statistics cannot take a League 2 player's stats and put them into the context of the Premier League, but we are not asking them to do that. We are asking them to compare 2 players who play in a similar position for the same team, and one of them has a superior output. As far as measurable data goes, the fact is that Willian was more important to Chelsea than Hazard last season. Combine this with what we observed last season and I would take Willian over Hazard every time, but you are entitled to your opinion.

    This is not squirming, this is me taking into account everything you have said and revising my original statement, which is perfectly reasonable. You have said nothing to convince me that Hazard is as good or as important as you say he is, but I'm not stubborn enough to insist that football can be boiled down to a series of statements of facts. You have, however, been very clever in quoting me and have taken my 'statement of fact' well out of context. Semantics isn't something I normally get involved in, but I feel one of us is fighting dirtier than the other:

    (Original post by Nickini)
    Hazard was our top scorer with 17 goals compared to Willian's 4...surely that alone should tell you who was more important?
    Total misunderstanding of what being a footballer involves.

    (Original post by Nickini)
    Costa and Fabregas have taken his limelight due to racking up the goals/assists but he has been our best and most consistent player without a shadow of a doubt.
    This sounds like a statement of fact, which you seem to be against.

    (Original post by Nickini)
    Only thing really lacking from his game currently is his finishing which is probably why you don't rate him as he's not popping up in those biblical stats of yours with a high number of goals.
    But I've highlighted several weaknesses, while stating I do rate Hazard very, very highly.

    (Original post by Nickini)
    Hazard's role at Chelsea isn't to be the main outlet of goals or assists, it's to link play with our midfield/strikers and work the ball into good attacking positions. The guy runs our attack.
    How is he doing this, though? He has 2.65 key passes per-90 to Willian's 3.33, 2.87 chances created to Willian's 3.43. Is he 'linking play' and 'working the ball' without actually doing anything with it? Comparisons to Fabregas make Hazard look even worse!

    I do, however, find it quite incredible that a so-called football fan could dismiss data quite so easily. I have presented a series of relevant statistics, which will remain true forever. I trust these statistics to be far more reliable than the observations of you and Jam, many of which are year old memories.

    You have far more people on your side than I have on mine, but that doesn't mean you are any more correct. To make money from gambling, I go against popular opinion on a very regular basis and it seems to work. It's a shame that you took such offence to statistics, instead of using them to improve your overall understanding of a player or the game in general.

    "From creating comprehensive, in-depth player reports which can support or positively challenge a coach’s expert judgement, through to creating highly personalised training regimes for every player to accelerate their development and helping in injury prevention and rehabilitation, big data analytics substantially enhances the work that happens on and off the pitch at the club. In a game when the margins for error are so small, and the rewards for the victor are so great, it is no surprise that big data has already become a marquee signing at Stamford Bridge. "


    http://www.thebigdatainsightgroup.co...ems-chelsea-fc


    EDIT: Not sure the positional maps work on TSR but links can be provided.

    Oh, and 'inb4' accusations of squirming, whatever that means.
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    Hazard had just come back from injury clearly rushed in order to face atletico and you're blaming him for not being able to track back in one instance.
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    (Original post by pane123)
    We appeared to be getting somewhere but you have gone back to claiming to statistics are too limited to conclusively compare players, which I went along with. I cannot, however, go along with your accusations of me 'cherry-picking' statistics.

    I have chosen statistics which are bog standard when comparing players in the position we are talking about, but I welcome you to choose some more stats that will work in Hazard's favour. As I've conceded, Hazard might be amazing at the invisible stuff but it's exceptionally unlikely that he creates enough space, or drags enough defenders out of position to make up for his otherwise poor stats. It's interesting to note that you have observed an improvement in his tracking back, as this is picked up in the stats, too.
    What are his other poor statistics? How are you not cherry-picking though when you ignore/gloss over Hazard's superior goal record, assists, dribbles and fouls won, instead choosing to focus on his inferior key pass statistics in comparison to Willian? I'll come back to this later in this post.

    You don't seem able to get past the idea that scoring and assisting more does not necessarily mean one player was more important than the other. I have shown that outwith dribbling and key passes, Hazard excelled at nothing measurable.
    So what else, other than dribbling and key passes, is Hazard supposed to excel at?

