Which player has the biggest impact on the Quakes?
With the recent switch to 4-3-3 / 4-5-1 formations, I wondered if the switch put more emphasis on certain positions, like the Creative Center Midfielder. When Matias Perez Garcia (Or Tommy Thompson for one game) played well, the team seemed to blossom; when Perez Garcia was playing poorly, the team suffered. So, I looked at the data, and created a spreadsheet of Whoscored players performance ratings ever since the formation switch. Here is the data, color coded:
Here the values of the correlation coefficient (R) for all the positions. The closer the number is to one, the higher the correlation with the team’s rating.
As expected, Matias Perez Garcia and Shea Salinas are the top two players that have the highest correlation with Quakes team performance. However, some findings are unexpected. Chris Wondolowski, Clarence Goodson, and Fatai Alashe have the three lowest correlations on the team. Delving a bit deeper, here are the Mean and Standard Deviation of their scores. Maybe their low scores are because Wondolowski and Goodson are so good, and Alashe is so consistent.
So there you have it – Alashe is okay but consistent (Whoscored probably doesn’t take into account the stats of the opposing CAM when calculating CDM player rating, don’t put too much stock into Alashe’s comparatively low rating), Goodson is good regardless of the team’s performance and Wondolowski can be classified as a mixture of both. But, this data is just positional data. Why stop there? So, I took out games the first-team players missed and, for Alashe, removed the Houston game since it would be unfair to include it due to his injury.
Since MPG and Salinas had such high R values, I averaged them and compared them back to the team rating. Although there is limited data, the 96% correlation seems a bit surprising.
Here is the best fit line equation:
Expected_team_rating = (.2003)(Salinas_rating + MPG_rating) + 3.9444
Here are the expected team rating’s results vs. the actual team rating.
Although in the beginning a I was hoping there was some unexpected, interesting player position correlating with the team’s performance, (like Right Midfield) the fact that Perez Garcia and Salinas can account for 96% of the team’s Whoscored performance is still fascinating. If a team can decrease MPG’s Whoscored rating, they would drastically decrease San Jose’s Whoscored Rating, probably impacting the Quakes’ chances of winning the game. So, what factors of MPG’s game have the highest correlation with San Jose’s performance?
As shown above, MPG’s Accurate Crosses also have a tremendous correlation with Whoscored’s team rating.
In sum, Matias Perez Garcia and Shea Salinas are the two linchpins on the Quakes team. Wondolowski is not probably because of the fact that he just started playing Center Midfield when he is a natural Forward and that he is self-reliant, relying on the mistakes of others for goalscoring.