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Time Spent Winning

Specifically, the amount of time every Premier League club has spent winning, drawing or losing in 2012/13.

Time spent winning/drawing/losing in the Premier league is a topic I have looked at fairly frequently in 2012/13 and I personally think it shows us some pretty cool information.

I initially started tracking this stat for a very simple reason: I knew that Game State (winning,losing or drawing) had an effect on the way teams behave, the volume of shots they take and the tactics they employ. I knew that if a team spent a lot of time in a winning position, and thus wouldn't expend as much energy trying to attack, it would massively affect their TSR (Man United).

Conversely, if a team spends a lot of time in a losing position-especially at -1-then their TSR would be inflated due to this specific score effect (Everton). This was the theory I held, so off I went to find the data on time spent winning. It didn't exist, but it does now.

I will get to the table shortly but first I wanted to show you a scatter plot which tells us about the link between time spent winning and actual wins in 2012/13:



The r2 is 0.79 which is pretty good, if fairly predictable. Teams north of the line outperformed their expected number of wins.

Chelsea and Southampton were the two teams who failed to win as many games as their time spent winning suggested they would. Weak defenses at +1 game state is probably the reason for it.


Winning Drawing Losing
Arsenal 25.32 48.66 16.03
Aston Villa 21.16 44.61 24.24
Chelsea 37.92 41.34 10.74
Everton 29.87 43.21 16.92
Fulham 23.39 39.82 26.79
Liverpool 28.92 41.37 19.71
Man City 28.84 48.92 12.24
Man Utd 43.53 35.71 10.76
Newcastle 18.24 43.66 28.11
Norwich 16.87 48.89 24.24
Qpr 7.42 48.74 33.84
Reading 11.84 45.68 32.47
Southampton 21.63 45.71 22.66
Stoke 16.92 53.47 19.61
Sunderland 18.18 43.95 27.87
Swansea 12.95 54.55 22.50
Tottenham 25.21 47.63 17.16
West Brom 20.95 42.29 26.76
West Ham 21.42 39.34 29.24
Wigan 18.53 43.68 27.79

This table can be sorted, so play around.


Man United are the undisputed champions of this table with 43.5 minutes spent in a winning position every single game.

QPR are the worst team with just 7.4 minutes per game average.

Man City are 5th, just behind Liverpool. Swansea are the 3rd worst team in the league by time spent winning. Discuss.........


Stoke and Swansea are some way out on their own in terms of time spent drawing. Both teams have over 50 minutes per game. Who is the third worst team in the league? Man City with 48.9 minutes per game spent drawing. It is a truly odd quirk that City would spend this amount of time per game drawing and still manage the points total they did.

Man United, unsurprisingly, spent the least amount of time drawing in the league. West Ham, Fulham and Liverpool are some other teams with low minutes spent drawing.


Chelsea, Man United and Man City are the 3 teams with the fewest minutes spent losing per game. Stoke in 7th place, split the big 7 teams.

Down at the bottom of the time spent losing column we have QPR and reading. West ham are the 3rd worst team (probably away form) with Newcastle, Sunderland and Wigan rounding out the teams who spent a lot of time per game in a losing position.

Again, play around with the table and look at some of the oddities for yourself.

Next time we'll look at time spent at +1 and -1 Game States and talk more about how those Game States affect teams' tactics and shot rates and Shot Ratios