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April 2021

Football 2013-14 – A Fantasy analysis – Part 1 Defence

Football 2013-14 – A Fantasy analysis – Part 1 Defence


by Andrew Crawshaw

There are many different ways of analysing the performance of players and teams within football.  My daily paper – The Telegraph (Tony, I know sorry) – 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.


Team Name Points
Arsenal W Szczesney 121
Arsenal L Fabianski 35
Man City J Hart 101
Man City C Pantillimon 35
Liverpool S Mignolet 99
Liverpool B Jones 13
Chelsea P Cech 127
Chelsea M Schwarzer 27
Everton T Howard 123
Everton J Robles 16
J Speroni C Palace 108
A Boruc Southampton 106
H Loris Spurs 107

P Cech scored the most points as a goalkeeper, closely followed by Szczesney.  This is also reflected in the two of them sharing the Golden Glove award.  Howard for Everton in third with Hart and Mignolet significantly adrift.  Of the second choice keepers in the top five, Fabianski and Pantillimon at the top of the pile with Schwarzer in third.

Our goalkeepers are equal to the best in the league and in an ideal world we shouldn’t be looking to replace them.  Unfortunately this isn’t an ideal world and we will need to replace Fabianski.  The best keepers in the league, outside the top five were Speroni (Palace), Boruc (Southampton) and Loris (Spurs) any of whom would make a great backup to Szcz if we could get them.

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Centre Backs

Here our main pairing are again on an individual basis as good as anyone in the league.  Cahill gets the highest score by 5 points which is the equivalent of scoring one gaol in the season.  Chelsea pick up more points in this area overall than anyone but as Ivanovic also doubles up at right back, I’m unsure how many points should be allocated to that position.

Should Vermaelen leave this summer then any of Distin, Fonte, Davies, Evra, Delaney or Cameron would seem to be possible replacements.

Right Backs

Team Name Points
Arsenal B Sagna 136
Arsenal C Jenkinson 63
Man City M Richards 13
Man City P Zabaleta 147
Liverpool G Johnson 76
Liverpool J Flanagan 66
Liverpool M Kelly 21
Chelsea C Azpilicueta 117
Everton J Stones 71
Everton S Coleman 159
C Palace J Ward 109
Southampton N Clyne 116

Here Everton’s Coleman was the stand out player of the season, followed by Zabaletta and then Sagna.  Amongst the second choice players, Jenkinson did as well as anyone.

How Sagna expects to get much game time at City is beyond me, but then so is a rumoured £140k per week.  Assuming he goes and we can’t get Aurier then we should make a real effort to get Coleman, failing that one of either Ward or Clyne.  I watched Ward in their win over Palace and thought that he had an awesome game.

Left Backs

Team Name Points
Arsenal K Gibbs 112
Arsenal N Monreal 90
Man City A Kolorov 133
Man City G Clichy 80
Liverpool A Cissokho 52
Liverpool J Enrique 35
Chelsea A Cole 84
Everton L Baines 156
Southampton L Shaw 121
Hull L Rosenior 114

Baines was the stand-out player in this position, but he gets a lot of points from free kicks which are not position dependent.  Gibbs and Monreal between them scored a lot of points but not quite as many as Kolorov and Clichy for City.  Chelsea’s score is light but should be boosted by other players scores (helpfully Chelsea just lump players together as defenders which makes disaggregating numbers very difficult).

I don’t see any need for changes to our Left Backs, between them Gibbs and Monreal are as good as anyone.  Should disaster strike, we should keep tabs on Shaw or (more likely) Rosenior.

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64 comments to Football 2013-14 – A Fantasy analysis – Part 1 Defence

  • Shaz

    I understand what you’ve done but dont agree with your analysis. I’m a huge fan of Gibbs but Monreal has too often looked out of depth, the ratings shown are not a fair reflection of the player. Defenders get points for clean sheets, doesnt matter if monreal has a good game or bad game he get the points as long as the keeper and Cb’s have a good game. As long as Mert-Kos have a great game the full backs score will be unfairly shown.

  • Gord

    Hi Andrew.

    Your goalkeeper table doesn’t agree with your monologue, typo somewhere?

  • “The best keepers in the league, outside the top five were Speroni (Palace), Boruc (Southampton) and Loris (Spurs) any of whom would make a great backup to Szcz if we could get them.”

