Rules we don’t pay attention too – Golden Time

I’ve been recently thinking about some of the rules we stick to in our heads, the thing that brought this up to me in FPL was that; as an Ings owner last season when he picked up a series of niggling injuries and did a whole lot of nothing for my FPL team, when he started performing this year I thought ‘no, this isn’t going to last, he has hamstrings made out of papier mache’. This fleeting stubbornness dictated my FPL rank for weeks to follow. Conversely, when deciding on my triple captain, despite owning Mane before I owned Salah and historically favouring Mane, I plumped my TC chip on Salah… why? Milner was injured and they might get penalties. Fleeting decisions we have in our head seem to dictate whether we get 30 points or 3 points, and then we sit down and spend hours obsessing on data, managers comments, facts, highlights, position maps all to, probably, see our rank be dictated by fleeting thoughts we would probably not spend any real time on.

This all got me thinking about one rule I’ve had in the back of my head through 90% of decisions I make, and this goes back over a decade of playing the game. This rule is what I call Golden Time.

What is Golden Time?

Golden time is to me, the last 10-15 mins of a match, when teams become stretched, play becomes frantic, results are on the line and teams go all out to either get a goal or get hit on the counter attack. I have always favoured players who will appear In this Golden Time, if a player is someone who is often brought off on the 75th minute for a faster or more impactful player, or to shut up shop and doesn’t have the required skills to consistently hit the opposition on the counter, I will factor this into my decision when bringing him in.

I wondered whether data would back this up.

It did.

There have been 691 goals in the premier league this season. With 45% coming in the first half and 55% coming in the second half. If we then divide the match into 15 minute long sections this is what we see.

0-15 – 78 Goals – 11.3%
16-30 – 105 Goals – 15.2%
31-45 – 130 Goals – 18.8%
46-60 – 112 Goals – 16.2%
61-75 – 117 Goals – 16.9%
76-90 – 149 Goals – 21.6%


Now of course the times just before half time and full time do include extra times which does sway the results somewhat but it does seem to still have a spike worth noting.

What is also interesting about analysing this data is that only 1 team, Watford, have an average goal time within the first half. With the other 19 clubs sharing average goal times all within the confines of the second half.

What this tells us is that when it comes to picking players, yes the most important thing is to get a player who starts, but if you think you’re player pick goes off before the 80th minute or so a lot, maybe he could be effected by this pattern of statistics in the long run.


178th Best manager of all time in FPL 💪 | Hall of Fame 🏆 | Top 30k for last 6 Years | Degree in Religion and Philosophy.

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