A Quick Explanation of Our Player Ratings

Player ratings are inherently subjective. As fans, we like it that way; it is something to argue and debate about after the match is over. Generally, the ratings are formed after the game with the writer giving a short justification for the number he or she hangs on each player. Here are the player ratings for Arsenal in their 2-2 draw with Tottenham from ESPN’s Tom Adams, with the ratings ranging from a 4 for Francis Coquelin (who was shown a red card in the match) to an 8 for Hector Bellerín (who assisted on both goals). Some take a different approach, using statistics to build a rating. Here are the ratings from whoscored.com for the same game, with the ratings ranging from 5.87 for Coquelin to 8.34 for Bellerín.

This approach is somewhere in the middle of these two. We keep track of the subjective rating as the game goes along, increasing the rating for doing things well and decreasing it for making mistakes. This also allows for viewing of when a player’s rating changed, which can give a lot more information than a solitary number. For example, a defender can have a spectacular game expect for one bad mistake and be rated poorly, while a striker can be completely anonymous except for a moment of brilliance and be rated well. In neither case does a single number capture the story.

Players start out with a score of 5, meaning that a mostly anonymous game will put a player in this range. This means ratings are slightly lower than other ratings system, where an average match is usually considered to be a 6.

Below are the ratings of a few players from Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Watford on Dec. 26, to provide an example.

Nemanja Matic had a poor game, including a mistake that led to a late first half goal.


Like much of that period of the year, Willian was Chelsea’s best player, including an assist on Costa’s second goal in the 65th minute. Willian

Oscar did not play poorly overall, but missed a penalty late on that almost certainly would have won the game for Chelsea, and his rating dropped accordingly at that point.


Again, these ratings are still subjective. However, they also give a clearer picture of how each player — and the team overall — performed in the match.

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