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Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

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raoul
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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by raoul » 11 Feb 2019, 15:45

Regarding the enigma that is Pep, I think we are forgetting the fact that unlike us, he picked his lineups for Everton and Chelsea fixtures after the prior matches had taken place. For all we know he had indeed got Jesus pencilled in for Everton, only for Sergio to bag 3 against Arsenal. Do you drop your star striker after a hat trick against a top 6 club?

Sane is the more interesting one to me. Are we seeing a repeat of the start of the season? Are there "issues"?

I got close to doing Aguero to Auba this week, but then got lucky in that I was struggling to field a starting 10 let alone 11 so fought other fires instead (if I just called Aguero in a home match a fire that needs fighting, then I am a moron). Plus Arsenal away, Huddersfield being perhaps more stingy at home, decided best to wait. That, on top of captaining him in the DGW after what was basically a 50-50 decision with Sane (I recall someone writing on here never to captain a player who is not super-premium), has been a rather nice chunk of fortune.

Although given some of the nightmares I have had this season, I feel like I deserve it!

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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Finisher1 » 11 Feb 2019, 15:47

Stemania wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 15:25
Finisher1 wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 13:04
I just meant the fact that they are a profit-making organisation makes them open for criticism.
It was a free-to-view article you linked though, right? They have ads on those since, like FISO, they need to pay for server costs etc (and for a site their size some part time staff).

The accuracy of paid-for info is another question, but it's pretty clear all their articles are essentially opinion pieces and don't necessarily represent the view of the FFS leadership team as a whole. Anyone in the community can write and submit one for a start!

Incidentally, the BBC have started producing regular FPL articles now too - and they are....well...not better. :lol:
It was a free-to-view article written by a guy who (if I'm correct) seems to be a full-time editor in FFS.

FFS membership for a full season costs about £15 (IIRC) and a half season membership costs £10. I don't have their financial statements available but I suspect even 10,000 sold memberships per season is a very moderate estimation, could well be a way more. In addition to memberships they also sell ads, like you said. Anyway, it seems obvious they make some really good profit, so it's not just "we-have-to-pay-server-costs" charity thing. But like I said, I don't have their financial statements available so this is just my speculation!

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Stemania
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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Stemania » 11 Feb 2019, 16:00

They may well make a decent profit after paying editor/owner wages (plus upfront costs like subscribing to OPTAs data for the purpose of repackaging, which will not be cheap), but that doesn't mean their opinion pieces have to be anything but that. E.g. all newspapers. :)

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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Finisher1 » 11 Feb 2019, 16:04

Stemania wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 16:00
They may well make a decent profit after paying editor/owner wages (plus upfront costs like subscribing to OPTAs data for the purpose of repackaging, which will not be cheap), but that doesn't mean their opinion pieces have to be anything but that. E.g. all newspapers. :)
Editor/owner wages are essentially profit as such, because it means editors/owners get paid for the stuff they produce. I just said it makes their articles open for criticism, that's all. Whenever The Sun or Daily Mail post some questionable stuff, people go furious. So surely FFS is similarly open for criticism.

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Ruth_NZ
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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Ruth_NZ » 11 Feb 2019, 17:06

Finisher1 wrote:I don't have their financial statements available but I suspect even 10,000 sold memberships per season is a very moderate estimation, could well be a way more. In addition to memberships they also sell ads, like you said. Anyway, it seems obvious they make some really good profit, so it's not just "we-have-to-pay-server-costs" charity thing. But like I said, I don't have their financial statements available so this is just my speculation!
FFS Ltd. have current assets in excess of 500k GBP. The site has made a lot of money and continues to do so.

David Munday (the guy you refer to) is the full-time editor responsible for articles as of this season and writes many of them himself. He is a journalist by profession and was employed on that basis rather than because of his (very poor) FPL record.

