Some Interesting Chelsea Facts And Figures

Ramires practices his totally sweet air guitar moves.

As most of you know, I'm in Holland at the moment, which means that weekend games don't start in the really early morning like I'm used to. Without matches to cover, I was left with not a whole lot to do when I woke up, so I decided to play with Excel. Here's what happened.

I went back and looked at all Chelsea Premier League matches this season, noting when goals were conceded and who was on the pitch at the time. Then... well, I wrote everything down. This sounds way less impressive now that I think about it, but I've been in a spreadsheet for the past four hours so my language centre appears to have shut down. Anyway, with this information you can determine how often Chelsea score and how often they concede with specific players in the game, which strikes me as probably useful. To the numbers!

To the right is the goals scored tally. I've included minutes as well (via EPL index) so we can get a minutes per team goal scored for everyone, which should be fairly self explanatory. I also added a minutes qualifier - anyone under three full matches was discarded. Some quick observations:

  • I miss Nicolas Anelka.
  • Although Branislav Ivanovic is several places higher than Jose Bosingwa in the table, the difference between a goal every 46 minutes and one every 51 minutes isn't that much. It is, however, evidence (indirect evidence, but evidence nonetheless) against the claim that Bosingwa is much better on the attack than Ivanovic. That's simply not born out by these figures.
  • Most players are clustered between 45-55 minutes per team goals scored, which is not a surprise. I wouldn't be particularly concerned about anyone inside that range. Outside it, there's probably an issue.
  • Speaking of, Chelsea only score once every hour with Fernando Torres on the pitch. That's significantly less often than with Didier Drogba, which goes to show something something kick a man while he's down something.
  • >:( Florent Malouda >:(
  • Gary Cahill can probably be forgiven his numbers on account of him being introduced to the team while we were already in a bad spell.
  • I mean seriously what the hell is wrong with Malouda?

Now let's look at goals conceded, with some more bullet points because I'm lazy like that.

  • The most interesting thing about this chart is that the players on the bottom here - Malouda and Torres (and Cahill, but whatever) are also on the bottom of the goals scored table as well. No matter how you slice it, Chelsea play exceptionally poorly with those two on the pitch. The average score when Malouda plays ends up being 1.17-1.76 in favour of the opposition. Yikes.
  • David Luiz has the lowest frequency of goals conceded out of all of the defenders. It's not by very much, but Chelsea clearly aren't conceding at a higher rate when he plays, no matter what the pundits would like to tell you.
  • Ramires has been on the pitch for 39 of Chelsea's 47 goals this year, and has only seen 19 goals conceded. That's really, really really good, and it's no surprise that the team looks poor when the Brazilian's out.
  • The team is more defensively vulnerable when Jose Bosingwa and Raul Meireles play. Surprise! Hopefully we'll stop doing that sometime soon.
  • Oriol Romeu is good at stopping the opposition from scoring. Maybe we should start to play him again? Just a thought.
  • Don't take Michael Essien's strong numbers too seriously until he's had a bit more playing time. A goal every 95 minutes is good, but he's only had four and a bit games played, which makes his numbers kind of unfair to everyone else.
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