Squad usage profiles, League 1, 2016/17

I want to focus more on the impact of individual players next season but I realised that I didn’t even have a good way of visualising who was on the pitch and when, so today I’m road-testing another new graphical template.


What I’ve done for every club is to plot out their league campaign minute-by-minute and then shade in a bar for each player showing when they were on the pitch. The players’ bars are then laid out next to each other, in descending order of how long each spent on the pitch this season (also shown as a percentage of the club’s total playing minutes), to allow for comparisons.

I’ve also factored in a calculation of what each club’s most-used combination of 11 players was and shaded the minutes that they were on the pitch together using a darker colour. At the top I’ve also included the total number of minutes that they featured alongside each other, which is often surprisingly low.

To make reading across the graphics easier, I’ve drawn vertical lines separating each match and each month, plus horizontal ones between each player’s row and beneath the 11 most-used players.


I’ve shoved all 24 clubs’ graphics below in alphabetical order. Just a few quick observations to give you the idea of what to look for:

  • The 424 minutes that Walsall‘s most-used 11 players completed together (during a sequence of six consecutive identical line-ups early in 2017) was the division’s longest-serving combination.
  • Millwall used the fewest different players this season with 25 – the joint-fewest in the EFL – while nobody in League 1 used more than the 40 deployed by Coventry.
  • There were six ever-present players, two of whom played every minute for Oldham.