Many of those who have leveraged FFS to 'make a name' for themselves have created income streams outside of FFS, whether with 'patreon' subscriptions to youtube channels or via being employed to write articles for mainstream media or to participate in radio discussions on commercial radio. Or, like Crellin, by charging people for transfer and DGW planning advice. And they all make some advertising revenue on their sites/channels, of course. I could name a fair few that have done that. Mark Sutherns, the founder of FFS, became full-time employed by FPL itself at the beginning of last season and appeared on the FPL show regularly. I don't know if that is still active but I do know that FPL pays FFS for services including the ICT ratings and the fixture-difficulty ratings that are used in the game itself. Last season those services included advice on injury status but I believe that function has been taken over by Dinnery/Rotoworld.

In other words, as the trough gets bigger, more pigs appear to feed from it.

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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Finisher1 » 11 Feb 2019, 17:31

Thank you Ruth for a very detailed post.

Based on this, I'd certainly expect better quality from David Munday. Yes, they are just opinions but they appear to be based on some vague and more or less irrelevant factors.

I just hate it when at one moment he says Aguero is "very unlikely" to start both matches and then at the second moment he says Aguero is basically safe from rotation. Those are strong claims and they need strong evidence to support them. As a professional FPL-journalist he should do better.

Well I guess I just have to take everything he says with more pinch of salt from now on, and give a good laugh if "suddenly-nailed-for-good" Aguero is actually rested either in GW28 or GW29 :)

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Ruth_NZ
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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Ruth_NZ » 11 Feb 2019, 17:47

Nobody checks back, F1, that's the problem.

Funnily enough, I'd have thought that you of all people would have gone for Aguero. I would have done myself - I thought he'd likely start twice - but it was the effective -8 involved in Aubameyang :arrow: Kun :arrow: Aubameyang that persuaded me to go another way. Harsh retribution really because that single decision has cost me 66 points, no word of a lie. :lol:

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Stemania
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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Stemania » 11 Feb 2019, 18:32

Finisher1 wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 16:04
Whenever The Sun or Daily Mail post some questionable stuff, people go furious.
In those two purveyors the challenge is usually to find something that is not questionable. :lol:

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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Smurphy's Paw » 11 Feb 2019, 19:27

Stemania wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 18:32
Finisher1 wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 16:04
Whenever The Sun or Daily Mail post some questionable stuff, people go furious.
In those two purveyors the challenge is usually to find something that is not questionable. :lol:
The Daily Mail is currently and formally considered a ‘questionable source’ by a new media bias checker.
https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/daily-mail/
The Mail are understood to not be happy about this. Their readers...may or may not be aware, it hasn’t been reported :lol:
Not sure to what extent this translates to their back pages

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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Finisher1 » 11 Feb 2019, 20:55

Stemania wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 18:32
Finisher1 wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 16:04
Whenever The Sun or Daily Mail post some questionable stuff, people go furious.
In those two purveyors the challenge is usually to find something that is not questionable. :lol:
It will soon be the same with FFS if this recent trend continues :roll:

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Bobby Fetta
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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Bobby Fetta » 11 Feb 2019, 22:35

Finisher - I'm surprised you put any faith in that FFS article. You are one of the most knowledgeable people around about lineups etc. In my opinion its not designed for people like you, just disposable articles for people who are not really paying attention. But it is just an opinion piece, not a claim on some inside knowledge - which is really the thing where people do get furious (and actually that was the Guardian earlier in the season that did that - supposedly a respectable newspaper, depending on political allegiance!).

Not to denigrate David Munday, who is actually having a very good season (maybe he didn't really pay much attention to his fpl team previously?), but personally I would put more weight in something you wrote than something on FFS. Hence why I come on FISO but don't bother reading FFS articles any more. I had my worst 2 seasons ever when I used to read everything on FFS.

Back to your original comment. Irrespective of whether it was the right decision to get him, clearly people with Aguero have got lucky with the number of goals he scored. Personally, I thought in a dgw at least he'd get one start and maybe more so was worth the risk. Arsenal was quite a juicy fixture - lots of us captained Salah against Arsenal and were amply rewarded with that at christmas; Everton look terrible at the moment; Chelsea I didn't have down as a good fixture.

