Here is a graph idea that I saw @Torvaney use on his site statsandsnakeoil.wordpress.com, which you should check out if you haven’t already, where he used it for Brentford. Here is Blackpool’s Age-Utility Matrix Graph.
This was a relegation season for Blackpool as they fall from the third to fourth tier after finishing 22nd on the final day. What you can take from this graph is the over reliance on young players and although I like youthful squads you need some experience in the team. The red section contains the players in their ‘peak’ age (26-30). As you can see there were five players in their peak age who played over 50% of available minutes in the league.
There is a small correlation between players age and minutes played as most of our squad are below 24 and there is a cluster of them who played 5-30% of minutes available. This shows that the team relied on young, inexperienced players, probably because of cheaper prices for Oysten.
Above the correlation line you can see the 10 players with over 40% of the minutes and that is pretty much the usual starting team. McDonald prided himself on building a young squad at the start of the season but evidently his player recruitment system failed. With very few peak aged players actually playing lots of minutes.
This is the graph for 2014/15 which was the worst ever league finish in the championship with 4 wins (none away). There is a greater proportion of peaked players playing lots of minutes in the first team. But, it doesn’t matter if you’ve peaked if you’re still a poor player who isn’t good enough. As you can see 47 different players were used. Forty-Seven! There was a huge squad with players constantly coming and going with no real affect. There were a large share of minutes between players. There is also a 40.8% correlation between age and minutes played. Lots of peaking players but a large variation in minutes played.
I wouldn’t say that there was any over reliance on old or young players but actually a decent spread when it comes to age but there was no consistency with the team. With only six players playing over 50% of minutes available.
Here is @Torvaney‘s graph for Brentford. He didn’t add a correlation but you can see the difference between Brentford, a well set up club with good player recruitment, and Blackpool. They’re very different graphs and very different teams with very different league finishes.
Follow me on twitter @SL_TeamTalk or email me at sidelineteamtalk [@] gmail . com.
Also, if you like Football Manager check out my posts on occasionalFM.wordpress.com under guest posts.