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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 Zürich)
    Largely agree but Fabregas did not his those heights before or since really, his 2010/11 season at Arsenal was actually quite average for instance. I dont think Silva has ever hit the heights that he did at Arsenal though tbf.

    Is Fabregas having that great a season though? Certainly getting the job done but I dont see him as really being that influential in games individually. Here and there perhaps. Fabregas' role at Chelsea is quite different to that at Arsenal in that he's playing deeper now and the system is no longer micro-managed for his benefit like Wenger did, so it's not exactly comparable really.

    The suspicion with Fabregas as well is that he's not a big game presence. Didnt play well vs Utd or Liverpool and was average vs Arsenal. Didnt watch the City game.

    In fairness, I always felt Fabregas was quite useful in big games at Arsenal.
    I think he's been absolutely superb. To have 10 assists after only 14 games is ridiculous - only Cesc and Xavi have recorded 20+ assists in a single league season since modern analysis came to be. I think it's reasonable to assume he will hit 20+ this season and doing it twice in the Premier League would be nothing short of incredible. Henry managed 23 assists in 2002-03, but nobody but Cesc has hit 20 since then.

    I can't find stats from before 2005 but, since then, nobody has finished a Bundesliga, Serie A or La Liga season with more than 18 assists.

    I'll have to take a look at various other stats but he would have to be doing almost nothing else for his assists not to make up for it.

    Based on my responses to you and Jam, would you take Hazard or Cesc if you could only pick one? Hazard goes past people well, but stick Cesc on the park and your strikers will ​score. He hasn't scored as many as I would have liked, but a run of 3 or 4 goals will put his goal contribution through the roof.
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    (Original post by pane123)
    I think he's been absolutely superb. To have 10 assists after only 14 games is ridiculous - only Cesc and Xavi have recorded 20+ assists in a single league season since modern analysis came to be. I think it's reasonable to assume he will hit 20+ this season and doing it twice in the Premier League would be nothing short of incredible. Henry managed 23 assists in 2002-03, but nobody but Cesc has hit 20 since then.

    I can't find stats from before 2005 but, since then, nobody has finished a Bundesliga, Serie A or La Liga season with more than 18 assists.

    I'll have to take a look at various other stats but he would have to be doing almost nothing else for his assists not to make up for it.

    Based on my responses to you and Jam, would you take Hazard or Cesc if you could only pick one? Hazard goes past people well, but stick Cesc on the park and your strikers will ​score. He hasn't scored as many as I would have liked, but a run of 3 or 4 goals will put his goal contribution through the roof.
    Has Ozil not managed it as well? Must have come close with his assist tally

    I do see what you mean about Hazard being flashy and therefore overrated. Ive seen him live a few times now, including at Stamford Bridge last year when i was in the home end vs Stoke. He of course was just ruining their wing backs with his dribbling but he didnt carve out a single chance, was interesting to see that. I think in the same game Willian got the winner and got an assist but obviously in a less sexy way...

    Hazard is young though and it often takes time for wingers to rack up solid stats, that will surely improve. I'd probably say that Fabregas is the better player, but because he's older. Wouldnt surprise me if Hazard went on to be one of the top3 in Europe in 3/4 years time.
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    (Original post by Zürich)
    Has Ozil not managed it as well? Must have come close with his assist tally

    I do see what you mean about Hazard being flashy and therefore overrated. Ive seen him live a few times now, including at Stamford Bridge last year when i was in the home end vs Stoke. He of course was just ruining their wing backs with his dribbling but he didnt carve out a single chance, was interesting to see that. I think in the same game Willian got the winner and got an assist but obviously in a less sexy way...

    Hazard is young though and it often takes time for wingers to rack up solid stats, that will surely improve. I'd probably say that Fabregas is the better player, but because he's older. Wouldnt surprise me if Hazard went on to be one of the top3 in Europe in 3/4 years time.
    No, Ozil's best tally was 17 in the 2011-12 season.

    Hazard is young, but Fabregas was busy creating stats to which all attacking midfielders should be compared when he was the same age. It's unlikely he'll reach the attacking levels of 2009-10 but, as you said, he plays a deeper role, especially when Chelsea decide it's time to protect their lead. I think he's proven that he's an exceptionally versatile player, who is willing to do whatever his manager asks of him. Professionalism like that is rare in a time when footballers are treated like gods from the age of 14 or 15.

