Below is the final Pythagorean table for the 2010-11 English Premier League which concluded today. As always, the league Pythagorean exponent is 1.70.
|West Bromwich Albion||38||12||11||15||56||71||-15||47||12||8||18||44||+3|
|West Ham United||38||7||12||19||43||70||-27||33||9||9||20||36||-3|
For my comments on the results, read on.
What this season's Pythagorean is saying is that the top four sides in England deserved their respective finishes, but the final gap should have been much narrower than it actually was. There appeared to be a combination of factors, such as Manchester United's slight overachievement and Chelsea's slight underachievement (perhaps Chelsea supporters wouldn't call it slight). Apparently Roman Abramovitch saw it the same way, because Carlo Ancelotti has been shown the door.
The race for the final Europa League place came down to Tottenham slightly overperforming and Liverpool slightly underperforming. Liverpool had the goal statistics record to be able to overtake Spurs in the final quarter of the season, but were unable to do so.
The most underperforming sides at the end of the season were Newcastle and Fulham. Newcastle had a negative Pythagorean residual over most of the season, but Fulham's residual became more negative in the final ten matches. It would be interesting to drill into the statistics and find some clues as to why that would be the case.
The rest of the table shows teams performing in line with their statistical expectations, but those small deviations meant the difference between European paydays and a restricted income, and between playing in the top flight and toiling in the Championship. Many pundits are feeling sorry for Blackpool tonight, and their expected Pythagorean total indicates that they should have stayed up. But soccer turns on small events in so many occasions, and Blackpool fell on the wrong end of too many of those events. For that reason they are going down.
UPDATE: The Coming Home Newcastle site links to this page and says that my conclusions about Newcastle's underperformance matches well with their observations of the team over the season. Well, that's encouraging.