So as we all know John Henry is a fan of the use of Sabermetrics but what is it excatly?
Sabermetrics is the mathematical and statistical analysis of baseball records. To understand the field of sabermetrics, one first should be familiar with the game of baseball. The game is played between two teams, each consisting of nine players. The nine players are a pitcher, a catcher, first baseman, second baseman, shortstop, third baseman, left fielder, center fielder and right fielder. It consists of nine innings. One inning is divided into two halves; in the top half of the inning, one team plays in the field and the second team comes to bat, and in the bottom half, the teams reverse roles. The team that is batting during a particular half-inning is trying to score runs. The team with the higher number of runs at the end of the nine innings is the winner of the game.
There are many forms of data that can be taken away from any given match.
Now back to football.
Passing and Tackling Stats from the Man United 3-0 in March 2011Tackling Stats.
Kuyt: Passes attempted 47, successful 33. Tackles attempted 13, won 4.
Luis Suarez: Passes attempted 45, successful 28. Tackles attempted 12, won 10.
25 attempted / 14 successful @ a 57% success rate. Kuyt and Luis made 37% of the total tackles attempted.
Lucas: Passes attempted 56, successful 47, Tackles attempted 10, won 1.
Gerrard: Passes attempted 56, successful 42. Tackles attempted 9, won 5.
Maxi: Passes attempted 34, successful 27. Tackles attempted 5, won 2.
Raul: Passes attempted 29, successful 24. Tackles attempted 2, won 1.
26 attempted / 9 successful @ a 35% success rate. Lucas, Gerrard, Maxi and Raul made 39% of the total tackles attempted.
Skrtel: Tackles attempted 2, won 1.
Carragher: Tackle attempted 5, won 4.
Johnson: Tackles attempted 8, won 5.
Kyrgiakos: Tackles attempted 2, won 1.
17 attempted / 11 successful @ a 65% success rate.
Skrtel, Carragher, Johnson and Kyrgiakos made only 25% of the total tackles attempted.
We defended from the front and the main front two attacking players in Suarez and Kuyt together attempted nearly as many tackles as the four midfield players in Lucas, Gerrard, Maxi and Raul. They (Kuyt and Suarez) made more tackles than all the defenders combined. Also the success rate for tackles attempted by Kuyt and Suarez was higher than the success rate for tackles attempted by Lucas, Gerrard, Maxi and Raul, which if you follow general opinion that attacking players (strikers and wide forwards) have poor when it comes to tackling and scoring goals is there job not breaking up play in the opposition's final third - it goes against general opinion at the very least.
I have the stats for Man United's attacking two in Berbatov and Rooney (I gave them the benefit of the doubt and put down Hernandez's stat's) and it's laughable compared to that of Kuyt and Suarez's and that's a understatement... here they are:
Rooney - Passes attempted 45, successful 30. Tackles attempted 5, won 2.
Berbatov - Passes attempted 30, successful 24. Tackles attempted 3, won 1.
J Hernandez's 45 mins - Passes attemped 14, successful 10. Tackles attempted 2, won 0
So that's 10 attempted tackles / 5 successful @ a 50% success rate between three players!
Also when you consider out back four only needed to make 11 successful tackles compared to the 25 successful tackles the players infront of them made it again show how much work was put in to winning the ball back as high up the pitch as possible.
Man United's back four was forced to attempt to make a total of 24 tackles succesful tackles, thier players infront of them made a total of only 7 successful tackles. In other words we put the hammer down from the word go and they folded, we went thur them with ease it was only due to good defending by Man United's back four we didn't beat them 5 or 6 nil with ease...
Smalling - Tackles attempted 10, won 8
Rafael- Tackle attempted 6, won 2
Evra- Tackles attempted 11, won 10
Brown - Tackles attempted 7, won 4
@ a success rate of 71%, which is pretty good considering the pressure we put them under.
He didn't play against Man United but...
