Whilst working late one night at CFCnet towers, a fruitless search for coffee led us to the basement where we found a strange looking man huddled over a laptop.  He started regurgitating all sorts of facts and stats to us which we found quite interesting, and thought you may too.

Like Top Gear’s ‘Stig’, we don’t yet know his real name.  Some say it was in fact his grasp of numbers that cracked the enigma code, and also that he was a university lecturer for Stephen Hawking. All we know is that he calls himself; The Statman.

Joe Cole and Juliano Belletti were named in the team of the week in The Actim Index, the official player ratings system of the Barclays Premier League, after helping Chelsea stretch their unbeaten run to eight games. Cole moved up 31 places to 63rd with 226 points, as he posted a season-high 38 points in the 2-0 victory over rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge.

Belletti opened the scoring with another long-range thunderbolt – though his first goal at home – as he registered 34 points; his highest score of the season, which moved him up 12 spots to 58th, with 240 points.  Chelsea now have three players in the top 50; Frank Lampard (289 points) in 22nd place, Salomon Kalou 17th (316) with new-boy Nicolas Anelka (318) ranking highest in 16th place.

After the Spurs match, Avram Grant admitted he couldn’t have asked anything more of Anelka after the Frenchman made his debut as a second-half substitute.  Grant revealed he hadn’t planned to use the striker, but an injury to Claudio Pizarro during the 2-0 win forced him to introduce Anelka into the action, where he was denied a debut goal by Spurs goalkeeper Radek Cerny, as well as the woodwork.

With Didier Drogba away on international duty for the Ivory Coast in the African Nations Cup, a lot of responsibility for carrying Chelsea’s trophy chase will fall on his shoulders. I take a look at if Anelka can fill the void.

  • Anelka has netted 10 goals in 19 games while Drogba has five in 11.
  • Anelka has scored a goal every 174.4 minutes and Drogba is on target every 184.8 minutes.
  • Anelka (31) has more than double the shots on target as Drogba, whose 16 shots off target is four more than his new team-mate.
  • Anelka has produced more passes (201), dribbles (nine) and crosses (15) than Drogba (85, five and 10 respectively) although both players have three assists apiece.

The stats appear to show that Anelka will be a more than an adequate replacement for the big Ivorian, and if Chelsea can keep pace until the end of the African Cup of Nations, then a front pairing of Drogba and Anelka could just fire Chelsea to a trophy or two.

The Actim Index is the official player ratings system of the Barclays Premiership and Coca-Cola Championship, which has been statistically proven to identify the best players. It’s calculated using a unique mathematical formula that rates each player’s contribution be it goals, shots, passes, dribbles, tackles, crosses, saves, clearances, blocks, interceptions, assists, clean sheets, time on the pitch or number of points gained by the team with marks deducted for red and yellow cards.

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