Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Crew Defensive Middle Fielding

Now that the Crew are 13 games into the 2013 MLS season I figure it is as good as time as any to take a look at the defensive midfielder engine in Robert Warzycha's 4-2-3-1 formation.

It's a defensive focused formation, no doubt. This is Warzycha we are talking about.

To date, the formation has succeeded in only allowing an even 1.00 goals per game. If you dig a little bit deeper you'll also see that this team has not allowed more that two goals on the year. Going back to last year, it has only happened three times. To this degree, the Crew have been successful.

Also, it should be mentioned... very Polish.

So, how about the DM's the Crew trot out every week? There have been a few of them and they have a decent amount of minutes played of which to compare 2013 players. Let's start there.

Mins Played : Player
764 : Danny O'Rourke
585 : Tony Tchani
555 : Agustin Viana
374 : Matias Sanchez
106 : Kevan George
20 : Konrad Warzycha

Right off the bat I'm going to take Kevan and Konrad out. Not enough time. That leaves us with four dudes. First up, let's take a look at player ratings by various outlets around the internets.

Castrol League Rank Percentile : Player
36% : Agustin Viana
42% : Danny O'Rourke
47% : Tony Tchani
64% : Matias Sanchez

Interesting here that Viana jumps both Tchani and O'Rourke. Now let's take a look at WhoScored.com's ranking. Who is "Who Scored"? Well, look them up. They have access to all the Opta data and a lot of time on their hands.

WhoScored.com Percentile : Player
32% : Agustin Viana
70% : Matias Sanchez
75% : Danny O'Rourke
76% : Tony Tchani

Well, well. Viana stays at the top, followed up by Matias Sanchez. Next up are my player ratings. HELLTOWN PLAYER RATINGS.

Helltown Rating Percentile : Player
36% : Danny O'Rourke
44% : Tony Tchani
47% : Agustin Viana
57% : Matias Sanchez


If you average the league rank of each of these Crew DMs, here is what you get:

38% : Agustin Viana
51% : Danny O'Rourke
56% : Tony Tchani
64% : Matias Sanchez

Pretty clear cut right? We've done the homework here. Three different player ratings gives us an accurate picture of who should start. Ok.

Wait. What about opponent difficulty when playing? Gosh, I almost forgot.

Avg Opponent Rank : Name
10.0 : Matias Sanchez
10.8 : Tony Tchani
13.1 : Danny O'Rourke
14.0 : Agustin Viana

Thing here is that O'Rourke and Viana have played against the weakest competition. What this suggests is that the reason they are rated highest is because they have played crappy teams.

...and here is where Opta and most other player rating systems fail. They don't take into consideration the quality level of the opposing player.

I'm working on it though. Draw your own conclusions on which DM should play this weekend. For me?

Well, I'm going to keep crunching the numbers.

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