    And why in bloody hell would any of these keepers leave their comfortable number 1 spots to be our second keeper. The reason why Fabianski is leaving is precisely why we can never get any of the mentioned keepers unless we are willing to pay Chelsea/Man City wages to keep them on the bench which I don’t think is ever going to happen.

    I wish Fabianski would stay and AW would rotate our 2 distinguished poles in the league and the cup competitions because Fabianski is a great keeper. The problem with fabianski is the same with our central defence. It is extremely difficult to leave a player of Vermaelen’s calibre on the bench but like goalkeeping, the central defence is another area where much tinkering can’t be done.

    When fans clamour for the board to buy this and buy that and increase our strength in depth, this is one problem that they always gloss over. The reality is that class players – the sort that we all want Arsenal to sign – are not going to sit on the bench and wait till some other players get injured to get to play. I concede though that this is easier for midfielders and more attacking players but in the end there are only 11 slots for the starting line up and only 14 can play in any given game.

    I do not envy Arsene Wenger and I wish that our Keyboard football manager would cut him and indeed all managers some slack when it comes to signing players.

  • nicky

    Of all the positions in the football team, that of No.2 goalie must be the most difficult.
    Alternating selection only means, IMO, you have two disgruntled players instead of one.
    In the case of Fabianski, a section of home support were highly critical

  • nicky

    of him until his heroics in this year’s FA Cup.
    Such is the fickle nature of Arsenal support these days.

  • Pete

    Boo – the way around this is to buy better players than those we already have, thus demoting the incumbents. As I think we already have pretty darn good players, that will cost a small fortune! Possibly at centre forward and/or wide attack only? Budget probably won’t extend any further. The other option is to fill out the squad with youngsters who will be more patient as they are still on an upward curve (e.g. Gnabry).

    However I don’t think we have any youngsters at the level we need at right back, centre back, goalkeeper or holding midfield. Bellerin may get there at right back but don’t think there is anyone else hammering on the door in those positions from within? Martinez and Miquel haven’t had great loan spells, nor has Coquelin – although I think his chance has come and gone (a pity, as I rated him). Don’t think Jenkinson is quite there unfortunately and not convinced by Hayden either.

    It is possible you might be able to get in a 3rd choice centre back (I see Williams of Swansea has been linked), but difficult, as covering for two positions not one so a greater chance of playing. Outside shot at centre back would be Djourou (is he still with us?) but can’t see that.

    As you say, it is tough being a manager!

  • nicky,

    “Such is the fickle nature of Arsenal support these days.”

    Tell me about it!

  • Pete,

    All that I get from your comment is that this is not as easy as most of our online fans portray it to be.

    I think the biggest disadvantage that Jenkinson suffers from is that he is second to a phenomenal player in Sagna. Jenkinson is really not bad at all. I rate him and I believe that the more games he plays, the more confident he will become. Don’t get me wrong; I am not against signing another RB. I just don’t agree that Jenkinson is not ready.

    All in all, I’m really glad that I am not Arsene Wenger when it comes to making these decisions and doing the juggling.

  • And it’s now number 17: Pochettino is the 17th Spurs Manager in Arsene Wenger’s reign!

    The number one appeal from all on SkySports is that the new manager be given time on the job.

    Ah ah ah, never gonna happen. Trigger happy Levy can’t wait to sack him too. I give him 6 months 🙂

    Happy st. Daniel’s day everyone!

  • Gord

    @Bootoomee, in a different thread, I guessed mid January 2015 for sacking date.

    Tomorrow’s Scotland/Nigeria friendly apparently may be fixed. Finding out who the referee was, wasn’t trivial. Referee is from Norway, and Mike Riley is pissed because he is missing out on kickbacks 😈 .

  • Gord,

    What key combinations give the ‘devil’ emoticon? Everyone that I have tried have not worked.

    Please help.

  • Gord

    If you have colon t w i s t e d colon as a continuous string, and adjoining whitespace before and after, you get 😈 . Note there is a space between period and icon there.

  • AL

    Off topic, found this a little interesting, the media highlighting our injury concerns. Although it’s mentioned in passing, they do point out bad tackling could be contributing to our injuries, among other things.

  • Gord,

    Sorry, the instruction is not very clear. What do you mean by twisted colon and “continuous string”?

  • Gord

    Here we have : t w i s t e d : . If I pull the spaces out from between the two full colons, I get 😈 .

  • Gord

    Another way to word it, is that the name of that icon is “twisted”. If I put the name of the icon inside of a pair of full colons, I will get the string substituted with the image in presentation 😈 .

