THE BIG QUESTION

How hard will Michael Essien’s absence hit Chelsea’s title bid?

A chart showing Chelsea’s Premier League points per game average with and without Michael Essien in each of his six seasons there…

Chelsea’s Premier League record with and without Michael Essien

First-hand experience of cruciate ligament injuries ensures that Spoiler sympathies are well and truly with Michael Essien following confirmation that he will be out for six months as a consequence of yet more knee trouble.

Naturally though, we were also eager to figure out how much worse Chelsea have fared without the popular Ghanaian midfielder over the last six years compared to when he has been at their disposal.

Unsurprisingly, the Blues have had a better points per game average with him in the team in five of his six seasons at the club, however the shock discovery is that the year in which they were weakest without him was the one just gone.

The general view was that it was one of his quietest campaigns since arriving at Stamford Bridge despite making 33 Premier League appearances, and that the form of Ramires helped prevent his few setbacks from being a disaster.

The stats tell a different story though, with the former Lyon man’s five missed matches ending in one Chelsea victory, compared to a shocking three defeats.

Essien wasn’t ruled out of all the big ties either. Just one of the five was against a team that finished in the top-eight, a Liverpool side that was 16th at the time. Even the win was an underwhelming 1-0 success against then-bottom Wigan.

Chelsea without Essien in 2010-11:
Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea
Chelsea 0-3 Sunderland
Birmingham 1-0 Chelsea
Newcastle 1-1 Chelsea
Chelsea 1-0 Wigan
P5 W1 D1 L3 F2 A7 PTS4 PPG0.8

The trend puts pressure on new boss Andre Villas Boas to identify the perfect replacement. Joao Moutinho and Scott Parker have been mentioned as transfer targets, but tell us who you think they should sign below…


7 responses so far
  • internet pundit // July 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    because drawing your statistics from a massive total of 5 games is going to provide reliable results

  • NH // July 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Luka Modric.

  • Adam // July 12, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    here we go w/more of the statistics and an attempt to be a more insightful “football” site.

    can we at least get a post detailing why the change in tone?

  • Kyle // July 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Adam has hit the nail on the head. Why the change? As an American, I enjoy(ed) reading The Spoiler as a break from the stat-obsessed American sports-coverage.

    Also, where is Richard Anderson? He was brilliant.

  • The Northern Prince // July 12, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    It seems there is more hostility directed towards Michael Lintorn than Rebekah Brooks at the minute. There’s obviously been a corporate reshuffle at Spoiler HQ and we can only speculate as to what has happened behind closed doors. Perhaps Richard Anderson made some ridiculous wage demands that couldn’t be met and Michael Lintorn had to leave his position in accounts to fill the void. Admittedly, Anderson could just as easily be on vacation let’s not forget – he could be sunning himself in the Algarve right now blissfully unaware of the uprising back in Blighty. With the closing of NOTW we might never know the real story behind the personnel change.

    What I will say on the issue is this: Give Michael Lintorn time! I mean sure, the graphs and stats are a nightmare and the articles have lost humour and flow but given time Lintorn might prove to be a shrewd acquisition. Of course, I write in hope more than expectation but I’ve been with The Spoiler over 2 years now and won’t turn my back on it like a results hungry Abramovich…for now!

  • Adam // July 12, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I understand what is trying to be done here and actually think these are some pretty insightful graphs. As an American, I like the statistics but despise the seriousness with which most sports are taken. This site never imagined the sport or itself for more than it was and that is what made it so unique.

    I miss the Richard Anderson posts for sure but would just like some clarity on what is happening overall with the tone of the site; RA vacation, change of direction, difference in valuations, paternal leave?

    This is a blog and you ask for reader replies but that means it has to go both ways….we ask and you should reply as well please.

  • spider // July 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Please Andre ,Let’s try to get one who can replace Essien as quickly as possible for Him to catch up with the other guys even before the league starts.

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