In 2016 there are plenty of different ratings systems out there for footballers. Most fans know that FIFA and Football Manager ratings have no relevance to real life football. However, in the last couple of years there has been a new ratings system increasingly quoted by fans: those of stats websites like Squawka and WhoScored.
As you know The Tilehurst End has used stats and graphics from both of those, but we have always ignored their actual player ratings. A look at WhoScored's top 10 rated players (who played at least 70% of games) in the Championship gives a clue why. Does anyone really believe Sol Bamba, Matt Doherty, Shane Duffy, Paul Gallagher, Grant Hanley and Oliver Norwood were amongst the best players in the league?
Of course to use stats to rate players is always going to be a little arbitrary. After all what stat can rate a defender being out of position for a goal? The problem with Squakwa and WhoScored is they only seem to use about 10-15 stats to calculate their ratings.
We at The Tilehurst End were recently given the chance to have a look at InStat, a website used by Ajax, Barcelona, Manchester City and Real Madrid to scout players. According to its website:
"InStat technology is based on mathematical formulas and on the perfectly trained team of more than 300 certified analysts. InStat data undergoes triple check procedure. The certified by scientists error rate is 1.2%"
That all sounds very fancy, but what we really wanted to know was how does it rate Reading players. For every game each player is given an InStat index, which is based on hundreds of stats. A team match report for one game can be at least 30 pages long.
The InStat indexes listed below are for the 2015-2016 season and include international games. To give you a comparison here are the ratings for the PFA teams of the year for the Premier League, Championship and League One.
|INSTAT INDEX||INSTAT INDEX||INSTAT INDEX|
|David De Gea||253||Tom Heaton||221||Jon McLaughlin||166|
|Hector Bellerin||269||Bruno Saltor||233||Reece Wabara||180|
|Toby Alderweireld||272||Michael Keane||229||John Egan||178|
|Wes Morgan||237||Michael Dawson||231||Craig Morgan||207|
|Danny Rose||261||Daniel Ayala||237||Rico Henry||180|
|Riyad Mahrez||289||George Friend||232||Bradley Dack||177|
|N'Golo Kanté||261||Alan Judge||208||Romaine Sawyers||189|
|Dele Alli||251||Joey Barton||227||Mark Duffy||169|
|Dimitri Payet||294||Barry Bannan||217||Yanic Wildschut||206|
|Jamie Vardy||276||Adam Clayton||245||Adam Armstrong||200|
|Harry Kane||284||Andre Gray||243||Will Grigg||224|
The first thing you'll notice is how there is a big difference in the ratings for each division. It's not clear whether that is because the level of competition and opposition is weighted.
Reading's Euro 2016 contingent all received higher than usual ratings playing for their country, but Northern Ireland's and Wales' performances were clearly better than Reading's last season.
WhoScored rated Yann Kermorgant's performance against Charlton as 10 out 10. InStat gave him 424 which shows it is possible for players to get high marks. It may just be that better players can put in better performances more often.
The Reading Players Ratings
|JOEY VAN DEN BERG||214|
The two players that standout are Al-Habsi and Quinn. To see them so low is a surprise. Al-Habsi's average rating is probably explained by his inconsistency last season. His InStat ratings range from 104 to 288, which does kind of reflect his performances in the 2015/16 campaign.
Quinn's lowly position is a mystery though. I can only think that it might be because, despite his hard work and exemplary attitude, he never really had the sort of influence on one game like Kermorgant did against Charlton.
Al-Habsi and Quinn aside, the ratings look fairly accurate. Few fans would disagree that Norwood and Tshibola were two of our best players, but were not at the level of the best players in the league.
Aston Villa are listed as one of InStat's clients so their soon to be confirmed purchase of Tshibola maybe shouldn't be such a surprise. It is promising to see van den Berg so high.
We would need full access to all the stats to get a full understanding of the ratings, but it is still interesting to see how Reading's players are rated on an analysis/scouting website used by professional clubs.