    The idea that he is somehow better than Fabregas is genuinely shocking to me, and I believe the statistics paint a very accurate picture of what the story is on the pitch: taking Fabregas out the team would have a much bigger impact than taking Hazard out. It's no surprise that Chelsea have improved the way they have from last season with a player like Fabregas in the side. As I said in another post, only Fabregas and Xavi have provided 20 assists in any of the top 5 leagues in the last 8 or 9 years, and Fabregas is well on his way to doing it again, with 11 for the season. Combine this with everything else he does and you have a truly elite player, which Hazard quite simply is not. How you can see this any differently is beyond me.
    How can you say statistics "paint a very accurate picture of what the story is on the pitch" when you yourself called them "limited" and "inconclusive"?

    But I thought "assisting more does not necessarily mean one player was more important than the other"?

    It's no surprise because Fabregas (and Costa) were the final pieces of the puzzle. To continue with that analogy, obviously a completed jigsaw is superior to an incomplete one as there are no holes left to fill. Fabregas has had several games where he has been poor but still popped up with an assist - the game against Arsenal is a good example of this. Based on our overall attacking play (seeing as neither Hazard or Cesc are exactly defensive masterminds) Hazard is still our more influential player.

    You told me to watch Newcastle v Chelsea, which I did, and I was unable to see anything beyond a guy who was willing to run at players. Fortunately for you, I am not daft enough to think 90 minutes proves anything. I do, however, remember Hazard being responsible for lazy defending against Atlético last season, which led to your departure from the Champions League.
    Newcastle was a poor performance from us all round. And as Jam has said Hazard was rushed back from injury for the Atletico game.

    This is a positional map of Chelsea against City, and it's Fabregas who has the most influence in the Chelsea team.
    Those images do not work, but is it any surprise that a CM had more touches than an attacking midfielder in an away game against our main rival for the title where we generally sat back and played on the counter?

    How is he doing this, though? He has 2.65 key passes per-90 to Willian's 3.33, 2.87 chances created to Willian's 3.43. Is he 'linking play' and 'working the ball' without actually doing anything with it? Comparisons to Fabregas make Hazard look even worse!
    You claim Willian is superior based on 'Chances Created' (ie. assists + key passes), and yet when you calculate what percentage of these "chances" actually resulted in an assist the number is incredibly low; only 3.2% of Willian's 'Chances Created' actually resulted in an assist. When this is calculated for Hazard you find that 7.7% of his 'Chances Created' resulted in an assist. Whilst still a fairly poor conversion rate that is still over double Willian's, suggesting that although Willian may make more "key passes", the vast majority of the time they are ineffective, whilst Hazard is far more efficient and influential in doing so. It is important to note here that Hazard also has the disadvantage of being unable to play key passes/assists to the team's top scorer.

    You claim Hazard does nothing with the ball...and yet by your own statistics he is far more efficient with it than Willian, who in the same breath you declare the more influential player?

    And so, in terms of attacking statistics where does that leave Willian? Less goals, less assists, less dribbles, less fouls won and based on the above, far less efficient 'chance creation'/'key passes'. He just about edges pass completion % and shots taken, but with a conversion rate of 8.8% to Hazard's 19.4%, Hazard is again more efficient.

    The only aspect of his game which Willian trumps Hazard is in defence (which the statistics support and I agree with fully). But why would you measure the worth of two attacking midfielders by their defensive contributions?
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    Also the heat map of Fabregas against City is funny because Hazard was the guy who got the assist that game and Fabregas had his 2nd worst game of the season against City. His worst game was against United away.
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    (Original post by Nickini)
    What are his other poor statistics? How are you not cherry-picking though when you ignore/gloss over Hazard's superior goal record, assists, dribbles and fouls won, instead choosing to focus on his inferior key pass statistics in comparison to Willian? I'll come back to this later in this post.

    So what else, other than dribbling and key passes, is Hazard supposed to excel at?
    I have been through his poor statistics over, and over, and over. I am not glossing over his goals and assists at all, nor have I at any point. Every statistic I have given for Hazard is per-90 mins, yet you insist on looking at only total goals and assists. On this basis, Bony is just as good as Aguero, as they scored the same number of goals last season.

    When we look at goal contribution per-90, we see that Hazard contributed 0.53 goals per match, which isn't particularly good. If we look only at non-penalty goals per-90, he managed 0.31 per match, which is OK but certainly nothing special.

    I will come back and quote every time I have mentioned Hazard's excellent dribbling but it could take a while, as I've acknowledged it quite a lot and I think you know that.

    (Original post by Nickini)
    But I thought "assisting more does not necessarily mean one player was more important than the other"?
    It doesn't, but Fabregas's ability to assist is about the best the Premier League has ever seen. He does it on an elite level and, when we combine his assisting with everything else, his attacking output remains incredibly high and his defensive contribution is superior to Hazard's.


