Welcome to The Backless Rule. With this being the first real post of this blog (the actual first post on the page was created after a night of debate on twitter and originally posted on another site), I wanted to give a brief introduction. While there is a “About” section, I just wanted to re-iterate that I wouldn’t consider myself anything close to an expert on “advanced stats” or “analytics” in football. I have been interested in the various different new ways to quantify success and failure for football that have been developing lately, but when I searched for these new stats for the SPFL, I found very little. Opta provides data for the BBC, but, in perhaps a sign of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s interest in Scottish Football, they provide very little for public consumption for any fans of Scottish Leagues. This was frustrating, and since I grew up a punk rock kid I figured I might as well do it myself. In very punk fashion, there may be so experimentation and mistakes, but as long as we’ve got our three chords (xG, PDO, and TSoR?!) and the truth (England losing), we will see where this thing takes us. I am envisioning this site focusing on questions about Scottish Football rather than developing an expected goals model or some new revolutionary stat to answer all of football’s questions. I am more interested in finding out (or tying to at least) what on earth happened to Aberdeen after winning their first 8 matches or why Celtic fans demand their team play a two striker system, despite having one of the hottest strikers in Europe (who may be overachieving). This post will serve to show what I have worked on and gathered 14 matches into the SPFL Premiership season thus far. I am also going to create a page with these graphs that are updated after every match.
First, I’m going to borrow the wonderful site, Statsbomb, glossary for these stats. If you don’t know what something is, check here as they could describe it in a way that I could not even dream of. You can click on the graphs to expand them.
SPFL Expected Goals/Points Earned in the Season – Celtic starting to put some distances between themselves and the pack in both xG and points. People often rag on St. Johnstone’s offensive abilities and say they get lucky getting points with their lack of shots, but they have a higher xG total than third place Aberdeen (who may have been getting lucky early in the season getting points with their lack of shots).
PDO and Shot Dominance/Points-After limiting their opponents shots in their early winning streak, Aberdeen’s skid has seen their Shot Dominance total fall below 1.
TSR and TSoR/Points-
TSR and TSoR – Celtic might be throwing off the averages with their spraying shots method, but Ross County are impressive in their high shots on target and their low shots on target conceded. If they continue this, I think they can continue their good start to the season.