    As I said, I like Hazard and he will probably become a top player, but he ain't one yet. We should keep in mind, however, that 23 isn't actually that young these days, and that there are other players in their early 20s who give much more to their team than Hazard does to Chelsea.
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    (Original post by pane123)
    What do you think he excels at? As I said to the other guy, it's dribbling and that's about it. I do think he's a very good player but your love for him is quite odd.

    He was the 4th best dribbler in the league last year, which is no surprise. He was the 8th best key passer, which isn't really a surprise. What is surprising is how crap he is at everything else a player like him should be good at.

    Despite providing plenty of key passes, he provided only 0.22 assist per 90 minutes, making him the 39th ranked assister in the league last year. Maybe we can give him the benefit of doubt due to the lack of quality strikers at Chelsea last year, so let's move on.

    OK, he scored a lot of goals, but, combine this with his assists, and his goal contribution was 0.53 per 90 minutes. To put that into perspective, he was the 38th best contributor of goals in the EPL last year. Midfielders with these kind of stats tend to be found at mid to lower table clubs.

    I must also point out that his goal scoring exploits were made to look much better than they actually were thanks to penalties. Looking at only non-penalty goals, Hazard scored 0.31 per 90, placing him 36th in the league. Not too surprising for a player who managed only 2.27 shots per 90 mins (63rd in the league), is it?

    Big data has changed the way we analyse football and Hazard isn't as good as you think he is. Maybe his dribbling makes him look better than he is. Maybe you fancy him. Or maybe you base all your football knowledge on this:
    I'm a Chelsea fan and I've been to a lot of games. And I can say watching from the stands that Hazard is easily Chelsea's best and most talented player. Seeing him live gives you an appreciation of how good he is and this is something that isn't always shown in the stats. There isn't a better player technically at dribbling in the premier league, I don't care what the stats say, and I think you are downplaying the effectiveness of that. It's the fact that these dribbles and runs drag defenders out of position and create space for the other attacking players and this has actually led to the vast majority of the goals we've scored this season and last. When he picks it up and runs at defenders more often than not a chance comes at the end of it or he is fouled because defenders can't deal with him - he also wins a lot of penalties and dangerous free kicks. I'll agree, though, he definitely needs to work on his finishing and if he improves that aspect of his game he'll be up there in the top 5 in the world. I think he just falls short right now but he is only 23 so he's got plenty of time, I just fear that when he hits his peak in a few years Premier League talent poachers Madrid will be in for him.

    Aguero is the best player in the league without a doubt but I'd say Hazard is up there in second. Alexis, who is also a fantastic player (don't get me wrong) is arguably made to look even better by the mediocrity that surrounds him this season because he is putting away the chances while the other players are faltering.
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    (Original post by pane123)
    No, Ozil's best tally was 17 in the 2011-12 season.

    Hazard is young, but Fabregas was busy creating stats to which all attacking midfielders should be compared when he was the same age. It's unlikely he'll reach the attacking levels of 2009-10 but, as you said, he plays a deeper role, especially when Chelsea decide it's time to protect their lead. I think he's proven that he's an exceptionally versatile player, who is willing to do whatever his manager asks of him. Professionalism like that is rare in a time when footballers are treated like gods from the age of 14 or 15.

    As I said, I like Hazard and he will probably become a top player, but he ain't one yet. We should keep in mind, however, that 23 isn't actually that young these days, and that there are other players in their early 20s who give much more to their team than Hazard does to Chelsea.
    Hhhm, I think the guy's off field behaviour is up for discussion tbf. Went on strike in Summer 2011, flat refused to go on tour or to play for Arsenal/Wenger again and basically tried to give Barca as much leverage over AFC in negotiating the fee as possible. Went for £30m in the end(since boosted to £35m through add ons etc) but he was probably worth £40m+ in a normal situation.

    Cant fault him on the pitch though
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    Fabregas takes all the set pieces and Chelsea are a team that scores a set piece goal every other game, it's no surprise that he has so many assists at this point.

    Being a good free kick or corner taker doesn't mean you can use his assist stats. It's skewed quite a bit in Fabregas favour as I can remember at least 2 goals that have come from his corners, probably more tbh.

    Hazard is a better player than Fabregas, his main problem is his lack of efficiency though but he tends to string the play, provide our main attacking threat and score at the same time. He was similarly bad first half of last season and he then popped up with 15 goals. We also consider that this is a Mourinho team who requires wingers to track back a lot and you wonder why our competent striker gets majority of our goals. Previous season goals were shared more as we had terrible strikers but the aim is to get 8 players defending and a couple players willing to attack.
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    (Original post by jam277)
    Fabregas takes all the set pieces and Chelsea are a team that scores a set piece goal every other game, it's no surprise that he has so many assists at this point.

