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Whilst arranging my end of season numbers, which I'll be posting around the SBnation football sites over the next week, I came across the percentage of minutes played for each player.
The usual method used of telling us, the fans, of how much any given player played for his side is total minutes played, I think those numbers can be taken and turned into a percentage using the total minutes the team played in the season. By using this we can come up with a depth chart for each position and this can tell us a few things.
-Which players were used the most
-who was available for selection considering injuries and suspension
-Who was trusted by the manager
After the jump I'll introduce you to something I'll call ToP(time on pitch) %
Newcastle United played 3616 minutes in the EPL for an average of 95.1 minutes per game.
Each players % is of the total mins they individually played against the total number of minutes the team played. An example X player plays 359 minutes of the 3591 minutes Man Utd played this season and thus has a ToP of 10%
So the Newcastle United depth chart looks like this
Krul 3616 Mins 100% ToP%
Simpson 3120 mins 86.2% ToP%
Coloccini 3043 mins 84.1% ToP%
Ryan Taylor 2126 mins 58.8% ToP%
Williamson 1895 mins 52.4% ToP%
Santon 1660 mins 45.9% ToP%
Perch 1328 mins 36.7% ToP%
Steven Taylor 1260 mins 34.8% ToP%
Things look pretty normal here, Coloccini, the Captain and one of the defensive standouts from this years EPL played a high % of the minutes available to him. Yet, it was Danny Simpson, relatively unheralded outside the north east who had the highest ToP% with 86.2%. This is credit to him to be able to put together such a consistent run of form, also, avoiding injuries and suspension, and having the manager trust him so much. Only Evra of Man Utd had a higher ToP than Danny Simpson for the fullbacks I have looked at so far for this measure.
Steven Taylor here with a low ToP% which I think was due to injury. You guys will have to fill in the gaps of my knowledge in terms of suspensions and injury. Ditto if I have missed a player off this list.
Gutierrez 3303 mins 91.3% ToP%
Cabaye 2839 mins 78.5% ToP%
Tiote 2051 mins 56.7% ToP%
Ben Arfa 1556 mins 43% ToP%
Obertan 1561 mins 43.1% ToP%
Guthrie 1130 mins 31.2% ToP%
Gosling 233 mins 0.06% ToP%
Barton 180 mins 0.05% ToP%
Ferguson 156 mins 0.043% ToP%
Marveaux 136 mins 0.037% ToP%
We can also see the preferred starting 4 in midfield here. Cabaye and Tiote central, with Ben Arfa when available and being deputised by Obertan. Gutierrez's ToP is just phenomenal (and the highest I have seen by this measure). To play over 90% of a teams minutes over a full season takes consistency and trust from the manager, it also takes a remarkable level of fitness to not only start the high number of games he had done, but to finsih most of them aswell.
We can see a trusted group of six players that did nigh all of the leg work, in this respect Newcastle look (on paper) to have had an element of luck in terms of injury in the midfield areas in comparison to other teams. Gosling, the departed Barton and the youngster Ferguson picking up few minutes. I assume Marveaux, the new signing, was injured for a portion of the season.
Ba 2730 mins 74.5% ToP%
Best 1165 mins 32.2% ToP%
Cisse 1113 mins 30.7% ToP%
Shola Ameobi 1005 mins 27.8% ToP%
Lovenkrands 204 mins 0.056 ToP%
Sammy Ameobi 192 mins 0.053 ToP%
Demba Ba was the striker doing all the heavy lifting for the first half to 2/3rd's of the season and this is reflected in his high 74.5% ToP number. Then in January along came a relative unknown in Cisse and he set the world on fire, and seemed to jinx Ba in terms of the aforementioned's goalscoring.
Cisse played only 1113 mins featuring in 13 games, from those 13 games he scored 13 goals. A sensational player or unsustainable performance? That is one of the questions I am looking forward to having answered going into next season.
Ameobi tops out here in a support role here along with Leon Best. The very raw Sammy Ameobi starting 1 game and coming off the bench 9 times.
I hope this was a useful little breakdown of just how much any given played this season.
Thanks for reading. I write for Bitter and Blue on the SBNation network.