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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Bobby Fetta » 11 Feb 2019, 23:21

Desperado wrote:
26 Oct 2018, 21:49
Exactly CL and EL was what I ment. What would interest me is to compare players form the same team against each others e.g. B/DSilva and Mahrez or Firmino, Mane and Salah rather than compare Aguero to Aubameyang for example. This would give more insight to the question weather one is the main man of certain tea. Also how does a team function when they are not fielding the traditional first 11. Weather lacking a player like Hazard would benefit the fullbacks or the midfielders etc.
This is a very old post but I came across an answer eventually. FiveThirtyEight (Nate Silver's website which covers politics and lots of other things) has an xG model that includes the Champions League and Europa League. The data is free to download (https://data.fivethirtyeight.com/).

There is also lots of other interesting football prediction stuff in there, e.g. predictions for matches and league positions (https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/so ... er-league/). Even covers the championship - Ipswich 97% to be relegated :cry:

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Bobby Fetta
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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Bobby Fetta » 11 Feb 2019, 23:30

I haven't posted the form charts for a while. So here they are for the FA Cup break.

I gave them a makeover:
- now divided into separate charts for defence and attack
- includes actual goals as well as expected goals
- shading to indicate over or underperformance relative to xG, inspired by the charts on the experimental 3-6-1 website
- including data for 2016/17 (PL) and 2017/18 (Championship for promoted teams) from fivethirtyeight

Let me know what you think (I still have the old format if people prefer that, but I think the new ones are much better!)
gw26 defence charts.PNG
gw26 attack charts.PNG
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Ruth_NZ
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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Ruth_NZ » 12 Feb 2019, 10:11

Bobby Fetta wrote:Let me know what you think (I still have the old format if people prefer that, but I think the new ones are much better!)
Lovely to see as always.

I think the old ones give a better overall picture for the very reason that it's all on the one graph. I liked them for that reason, also they were simpler because they showed less. But these are probably more useful for FPL purposes.

One thing I would suggest is to rank the teams; rather than to have the same order in each set of graphs, to rank the teams in order 1-20 so that the top left is #1 and the bottom right is #20. I'd suggest that ranking be done in terms of actual goals scored/conceded over a longer period (last 19 games?) because the over/under-performance element you now have would then show how those actual numbers relate to xG/XGC. But as an alternative you could rank them in terms of xG over a shorter period (10 games maybe) to create more of a form guide.

The one thing I'd be careful not to lose is the impact of being able to read team trends. The more information you add, the less impact that one element has. The original charts made that stand out, whereas now I have to remind myself to look at that because my brain is busy absorbing more data.

Anyway, that is all meant as constructive input and I really like these charts, always have. Thanks. :)

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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Ruth_NZ » 12 Feb 2019, 10:33

Bobby Fetta wrote:Let me know what you think (I still have the old format if people prefer that, but I think the new ones are much better!).
Oh yeah, and another thing I forgot. The new over/under-performance element begs the question of why? It's not strictly something about the charts, because they show data rather than trying to explaining it, but it is about how best to understand what you are seeing. So it relates to using (interpreting) the charts I guess.

This is current in my mind because I recently had a look at Leicester and came across the fact that Schmeichel is one of the worst GKs in the PL in terms of xG prevented. He conceded (from recall) 7 goals more than he 'should' have done last season and has conceded 4 goals more than 'should' have been the case so far this season. That doesn't necessarily mean that he is a bad GK, perhaps the chances being conceded by Leicester are actually better/bigger chances than the xG model is recognising? But it's also possible that this consistent defensive under-performance at Leicester is down to a GK that is more prone to errors than some others.

Strangely enough, my impression of Begovic when he was at Chelsea was that he always had a mistake in him and seemed to very often manage to find a way to concede once. That goal didn't matter so much when Chelsea were winning 3-1 but matters very much more for FPL. So the recent replacement of Begovic with 38 year-old Boruc didn't entirely surprise me.