    Being a good free kick or corner taker doesn't mean you can use his assist stats. It's skewed quite a bit in Fabregas favour as I can remember at least 2 goals that have come from his corners, probably more tbh.

    Hazard is a better player than Fabregas, his main problem is his lack of efficiency though but he tends to string the play, provide our main attacking threat and score at the same time. He was similarly bad first half of last season and he then popped up with 15 goals. We also consider that this is a Mourinho team who requires wingers to track back a lot and you wonder why our competent striker gets majority of our goals. Previous season goals were shared more as we had terrible strikers but the aim is to get 8 players defending and a couple players willing to attack.
    Wouldnt that affect Fab as well though? Definitely seen him taking upon defensive positions that he would never in a million years have found himself in at Arsenal
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    Aguero is comfortably the best player with current 1.46 goals/assists per 90 mins better than messi on 1.36

    Hazard doesn't come close atm
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    (Original post by Zürich)
    Wouldnt that affect Fab as well though? Definitely seen him taking upon defensive positions that he would never in a million years have found himself in at Arsenal
    Not so much as we have Matic to sweep up everything. We also make Fabregas play defensive in big games which explains why he's been so anonymous in them this season.

    Against other teams or at home we are more likely to attack so Fab in the deep role will work. However Mourinho insists on having our wingers track back.
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    Something I always find funny is how insistent non-chelsea fans are to tell chelsea fans that hazard isn't their best player.
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    (Original post by vilefor)
    I'm a Chelsea fan and I've been to a lot of games. And I can say watching from the stands that Hazard is easily Chelsea's best and most talented player. Seeing him live gives you an appreciation of how good he is and this is something that isn't always shown in the stats. There isn't a better player technically at dribbling in the premier league, I don't care what the stats say, and I think you are downplaying the effectiveness of that. It's the fact that these dribbles and runs drag defenders out of position and create space for the other attacking players and this has actually led to the vast majority of the goals we've scored this season and last. When he picks it up and runs at defenders more often than not a chance comes at the end of it or he is fouled because defenders can't deal with him - he also wins a lot of penalties and dangerous free kicks. I'll agree, though, he definitely needs to work on his finishing and if he improves that aspect of his game he'll be up there in the top 5 in the world. I think he just falls short right now but he is only 23 so he's got plenty of time, I just fear that when he hits his peak in a few years Premier League talent poachers Madrid will be in for him.

    Aguero is the best player in the league without a doubt but I'd say Hazard is up there in second. Alexis, who is also a fantastic player (don't get me wrong) is arguably made to look even better by the mediocrity that surrounds him this season because he is putting away the chances while the other players are faltering.
    The best players have the best stats, and Hazard isn't one of the best. Look at Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez, Reus, Gotze and you will see stats of top players, so why is it that the statistics recognise the ability of these players but not of Hazard?

    It would be quite remarkable if Hazard were doing something incredible that wasn't picked up in the stats.

    What stats allow us to do is challenge popular opinion, although it doesn't seem to work on TSR, where the members seem to know more than Opta. It's a shame that this data is wasted on so many people.
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    (Original post by jam277)
    Fabregas takes all the set pieces and Chelsea are a team that scores a set piece goal every other game, it's no surprise that he has so many assists at this point.

    Being a good free kick or corner taker doesn't mean you can use his assist stats. It's skewed quite a bit in Fabregas favour as I can remember at least 2 goals that have come from his corners, probably more tbh.

    Hazard is a better player than Fabregas, his main problem is his lack of efficiency though but he tends to string the play, provide our main attacking threat and score at the same time. He was similarly bad first half of last season and he then popped up with 15 goals. We also consider that this is a Mourinho team who requires wingers to track back a lot and you wonder why our competent striker gets majority of our goals. Previous season goals were shared more as we had terrible strikers but the aim is to get 8 players defending and a couple players willing to attack.
    This is just your opinion and I have posted plenty of evidence to suggest you're wrong; hitting out with more of your opinions doesn't change that. I'm not making these stats up, they do come from companies who are paid millions to compile them.

    A lot of midfielders take corners, none finish the season with 20 assists. How can you criticise Fabregas for getting some of his assists from corners when you make no mention of the fact that 3 of Hazard's goals last season came from penalties? If assists from corners don't count then goals from penalties most definitely do not count, which means Hazard scored 12 last season.

    As I've already said in a post you ignored, Hazard was ranked 36th in the league for non-penalty goals per 90 minutes. So, what is it he does other than dribble and take penalties quite well?

