Liverpool Halftime Report

Now featuring Points Above Replacement (PAR)

Half-way through the season, time for a report card.

This post builds on previous posts using with/without statistics for each player. A couple of new things this time around. The first is we'll show the ratings for each player for the last 38 games, not just this season. The second is a first stab at estimating how many points a player is worth over the average player at his position. Here's how the second piece is done:

Calculating Points Above Replacement (PAR)

First we measure the difference in goals conceded and scored when a given player is on the pitch against the "average" EPL team. We'll call that an "individual goal differential." Next we'll notice there's a strong correlation between goal-differential and points at the team level and apply that to the individual. Finally we need to recognize that players do not play every minute and so their PAR may be over or under-estimated. Think Daniel Sturridge - an amazing player who doesn't play so much. Hypothetically he may be worth 12 points a season, but if he only plays in two games then we can't reasonably say he's worth 12 points over a replacement. As it turns out, he's not rated so highly anymore anyway!

Is Emre Can worth 17 points a season over the average midfielder? Probably not. These numbers can (and will) change over time, and it's important to note that we don't have a whole lot of balance with players like Emre. The team has only played without him for 320 minutes over the last 38 games. Granted we performed pretty badly in the minutes he was not playing, but it's probably not enough to draw any sort of certain conclusions. For example, if we were to look at twice as many games (76 ), we see that Can's PAR falls to about six. Still very good. Thanks for reading.

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