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Villa's Premier League Experience (stats!)


jackbauer24
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I've been thinking about our experience (or lack of it) in terms of players who've played in the Premiership. Not the most important factor in determining success, but an important one nevertheless.

So I've looked at Villa v West Ham (newly promoted of course) and found these statistics using MyFootballFacts.com which covers til the end of last season. Click on link for exact page.

Villa:

Given 406, Vlaar 0, Clarke 20, Baker 7, Lowton 0, Ireland 150, El Ahmadi 0, N'Zogbia 201, Delph 15, Bent 208, Holman 0

(subs: Gardner 0? Bannan 12, Weimann 1)

Total 1004 (1017)

West Ham:

Jaaskelainen 361, Reid 7, McCartney 159, Collins 113, Demel 0, Nolan 302, Taylor 267, Noble 128, Diame 70, Cole 213, Vaz Te 58

(subs: O'Brien 50, Tomkins 60, Maigi 0)

Total 1678 (1788)

That's quite a difference, especially when you consider they are a newly promoted team. However, I'm sure the likes of Reading and Southampton wouldn't have such high figures, but would anyone else be quite as low as ours? Basically we could almost be considered a newly promoted team - there is little indication of how we may perform as few have done so regularly at this level and/or in this country.

People are asking for Given to be dropped for Guzan, Dunne, Ireland and N'Zogbia to be moved on due to high wages and Bent to go because he's 'lazy'. But who exactly takes their place? The names being suggested would reduce our Premier League experience to less than 100!

It's not the be all and end all but it is widely recognised that you need experienced players for this league and we are already lacking and the suggestion is this will be even lower by the time we face Newcastle on September 2nd.

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I know it's very bad form to effectively bump your own thread but my point on experience is being mentioned by a few. If we take today's opponents, but stick to the same criteria, that stats read as:

Villa (current):

Given 407, Vlaar 1, Clarke 21, Baker 8, Lowton 1, El Ahmadi 1, N'Zogbia 202, Bannan 13, Herd 6, Bent 209, Delfouneso 24

(subs: Weimann 2, Lichaj 5, Holman 1)

Total 893 (901)

Everton (to end of 11/12):

Howard 231, Baines 200, Jagielka 151, Distin 350, Neville 460, Gibson 30, Osman 218, Pienaar 112, Fellaini 73, Jelavic 0, Naismith 0

(subs: Mirallas 0, Heitinga 58, Coleman 37)

Total 1825 (1920)

The gap got bigger... and so did the scoreline. It really is telling how weak we are in terms of experience. Do you ever go with kids when you're in a scrap or do you go with more experience?

Weird to be saying this, but we need Dunne, Warnock and Gabby back quickly. Old heads are better than over-rated kids.

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It's an interesting factor, seems to be we are a new team in many respects.

I'd like to see more of the 26-30 year old age range coming in, maybe one in defence and two in attack.

23-28 for me.

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Funnily enough though, our best player was El Ahmadi.

Agree. Don't get me wrong, experience in the Premier League is not ALL important (otherwise I might sound like a Board member looking for a new manager....!) but in a squad I think most would recognise it's important to have a balance.

We could well drop Given after his clanger today, Bent could get an injury; in that case we'd nearly have less than a seasons experience (11x39) between the whole squad!!

It's just shows how weak we are I think. We need some experienced players in. In fact, if I could choose one player to join us at the moment it would be Robbie Keane realistically. Bring him back, even on loan again, and get that missing link and add much needed experience. Whatever we think of Bent, we all know he's not really a 'leader' for what is looking like a long campaign.

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Funnily enough though, our best player was El Ahmadi.

Agree. Don't get me wrong, experience in the Premier League is not ALL important (otherwise I might sound like a Board member looking for a new manager....!) but in a squad I think most would recognise it's important to have a balance.

We could well drop Given after his clanger today, Bent could get an injury; in that case we'd nearly have less than a seasons experience (11x39) between the whole squad!!

It's just shows how weak we are I think. We need some experienced players in. In fact, if I could choose one player to join us at the moment it would be Robbie Keane realistically. Bring him back, even on loan again, and get that missing link and add much needed experience. Whatever we think of Bent, we all know he's not really a 'leader' for what is looking like a long campaign.

I think experience in general is more important than Premier League experience. Would be perfectly happy if we signed some quality experienced players (like El Ahmadi) from foreign leagues if Lambert is being priced out of players here.
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What was Arsenal's last week? Or Newcastle's at the start of last season. As someone above said, KAE was our best player and Hazard has played 3 games and been Chelsea's best player in all 3.

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Jelavic definitely played for Everton before so shouldn't be 0.

These stats are somewhat telling, but a bit misleading. Experience outside the PL should count for more than minimal experience in PL (i.e. El Ahmadi's 200 games in Holland make him a much more experienced player than our homegrown kids & even though Vlaar is new to this league he still comfortably looks our most experienced defender in the current backline). We don't need to over-emphasise the importance of having played in this league specifically, when you just need to look at people like Hazard who have played 2 Premier League games but are clearly quality.

A tally of career games total would probably give a fairer comparison (and ignore the subs 'cause Heitinga's 300 games don't really mean a lot when he only plays 5 mins!)

But however it's done it can't be denied the difference in the experience of the two defences in particular was immense. Everton have 3 defenders in their 30s, we have 3 aged 21, 22, 23. I have no problem with shipping out Collins, Warnock, Hutton, Cuellar but we have to add more than just Vlaar & Lowton to replace them.

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