Friday, 3 April 2009
Why we owe our survival to Anton Ferdinand!
Anton made his debut in August 2003, as a very young centre back and he remains young. We have said of Tomkins that he is learning his trade. Well, Anton is probably still developing. Brother Rio has unquestionably just had his best season ever this year. So, what do the stats show about Anton's effect on West Ham's win to games played ratio over his career at the club? Did he make a positive difference to our results when he was in the team? Well in 163 games with Anton in the team, West Ham won 43.56% of their games. Over the five full seasons that Anton was in the team, the win ratio in all league games played stood at 39.3%. So, we actually won more games with Anton in the team than we did without him in the team. And he was learning his trade at the time. Yes he made mistakes, but who doesn't? Of course, a mistake by a centre half, like a mistake by a keeper, tends to be higher profile.
The most amazing facts emerge when we look at the year of the Great Escape however (2006/07). During that traumatic season, Anton played in EVERY game that we won. In none of the seven league games that he missed did we get a victory! Nor was he in the team that lost 3-0 to Palermo, nor was he in the team that crashed out of the cup to Watford. Ferdinand's win percentage that season was 44%, and overall the team had a win ratio of just 31% for the whole season. Looked at one way, that is a net difference folks of 13%! Looked at another way, we had a win ratio of 0% when Anton wasn't playing and of 44% when he was! That is some difference! It gets better still. Anton also played in ALL our drawn league games that season except the 3-3 home draw against Fulham, which is not really a result a defender would want to associate himself with. So EVERY point we gained except for one in that disastrous season was gained with Ferdinand IN the team! We thought it was Tevez, Neill and Noble who saved us! Well the facts show that Ferdinand was absolutely key to our survival. Had we won 44% of all our games (the ratio of victories when Ferdinand was IN the team), we would have ended the season with 50 points!
We owe a debt of gratitude to Anton and I expect to see him in an England shirt at some point in the future. Check out Sunderland’s comparative results with and without Anton in the team this season, and you will see that he has made a positive difference there too.
All that said, I hope he makes a couple of errors tomorrow and hands us a brace of goals. Without Cole, I'm not sure how else we are going to score!
Posted by Hammersfan at 16:27