With Or Without You Analysis: Gareth Barry 2011-2013 PL And CL

Michael Regan - Getty Images

Last week Paul Sarahs, otherwise known as the excellently named tweeter Wanchope_Dickov posed a question to the Opta sports twitter account. The question was a good one, and as with most good questions to the Opta tweet feed, it went unanswered. The question was simple: What is Man City's win percentage with or without Gareth Barry? I will endeavor to answer that question in this post and more by using the PL games from 2011/12, 2012/13 and all CL games.

WOWY analysis an old and tested North American sports statistic that aims to show how a team results and play are affected, with or without a certain player.

It's easy, really. Although an analysis like this may be best put into practice by comparing goalkeepers, for example.

As it is, today we are looking at midfielders and specifically Gareth Barry.

Gareth Barry is a fine midfielder, albeit one who divides opinion, has few fans in the media and is ludicrously tarnished by that incident in the 2010 WC where Ozil breezed past him with ease. It really is necessary to view Gareth Barry's game up close and in person in order to grasp just exactly what attributes he provides for this team. He is technically sound, has a nice passing range. His off the ball positioning is excellent, in both defense and as an outlet for the center backs to pass out to.

Is he the quickest player? No, never was and never will be. But, boy does he provide balance in the midfield with that left foot of his and Barry is something of a 2 way midfielder. Comfortable in sitting deep and adept at joining Man City's attacks and keeping the ball moving, never really looking out of place amongst Man City's magical midgets as they work their stuff around the oppositions box.

Gareth Barry 2012/13 PL

result opposition rank minutes Goals For Goals against goal differential
3-2 n/a 0 n/a n/a n/a
2-2 18 0 n/a n/a n/a
3-1 17 0 n/a n/a n/a
1-1 12 26s 0 0 0
1-1 3 13s 0 1 -1
2-1 6 76 1 1 0
3-0 13 90 3 0 3

This is the data from 2012/13 solely in PL fixtures.

Opposition rank is where the opposition were placed in the PL table at the start of kick-off.

The goals for, goals against and differential totals are solely for when Gareth Barry is on the field. Would this chart be better if we could include added data like shot totals, possession and territory? You bet, but without video of the games we can never go back and find out if Barry's introduction led to more possession or shots. We have to make do, for now.


With Barry

Win % GF GA G Differential Opposition rank
50 7 3 4 8.5

Without Barry

Win % GF GA G Differential Opposition rank
66.7 8 7 1 15.6

So, with Mr Barry featuring in the heart of Man City's midfield, Man City have a lower win %, but a better goal differential and Barry faced a tougher quality of opposition in the fixtures he played in than his replacement played in.

See! It's easy, and before the nodding heads chime in with a lack of sample size, we have to state that it is very early in the season, these numbers will change and fluctuate and the quality of opposition rating isn't stable yet.

That's why I have worked on Gareth Barry's 2011/12 WOWY analysis, too.

Gareth Barry WOWY 2011/12

result opposition rank minutes Goals For Goals against goal differential
4-0 n/a 90 4 0 4
3-2 12 90 3 2 1
5-1 19 90 5 1 4
3-0 6

2-2 18 90 2 2 0
2-0 7 90 2 0 2
4-0 18

4-0 7 90 4 1 2
6-1 1 90 6 1 5
3-1 16 90 3 1 2
3-2 12 75 3 2 1
3-1 3 5 0 1 -1
1-1 6 90 1 1 0
5-1 9 90 5 1 4
1-2 4 90 1 2 -1
1-0 4 90 1 0 1
3-0 8 83 3 0 3
0-0 10 31 0 0 0
0-1 15 90 0 1 -1
3-0 6 90 3 0 0
1-0 19 90 1 0 0
3-2 3 90 3 2 1
0-1 11 86 0 1 -1
3-0 12 90 3 0 3
1-0 12 90 1 0 1
3-0 19

2-0 19 90 2 0 2
0-1 14 38 0 0 0
2-1 5 45 2 1 1
1-1 12 74 0 1 -1
3-3 9

0-1 4 90 0 1 -1
4-0 13 90 4 0 0
6-1 10 90 6 1 5
2-0 20 90 2 0 2
1-0 1 90 1 0 1
2-0 5 90 2 0 2
3-2 17 69 1 2 -1

This is Barry's full game chart for the 2011/12 PL season.