    Is that better?

  • ok another try 😈

  • Ah finally!

    Thanks Gord!

  • Gord

    You’re welcome Bootoomee.

  • jambug

    : t w i s t e d :

  • jambug


    I thought I had it.

    Gord?……………GORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRD, are you there ????

  • jambug

    :t w i s t e d:

  • Gord

    Jambug, take the spaces out. There are no spaces between the leading full colon, and the trailing full colon. There has to be a space before the first full colon, and a space after the last full colon.

    Sooner or later I will figure out how to explain this. 🙂

  • jambug

    Now it wont let me post a ‘duplicate’ comment :t w i s t e d:

  • jambug

    😈 Sister 🙂

  • jambug

    Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !!

    Thanks Gord.

  • Gord

    I’ll try a different approach. The name of that character is twisted. I am going to add 2 other characters to what I write. Every plus sign is to be deleted, and every dash (minus sign) is to be replaced with a space.

    We have -:+t+w+i+s+t+e+d+:- becomes 😈


  • Gord

    You’re welcome. 🙂

  • Gord

    Oh, oh! I’ve unleashed a monster! Now Jambug can get all the smilies on wordpress. 🙂

  • jambug

    I’m getting the hang of this 🙄 :mrgreen: 🙂

  • nicky

    Am I? …

  • nicky

    No! …

  • Gord

    What is it you are trying to generate? There can be 1, 2 or 3 ways to generate the same smiley image. The generic version follows the rules I outlined (apparently poorly) for “twisted”. That is, the name of the icon is sandwiched between full colons, and there must be spaces on the “outside” of the full colons. The other 1 or 2 ways are short cuts.

  • Mick


  • Mick

    I give up, I’m too old or too stupid or both. 😈

  • Mick

    Well bugger me it worked!

  • Gord

    Mick, can you come up with a better explanation? Obviously I am just confusing people. Your first attempt didn’t delete all the plus signs, or replace the minus signs with spaces. Obviously your second attempt succeeded.

  • :impressed: :happy: :smug:

  • omgarsenal

    UA has degenerated into a smiley’s fantasy world! LOL : twisted :

  • Gord


    Sorry for degenerating things. I am going to suggest there is no trailing space after your request for a smiley (twisted).

    You seem to have 3 well written requests for smilies, all I can guess is that the first doesn’t have a leading space and the last doesn’t have a trailing space.

  • Florian


    Not to be nitpicky, but the centre backs table seems to be missing. :-/

  • Florian

    darn 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx


    Just say it 🙂

  • para

    Now that the smiley smileys are all done, i do wish we get Aurier, then he and Jenko(who i think is nearly ready) can make that spot their own, as well as Aurier can play across the whole defence too, in case needed.
    But who ever we get, we are going to get players, i feel this, and i think we are ALL going to be pleasantly surprised.

  • ok, again :impressed: with being :happy: while not being :smug:

  • ok, I’m done here 😈

  • Brickfields Gunners

    : t w i s t e d :

  • oldgroover

    What is it with all those silly little yellow things that people put into their posts to make them appear even more funny or witty? They’re just one step up from LOL, and are nothing more than designer humour or cynicism; the sort of thing you see stuck on the rear windows of cheap cars.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    :t w i s t e d:

  • Mick

    I have just googled wordpress smileys and found the following which explains things

  • LRV

    Sorry Tony. I need to try this Mike Riley emoticon as well. 😈

  • Oh for goodness sake gentlemen. Get a grip.

    Part two is now published. Now please try to control yourselves.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    @Gord, @Florian

    I’ll pur corrections in the Last Article of the series, Tony already has the middle part.

  • Gord

    Sorry Tony. 🙂 I wasn’t expecting this.

    As near as I can tell, none of our internationals is yet hurt from pre World Cup friendlies. I hope it stays that way.

    Since Giroud scored a couple of nice goals against Norway, and I had seventh’s on the brain, I give you 2/7.

    2/7 = 0.2857 142857 142857 142857 …

    Seeing a pattern? How about 3 /7. Those 6 digits had a 1 and a 2 (for 1/7 and 2/7), but there is no 3. The next larger is 4, so we get 3/7.

    3/7 = 0.42857 142857 142857 142857 …

    And now I think most of you can remember all that is magic about the sevenths. Always the same 6 digits in the same order, just where you start changes.

  • menace

    gooners just right click on the object you want to copy, select ‘view image info’. associated text is the data required to create the object.