Friday, May 25, 2012

Danish Superliga 2011/12: final standings analysis

Final standing analysis

We "won" silver. Scored the most goals (55) and lost the fewest games (5) but nothing much out of the ordinary (as in P<0.1 rather than just 0.2, you know).

What is impressive is a team expected to finish mid-league getting clean sheets in 52% of their games. Congratulations. To be fair, their title is also based on the failure of OB and the near complete disintegration of Brøndby.

# Klub Won Draw Lost GF GA +/- CS NG Cards
1 FC Nordsjælland 21** 5* 7 49 22** 27* 17*** 7 55
2 FC København 19* 9 5* 55* 26* 29* 14* 7 50
3 FC Midtjylland 17 7 9 50 40 10 9 5* 55
4 AC Horsens 17 6 10 53 39 14 9 8 49
5 AGF 12 12* 9 47 40 7 11 7 33***
6 SønderjyskE 11 11 11 48 51 -3 6 10 57
7 AaB 12 8 13 42 48 -6 6 8 51
8 Silkeborg 11 10 12 51 47 4 4 5* 70*
9 Brøndby IF 9 9 15 35* 46 -11 8 11* 47
10 OB 8 10 15 46 50 -4 7 8 68*
11 Lyngby 8 4** 21** 32** 60 -28* 4 12** 57
12 HB Køge 4** 7 22** 32** 71*** -39*** 3* 10 67

Based on the sovereignty of the Danish league in previous seasons (see analysis of 2010/11 and 2009/2010) and a squad value twice the sum of nearest competitors pre-season the championship chances were estimated to higher than 60%.

What happened?

The season was the first since the Ståle Solbakken era. Several players had left us. A promising Swede was scouted for the coach job and in a display of how deceitful statistics can be, he left the best ever Superliga point average record when he was sacked. Despite the points performances had been unimpressive at best, outright bad in Europa League. Add to that rumors of players disliking him. Sad.

The winter break analysis. Since then FC Copenhagen slumped, FC Nordsjælland improved. But actually, neither was entirely unforeseeable. Both teams finished well within the thick parts of their blue bars seen here.

So, our sports director took over at "the easiest job in Denmark" (his own words). And failed miserably. It should have been possible to finish the job given the lead. But this spring has been the worst to be watching from the stands in many years. Constant backwards passing. Mindless long balls to empty spaces in the opposition half. Gaping holes in the defense. Recently confident players now panicking to get rid of the ball. Gee, at least they hired some cheerleaders this season...

According to Danish media Carsten Vagn Jensen is not going to coach for another game. Can't say I feel sorry for either him or Roland Nilsson, but no hurt feelings either. It could have worked, it didn't, good luck guys.

What now?

Zanka and Nordstrand already signed with PSV Eindhoven and FC Nordsjælland respectively. Dame N'Doye will leave - so we have been sure for months and now Everton is open about their interest (and willingness to pay graciously). Johan Wiland could be sold for a big sum also; prettying up hole in the accounting after the lost Champions League incomes further while leaving us with fully competent Kim Christensen to guard the goal.

On top of that management need to take a good hard look at the rest of the squad. Then act reasonably (contrary to harshly and instinctively like most fans seem to be demanding). A bit of discussion (and scape goat picking) could be fun, but how about basing it on facts? Below is a graph of players ordered by point averages and matches played. (Please count in how many ways it lies to us as far as being a tool of evaluating performances.)

Based on the brilliant If a player was in a lot of games, shouldn't his point average best be above the team average (2) for us to conclude he's safe from criticism? (Largest uncertainty in the table is it doesn't account for actual minutes played.)

See you in a couple of months when I probably make wild claims about next season.
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Copenhagen Files

I love football and I love the Internet. Copenhagen Files is a playground of mine for the latter and a billboard of the former. The focus is on FC København - the #1 club in Copenhagen and Denmark.

I watch every single FC København game - aways usually on the Danish TV, home games currently from my season ticket seat at Parken Stadium. Every now and then a report from the nearby training pitches are to be expected. Or perhaps just from the supporter environment at local parks or bars ;-)

I also like to bet on games which usually takes place online these days. Therefore, I gather numbers and look at them; I analyze, twist, turn and play with them. And some of them ends up here as my probability assessments. But this blog is not about betting.

In the right hand column I collect every single relevant link you can think of. I actually use it for bookmarks often - perhaps they will prove handy to you too? They should easily guide you to the latest info on injuries, club economy, squad value etc.