Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sub Watch: Week 16 Part II

SUB WATCH Doubles your Fun this Holiday Week
Welcome back! Hope you enjoyed the fireworks. When SUB WATCH signed off on Tuesday, we were looking at total substitution minutes played (smp) by different Red Bulls—particular the current leader, one Victor Palsson.

Surely, Palsson must be a hugely productive player to get so many minutes, right? Let’s look at what the numbers say. Before we get into this, I acknowledge that there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Then there’s soccer statistics--a nascent art at best. However, the purpose of this exercise is to gather some objective data to see whether it syncs with my subjective judgment of Palsson’s performance.

Here, according to MLS, is Palsson’s primary stat line for all 145 smp:
  • Fouls Committed: 5
  • Fouls Sustained: 1
  • Shots: 1
That’s it. If I was his agent, I don’t think I’d come to the bargaining table with this in February.

To be fair, that didn’t tell us much, so let’s look at more detailed stats on his production in the last 3 games, as I can do that without much effort. Note that “Interception” refers to interceptions made by the player (i.e. a good thing). Highlighting for clarity only.

I can see why he’s on the bench, but not why he’s the first man off of it. Maybe a head-to-head comparison of the stats of the players he replaced would provide some insight. Note: stats shown are those the two players had in common, according to the MLS OPTA Chalkboard.


SUB WATCH Takeaway: Palsson losing the ball on tackles at more than twice the rate of Lindpere, and running about 1.8x foul rate.


SUB WATCH Takeaway: 1.5x lost possession rate of Miller. Note: Palsson took midfield role while Miller was on D.


SUB WATCH Takeaway: Perhaps Palsson’s standout performance of the year—still without any production. Lindpere also had an assist and one shot on target.

Is this comparison unfair? Perhaps. But once the numbers have been dissected, the conclusion cannot be disputed: I hate Victor Palsson!

See you next week.

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