FootballCritic (FC) has one main purpose - to help football fans of every level of obsession understand and enjoy the game just a little more.
FC provide rich statistical data in an accessible, user-friendly format across all devices, from a database of 50,000 players and teams across 200 competitions. Using our unique search, comparison and ranking tools, FC wants to make it easier for a fan of any team to access the facts and figures that drive the sport, all across a range of devices.
We also have our own FC Player and Team Rankings, a totally original way of observing performance over a single game or over an extended period. Our algorithms are a combination of statistical analysis and editorial input, making them unlike anything available outside a subscription scouting service. We have over two million player ratings, dating back over four seasons, allowing users to track a player’s progress over time.
Rankings, for any position, can never be definitive; nor will a single number ever be representative of a player’s complete profile. Rather our Rankings are used to show players who performed key actions within matches and who are enjoying a sustained run of form. Our Rankings should be used as a point of reference for debate.
For more information on our rankings, and on how you can help shape the future of FC, click the links below.
First, a caveat - it is impossible to encapsulate a player’s complete performance in a single number.
But what FC attempts to do is incorporate key player statistics per position and combine with a unique editorial layer to try and tell the story of the match through that information.
FC MATCH ALGORITHM (PLAYER)
Our match ratings, scored out of 10, strive to highlight the great, the good, the unsung, the average, and the villains who decided the match either way. In some matches it will be obvious; in others, less so. Our ratings simply help the user to understand which players contributed to the outcome of the match. We take over 50 data points per player, each weighted differently based on the player’s position, and combine them to provide a number. That number will reward the ‘good’ stats and punish the ‘bad’ ones.
We also introduce an FC editorial scale, where our team of league editors are able to reward, or punish, players for a particular action, or series of actions, that are difficult to define and reward statistically. This could be a fantastic piece of individual skill, an incredible goal-of-the-season candidate, a season-defining winning goal or a particularly grievous error that costs a team the match.
EDITORIAL REWARDS PROCESS:
- It is at the discretion of the FC Editorial Team
- More than one player can receive an award/punishment per match
Context decides how much of a reward/punishment is given
Players will not receive an editorial bonus in every match; rather our team of writers will ensure the bonus is reserved for the few moments that can determine what that weekend will be remembered for, good or bad.
In addition to their match scores, each player is given an FC score out of 100.
This is not based on a player’s perceived achievements or ability, but rather their form.
PLAYER RANKING CALCULATION
A combination of:
Our FC Ranking provides a representation of players who are performing at a high level at the highest level, while also identifying players who are outperforming the current level they are competing at and could step up in class.
The overall score is updated on a weekly basis to take into account any fixtures played in the last seven days, the scores the players received and any representative changes to their bonuses. Our score incorporates, league, cup, European, and international fixtures.
The FC Ranking can never be definitive, in the same way that a singularly statistic-based score or a journalist sitting in a stadium can never be 100% accurate. But it has foundation in player achievement, both in numbers and what is seen with the eyes, and it is designed for healthy debate.
FC also rank teams for the competitions where we have full match data. As with players, FC does this on a match-by-match and overall basis.
⚽FC MATCH ALGORITHM (TEAM)
Teams are assigned a score out of 10 for their performances and are rewarded/punished depending on the outcome of their fixtures, such as:
- Match Score (Narrow Win, Comprehensive Win)
- Match Location (Home or Away)
- Team Weighting
- Competition Weighting
- Dominance of Offensive Match Statistics
- Dominance of Defensive Match Statistics (shots conceded on target, interceptions, tackles, etc)
- Fairness Rating for the final result (derived from how likely the match outcome that was reached was based on the underlying statistics)
⚽FC TEAM RANKING CALCULATION
The scores are meant to represent teams moving into/out of form. It can also be used as a guide for teams whose performances are perhaps under, or over, achieving. Team ratings should be used in conjunction with other statistical metrics to identify form teams.
Q. How are players who haven’t reached 1800 senior minutes in their careers ranked?
A. We can’t give players a rank without playing games, so you just need to be patient.
Q. What about players who take a long time to reach 1800 minutes?
A. We place players on a sliding scale; if they reached the target minutes within a reasonable period, they will receive 100% of their score, but as more time passes a player’s score is incrementally reduced across that period.
Q. What is the purpose of the bonuses and the competition weighting in the overall score? Can’t we just take a player’s score as is?
A. If you average a player’s score across 20 matches, it doesn’t matter how good they are, it will average out in an unsatisfactory way. The competition and bonus weighting edge players closer to that magical 99 mark, something that everyone can recognise as a universal recognition of ‘great’.
Q. What if a player features in different positions during their 1800 minute period?
A. A player’s score for that match will be taken from the position he played in and for bonus purposes it will be the position he played in most often over 20 games that will take precedence.
Q. How are Team Weightings devised?
A. Team Weightings are based on FC’s Team Rankings. The teams are ranked into Performance Tiers. If a team from a lower tier beats one from a tier above, they receive an additional match bonus for over-performance. Likewise the team from the tier above is additionally punished for losing the fixture.
Q. How are Competition Weightings devised?
A. Competition Weightings are based on a combination of their regional coefficient (for example UEFA), and FC’s calculation of the overall quality of the teams competition within the competition, to provide a definitive list.
No time to catch up with all of the weekend’s action? Want to know what games to look out for? FC’s Match Excitement algorithm identifies matches filled with thrills and drama, as well as those likely to appear last on Match of the Day.
FC’s algorithm includes a number of key statistics, such as:
- Goals (Total)
- Goals Split
- Shots (on Target)
- Big Chances
- Other Factors such as Goal Timing, Disciplinary, Team Weighting and Competition Weighting
This provides an overall score out of 100 and a recommendation of whether the match is worth watching or not.
This will soon be implemented across the site.
Decisive, as FC define it, means the goal that changed the game state into the state in which it ended. This means:
Tottenham 2-0 Watford
Kane's goal is decisive because he changed the game state from draw to win, which is how it ended.
Tottenham 2-1 Watford
Kane 25' Deulofeu 49'
Alli's goal is decisive because he changed the game state from draw (1-1) to win, which is how it ended.
Tottenham 1-1 Watford
Kane 25' Deulofeu 49'
Deulofeu's goal is decisive because he changed the match state from loss to draw, which is how it ended.
Tottenham 3-1 Watford
Kane 25' Deulofeu 49'
Moura's goal is decisive because he changed the match state from draw to win, which is how it ended.
Players who have scored a high number of decisive goals are likely to have earned more points for their team by virtue of the fact that their goals changed the match state in favour of their team.