So today while I was procrastinating writing a stats preview for the North London Derby (Look for it tonight/tomorrow, it's got some good stuff in there!) I was thinking about passing.
One of the thoughts that popped into my head was looking at the completion percentage above average based on the three thirds of the pitch and also long passing (maybe short passing? I didn't include this but maybe I should, that is why I am writing this out).
The simplest way to do this is:
player pass completion for third / league average pass completion for third * 100
Take Mesut Ozil for Final 3rd Passing:
0.727 (his completion%) / 0.614 (Lg Avg) *100 and you get 118 which also helpfully easily translates to 18% better than league average
For this stat I did that for Defensive 3rd passing, Middle 3rd Passing, Final 3rd passing and Long Ball passing.
To combine them into one stat the are all weighted by the total number of attempts in each category for an overall number. This creates the stat that for the time being I am labeling Pass+
As a quick aside the reason I am doing these where it is because it is compared to average and setting everything to 100 is because, well I come from a baseball background where this is common and I believe that it is easier to grasp that numbers over 100 are good, 100 is average and below is bad. It also has the added benefit of each number above or below can be pretty easily described as that many percent above or below average.
The next thing that I did with this stat is bring in my passing value added stat. The reason for this is that I think a passing stat shouldn't just measure completing passes but also should also include attacking value which I think PPVA does well at.
So similar to the other stats I got this on the same scale, but for this I made an adjustment to use the 75th percentile value instead of the average because otherwise things got really screwy. Maybe someone smarter than me can give pointers on a better way to work this out but this is what I did to make the scale work out better with the other stats.
So once I had PPVA+ I combined them into one stat that for the time I am calling Passing Ability. I don't love this name and would like to think of something else. The method for combing them was that the Pass+ stats are weighted 4 times the value of PPVA+ (I did this because it is made up of 4 stats and it seemed about right, again all a work in progress).
And the tableau for the premier league to play with:Work shopping a passing ability stat (everything with a + next to it is %+/- average similar to an OPS+ stat from baseball) pic.twitter.com/govOFs6NhN— Scott Willis (@oh_that_crab) November 16, 2017