Statistician’s journal : Did Santa just give Chelsea another Premier League title?


A new year has slowly crept in and Chelsea could not start the year in flying colours. Tottenham, thanks to Harry Kane and Nacer Chadli, defeated the Blues 5-3 in White Hart Lane and Manchester City has come within 1 point of the league leaders. But, does that really mark the beginning of the end of Chelsea’s dream run this season? Well, we certainly believe not. Previously we discussed the main points behind Chelsea’s resilience this season and now we are going to address the above issue from a different perspective.

We are going to look into the matter from a Christmas point of view. It seems Jose Mourinho, the Chosen One, has an amazing relationship with Jesus Christ, when it comes to managing a European top-tier league team. However, before we present to you the proof of that extraordinary fact, let us have a glimpse of  Mourinho’s coaching career from the start.

Jose Mourinho started his managerial career at the top tier in 2000 when he was moved up from his role as assistant manager at Lisbon side Benfica to replace manager Jupp Heynckes after the fourth week of the Primeira Liga. However, following a change in the authority with Manuel Vilarinho elected as new club president, ex-Benfica player Toni was appointed the new coach and Mourinho left the club after only nine league games in charge. He found a new managerial post in July 2001 with União de Leiria, another Portuguese top tier club. UD Leiria was doing really well and moved up to the third spot in January, ahead of Benfica and Porto and this success story of Jose Mourinho did not go unnoticed. Porto offered him a job in late January 2002 and he grabbed it. After a dream run of 15 matches with a win-draw-loss record of 11-2-2, Porto ended the season at the third place and the manager promised to take them to the top the following season.

Mourinho during his time with Real Madrid
Mourinho during his time with Real Madrid

Mourinho kept his promise and for the next two seasons, Porto became the Portuguese champion and also became the winner of the UEFA Champions League in 2003-04. Soon after, Chelsea hired Mourinho with a lucrative offer and the journey of the ‘Special One’ began. Chelsea finished first in his first two seasons and became the runner-up in the third. But, he had to part with the Blues in 2007 and the following season, he joined Inter Milan, only to script another success story there. Inter won the league in both the seasons Jose was there and won the “treble” in 2010. They had to bid good-bye to the brilliant tactician as he embarked on a new journey with Real Madrid. The Los Blancos finished second in the league that season but became the champions next season. Within two years in Spain, Mourinho won every domestic title available for a manager in the Spanish top division. Though he signed a new four-year contract with Real Madrid in 2012, after what he deemed as the worst season of his career, he chose to call it an end in Santiago Bernabeu in 2013. The Special One returned once again to Chelsea and in spite of a good season, finished third, only four points adrift of the champions Manchester City.

In his 13 years of managerial career, Mourinho became the first manager in history to win every domestic title, the league championship, cup, super cup, and league cup (if available), in four European leagues. And in this article, we are going to discuss a rather interesting phenomena. Below we have given a table that shows the number of points and the position of the club at Christmas and the same at the end of the season. It also contains the margin of difference with the second-placed team (when his team was at the top) or the champions (when not at the top, denoted using minus sign). Watch it carefully!

At Christmas End of the Season
Season Team Played Points Position Played Points Position Margin
 2001-02 U.D. Leiria 16 27 5 34 55 7 -20
 2002-03 Porto 15 39 1 34 86 1 11
 2003-04 Porto 15 39 1 34 82 1 8
 2004-05 Chelsea 18 43 1 38 95 1 12
 2005-06 Chelsea 17 46 1 38 91 1 8
 2006-07 Chelsea 19 45 2 38 83 2 -6
 2008-09 Inter Milan 17 42 1 38 84 1 10
 2009-10 Inter Milan 17 39 1 38 82 1 2
 2010-11 Real Madrid 16 41 2 38 92 2 -4
 2011-12 Real Madrid 16 40 1 38 100 1 9
 2012-13 Real Madrid 17 33 3 38 85 2 -15
 2013-14 Chelsea 17 42 4 38 82 3 -4

It is really interesting that whenever Mourinho’s team was at the top at Christmas, they ended up being the winner of the league and more interestingly, if they were not at the top at Christmas, they could not turn the table either. So, we are going to take the above data into account and use proper statistical procedures to check whether the above-mentioned phenomena is likely to hold this season too. Afterwards, proceeding further with the analysis, we will also predict the points with which Chelsea should end the season.

Fitting a proper model to the above data, we obtained the effects of the suitable factors and then, predicted the final position of Chelsea this season. Undoubtedly, our statistical analysis says that with a very high probability that is close to 1 (implying a sure event), Chelsea will go on to be the number one in the Premier League table this season. We also tried to predict the number of points with which Chelsea will end the season and it came out to be 85. Along with, the analysis told that Chelsea’s points at the end of the season will almost surely be between 76 and 94 points.

So, if one can trust the statistical calculations, Chelsea fans have plenty of reasons to enjoy even after they have been beaten by a rejuvenated Tottenham today. Above data and our analysis showed that Jesus Christ has always played a pivotal role in deciding Jose Mourinho’s season and with that, we will look forward to end this season’s Premier League, all covered in Blues.


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