There are GKs on the other side of the equation, who I think can be relied on to beat xGC over a period; Fabianski and Heaton are two examples. But I didn't check the data to see if I am right, that's just off the top of my head.

I guess what I am saying is that some analysis of GK performance over a longer period would be a very useful adjunct to the defensive charts because it might go a fair way down the road of explaining the over/under-performance element. This is the kind of stuff I used to spend hours doing manually and haven't had time for this season. :? :)
Last edited by Ruth_NZ on 12 Feb 2019, 10:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Stemania » 12 Feb 2019, 10:36

I'd agree with all that, ordering might be good idea. Much appreciated BF - but I'm slightly greedier. I vote for both formats as they examine two slightly different, but both interesting, aspects. :mrgreen:

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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Fuzzy » 12 Feb 2019, 11:21

Firstly, BF I think these charts are great. Apologies for not acknowledging that before now.

No chart can capture everything (fixture difficulty across a certain period, change in manager :roll: , etc). That's possibly an anathema in the STC , but it's fact.

What I really like about the charts, for one who doesn't see as much football as I'd like, is it points me towards possible trends/anomalies to investigate further (to then enable better informed decision making).

Ordering would be great (by G, by xG, by overperformance - you will get a range of opinions), as would relative trend (i.e. rank improving or deteriorating), as a bit of a “nudge” for further investigation.

Thanks again for sharing.

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Bobby Fetta
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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Bobby Fetta » 12 Feb 2019, 21:08

Ruth_NZ wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 10:11
Anyway, that is all meant as constructive input and I really like these charts, always have. Thanks. :)
Thanks for comments - really useful. I'll respond properly when I have some time. I agree about the ordering - it had occurred to me before - just need to automate it. I think I'll reduce the timeframe back to 2 seasons (76 games) as there is a lot of info squeezed in now.

In the meantime, here are the old format charts (long format for now) and table.
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Bobby Fetta
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Re: Strategic Thinking Cavern (18/19)

Post by Bobby Fetta » 12 Feb 2019, 23:20

Ruth_NZ wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 10:33
The new over/under-performance element begs the question of why? It's not strictly something about the charts, because they show data rather than trying to explaining it, but it is about how best to understand what you are seeing. So it relates to using (interpreting) the charts I guess.
Yes, this is part of the reason I posted these. I'm interested in how other people interpret them. I agree with your comments about goalkeepers and I think the chart supports that too to some extent.

Here are some of my thoughts:

- The big 6 teams consistently overperform xG. There is a lot of blue shading in the attacking graphs for those teams. Maybe that is not surprising (they're successful teams, they have the best attackers, etc.) but still important to remember when assessing xG stuff. Was part of the reason I wanted to show actual goals too on here.
- Under or overperformance of xGA is not so clear and seems (apparently) more random. There is much more orange shading at the top of the defence chart. Having said that, some teams are consistently bad vs their stats (e.g. Leicester, Bournemouth, teams with Joe Hart in goal).
- The range of xGA values is actually quite narrow (much narrower than xG). Maybe we pay too much attention to fixtures when considering attackers - fixtures seem more important for defenders.
- The Bournemouth xG vs actual goal trendlines this season are a thing of beauty...
- These team stat charts are of course actually made up of lots of component individual over/underperformances. E.g. the Chelsea attack have pretty much matched their xG values so far this season. But that comes from Hazard and Pedro generally considerably overperforming xG but Willian and Morata (particularly) underperforming.

In terms of recent trends:
- Spurs have improved a lot defensively
- Chelsea attack has struggled a lot
- Man United improvements are apparent (don't need these charts to notice that though)
- Burnley have improved massively
- Everton, Bournemouth, Watford and West Ham have regressed
- Wolves defence has gradually worsened over the season
- Southampton improvement under new manager has been entirely due to getting real goals for/against to match xG/xGA (no apparent improvement in underlying stats, which historically they have always previously underperformed)

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