Roy, great idea for a thread
I normally don't "multiple post" stuff, but I thought it appropriate to some of the discussion above re: Agger.
It's from Roy's Level 3 thread, and with some prompting from VDM, here's some "data" for this discussion.
'I did some stats in a thread that died a natural death, on who was important in our defense. I thought the stuff was interesting, so I've kept it up.
So far this season, in PL play, we've gained 2.22 points per match when Agger has played, 2.2 ppm with Hyppia, 2.0 with Skrtel. Now .2 ppm doesn't sound like much, but over 38 matches it equates to 7.6 points, which is huge.
Carra is at 2.17 points as a centre back.
So surprisingly, Skrtel is the weaker link in the centre backs. This also shows up in the analysis of who is playing when we get shut out. Skrtel has started in 8 matches, we've been shut out 3 times while he's been playing (of 5 times we've been shut out), which is the highest ratio of all the CB's.
At left back, Insua has a small number of matches, but he and Fabio are both on 2.33 ppm, while Doss is at 1.78 ppm. Doss has also been involved in 3 of our blank sheets, in 9 starts.
At right back, Arbie has been there for most of the season, and is on 2.17 ppm, Carra at RB is on 2.0 ppm but it is a small sample.
BTW, Agger has only been on the field for 1 blank sheet in 9 starts.
I'm doing some more work on this and I'll post the data later.'
'VDM, thanks for the thought, the sample size gets a little small when it's split this way, but it's stunning what it's thrown up.
When Hyppia plays we gain 2.6 ppm away, and 1.8 ppm at home.
When Agger plays we gain 2.0 ppm away, and 2.5 ppm at home.
Most of the rest of the data is consistent home & away, and the teams performance this season is remarkably similar in this aspect, so this anomaly really sticks out.
Pretty clear isn't it, if both are available, it should be Hyppia playing away and Agger at home.'
'VDM, you're right on the money, we're averaging 1.55 goals at home, with Agger it's 2.25, and he's the only one in the defense who's higher than the average.
Interestingly, on the aways, we're averaging 1.73 goals, with Hyppia it's 2.2, and Agger 2.0, but we've let in more than the average with Agger in the team, and as a consequence his ppm doesn't look good.
For the goals against, the home average is 0.64 and he's the best at 0.50, but it increases to 1.0 on the aways (again 0.64 average for the team)'
Brings back the squad issue doesn't it, there's a "best" team for different situations, and it's not necessarily the same team in each instance. Seems Agger is critical for our home performance and Hyppia is a better option for our away's.