The first thing that strikes me is just how many minutes Gareth played. He missed just 4 full games and was rarely a substitute-off or on.

Man City With Gareth Barry

Win % GF GA G Differential Opposition rank
70.5 73 25 48 10.1

These are the numbers for the minutes that Gareth was on the field of play for. If Barry was subbed and Man City went on to concede, or score a goal those numbers do not feature in the chart above.

Man City's record when Gareth Barry was on the pitch was W 24 D 4 L 6. The sixth loss there indicates the 38th game of the season when Man City were losing 1-2 against QPR at the point when Barry was taken off. Obviously Man City did not lose that game, but for the minutes Barry was on the pitch we were losing. the same formula was applied to all wins, draws, losses and goals for and against.

Man City Without Garth Barry

Win % GF GA G Differential Opposition rank
75 20 4 16 11.75

We only have 4 full games (3 home, 1 away) that Gareth Barry did not feature in plus the minutes he wasn't on the field due to being subbed, or not yet arriving onto the field as a sub.

This is a small sample, and we cannot glean too much info from these numbers apart from saying Man City were a lot of fun to watch when Barry did not feature!

WOWY Per Game Numbers

points pg GF GA G Differential
With 2.23 2.14 0.73 1.41

Without 2.5 5 1 4

These are the per game names. Pretty self explanatory. Man City scored more per game, conceded more per game and gained a higher points per game, but again, Barry missed so little time that we can't make any great claims.

Gareth Barry And The CL 2011-13

result opposition rank minutes Goals For Goals against goal differential
2012 2-3
90 2 3 -1
2012 1-1

90 1 1 0

73 0 2 -2

50 2 0 2



90 2 0 2

Barry has featured in 4 games for Man City in the CL over the last 2 years. He has missed 2 home games and 1 away game.


Win % GF GA G Differential
With 40 5 6 -1

Without 33.3 5 3 2

Man City are slightly better with Barry in the line-up despite conceding more goals.

wowy Per game

points pg GF GA G Differential
With 1.4 1.00 1.2 -0.2

Without 1.33 1.66 1 0.66

A slightly better points per game number with Barry in the line-up. Gareth played away at Madrid and Munich, at home to Munich and at home to Napoli. So no real easy games, no soft minutes against Villarreal to pad the points per games stats.

What Does It All Mean?

Hard to tell, to be honest. I believe Man City are a better, well balanced team with Gareth Barry in the line up. His left foot, deft positioning and ability to continually recycle the ball are missed in the games in which he does not feature. The WOWY analysis for the PL games is hard to draw any real conclusions from as he has missed such a small percentage of the total games played. the numbers are inconclusive.

As for the CL, Barry has been missing for 3 out of the 8 fixtures, Dortmund at home, Napoli away and Villarreal away-which was an easier fixture than many thought, Villarreal were at that point in the midst of an injury driven tailspin toward eventual relegation.

The game against Dortmund may have been, on the one hand, an ideal stage in which for Barry to stamp his calm, quiet authority on a CL fixture and show Mancini just how valuable a left footed passer who rarely gives the ball away can actually be in tight CL games, where possession and patience is of greater importance than a PL fixture.

Or, on the other hand it may have become another of those very rare occasions where Barry is embarrassed- as Ozil did to him- by a very quick, technical team who counter excellently from wide positions.

Would Barry have been swamped by the Germans' pace and verve? Maybe, but we shall never know.

For me: Gareth Barry, Man City are a better team with you than without you.

Thanks for reading.

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