Further to yesterday’s Dempsey post, I was so pleased with the approach that I thought I’d run a couple more players.
First, the team seems equally likely to do well or badly whether Dickson Etuhu plays or not – his ‘present’ vs ‘absent’ scores are almost exactly the same. You might expect this, I suppose.
But if you believe these numbers (and why wouldn’t you?), while we miss Dempsey when he’s not starting, the absence of Davies or Gera hasn’t tended to be a problem. Indeed, we are much more likely to suffer an unexpected result with either starting, and (therefore) much less likely to suffer an unexpected result when they’re missing.
(As a reminder, what we’re looking at here are the times when Fulham have either met, exceeded or faltered against Ladbrokes’ expected result for each game in the last two seasons, split by whether certain players started or not. NB this is league matches only; Gera’s European magic is a different kettle of fish).
What does this suggest? The beauty of this approach is that it attempts to cover the problem of which games a player is selected in. We can run all sorts of numbers but if a player is regularly playing in tough matches then he’ll look bad. But this way, if we’re expected to lose and do, then no skin of anyone’s nose. It’s a straight form vs expected results methodology.
The Davies effect goes along with what we saw with our eyes: he has played much of the last two seasons injured, and only really started to thrive late on in 2010. His playing through pain may have affected the team more than we thought.
Gera? A tale of two seasons:
In 2008/09 we were a much better team without Gera in the side. This season we’re still unlikely to really miss him, but it’s a vast improvement, again reflecting what we’ve seen with our eyes.
I can’t really run this sort of analysis on many of the other players, as the settled squad means that most have played most games, so you don’t get any differentials to explore. The information above, though, does suggest that we need to keep Clint around.
Hotspots: Neither Davies nor Gera; Davies not Gera; Dempsey not Davies; Dempsey not Gera.