The premise of the player usage chart is fairly simple: take a players minutes played in the Premier League and use their games started and games as a sub and then visualize it.
Minutes,Starts and Subs
This is the raw data for Manchester City players in 2012/13, Premier League only. This table is sortable so sort away!
That table is interesting but it doesn't present the data in a particlarly clear and easy to digest way.
Player Usage Chart
We can see a core group of players located in the top right of this chart - Kompany, Zabaletta, Clichy, Barry and Toure. These were the players who featured the most, were the most trusted and suffered relatively few injuries. There are a couple of players on the fringes of this trusted core, namely Tevez, Aguero and Nastasic. Tevez was rotated and subbed often, Aguero was injured and Nastasic became a regular part way into the seaon.
All the names listed above add up to 9 players. These are the regulars, all the other players on this chart were neither regulars or particularly trusted by Mancini. Nasri and Milner had issues with form and team tactics and Dzeko is an oddity with as many starts as subs as befits his position as Man City's #3 striker.
What This Means For Next Season
I would say every player from Nasri downwards has question marks, some more serious and urgent than others, regarding his future with the club. They were not regulars in a team which disappointed in 12/13, and with a new manager arriving they may well be fearful for their future role at the club or, in Milner and Nasri's case, perhaps somewhat optimistic about the arrival of the new manager. A fresh start and all.
Looking again at the chart, the Lescott, Garcia, Dzeko group probably has some things to worry about. These may well be the group of players that gets pushed out by the new signings which will surely arrive in the summer.
Every player to the left of that group has serious issues with their City careers. Balotelli and de Jong have departed, Rodwell and Richards desperately need injury free years to get their City careers back on track - both should be given time to do so. Then we have the Kolarov, Kolo Toure, Maicon, Sinclair group who weren't really in the managers thinking this year and all of them to a man look disposable. I see nothing from any of those players that suggests they were in the long term plans of Mancini. A new manager may change things, but for me I would not be surprised to see all of those players leave the club if buyers can be found.
With the addition of some new arrivalsnext year which of the regular players may get pushed down the pecking order a little?
We all expect a new striker to be brought into the club and this means someone's minutes will be cut. Tevez and Dzeko are the candidates for the drop in minutes. Dzeko would be most peoples choice to make way for a new striker arrival and it makes sense.
Dzeko was the 3rd choice striker and he would also be the player which would fetch the highest transfer fee, but after Mancini was fired an interesting piece of information was leaked to the press regarding Dzeko. The upper management felt that Mancini didn't always get the best out of Dzeko, which maybe hints at Mancini failing to utilize Dzeko's skills properly and, more importantly, that bit of information may well mean that the management setup still rates Dzeko. Maybe Tevez will be the player to depart. either way I think one of them leaves to make way for the minutes that any new striker will hoover up.
Will a central midfielder be bought? Maybe, and if so it looks like Toure may get a small reduction in his minutes but it probably means Barry's minutes will be cut and finish somewhere closer to what Garcia's numbers finished at. If Barry gets a reduction and Rodwell stays injury free then where does that leave Garcia? On the outside looking in most probably.
Long mooted and a real team need in my opinion. A little more pace and direct play may arrive in the shape of an Isco or Navas and if that happens, what of Milner and Nasri? Is Nasri the player more at risk, will we see the wide players equally share the minutes in an attempt to keep things fresh. It will e interesting to find out.
Overall the player usage chart tells us some interesting things about selection policy in the 2012/13 Premier League season. It tells us about a core of trusted players, It tells us who is on the fringe of that group and which players are very much on the outside of the trusted group and can be reasonably expected to worry a little for their City careers.