Newcastle 3-1 Liverpool: Liverpool unable to cope with aerial power of Carroll, you understand where going with this...Passing Stats.
Even though Man United's midfield wasn't winning the ball back when they lost possession of the ball they held onto the ball pretty well without being a goal threat bar the odd attempt, Carrick attempted 85 passes, with 66 being successful. Scholes attempted 72 passes, with yes 66 being successful. Giggs attempted 58 passes, with 40 being successful. That said Kuyt and Suarez attempted and completed more passes than Berbatov, Rooney and Hernandez. So just looking at both the stats and the way everything panned out we were more focused on closing them down as far up the pitch as possible and once we got possession we moved the ball forward to Suarez so he could link up with Kuyt and other players making runs from deep, rather than passing the ball side ways keeping possession of the ball.
Because we had our attacking players with their heads down winning the ball back on a regular basis, to any extent it didn't matter if we lost the possession of the ball. In any case Lucas attempted 56 passes, 47 being successful @ 84% success rate. Carrick attempted 85 passes, with 66 being successful @ a 77% success rate. Only Scholes' with passing success rate @ 90% being higher but again I'd have it a guess quiet a few of those passes were side ways due to the fact that our attack received the ball more and were a lot more of a goal threat. Also if you are winning possession in the opposition's half 9 times of 10, logically it would take you less passes to get the ball into the opposition's final third. Lastly General Goals Stats.
They are a bit easier statstically breakdown if you like, personally for me the way they were scored is far more interesting than the shots on compared to off target as all they show is that the striker was having a bad day or season depending on you look at it. Take the Torres transfer, Abramovich decided to pay the amount he did based on how successful Torres was since he signed for Liverpool. I've heard that in the time Torres played under Rafa he had the highest goals per minutes on the pitch ratio in the history of the Premier League history, higher than Ruud Van Nistelroy and Henry who are rated as the best ever strikers in the history of the Premier League by many.
What Abramovich should have been looking at is how he scored those goals and what type of support he needs to score them. It's obvious that if your a striker who scores a lot your goal's from quick counter attacks that lead to the type of through balls Gerrard used to provide Torres on a regular basis, you can't expect that same striker to score at that rate in a team that looks play a slow build up, possession based game - see Torres lack off success with the Spain National Team. I read some Torres score 40% goals from through balls where he could use his pace to beat defenders, some may say that it was a means to an end (scoring 33 goals in his 1st season with us) other might call it being one dimensional unlike other striker's... say Luis Suarez. Luis Suarez's 49 goal at Ajax 2009/2010
1 on 1's with the goalkeeper, thur balls or over the top: 5
Out side the box: 5
Receiving the ball inside the box: 11
Individual effort (something out of nothing): 5
Tap in's, poacher goals, follow ups: 8
(I'm not saying I'm 100 percent correct.)
It's clear that he can do it all and that isn't an understatement, I didn't realize how many poacher type goals/following up the previous shot type goals he scored. He really does have it all in his locker and that's just his goal's he scored. If you go by the fact he won 10 attempted tackles against Man United which is equal highest amount tackles won along with Evra it goes to show he is a very, very hard worker and at the same time capable of moments of magic. It seems there is a lot to Suarez's game whilst he was playing for Ajax, he provided them with a cutting edge to their 4-3-3 possession based passing game which I assume they played whilst Suarez was at Ajax... that's what most interesting about a player like Suarez, they are not just goal scorers but equally able to create goalscoring chances for their team mates and themselves. In Suarez's case prior to signing for Liverpool he had a scoring rate of a goal every 1.78 games.
Now for me I find these statistic's very interesting, if you go by terms used when describing Sabermetrics you would file these stats under situational data.
...match situations like the hitting performance of batters is recorded for a number of different situations, such as day versus night games, on grass fields and artificial turf fields, against pitchers who throw right handed and left handed, and during home and away games.