This will be a really short post today. The topic: historic Premier League points totals per table position.

It is most likely that this type of study has been undertaken before, so if it seems like I may have repeated previous work, please don’t get mad. Assume I may not have seen said previous work, send me a link of said previous work and I will link it at the top of this page.

I have pulled the last ten years worth of PL tables (2003/4 to 2012/13) and the points total for each of the 20 positions in the table. It looks like this:

 

Ten Year Table

Pos Mean Mode Median PPG
1 88.6 89 89 2.33
2 81.9 83 83 2.15
3 75.8 75 75 2.00
4 68.8 68 68.5 1.81
5 64.0 65 64 1.68
6 60.8 58 61 1.60
7 57.1 53 56 1.50
8 53.1 49 52.5 1.40
9 51.0 52 52 1.34
10 48.7 47 49.5 1.28
11 46.8 47 47 1.23
12 45.4 46 46 1.19
13 43.7 42 44 1.15
14 42.7 45 43 1.12
15 41.5 41 41.5 1.09
16 39.3 36 39 1.03
17 37.3 35 37.5 0.98
18 35.0 36 35 0.92
19 32.1 30 32.5 0.85
20 25.3 25 26.5 0.67

Ten Year Table In Graph Form

Every season previous to 2013/14 is plotted on this graph (grey lines) and the red line is the ten tear average.

Points_table_10_medium

Of Interest:

 

  • The 10 year average says there is likely to be one terrible team cut off from the rest.
  • Top 3 are separated somewhat.
  • Points gap between each positions gets closer as we move down the table.
  • The two low points for Fourth place were 60 and 61 points in 03/04 and 04/5.
  • I’m not entirely sure which way to solve this problem, but should any work on “points required to win the title/4th place/avoid relegation?” use the average points won for 1st/4th/17th or should we use 2nd+1 point/5th+ 1 points/18th+1 point?

I’ve no idea what the answer is for point four, but I recall a recent conversation on twitter about this very subject between @theM_L_G and @JamesWGrayson.

So, we have looked at the average number of points that each table position records, we have also seen that information in graph form. The question now is, how does the 13/14 season shape up in comparison to this ten year average?

Are the top 6 over performing, are the bottom three weaker that the ten year historical average?

Ten Year PPG Pace

 

2014_ppg_historical_medium

Right now, positions 2-9 are are recording points per game at a significantly higher clip than the ten year average. This over performance comes at the expense of positions 10-18. Also, the gap between 8th place and 10th place is really something: Newcastle (8th) 36 points, Villa (10th) 24 points.

Has the top of the league become stronger? Have the bottom ten teams become weaker? Are the results in the chart above simply variance of just 22 games played? Possibly.

It is also possible that the 2013/14 season is an outlier, just as it is possible that 2013/14 may be the start (or middle) of a trend which sees the richer, more successful clubs record points total above historical averages.

I don’t want to dig too far into that today, instead all the information needed to conduct your own investigations are at the bottom of the page.

I’m lazy, see!

Working Out

Show yer working out!

 

Just copy and paste.

Pos S 12/13 S 11/12 S 10/11 S 09/10 S 08/09 S 07/08 S 06/07 S 05/06 S 04/05 S 03/4 Average
1 89 89 80 86 90 87 89 91 95 90 88.6
2 78 89 71 85 86 85 83 83 83 79 82.2
3 75 70 71 75 83 83 68 82 77 75 75.9
4 73 69 68 70 72 76 68 67 61 60 68.4
5 72 65 62 67 63 65 60 65 58 56 63.3
6 63 64 58 64 62 60 58 63 58 56 60.6
7 61 56 54 63 53 58 56 58 55 53 56.7
8 49 52 49 61 51 57 55 56 52 53 53.5
9 46 52 48 50 51 55 54 55 52 52 51.5
10 46 47 47 50 50 49 52 51 47 50 48.9
11 44 47 47 47 45 46 50 50 46 48 47
12 43 47 46 46 45 43 46 48 45 47 45.6
13 42 45 46 44 41 42 43 47 44 45 43.9
14 41 45 46 39 41 40 42 45 44 45 42.8
15 41 43 43 38 41 39 41 43 42 44 41.5
16 41 38 42 36 36 37 39 42 39 41 39.1
17 39 37 40 35 35 36 38 38 34 39 37.1
18 36 36 39 30 34 36 38 34 33 33 34.9
19 28 31 39 30 32 35 34 30 33 33 32.5
20 25 25 33 19 32 11 28 15 32 33 25.3
Total 1032 1047 1029 1035 1043 1040 1042 1063 1030 1032
  • toshack

    Ben,
    Being lazy sometimes is the prime motivation for smart and/or creative solutions!

  • Luke

    Ben,
    Is the x-axis on the ten year table graph mislabeled? It’s labelled as “games” but I reckon you meant positions. Interesting to see the table laid out like that, thanks for compiling it. As my 2c on the 1st/4th/17th question, I would go for 2nd+1, 5th+1, 18th+1 since what you’re really interested in establishing is the number of points necessary to finish as champions/champions league/not in the relegation places. For my money, the cut off points are going to tell you more about that.

    • katos

      Hi Luke,
      On the other hand, since every point is gained from someone else who is compiting in the same league, it makes sense to go for the averages points for each position. I mean, if for CL places you need 68 points, if you get 64-65 plus 1, that doesn’t guarantee you that your competitor can’t get 68 points.

  • John Frasene

    Interesting that the standard deviation is largest at the bottom spot thanks to some dreadful point totals by Derby County in 2007-2008 and Sunderland in 2005-2006. 2nd and 3rd place are the only other spots with standard deviation greater than 5, and 4th and 5th place have standard deviations greater than 4. 1st place’s standard deviation of 3.86 is quite a bit lower than the rest of the top 5.

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