Football 2013-14 – A Fantasy Analysis – Part 2 Midfield

Football 2013-14 – A Fantasy Analysis – Part 2 Midfield

by Andrew Crawshaw

This is the second part of this analysis  – Part 1 Defence can be found here 

There are many different ways of analysing the performance of players and teams within football.  My daily paper – The Telegraph …




[Sorry Tony has just been carried out of the building]


– like many others does a fantasy football league where most players in the premiership are awarded points on a weekly basis and members of the public are invited to submit teams within a set of criteria.  In the Telegraph version, the Person (Manager) with the highest points total at the end of the year wins £40,000.

This year after a very close fight it was won by Gregory Wright from Yorkshire with 2014 points, second was Andy Moores only one point behind and third was Dave Tattoo with 2001 points.

Looking at actual team totals Manchester City amassed 2221 points with Liverpool in second place 338 points behind them.  The fantasy points table therefore passes the basic reality check in that it matched league positions for the top two teams.

I am going to use the points scored and see where Arsenal players come relative to the other top five teams and also identify those players for other teams who have high scores and might therefore appear on our transfer radar.

There are a number of types of midfielder, who have differing jobs on the pitch and therefore differing opportunities to score points in fantasy football land.  Take Flamini, a solid Defensive Midfielder, excellent at breaking up opposition play, not so good at setting up goalscoring opportunities or scoring goals himself (although he did so to great effect on occasions last year).

Arteta also primarily a DM, although he got more points from the few penalties that Arsenal were awarded.  Box to Box midfielders (M in the tables) like Ramsey, Man City’s Toure score far more points due to their goals and assists, whilst Attacking Midfielders are all about supporting the forwards (at least in terms of point scoring in fantasy land).  The Telegraph also include wingers, Theo, Sunderland’s Johnson in with the midfielders.  Where their clubs call them forwards I have moved them to that part of the analysis (Part 3).

Arsenal – 9 midfielders (after re-allocating forwards) between them scoring 720 points

Player Position Points
S Cazorla AM 148
M Ozil AM 141
M Arteta DM 82
J Wilshere M 74
A Ramsey M 138
K Kallstrom M 9
T Rosicky AM 83
A Diaby M 1
M Flamini DM 44

Individual scores are somewhat lower than expected, due to injuries but solid contributions from Cazorla, Özil and Ramsey and lower scores from Rosicky, Arteta and Wilshere.

Man City – 8 midfielders between them scoring 866 points

Player Position Points
D Silva AM 139
Y Toure M 213
J Navas AM 109
Fernandinho AM 107
J Garcia M 43
J Milner DM 74
S Nasri AM 173
J Rodwell M 8

Y Toure and Nasri with significantly higher scores than any Arsenal player and 100+ contributions from Silva, Navas and Fernandinho

Liverpool – 5 Midfielders (after re-allocating forwards) scoring 513 points

Player Position Points
S Gerrard M 183
P Coutinho AM 122
J Henderson M 118
J Allen M 48
L Levia M 42

Gerrard the stand-out points scorer (including a large number from penalty goals) and Coutinho and Henderson with 100 plus contributions

Chelsea – 10 Midfielders (after re-allocating forwards) scoring 664.5 points NB half of Mata’s 107 points allocated to Chelsea prior to his move to United in January

Player Position Points
E Hazard AM 173
F Lampard M 89
Oscar AM 120
Willian AM 80
Ramires M 73
M Salah AM 29
N Matic M 44
J Mikel DM 1
J Mata AM 53.5
M van Ginkel M 2

Hazard the stand out scorer with Oscar the only other midfielder above 100 points

Everton – 7 Midfielders (after re-allocating forwards) scoring a total of 483 points

Player Position Points
S Pinnear M 67
J McCarthy M 81
L Osman AM 111
A McGeady DM 29
G Barry DM 87
D Gibson M 1
R Barkley M 107

No stand out scores here, Barclay and Osman with 100 plus.

Best of the Rest (all of the remaining players with scores of 100 plus)

Player Position Team Points
A Johnson AM/F Sunderland 134
C Eriksen AM Spurs 118
S Sidwell M Fulham 118
J Shelvey M Swansea 116
T Huddlestone M Hull 112
K Nolan M West Ham 109
S Davis M Southampton 109
M Noble M West Ham 109
J Puncheon M C Palace 109
J de Guzman M Swansea 109
J Livermore M Hull 109
C Adam M Stoke 108
M Arnautovic M Stoke 108
J Mata AM Chelsea/United 107
A Elmohamady M Hull 106
J Much M Cardiff 106
W Routledge M Swansea 103
M Sissoko AM Newcastle 103

I would count Johnson as a winger and therefore a forward, but both the paper and Sunderland list him as a midfielder which is why he is in this table.  Either way he has far too many points not to be being considered by one of the top table teams (providing he can keep his head in the right place).