    Given how Chelsea played last season compared to how they are playing this season, it's quite incredible that you don't see the impact a player like Fabregas is having.
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    (Original post by pane123)
    No, I stated as fact that Willian was more important to Chelsea last season than Hazard.
    Fact? :lol:

    Genuinely bemused as to how someone could even come to that conclusion let alone consider it "fact". Hazard was our top scorer with 17 goals compared to Willian's 4...surely that alone should tell you who was more important? Not to mention our entire tactic for a good 2/3 months revolved around passing the ball to Hazard and hoping he did something with it.

    Hazard is very good but he's hugely overrated and is nowhere near the best players in the world, although he's young enough for that to change. People on TSR seemed to be wetting themselves over his performances last year, despite them being far from special.
    If anything Hazard has been under appreciated this season.

    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, ask any Chelsea fan/anyone who watches Chelsea regularly. You could probably count the goals we've scored this season in which Hazard wasn't involved in the buildup on your fingers. Perhaps if your stats displayed 'pre-assists' or somehow accounted for Hazard constantly pulling players out of position to create space for his teammates you'd be singing a different tune.

    Look at Schurrle's goal against Burnley for instance, Fabregas takes the plaudits (and rightfully so) for a sensational pass, but he had the space to be in such a position and make that pass thanks to Hazard running past Burnley's entire team and pulling them all out of position, which your stats don't show.

    What does Hazard do very well? Dribbling. That's it.
    Hazard is technically excellent, has good movement, crossing and range of passing. His link up play, dribbling and ability to draw fouls are world class. Last season his defensive contribution was poor but he's improved on that ten fold this season. 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.

    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.

    Perhaps you should base your opinions on players by actually watching them rather than numbers.
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    (Original post by Nickini)
    Fact? :lol:

    Genuinely bemused as to how someone could even come to that conclusion let alone consider it "fact". Hazard was our top scorer with 17 goals compared to Willian's 4...surely that alone should tell you who was more important? Not to mention our entire tactic for a good 2/3 months revolved around passing the ball to Hazard and hoping he did something with it.
    Perhaps you should base your opinions on numbers that actually mean something: comparing only the goals of Willian and Hazard is nothing short of absurd. I've said it several times now, but Hazard was ranked 36th in the league for non-penalty goals per 90 minutes. I've also said that he's very good at dribbling (4.1 per 90 mins - 4th best in the league) and key passes (2.86 per 90 mins - 8th best in the league), so it will be interesting to see how Willian compares.

    So, we've established that Hazard's goalscoring is nothing special, but neither is Willian's, so what is so good about Willian? For a start, his key passes were much better than Hazard's. In fact, only David Silva provided more of them per 90 mins last season. Just think about some of the players you would expect to score highly here and Willian was better than them. While Hazard was averaging 2.86 key passes, Willian was blowing him out the water with 3.49!

    Willian finished his season with passing accuracy of 85%, which, believe me, is good. Go and look up other players' records if you don't believe me. Willian plays an important part in Chelsea's attack, but his worth becomes evident when you look at his defensive output. With 3.38 interceptions and tackles per 90 mins he outshone Hazard, who finished with 1.15 per 90 mins. Of all the top 10 key passers, only Coutinho comes close to matching Willian's defensive output, but he manages 1 less key pass per 90. Willian managed 1.93 successful dribbles per 90 minutes, which is hugely impressive for a player in his position.

    Overall, Hazard looks better than he is. My numbers tell me that nice and quickly, while you waste time swooning over a guy who runs with the ball a lot, but doesn't do much with it. His contributions to the team would be more easily replaceable than Willian's, as there are very few players who show so much consistency box-to-box.

    (Original post by Nickini)
    Hazard is technically excellent, has good movement, crossing and range of passing.
    What does 'technically excellent' mean? Most players in the Premier League are 'technically excellent' - it's sort of important if you want to be a professional footballer. This is just another phrase that gets used a lot but means nothing.

    What does range of passing matter? Every footballer can hit long and short passes, we need statistics to tell us if they're actually any good at them. Don't for one second suggest you could watch Chelsea all season and accurately guess each player's completed pass %.

    Hazard's passing is good but we've already seen that Willian makes more important passes more often and his passing was more accurate than Hazard's. He's better at crossing, too, but Hazard only makes 0.3 per 90 mins, so I'm not quite sure how you arrived at the conclusion that he's a good crosser - maybe you have a brilliant memory, because it would take the mind of an elephant to remember 0.3 crosses per 90 mins.

