Premier League substitutions: 3. Do subs score more than starters?

Super-subs, the sub effect, pinch hitters and more. Players like Jermain Defoe (23 Premier League goals as a sub), Nwanko Kanu (17), Ole-Gunnar Solksjaer (17) and Javier Hernández (14) have done a lot of work to promote this terminology over the past decade(s). But how certain are those concepts? Are their players that consistently score more goals coming on as a sub? And what is the general tendency; do subs, fitter than starters when they come on, score more goals then starters? Let’s see.

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Premier League substitutions

I have been writing quite a lot on Premier League substitutions lately and here is an overview of the posts:

  1. Premier League substitutions: 1. What and When?
  2. Premier League substitutions: 2. The Decision Rule
  3. Premier League substitutions: 3. Do subs score more than starters?
  4. Premier League substitutions: 4. The double-substitution at half time
  5. Premier League substitutions: 5. Olivier Giroud (draft)
  6. Premier League substitutions: 6. Jürgen Klopp

ALL DATA COMES FROM DATAFACTORY

Premier League substitutions: 2. The Decision Rule

Data that is discussed in this blog was described here.

Replicating Myers’ study to substitutions

WHY am i digging this up?

Although there is seemingly very little a manager can do during a game and substitutions seem to be their main way to have an impact on the game, there is very little discussion about them. When getting the data on Premier League subs, as discussed beforeI remembered some statements from the book “The Numbers Game” where a study from Myers is mentioned. I wanted to see how much of his conclusions hold true over a larger time period in the Premier League (the dataset from Myers covers only one season).

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Player influence on team goal difference (Premier League)

This blog was written on 26/4/2015, after Round 35 of the Premier League 2015/16.

You know that situation when you leave the pitch when your team is winning 2-1? At the end of the 90 minutes the opponents have turned everything around and won the match 2-3.  Stubborn as you are you tell your manager and teammates that you DID win the game, having left the field in a winning situation.

Taking those situations into account we can calculate the effectivity of each player in his team: how many goals does his team score when he is on the pitch compared to when is not present? And what impact does he have on the total goal difference?

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Expected goals model Argentina

For the last couple of months I have been (slowly) working on an expected goals model for the Argentine league and I am very happy to finally present a first version here. I will explain the basics of the model here and I will also try to show some of the underlying numbers, something I haven’t seen so much in posts from others.

For the ones that want to skip this blog and just see the results: click here.

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Goals, goals, goals

Seeing Cristiano Ronaldo score yet another insignificant hat-trick against Espanyol last night I wondered how many of his goals actually matter. And with “matter” I refer to goals that actually have a clear impact on the game and are not just goals in the margin (when already winning 2-0 for example). Within the same effort I could might as well check the same statistic for all players in Europe’s top 4 leagues. So that’s what I did and I also added the goal data from the Champions League and Europa League.

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Shot conversion in the Argentine Primera División in the last 3 years.

In another blog I am keeping track of my work on a expected goals model. All variables and assumptions are largely based on other people’s models, but here I’ll discuss something I have not yet seen (or missed..): the underlying shot numbers. While working on the analysis for the bigger model I found a lot of interesting statistics on the shot conversion rate (goals/shots) per, for example, game state, number of shot in the game, time in game, and more. Where for the model I will dive deeper into the numbers and use statistical testing these are largely just descriptive tables. But no tests, no significance levels. And yes, each of the paragraphs would need a blog of its own..!

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Effective results per player

You know that situation when you leave the pitch when your team is winning 2-1? At the end of the 90 minutes the rival have turned everything around and won 2-3.  Stubborn as you are you tell your manager and teammates that you DID win the game, having left the field in a winning situation.

Taking those situations into account we can calculate the effectivity of each player in his team. I did this for the Argentine Primera División. Starting simple, this is the general table of players:

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