It’s been a gruelling season of, let’s face it, more misery than joy. However, there’s still been some moments that were worth worth celebrating. In particular, as the season closes, it’s time to confirm our player of the season.

Lameiras wins Argyle Life Player of the Year

Argyle Life’s Player of the Season for 2018/19 is no other than our (ours at the time of writing at least) Portugese playmaker Ruben Lameiras. Argyle didn’t stay up, there’s no escaping that. But, the truth is, there’s one decisive man who’s the reason that it even went down to the final day. That’s Lameiras. Our best run of form this season was in early 2019. The performances during that spell weren’t a lot better but they were categorised by a sublime run of form from the attacking midfielder whose goalscoring often won us games single-handedly and whose chance creation whilst less productive was also impressive.

This came despite Derek Adams’ continual reluctance to build a team around his clear talent, preferring to shape it in favour of front-man Freddie Ladapo instead. Without that spell, we’d have gone into the Scunthorpe game already down and arguably even bottom of the league. A player destined for better things than us next season, Ruben Lameiras takes the crown.

Graham Carey runs him close, as the results show. His performances over the course of the season average lower than Lameiras’ but he has racked up more ratings in the process, narrowing the gap, while putting in more good performances than many are willing to credit him for. His strong performance against Scunthorpe, in which he got the winning goal that almost kept us up, gave him a late surge but it wasn’t enough to surpass his teammate.

Antoni Sarcevic completes the podium. The fact that Argyle’s attacking midfielders were our top three players over the course of the season demonstrates how unbalanced we often were as a side. The two centre-backs, Niall Canavan and Ryan Edwards, often unfairly maligned for errors arising from midfield protection, take fourth and fifth spot

In terms of movement, there are only two changes in order from when we last checked in on matchday 44. Freddie Ladapo’s lively performance and goal against Scunthorpe propel him above David Fox who had a fairly poor game and a stinker at Accrington. Finally, Lloyd Jones’ strong performance and goal in the game against the iron were enough for him to climb above Gregg Wylde. Paul Anderson ended the season without a single rating to his name.

Plymouth Argyle’s player rankings

1. Ruben LAMEIRAS 24.71
2. Graham CAREY  24.69
3. Antoni SARCEVIC 22.55
4. Niall CANAVAN 22.20
5. Ryan EDWARDS 22.20
6. Freddie LADAPO 21.81 ⇑ (+1)
7. David FOX 21.72 ⇓ (-1)
8. Matt MACEY  21.65
9. Yann SONGO’O 21.27
10. Ashley SMITH-BROWN 20.57
11. Gary SAWYER 19.38
12. Jamie NESS 19.19
13. Joel GRANT 17.52
14. Ryan TAYLOR 17.35
15. Kyle LETHEREN 16.23
16. Joe RILEY 15.31
17. Tafari MOORE 14.99
18. Conor GRANT 14.51
19. Oscar THRELKELD 13.59
20. Stuart O’KEEFE 12.39
21. Peter GRANT 12.32
22. Scott WOOTTON 11.71
23. Lloyd JONES 10.36 ⇑ (+1)
24. Gregg WYLDE 9.40 ⇓ (-1)

How we calculate the score

Each player receives a match rating from 1-10 and one player from each match receives a man of the match bonus. Players who played fewer than 15 minutes of a match do not receive a match rating unless they made a significant impact. The players are scored by a variety of individuals who have witnessed every match this season.

The scores are aggregated and weighted against the number of appearances, before the man of the match bonus is added. In this way, we are ranking the impact of a player across the season. The more often they have played and the better they have performed, the more of an impact they have made on the team’s season, and therefore the higher they rank.

This way of ranking players enables us to be more impartial when speaking of the impact made by each player across a season, as it significantly reduces:

  • recency bias (players who hit a spell of form often have their season-wide impact overstated because of their recent performances).
  • statistical bias (players with lots of goals or assists relative to their position tend to be rated above those whose performance levels have been consistently superior but are not involved in goal-scoring, often because it is hard to visualise a player’s impact across a season without resorting to these stats. It explains why attackers, or defenders involved in a high-number of goals, predominantly receive most recognition throughout a season).
  • conformation bias (fans who favour some players tend fixate on their positive performances while neglecting to factor in their bad performances when ranking them across a season).