How many ever-present players each EFL club has fielded, 23 August 2016
This will be a relatively quick post – I just wanted to share a graph I produced today when delving into the lineup data from the season so far. Last week I spotted that Nottingham Forest had used almost two starting elevens’ worth of players in their opening two matches:
This got me wondering about how the opposite i.e. which clubs have used the fewest players and specifically how many ever-presents there have been so far (even if four matches is stretching the definition rather generously). A quick glance at the data showed that every club has managed to field at least one player for every minute of their league campaigns so far, so I thought I’d whip up a quick graph before that situation changes.
There are four EFL clubs – Fulham and Ipswich in the Championship and Chesterfield and Wimbledon in League 1 – who have each fielded seven players for the entirety of their four league games so far. The average number of ever-presents at this stage is between four and five, so already over half of the players who lined up on the opening day of the season have spent some time on the sidelines.
Despite all of their squad changes, Nottingham Forest have still managed to keep one player – Ben Osborn – on the pitch the whole time. Similarly, Peterborough ‘keeper Ben Alnwick is the only Posh player to have featured for every minute of their league campaign so far.
It’s too early to conclude much from this – it was produced mainly out of curiosity – but it will be interesting to see how these graphs evolve as managers continue to rotate their squads and injuries and suspensions take their toll. I’m interested in finding out how many ever-presents – particularly outfield ones – there are in a typical season, and how the percentage of ever-presents tends to drop over time, so this is something that I’ll pick up in a later post.