A Look at the teams in World Cup 2018 through the Statistics that Matter

Discussion in 'World Cup 2018 - Russia' started by Iranian Monitor, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. vancity eagle

    vancity eagle Member+

    Apr 6, 2006
    Frankly I dont think this impect thing has any relevance to how good teams are. There are much better metrics to measure teams by like, shots on net, possession etc.

    Ranking teams by how many defenders they beat, that frankly doesn't make much sense to me. By defenders, do they mean any player who is defending ? Is this anywhere on the pitch ? This is all very ambiguous to be honest, I think its actually quite silly.

    For instance if a team is bunkering, and the opposing team is completely controlling the match, they aren't going to beat very many defenders. That doesn't mean they are a poor team.

    I think this is a case of bending statistics to mean something which they are not.

    Statistics can be very misleading, I think that is quite the case with this impect thing.
  2. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    Possession stats are totally meaningless. When the score is even, it might indicate which side has more interest to win the match and is more willing to take risks committing greater numbers to win the ball. But it doesn't mean that team is better. The same way, all things being equal, a side the defends with 9-10 players behind the ball should do better defensively than a side that doesn't, by the same token, a side that is committing more numbers in midfield and pressing up will naturally have more possession of the ball. The price they pay for that is they will leave space behind them to be exposed. That doesn't make them better but simply more willing to take risks.

    Shots on goal are also not all that telling. Belgium was far more dangerous against England (before their 2nd goal) even if they didn't get too many shots on goal and fumbled many of their chances. That would be true even if England (I haven't checked) had more shots on goal that didn't much test Courtois but technically required that he catch the ball.

    As for what you mentioned about a side that bunkers not being exposed as often in the back, the IMPECT measure looks at the net figures ultimately. Meaning if you bunker and don't allow an opponent more than say 10 situations where the opponent gets behind your defense, but aren't able to threaten the opposing side at all by getting behind their defense either because of the lack of numbers you commit upfront, you will still end up with a negative balance or net statistic.

    All that said, as I explained earlier, the most telling stats are those that have the greatest correlation to the result that is achieved between two teams. If a side that has more possession wins 9/10 of the matches, then possession stats would be important. But when the actual figures show that teams with more possession are quite often on the losing end of the scoreboard, there is no real correlation established between possession and the result.

    I don't know how well the IMPECT will do in the long run. But I certainly would add their stats on top of the slew of stats that clearly show less correlation and are frankly less telling.
    Thezzaruz and Mifek repped this.
  3. vancity eagle

    vancity eagle Member+

    Apr 6, 2006
    Here is how the teams ranked by Whoscored average player ratings. So basically if we average the score of each player that played for each team. A far better metric IMO than defenders bypassed.

    1. Belgium
    2. Brazil
    3. Croatia
    4. France
    5. Russia
    6. England
    7. Uruguay
    8. Sweden
    9. Colombia
    10. Spain
    11. Denmark
    12. Nigeria
    13. South Korea
    14. Mexico
    15. Portugal
    16. Serbia
    17. Japan
    18. Peru
    19. Germany
    20. Switzerland
    21. Iran
    22. Argentina
    23. Senegal
    24. Tunisia
    25. Poland
    26. Morocco
    27. Costa Rica
    28. Iceland
    29. Australia
    30. Egypt
    31. Saudi Arabia
    32. Panama
    Iranian Monitor repped this.
  4. vancity eagle

    vancity eagle Member+

    Apr 6, 2006

    I agree that possession stats dont necessarily mean anything. Saudi Arabia was actually ranked in the top 5 or 6 teams at this WC by possession, however Impect scores have even less meaning, because there is simply no context to where the defenders were bypassed, and how many defenders were behind the ones that were bypassed. It means very little to be honest, I actually think shots on goal and possession are much more meaningful stats.
  5. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    Those are interesting stats too. But no particular statistics tell you everything. All of them tell you something and ultimately we each have our own sense who did better or worse.
  6. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    Congrats to the OP for finding a stat where his team is Top 10, but the bottom line is the quote.

