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End of Season Review: Expectations Table

13 May 2012

Only Manchester City overachieved more than fifth-placed Newcastle United this season.

At the start of the season, the Euro Club Index predicted the finals standings of the Premier League. Manchester United were made favourites, with a 50% chance of winning the league. The ECI expected them to get 86 points.

United’s closest contenders were expected to be Chelsea (20% chance of winning the league), with Arsenal (8%) and Manchester City (6%) a bit further behind.

At the bottom, the three promoted sides were all predicted to get around 30 points, insufficient to avoid relegation back to the Championship. Clearly, Swansea and Norwich have vastly exceeded expectations, whereas QPR have done enough to earn themselves another season in the top flight.

Comparing these expected totals to each club’s final points total gives us the expectations-adjusted league table. As suggested from the table above, Man City and Newcastle are the league’s biggest overachievers.

That two clubs at opposite ends of the spending spectrum top this table suggests financial muscle shouldn’t always shape expectations. Liverpool and Chelsea have spent heavily over the last 18 months, but both finished more than 10 points worse off than expected.

City’s success was enough to win the title ahead of Man United, who themselves marginally overachieved.

At the very bottom, Aston Villa and Blackburn can reflect on truly dreadful seasons. Both finished 17 points worse off than the ECI predicted, and you’d imagine their managers may be dismissed for the clubs’ failures.

The expectations-adjusted table contextualises the season-long performance of all twenty clubs; City can be delighted not only with their title victory but also with the magnitude of their overachievement this season.

Data provided by Infostrada Sports from the Euro Club Index (powered by Hypercube). You can follow both Infostrada Sports accounts on Twitter: @InfostradaLive, @EuroClubIndex.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. James permalink
    14 May 2012 2:46 pm

    Doesn’t seem to illustrate too much apart from the inadequacy of the Euro Club Index….. City were most people’s favourites to challenge United for the title and I don’t think they have overachieved anywhere near as much as this suggests
    How are those indicies produced?

    • 14 May 2012 3:23 pm

      Methodology here:

      I think that’s harsh though. It’s difficult to build a model using spend to predict performance – as I outlined Chelsea and Liverpool hugely underachieved despite spending similar amounts to Man City in the last 18 months. I’d say the points gains/losses are suggestive rather than absolute measures. Many people suggested City would challenge in 2011/12 but in the end they came nowhere near.

  2. 14 May 2012 6:10 pm

    Nice post., I borrowed your numbers for the trackback below. For brevity I just wanted to mention I’m not the James who commented above

  3. John permalink
    14 May 2012 10:54 pm

    Newcastle finished fifth! Interesting to see the championship sides outdid generic expectations of struggling in the top flight. If they continue their refreshing style of football I think Swansea will pose a threat next season.

    • 14 May 2012 11:04 pm

      Yes sorry! Corrected.

      It’s fairly remarkable to see all three promoted teams stay up, Norwich and Swansea were never in danger of going down either, a rarity.


  1. Let’s review the ’11-12 predictions… « James' Blog

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