Analysis of playing minutes of Barça

This analysis was done BEFORE I began to learn any systematical techniques on statistics or data mining. Many aspects in this article are premature and need much improvement. But it’s the starting point of my passion of data analytics, especially football analytics. So I’ll start my blog with it.

The motive of this analysis is to settle the debates over some issues of last season of Barça using data analysis. Data analysis can well compensate the vague impression, short memory and biased opinion that we usually have in a qualitative analysis. I believe that the team has a much more advanced and comprehensive system of data analytics, comparing to that, this analysis is very simple and crude. But with only the basic tools and limited data online, we can at least obtain some general idea from it.

Here I analyze the playing minutes of the first team players of Barca in recent five years, in order to understand the issues about rotation, age structure and the situation of the homegrown players.

All data are taken from the database of Spanish football http://www.bdfutbol.com

Before going into the analysis, let’s define a concept for our convenience: The first team player. We follow the practical concept rather than the official status: Those and only those who play more than (including) 90 minutes in all the official games of the first team in a season are defined as the first team players.

Continue reading