Statistics. Don’t you just love them? Especially when you make them say something convenient for your news story…
Hello Observer Sport. Goodbye Steve McClaren, England manager. Well, maybe, if England don’t qualify for Euro 08. In their big piece entitled “How lucky can you get?” the Observer ran a table in which they showed that:
McClaren and Don Revie are the only England managers to record a 24 per cent defeat record. The best record belongs to Terry Venables – 4 per cent, representing one defeat in 23 games.
(note: table was rounded up with NO decimal points)
Gosh, that’s terrible, isn’t it? Sack him now.
Perhaps he will get the sack, but first, a few pointers.
1) Putting McCLaren top of the table was disingenuous. McClarens loss percentage is 23.5 – Revie’s is 24.1. Rounding up and down is fair enough, but Revie should be top of that table. Shame on the Observer for that one.
2) Venables is McClaren’s number 2 and has been mooted in some circles as a possible replacement. Suggesting he has the BEST record is very misleading. The best record? In terms of defeats, yes. But what was quietly gets ignored is that McClaren has a better WIN record than Venables: 53% to 48%.
In fact, in the win percentage stakes McClaren is a mid-table England manager.
And in terms of points per game (3 for a win, 1 for a draw), McClaren is again mid-table, just 0.02 behind…. Terry Venables.
|P||W||D||L||win%||loss%||Points per game|
I happen to think Venables was a better manager than McClaren, but the Observer’s table is not the way to prove it.