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22 June 2007

Don't Argue...These Really Are The Premiership's Best Players

I've blogged before about Daniel Finkelstein's Fink Tank column in The Times newspaper but this is his best work yet.

What his Fink Tank team have done is to use mathematical modeling to determine who really are the best players in the Premiership.

The model focused on examining the relationship between goals scored and every kick of the ball made by every player for every club and determining whether a player added or subtracted points from his team compared to an average replacement.

But that's all boring geek stuff. What we want are the results, right? Who really were the best players in the Premiership last season.

Well, not Stevie G for one (he was 80th), not Dimitar Berbatov (he was outside the top 20) : the top ten best Premiership football players are :

KEY: Player, club, position, time on the pitch, time-adjusted points

1 C Ronaldo Manchester United Midfield 85.12% 19.12

2 F Lampard Chelsea M 97.31% 16.24

3 Gilberto Arsenal M 88.14% 16.01 P

4 P Cech Chelsea G 50.15% 14.41

5 J Lehmann Arsenal G 97.30% 13.94

6 P Scholes Man Utd M 79.10% 13.50

7 T Howard Everton G 94.59% 12.96

8 N Vidic Man Utd D 66.11% 10.48

9 B McCarthy Blackburn F 88.98% 9.91

10 A Hleb Arsenal M 68.14% 9.87

No, I'm sorry. There's no arguing about this. If the mathematicians say that Alexander Hleb was the 10th best footballer in the Premier League, then it must be true, mustn't it?

If you want to read the full list of all 403 players, it's here. Don't blame me if you don't agree with any of it.

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