    (Original post by Nickini)
    Last season his defensive contribution was poor but he's improved on that ten fold this season.
    Nope, he hasn't. He made 0.7 tackles per game last year, but has made 0.6 this year. Not a disaster for Hazard or Chelsea, but a bit embarrassing for the guy who's claiming to have witnessed a 'tenfold improvement'.

    (Original post by Nickini)
    Perhaps you should base your opinions on players by actually watching them rather than numbers.
    Yes, perhaps I should. That way, I'll see tenfold improvements all over the place.

    On a serious note, I would guess I watch a lot more football than anyone else on TSR. I'm not saying that to brag, but it is my job and I watch so much that it could be seen as sad. The reason I use numbers is because I'm not arrogant enough to expect people to accept my opinion without any evidence. This is how it works in any other debate so why should football be any different?

    I've won quite a lot of money due to my knowledge of football and, on the balance of probability, I know a lot more about it than you do. There is, however, absolutely no way of me proving that, so I use data to dismiss your cliched, wafer thin arguments.
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    Forget this guy saying Willian was better last season than Hazard is enough to suggest he doesn't watch Chelsea or is a troll.
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    (Original post by jam277)
    Forget this guy saying Willian was better last season than Hazard is enough to suggest he doesn't watch Chelsea or is a troll.
    Yeah this.

    You could literally watch any one of 99% of our games from last season (or this one) and see who was better/more important for us. Could probably see that from MotD in fact.

    Hazard more replaceable than Willian too, wtf :lol:
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    (Original post by jam277)
    Forget this guy saying Willian was better last season than Hazard is enough to suggest he doesn't watch Chelsea or is a troll.
    (Original post by Nickini)
    Yeah this.

    You could literally watch any one of 99% of our games from last season (or this one) and see who was better/more important for us. Could probably see that from MotD in fact.

    Hazard more replaceable than Willian too, wtf :lol:
    Good comeback, guys.

    Nickini, let me know if you see any more "tenfold improvements" from Hazard.

    I'm not sure why you guys are so determined to stick up for Hazard and insist he's doing things he isn't. I really like Hazard and I'm not saying he's a bad player - he's very good indeed - but it's pretty obvious he was overrated last season. Failure to recognise this is bordering on delusion.

    Maybe you think the 'old school' approach is better, but a Premier League team with you two as scouts would be relegated pretty quickly.
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    (Original post by pane123)
    On a serious note, I would guess I watch a lot more football than anyone else on TSR. I'm not saying that to brag, but it is my job and I watch so much that it could be seen as sad. The reason I use numbers is because I'm not arrogant enough to expect people to accept my opinion without any evidence. This is how it works in any other debate so why should football be any different?

    I've won quite a lot of money due to my knowledge of football and, on the balance of probability, I know a lot more about it than you do. There is, however, absolutely no way of me proving that, so I use data to dismiss your cliched, wafer thin arguments.
    There was no real need to add this - you could have won the discussion without it. Resorting to it shows a bit of desperation/arrogance which I don't think you needed to show.

    Numbers are good, but fallible. Based on last season's numbers Sterling was a finisher on the level of Aguero and Suarez, eg. Don't want to offer my opinion on you guys' original debate but numbers or no numbers, Hazard is not the best player in the league.
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    (Original post by JamesR12)
    There was no real need to add this - you could have won the discussion without it. Resorting to it shows a bit of desperation/arrogance which I don't think you needed to show.

    Numbers are good, but fallible. Based on last season's numbers Sterling was a finisher on the level of Aguero and Suarez, eg. Don't want to offer my opinion on you guys' original debate but numbers or no numbers, Hazard is not the best player in the league.
    I said between Hazard Sanchez and Aguero. Not that he is better than Aguero.

    I also would say Chelsea's style of play and our results have improved because Oscar has become better and we have competent strikers who can put away chances as well as having Fabregas.

    Finally Willian played much less games last season which always skews stats. 25 apperances in the prem 7 of which came as a sub. Hazard played 35 in the prem with 3 sub appearances.
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    Also don't think that Pane has been completely fair with his use of statistics above (there's a bit of 'pick and choose which ones to use because no-one else is going to bother looking them up'), but he's pretty much dicked all over you guys in terms of Hazard's actual quality level (as opposed to comparisons with Willian). You just can't argue with it. No amount of intangibles will cover up the fact the statistics Pane showed. It's not even as if Hazard has anywhere near the intangibles of a player like Suarez.

    Leaving all that aside, as I said in this thread when it was made, Aguero is far and away the best player in the league.
 
 
 
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