Squad usage: Premier League, 2017/18
I realised that I’d missed one graphical template from the traditional post-season burst. This one looks at how each club has used their squad, and in addition to individual graphics for every team I’ve also created a summary of the division as a whole.
It’s sorted by how many different players each club has used (with the number who started a match used as a tie-breaker), but also shows the average number of changes to their starting XI, the number of minutes played by their most-used combination of players so far and how many unchanged line-ups they’ve named. This all applies to league matches only.
Liverpool were the masters of squad rotation: they were the only team in the top four divisions not to name a single unchanged line-up and made an average of 3.6 changes per match. Everton‘s squad was the least stable, with 30 different players used and 29 of them getting at least one Premier League start this season. Bournemouth only deployed 22 and they each got a start, so Burnley should perhaps be viewed as the most stable team: the Clarets only started 21 different members of their squad and named 12 unchanged line-ups over the course of the campaign, making an average of less than one change per match.
What I’ve done for every club below 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.