    (Original post by Nickini)
    It's no surprise because Fabregas (and Costa) were the final pieces of the puzzle. To continue with that analogy, obviously a completed jigsaw is superior to an incomplete one as there are no holes left to fill. Fabregas has had several games where he has been poor but still popped up with an assist - the game against Arsenal is a good example of this. Based on our overall attacking play (seeing as neither Hazard or Cesc are exactly defensive masterminds) Hazard is still our more influential player.
    So you keep saying, but I've yet to see anything to convince me that it isn't Fabregas. By looking at things like key passes and total shots, we get a clearer picture of a player's overall output. However, you are correct when you say that things like penultimate passes, or the pass before that, are not picked up in the statistics. Opta is aware of this, and uses things like player positional maps to try to make the 'attacking contribution' metric more accurate. While it is still in development, this is what the 'attacking contribution' table looked like after the first 7 games of the season:




    Basically, Opta acknowledges some of the limitations you have pointed out and have tried to do something about it. Maybe I'm giving them too much trust, but I reckon they know what they are doing and Fabregas is quite clearly your more attacking player.

    I make no secret of my love for Fabregas, but it does seem to be justified. A metric for overall defensive contribution will be very, very difficult to come up with, meaning the effectiveness of tracking back will be hard to measure, but Fabregas trumps Hazard offensively and defensively in the stuff we can measure. Again, this is not me saying Hazard is not an excellent player, but I have yet to see anything to suggest he brings anywhere near what Fabregas does to a team.



    (Original post by Nickini)
    Those images do not work, but is it any surprise that a CM had more touches than an attacking midfielder in an away game against our main rival for the title where we generally sat back and played on the counter?
    It's more to do with attacking influence than total number of touches.

    Villa

    Man City

    (Original post by Nickini)
    You claim Willian is superior based on 'Chances Created' (ie. assists + key passes), and yet when you calculate what percentage of these "chances" actually resulted in an assist the number is incredibly low; only 3.2% of Willian's 'Chances Created' actually resulted in an assist. When this is calculated for Hazard you find that 7.7% of his 'Chances Created' resulted in an assist. Whilst still a fairly poor conversion rate that is still over double Willian's, suggesting that although Willian may make more "key passes", the vast majority of the time they are ineffective, whilst Hazard is far more efficient and influential in doing so. It is important to note here that Hazard also has the disadvantage of being unable to play key passes/assists to the team's top scorer.

    You claim Hazard does nothing with the ball...and yet by your own statistics he is far more efficient with it than Willian, who in the same breath you declare the more influential player?

    And so, in terms of attacking statistics where does that leave Willian? Less goals, less assists, less dribbles, less fouls won and based on the above, far less efficient 'chance creation'/'key passes'. He just about edges pass completion % and shots taken, but with a conversion rate of 8.8% to Hazard's 19.4%, Hazard is again more efficient.

    The only aspect of his game which Willian trumps Hazard is in defence (which the statistics support and I agree with fully). But why would you measure the worth of two attacking midfielders by their defensive contributions?
    You are mixing my words here. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I had mentioned 'chances created' before my previous post. I am saying Willian gave more to Chelsea based on many things, not just chances created.

    Also, I don't think you understand why these statistics exist. Why should whether or not the striker finished the shot decide whether or not the midfielder receives credit for his pass? It could be that Hazard makes unmissable assists, while Willian leaves the striker with a lot to do but you agreed that over thousands of minutes, these things level out.

    Goals, and therefore assists, are rare in football but I agree that it would be good to know who is the more efficient passer, i.e. the player who creates more goal scoring opportunities. This method isn't perfect, but I think it's more accurate in telling us what we want to know:



    Over thousands of minutes, Willian was the more efficient passer, taking fewer attempts at making each key pass.
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    Yaya looks like he might be getting back into last season's form. Shame about Kun, he can never catch a break from injuries.

    Think Sanchez has a decent claim to winning this. If he can get Arsenal into the top 4, he'd be a worthy winner. He's done better than Hazard at the moment, Hazard needs to up his game when playing away from home.
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    The issue with Sanchez is that Arsenal definitely won't get top three, so he'd have to have a Bale-type season in terms of performances/goals, and while he has settled well, I doubt that'll happen.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    The issue with Sanchez is that Arsenal definitely won't get top three, so he'd have to have a Bale-type season in terms of performances/goals, and while he has settled well, I doubt that'll happen.
    Based on what? I think he's having a very similar season to Bale actually. Carrying an underperforming Arsenal single-handedly and already has 14 goals/4 assists in all comps. And has apparently been playing through a groin injury. He could well match Bale's 26 goals, the only thing that would stop him is a long-term injury.
 
 
 
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