Saturday, 30 November 2013

Player Analysis: Phillippe Coutinho (Updated)

Coutinho nets his first for the year... Will there be more to come?
















For a Preseason Preview of Coutinho, click here

By the Stats...
Price:8.5
Average per 90 minutes: 3.5
Bonus Points: 0
Goals: 1
Assists: 0
Total Minutes: 535 (5.95 full games)
Owned by: 5.3%


Looking at those stats, they really don't suggest in any way, shape or form that Coutinho is a fantasy option. An average of a mere 3.5 points per game. Playing in a dominant Liverpool side? For these reasons, undoubtedly the masses will look elsewhere. Thankfully that's just one of the many beauties of buying the Brazilian international...

Season thus far

Thus far, Coutinho hasn't had much chance to help out his Reds side, with a shoulder injury keeping him out for the best part of a month. First case in point is that shoulder injuries are very unlikely to reoccur in the round ball game, so we won't be worrying from that perspective. The other positive is that he had a very strong, prosperous preseason, so missing out on football for a few weeks should not make much of a difference to his touch and the like. As detailed in the preseason predictions on him (linked above), Coutinho averaged an astounding 6.83 points per game. Given he was a January transfer signing, is very young and had limited time to embed within the squad, this was quite a surprise to Liverpool and fantasy managers alike. 

2012/13 Stats

Looking at his more vital statistics from that season;

Mins Per Chance Created Mins Per Shot
2012/13 47.9 26.6
2013/14 61.6 22.2

These stats suggest a drop off in chance creation, which is certainly a negative. Although in a statistical blog, we attempt to look for look for statistical reasoning, I'm of the belief that he has simply been unlucky and the sample size is too small to conclude that he is that far off in his chance creation stakes. The minutes per shot number has grown somewhat. Again, as with all these numbers the sample size is small, but given a graph which will be displayed later in the piece, perhaps there is reason to suggest this will continue.
 
Shot Accuracy Mins Per Touch Pen Area Touches Per Game
2012/13 27.8 1.4 3.8
2013/14 40 1.2 3.5


All of these stats once again are relatively positive. More touches per minute, means more opportunity to be creative and create. Shooting accuracy has climbed 12.2% higher, which certainly suggests that goals are just around the corner. Once again this is a small sample size, but there is improvement nonetheless. A slight drop off in penalty area touches is somewhat surprising, but given the drop is almost insignificant, this once again may be more to do with the relatively small sample size rather than anything else. As a final note, he has almost doubled the amount of corners he takes per 90 minutes in this season compared to last, which one might expect will allow him to prosper further.

Coutinho's average touch position in 2012/13



















During the 2012/13 season, Coutinho played in a left winger role. As stated by both his manager and Coutinho himself, he prefers the role in the hole, right in behind the striker. Due to a number of issues, including the fact that Liverpool didn't have much in the wingers department, Phillipe had to bide his time. 

Coutinho's average touch position this season












As you can see, this season he has received more of a central role, at least in recent weeks. This has directly helped both his shooting accuracy and minutes per touch numbers. From this data, it's also worth pointing out that his average touch is slightly further up the field, which generally means more goals and assists. So if the positional change does continue, expect it to help Phillippe prosper.

An additional bonus is the upcoming fixture list for the Merseyside outfit. Hull, NORWICH, WEST HAM, Tottenham and CARDIFF in the next five should have all fantasy managers licking their lips. Goals should continue to come thick and fast for the Reds, and Coutinho will be at the forefront!

Synopsis

Personally, I consider Phillippe to be one of a very select few who have the ability to turn a fantasy season around. If anything, the shoulder injury should give him a good little lay off to get his body right for the rest of the season. Liverpool have been smacking in goals for fun, and as the Brazilian continues to integrate into the side, it's simply only a matter of time before his fantasy numbers boom. Get on now!

Thanks for reading fantasy fellows! Hope you enjoyed it. What do you think about Phillippe Coutinho? Worth a shout? Would appreciate a comment below if you have the time. Good luck with your fantasy endeavour for the weekend!