The final weeks of the 2015/16 premiership season turned out to be unexciting. Leicester City became the people´s football team, Spur´s challenge faded, and the relegation teams succumbed to their fate quietly with Sunderland´s latest escape. Leicester´s success does raise the issue of the competitiveness of the Premiership (the quality aspect is undoubtedly to be found in La Liga). Leicester finished with 80 points with Manchester City and United 15 points behind, Liverpool a further 6 points adrift and Chelsea on 50 points – closer to the relegation zone than the top. So it was an extraordinary season. Here are some graphics.
The first shows the points per game for the top and bottom-5 teams for the period 1992-2016 and the median points score*. None of these indicators show any marked tendencies across the period. However, the dominance of the top-5 clubs in any particular year does seem to be increasing over the period (plucky Leicester notwithstanding) – measured by the Herfindahl Index below.
Will the new money exacerbate the trend or level the playing field? Inequality in outcome rules in sport, but good management in team sports does make a difference as Messrs Ranieri and Wenger show. With new managers and presumably players at Chelsea (with Conte) and both Manchester City and United (Guardiola and Mourinho), there will be added pressure on Spurs (Pochettino) and Liverpool (Klopp) – and not least of all Arsene Wenger – to do well, and it should be great for fans.
My own results in the Fantasy Premier League are not great. For Gameweek 38 I managed 39 points which was coincidentally the average score for the week (reversion to the mean with a vengeance). My best GW rank was 141,513th, and my worst 3,008,939nth (there are about 3.7m players).
For the 2015/16 season I finished with my best score (1,957 points) and in 891,187th position (top 25% at least). So consistency if not much progress. I used to get school reports saying “… conscientous, but could do better“. I´m still trying. And I am going to have to pay some more attention to the player stats too…
*Google Drive´s charts are basic – I could not add the secondary Y-axis for median points on the RHS; these range from 55 in 1992/93 (the highest result and the first year on the chart) to 49 in 2015/16.