After back to back defeats for Plymouth Argyle against Gillingham and Barnsley, we have updated out Argyle Life player rankings heading into the penultimate week of the season.

Sarcevic joins the podium

As Argyle move on to the final two matchdays, Ruben Lameiras remains comfortably in the box seat for Argyle Life’s player of the season award. Although he did not have good games against either Gillingham or Barnsley, the truth is that neither did Graham Carey who is his closest rival – or most of his teammates. Going into the final couple of weeks, it would take quite a dramatic turnaround in the final two games for Lameiras not to be named as Argyle’s star performer.

There has, however, been a change to the final podium place from last week’s rankings. Niall Canvan’s poorer performances on matchday 42 and 43 saw him dropped for the games over Easter Weekend. Although Antoni Sarcevic, his closest contender, was not exactly fantastic in these two games, these rankings measure impact. He was so close to the Irishman before the match and his decent game against Gillingham plus his below average performance against Barnsley were enough to propel him to the bronze medal spot.

Further down the table, Kyle Letheren has continued to climb following a couple of reasonable performances over Easter weekend. In spite of his goals per game ratio taking a serious hit, some flaws in communication and command of area being a little exposed, he made some good saves in both games that prevented an even larger defeat. Flawed as Letheren may be in some areas, he continues to show he is the ‘least bad’ option for Argyle’s starting berth and (injury aside) can be reasonably expected to start the final two games.

The only other player who somewhat resembles a bright spot in these two games is loanee centre-back Lloyd Jones, who made his first starts for Argyle in the games in spite of signing in January. His performances were solid if not incredible and with Canavan’s dip in form, he too can perhaps be expected to start the final two matches. His place at the bottom of the table is due to lack of minutes rather than lack of quality. Another pair of decent performances should see him consign Gregg Wylde to the wooden spoon award.

Plymouth Argyle’s player rankings

1. Ruben LAMEIRAS 24.44
2. Graham CAREY  24.10
3. Antoni SARCEVIC 22.29 ⇑ (+1)
4. Niall CANAVAN 22.20 ⇓ (-1)
5. Ryan EDWARDS 21.88
6. David FOX 21.72
7. Freddie LADAPO 21.59
8. Matt MACEY  21.50
9. Yann SONGO’O 20.92
10. Ashley SMITH-BROWN 20.57
11. Gary SAWYER 19.27
12. Jamie NESS 19.15
13. Joel GRANT 17.52
14. Ryan TAYLOR 17.29
15. Kyle LETHEREN 16.23 ⇑ (+1)
16. Joe RILEY 15.31 ⇓ (-1)
17. Tafari MOORE 14.99
18. Conor GRANT 14.51
19. Oscar THRELKELD 12.98
20. Stuart O’KEEFE 12.39
21. Peter GRANT 12.32
22. Scott WOOTTON 11.71
23. Gregg WYLDE 9.40
23. Lloyd JONES 8.99

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).