TTT: Stats on the ‘Best’ Players in Europe’s Top 5 Leagues

By Krishen Bhautoo (TTT Subscriber Krishaldo). A little while ago, a friend’s lad put all the data from WhoScored.com into a spreadsheet for me in exchange for a lift to the airport (download a copy here). I mentioned to Paul and Chris about putting a piece together to see if there were any gems in the rough that we may have overlooked. Of course Lee Mooney’s model is much more refined than going just by WhoScored data, however I thought it would be interesting nonetheless to put this brief piece together in search of hidden diamonds. Firstly, the data only includes Europe’s Top 5 leagues – England, Germany, Spain, Italy, France – and players who have made a minimum of 15 appearances. This rules out Coutinho as he only made 12(1) appearances for us, even if he did make an additional 8(7) for Inter, so I would imagine there may be a few other players who don’t make the grade either (1,374 players with a minimum of 15 appearances as opposed to 2,755 of every player to make even a cameo as sub). The other ‘issue’ with the data is that is gives the starts and sub appearances made by the players, as opposed to minutes played. This can make it a touch difficult to do manual calculations for things like shot conversion, but more on that later. Also, some players ‘overlap’ positions. For example, Carragher is noted as a D(CR) when we all know that he was a CB. Also as another example, Valencia from Utd is a DR and a MR on the data. This is the WhoScored team of the year: Whilst the stats show these players as the best in their respective positions (surprisingly no Ronaldo), I wouldn’t be too confident of going into a league campaign with that as our four-man midfield! This article is for Subscribers only. Member-only content – you need to subscribe to read it ! A subscription costs only £3.50 per month. Find out what you get with your subscription, or Subscribe now.

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TTT: Where Are They Now? No.1 – Victor Palsson

By Arnar Steinsson. This is the start of a new series looking at ex-Reds who are still playing. We’re starting with a Q&A interview Arnar had with Academy Graduate Victor Pálsson, now of NEC Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Arnar: To start things off I would like to ask you how it was like for a teenager to move from Fylkir in Iceland to AGF in Denmark and then soon Liverpool FC came knocking. Can you describe that process and did you know if there where scouts observing you or did it come out of the blue when LFC  made an approach? Victor Pálsson:  The move from Fylkir to AGF was fantastic. I was really fortunate to move to a team like AGF at only 16 years of age. Of course it was difficult at first but looking back things couldn’t have been better. My mother and my little sister were with me so that helped. I went to school and made a lot of friends. It wasn´t exactly the ‘Pro Footballer’ lifestyle  as I was studying as well as playing football. It was like being back at Fylkir. Life revolved around school and football. But this all changed when I went to Liverpool. I didn’t know that the club was scouting me at the time,  it all happened very suddenly. My agent called and told me they were interested. To my knowledge  scouts had watched me both with the Icelandic national team at youth level and AGF. I then went on trial for a week which went very well and it all started from there. Arnar:  How did it feel when you came to Liverpool? What kind of reception did you get? Who were the first people you met and introduced you to the Academy and who is in charge of helping you settle in? Victor Pálsson: The feeling that a team like Liverpool were interested in signing me was of course fantastic but at the same time I was a bit nervous. I was only seventeen years old but Liverpool are amazing at looking after young players and when I arrived everything was top notch at the club. Everything I needed was arranged for me and they helped out in every aspect necessary. So I felt comfortable from day one. I remember the first day I landed and the driver Carl picked me up at the airport in Manchester.  I was driven straight to Melwood for the medical. And then I went to meet   Rafa Benitez and Sammy Lee along with Norman the team manager of the club. After the medical and the meeting I went with my mother and sister to look for an apartment and we found  a very nice one straight away. Then we got the news that everything was fine with the medical and we headed for Anfield where I signed a contract for two and half years. Arnar: When you arrived at the club there were a lot of changes happening with the Academy set up. Benitez had just hired Frank McParland, Pep Segura and Rodolfo Borrell along with Kenny Dalglish to run the Academy. Did you notice any of those changes in any way? The rest of this interview is for Subscribers only. Member-only content – you need to subscribe to read it ! A subscription costs only £3.50 per month. Find out what you get with your subscription, or Subscribe now.

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