WhoScored is a football statistics website that records statistics and rates players from 1-10 on a scale devised by them using those statistics. It generally passes the “eye test” of rewarding players who play well with good scores. But sometimes games raise fundamental issues about its systems.
Last night, for example, Liverpool huffed and puffed with 65% possession and almost all of the attacking play in the game, against a dogged Manchester United team that offered nothing going forward.
WhoScored gave their team an average rating of 6.73 for this; while United got 7.35 for their defensive efforts. Ander Herrera, who was undoubtedly excellent screening the back four, got an insanely high 9.7. United played for a draw and got one – they achieved their objective. But does aiming low and hitting really deserve a better mark than aiming high and missing? Perhaps, but in this case, it feels wrong.