By Graeme Riley.
TPI – reviewing squad waste
It has long been established since the publication of Pay As You Play that there is a fairly strong correlation between league position and the value of squad (Sq£) and average cost of the starting eleven (£XI), after TPI inflation is applied. The corollary to this is to consider the effect of not being able to field your strongest team for whatever reason; injuries, suspensions and lack of form will all prevent a manager from selecting his most expensive and presumably strongest team, although home-grown players may account for a reduction in the £XI. For example, a club consisting of “a team of Carraghers” would be strong on the pitch (even if it did concede rather too many goals without a recognised keeper!) but would have an £XI of £0 under the Transfer Price Index, as he did not cost a transfer fee.
(The truth, of course, is that fewer and fewer teams are full of such home-grown talents.)
Manuel Pellegrini, for example, was able to call upon a squad with a current value (Current Transfer Purchase Price) of £449.8m during their title winning season, but of this, he managed to field a starting eleven with a CTPP value of £237.3m, to give him an average utilisation percentage of 52.8%. This isn’t particularly surprising, since you can only field a team of 11 players from a squad of (generally 25). If all players were equal in their cost, you would only expect a utilisation of 44.0%. Of course not all players are equal. Regular full-back Zabaleta cost only £7.8m in CTPP and so contributed far less to the cost of the £XI than did Aguero (£58m CTPP) even though he played 75% more games.
With this in mind, can we learn anything from the players not used? Are there any trends? And just how wasteful are Liverpool?
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