You may have listened to the podcast by now, if not you perhaps should before reading on, for context.
If you don’t have an hour and eight minutes to spare, I’ll give you the lowdown. I am known for my love of all things xG on the show, something others are not so keen on. I love a stat, one of my favourite games on the old Commodore 64 was Gazza II, because at the end of the game you got a breakdown of every player’s stat. It was a geek’s wet dream.
That geek grew into me, and I still love a stat. I’m not sure xG is an actual stat, rather it is an interpretation of an event turned into a stat, which is even better. Ambiguity is important in stats I feel, being able to twist them to your own means is a writer’s dream. This writer and geek loves xG as a result.
You know who doesn’t love xG? Jack Mulhall. You might not know Jack, but he’s a long-time Imps’ fan and podcast listener who gets a mention whenever we turn to xG. It seems fitting that for the first-ever Stacey West xG award, his name should go on the trophy that Ben will print on his 3D printer.
Sure, we’ll do our Player of the Year, but you know we like to be a bit different and so the site, and the podcast, will award the Jack Mulhall xG Award 20/21. Typically, it can’t just be a straightforward ‘best average xG’ though, can it? That wouldn’t be in keeping with the themes of xG or the site. Nope, instead, the player who outperformed his xG by the most will win the award.
Let me explain. Firstly, if you do not know what xG is, check out this article, as you will find some of the answers you crave. It is a measure of expected goals, chances players have had in the game and the likelihood that it will result in a goal. We’re going to take a player’s total goal tally and deduct their xG from that. In theory, the player with the highest number left will have outperformed their xG the best. In other words, if a player’s xG was 9.56, then they were expected to score 9.56 goals in the season. If they scored 12, then their Stacey west xG score would be 2.44, the difference. Get it? No? Good, that is kind of the point. To make it more complicated we use Wyscout for our stats and they don’t include FA Cup games!
In a nutshell, whoever wins the award scored more goals than a debatable statistic said they should. Apart from in the FA Cup.
Who wins the Stacey West xG award? Well, you’ll have to wait and see. What we can tell you are the players who did not win it, those who finished with a negative xG score. Nobody was horrendously bad in terms of xG, but these players all scored fewer goals than the xG stats said they should. In order to find out who did not, you’ll have to wait for our end of season awards piece, which is likely to come after the play-offs.