Above please see my team ratings for Gameweek 6. As always, you can see how these ratings are constructed here. As it is still somewhat early, I have presented the ratings in two flavors, the typical strength of schedule adjusted version and a raw, unadjusted version. As the season continues I will stop posting the raw version and instead post a recent form version. A few comments:
- I am pretty comfortable with the top half of the table. Many would see Arsenal as being underrated, but keep in mind the opening week debacle against Villa. That has punished their defensive numbers quite a bit. Take out that game and they jump City and come close to Everton. The remainder of the top ten seems about right to me.
- That includes the ranking of Liverpool. The Reds are wholly overvalued at the moments thanks to three opening 1-0 victories to start the campaign. Yet, even during those victories, Liverpool were struggling to create chances(their attack rating is heavily built upon the opening week against Stoke which was the second best attacking performance of the season). Even with Suarez back they really didn’t outplay Sunderland statistically. Further, they have allowed a ton of shots three out of four games, relying upon great goalkeeping to keep the opposition out. That’s not a long-term strategy for success. They need to improve quite a bit to challenge for a top four spot.
- Similarly, Manchester United has been poor (Earth-shattering analysis here at SoccerSaber!). The loss to West Brom was well deserved in the numbers, so what we are seeing is not a fluke. I do suspect we will better performances, but the consternation at Old Trafford is not unjustified.
- I am not surprised to see Swansea sit so high in my rankings. While the Swans have just seven points on the season, they have played the sixth toughest schedule and were not all that outplayed in their three 2-1 losses. In the end, I suspect Swansea to fight it out with Southampton for the eight spot in the rankings behind the big seven (ARS, CHE, TOT, MCI, MUN, EVE, LIV). Note: those two teams finished eight and ninth last season as well.
- The middle and bottom of the rankings are much more stratified this season so far. Last year, there was a big pile of teams ranked 11th through 19th with little difference in rankings. So far this year we’ve seen four very poor teams (SUN, FUL, CRY, CAR), three more teams below the mid-pack (WHM, HUL, NEW), and a group of teams at the median all ranked about the same (WBA, STO, NOR, AST). I suspect we will see closer groupings at the bottom of the table once some of the better teams in the league get their shit together (looking at you, Liverpool and United).
- The most surprising stat of the season: Cardiff City’s game at home versus Manchester City was the sixth best attack performance of the season. Somewhat shocking as well is the fact that Fulham has produced three of the worst nine defensive performances of 2013. Martin Jol needs to improve things quickly or he may well be looking for work soon.
I will post next week’s ratings per usual, but don’t expect commentary from me for a few weeks. Heading to Vegas this weekend and San Francisco next week. Traveling is fun, but can be quite the burden on any aspiring blogger. Hopefully, both of my readers won’t miss me too much!