The overall midfield points from the top five teams are :-

  1. Manchester City – 866
  2. Arsenal  – 720
  3. Chelsea – 664.5
  4. Liverpool – 513
  5. Everton – 483

Arsenal did well but could do better – given the injuries we suffered to our midfield players we should probably expect at least 100 points with the existing squad reflecting a further 20 or so goals/assists spread across the midfield players.  We should also look to press home our advantage and look to win by three or four goals those games where we eased off last year when two goals up.

Of the best of the rest, excluding Johnson, there are no players with high enough scored to be an obvious improvement on our existing squad.  As an extra winger, I would be quite happy with Johnson.

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11 Replies to “Football 2013-14 – A Fantasy Analysis – Part 2 Midfield”

  1. But these points don’t account for tracking back, decoy runs, passes made or displaced. It doesn’t account for any of the subtleties or nuance of the game. Am I missing something?

  2. How the hell did Arteta end up with only 82 points? How did John Obi Mikel of Chelsea score 1 point for the entire season – same as Diaby who only had a single cameo for us?

    This is my problem with whole fantasy league thingy – it is subject to the whims of the same guys in the media that we all know can’t see beyond their noses.

    Arteta on 82 points when Steve Sidwell is on 118? What the bloody hell!

  3. Boo – haven’t played FF for many, many years – but as far as I can recall the scoring is completely objective. Not sure how the rules work now, and clearly they are imperfect, but I do think they are fair anyway. Mind you, it is only a game and I don’t think it proves a great deal! It is like my son continually asking me for my evaluation of players for FIFA whatever it is – I have never played the game and I don’t really care!

    So I am more in Kelser’s boat on this one. Proper midfield stats would include things like tackles, interceptions, headers, distance covered, passes, passing accuracy, pass direction/length, key passes (i.e. attempted assists), assists and goals. On this basis I would take Ramsey over any other midfield player listed above. That kid, if he stays fit, will be world class within a year or two. Ultimately, I hope – no expect – he will be up there in the Henry/Bergkamp/Vieira class as one of our greatest players ever. I still maintain that Vieira is the best Arsenal player I have seen in my lifetime…

  4. I’m sorry but you’ve got nothing but rubbish to create art and your painting stinks.

  5. Pete,

    I beg to differ about the scoring being objective because they are not. They are based on the individual newspaper’s players’ ratings for a round of matches. In other word, this is nothing but subjective view of some sports journalists. And we all know how good and objective they are at their jobs.

    Still, how did John Obi Mikel score only 1 point for a whole season? Is that a typo?

  6. What I am saying is basically the basis of measure is nonsense, so the result can only be sewage. Incidentally I think it was Marks who said The Telegraph was a sewer. Considering the time he lived, nothings changed.

  7. My problem with these fantasy leagues is that they are flawed.
    The only good way to do things is to award points for quality of play, with a maximum of 90 if the player plays the whole game, or say 23 if he plays 23. Then add a time played proportional amount of points for pass completion rate, and other key indicators. Then finally add 15 points per assist, 25 per goal, 20 for penalty obtained, 20 for penalty scored, come up with point system for deductions for goals allowed, with a specific deduction for guilty players, including for penalties given away.

  8. The scoring may be flawed but it is an interesting exercise and I for one find the article a decent enough but not perfext guide to last seasons performers.

    Thanks for your efforts Andrew.

  9. Andrew, I wish you well with further parts. I have to go farming for a few days, and no internet.

    In the news today, are stories about whether England should play like Liverpool (can Rooney bite people?). The average latitude of the English team is about midway between West Midlands and Stoke-on-Trent. The teams most represented are Liverpool and ManU at 3 each. Merseyside has 10, London has 4, Southampton has 2, West Midlands 1 and Glasgow 1. The average final standing for the team is just under 5 at 4.83.

    A bunch of irrelevant data. I think they should try to play like a team, not a collection of individuals. If they can manage that, maybe they should then look to play like England.

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