Dynamical player statistics

Football is a very dynamic game. A lot is happening at the same time. So a static description of a football match or of football players is lacking a crucial element, namely the dynamics of the game.

Here are two video’s that shows how two great players, Frenkie de Jong and Hakim Ziyech, differ in the dynamics of their statistics. We will never know for sure why Frenkie de Jong got a 75 million transfer whereas Hakim Ziyech was unable to find the club of his dreams in the summer of 2018, but we take it that it has a lot to do with the difference in the dynamics of the statistics of both players.

A short interlude of how to read the graphs in both video’s. FBM measures the efficiency of football players. We make a graph of each match analyzed, because it is very important to understand how statistics differ within a single game. That is the only way to discover whether players are able to continu to play well at the end of the match.

The blue line is the overall efficiency. The blue line gives the probability that a player strengthens the team. The red line is the defensive efficiency, the green line the transitioning efficiency and the orange line is the attack efficiency. These lines give the probabilities of the player strengthen the defense, transition and attack. Few player are able to keep their attack efficiency at a high level and even fewer players are able to keep their transition efficiecy at a high level.

Here is the video for Frenkie de Jong. The matches are shown for the season 18/19 up to today.

As you can see Frenkie de Jong is very stable. In the last few weeks his effiency is suddenly dropping. Most commentators link that to his megatransfer. But you also see how quickly Frenkie recovers. The high transfer fee is justified by him consistently having a high transition efficiency.

Here is the video for Hakim Ziyech. The matches are shown for the last 12 months and include his less than successful world championship playing for Morocco.

Here we see that Ziyech struggled to get high effiency. That doesn’t mean that he didn’t do any good on the pitch in that period, but it means that he made even more errors so that his efficiency was quite low at times. It is the one reason why we think he did not get transferred in the summer of 2018.

We can also see that nowadays his efficiency is much higher. Nevertheless, the dynamics still show that he is quite fickle. Given that his efficiencies are so much higher this season than last season, we think he will transfer to a great club for a big, but not huge amount. That club has to realize though that Ziyech has a bit of fickleness.