    BTW, to anyone watching, it was fairly obvious Iran was the team #17, the best not to make it out of group, together with Senegal.
  7. vancity eagle

    vancity eagle Member+

    Apr 6, 2006
    Here is how whoscored.com ranks the teams by possession %

    1. Spain
    2. Germany
    3. Argentina
    4. Saudi Arabia
    5. Brazil
    6. Switzerland
    7. Croatia
    8. England
    9. Portugal
    10. Mexico
    11. Japan
    12. Belgium
    13. Tunisia
    14. France
    15. Australia
    16. Poland
    17. Colombia
    18. Peru
    19. Morocco
    20. Nigeria
    21. Uruguay
    22. Denmark
    23. Egypt
    24. Serbia
    25. Senegal
    26. Costa Rica
    27. Sweden
    28. South Korea
    29. Panama
    30. Russia
    31. Iceland
    32. Iran
  8. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    Although I am not a Carlos Queiroz fan, and don't like our style that much, the rankings based on possession should tell you why possession isn't all that telling. Iran was clearly and indisputably not #32. Saudi Arabia even more clearly wasn't #4. Tunisia wasn't #13. And Spain and Germany were far from #1 and #2 respectively. If the game is decided by the scoreboard, and exceptions are meant as exceptions not the rule, you can't possibly find much correlation between the possession stats and how the teams did in this World Cup in terms of their results.

    You need to find the statistical measure that has the closest correlation to the results.
  9. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    The credit shouldn't go to me as much as the Carlos Queiroz fans who used the IMPECT statistics in response to his critics in Iran who used others which were far less flattering to Iran. They are the ones who basically introduced me to IMPECT but I was impressed by how close the R16 and quarterfinalists matched their top 10.

    I am content with Iran being regarded anywhere between #17-#20 and that is how I would rate us.
  10. vancity eagle

    vancity eagle Member+

    Apr 6, 2006
    you would think that these Impect scores would somehow correlate with dribbles per game, being that it is based on defenders bypassed. Here is whoscored.com ranks based on dribbles per match. I found something that Nigeria ranked #1 !!!!!!

    1. Nigeria
    2. Brazil
    3. Spain
    4. Mexico
    5. Argentina
    6. Belgium
    7. Croatia
    8. Morocco
    9. South Korea
    10. Australia
    11. France
    12. Portugal
    13. England
    14. Saudi Arabia
    15. Tunisia
    16. Germany
    17. Serbia
    18. Senegal
    19. Costa Rica
    20. Switzerland
    21. Iran
    22. Denmark
    23. Peru
    24. Iceland
    25. Uruguay
    26. Colombia
    27. Russia
    28. Panama
    29. Sweden
    30. Egypt
    31. Poland
    32. Japan
  11. vancity eagle

    vancity eagle Member+

    Apr 6, 2006

    The possession stats to me show more a teams style and the type of team they played. For example any team that played against Spain is automatically going to have their possession stats lowered from that one match because Spain is so dominating in possession. Whereas if you play a team like Panama your possession stats will likely be scewed up which is probably what happened with Tunisia.

    Low possession sometimes indicates counter attacking sides, other times it indicates teams that just cannot get control of matches.

    At the same time you cannot tell me that Iran having the least possession of all the teams in the tournament is not indicative of anything, besides simply strategy, and the level of opponents they played.
  12. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Tehran Iran
    Our possession stats are mostly because of strategy and tactics. I am sure of that. The best way to understand it is how Iran used to play South Korea and how we play them now. Before Queiroz, Iran's h2h record against South Korea was more or less even, but Iran would usually dominate possession and be the more aggressive side offensively. Under Queiroz, our h2h record against South Korea has been lopsidedly in our favor but in terms of possession, South Korea usually has more possession. But even with that greater possession, they would end up with 0 shots or chances against us (or 1-2 in S.Korea), while we would have plenty more. You can go and watch Iran-South Korea games from different eras and periods and see what I mean.

    Or you can contrast how we began our game in World Cup 2006 against Mexico, dominating possession in the first half, to how we began our games against Nigeria and Morocco in World Cup 2014 and 2018. The tactics Queiroz prefers might actually work better for us, but they also influence both the kind of players he selects, the kind of players he leaves behind, and the kind of stats you find.
  13. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Member

    Apr 1, 2003
    Here is why impect is yet another stat without much meat.

    If it was a solidly reliable indicator of performance, then major betting professionals would be going all out on this. Yet no one is breaking the bank at betting sites.

    Statistics can be made to fit a narrative. Yet, they are just numbers unless they are grounded in reality. In this case, the reality is that no one used them to become an overnight millionaire.

    People will tell you 1 thing but they will do another. Follow the dollar.

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