Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tout le monde aura un prix

After attempting to find out if all the teams in the Premiership could be characterised as winners in some (involved and in some cases not very realistic) way, now Ligue 1 has finished for the season, it seems only fair to try the same for them.  

Same rules as before – each achievement must be at least arguably positive (i.e. no ‘best at letting in goals’), and the Occam’s Razor approach applies, start with the obvious stuff and only apply filters where necessary.  And same source as before, files available at, with a little bit of help from L'Equipe, and Mr Gibney and Mr Benneworth on Twitter when I got stuck. 

And thanks to Wikisource for the French version of Alice.  

  • ‘accuracy’ is the percentage of shots deemed on target; ‘efficiency’ the percentage of shots on target resulting in a goal; ‘conversion rate’ is the percentage of total shots resulting in a goal; ‘save rate’ is the percentage of shots on target against that did not result in a goal; 
  • filters applied were the home / away record, top half v bottom half, 2011 / 2012, and first / second half.
  1. Montpellier - most points (82), most wins (25), most shots (589), most on target (223), most home wins (16), most home clean sheets (13), and fewest goals conceded (34, joint with Toulouse). And some other stuff. They won! There would be. Anyway.
  2. Paris-SG - most goals (75), most away goals (33), most goals in a single home game (6 v Sochaux), most HT losses turned around for wins (3, v Evian, Lorient and Toulouse), highest conversion rate (14%) and highest efficiency (38%). 
  3. Lille - most home goals (48), fewest goals conceded away (16), and most clean sheets away (8), highest shooting accuracy (39%)
  4. Lyon - scored in every home game
  5. Bordeaux - longest winning streak (6 - and that at the end of the season) and unbeaten run (7 games), most away points in 2012 (18), and most half-time leads (17)
  6. Rennes - most goals in a single away game (6 - poor Sochaux), best travellers (46.7% pts were won away) and equal most away wins (9, with MHSC, PSG and LOSC)
  7. St-Etienne - most corners (243)
  8. Toulouse - fewest conceded (34, joint with MHSC) and most clean sheets (19), a 79% save rate, rising to 85% at home. Take a bow, Ali Ahamada, playing all 38 games in the TFC net there.
  9. Evian TG - longest away unbeaten run (7 games)
  10. Marseille - most shots at home (344)
  11. Nancy - only the one red card for the boys from ASNL. 
  12. Valenciennes - biggest home advantage (1.53 pts per game, 83.7% pts taken at home)
  13. Nice - best bottom half performance against the top half (21 pts, 24 goals)
  14. Sochaux - only 46 yellow cards.
  15. Brest - best away save rate (79.2%) and the early bird prize (61.3% goals scored in first half)
  16. AC Ajaccio - biggest final day jump up the table (2 places - but as that was from 18th to 16th, we're taking it)
  17. Lorient - fewest fouls (466) and the late bloomer prize (74.3% goals came in the second half)
  18. Caen - erm...
  19. Dijon - well...
  20. Auxerre - got nothing.

Again, it must be stressed that all this proves (or entails) absolutely nothing, but it was interesting to see that it was slightly easier to find 'winnings' for teams throughout the table than it was for the Premiership, perhaps a function of the relatively closer standings in Ligue 1.  See the Crazy Scores Comparison dashboard for more detail.  There was less need for multiple applied filters or the 2011/12 split, or going down to results by month.  I possibly could have found something for the remaining teams with a bit more cross-cutting, but as they have all been relegated, perhaps they are best left as they are.

The danger of picking a single metric without context is again well displayed; in the 'mixed blessing' corner, Valenciennes' home advantage might be reassuring for season ticket holders but also results from them being more than a bit iffy away from home (7pts), whereas Rennes travelling well suggests that things might not be all spiffy at home; and Brest being best at getting in early has the corollary that they tended to fade away in the second half, while Lorient being the best second half scorers, similarly, that they did start games rather slowly.

So, again, I have failed in my challenge, but in a slightly less arse-about-face way than last time. Which is nice.