How strange that is! Within an hour of publishing my last post, about the blurring of footballers’ appearances as substitutes, I came across an article in the paper about Arsène Wenger’s 998 games in charge of Arsenal, and a bar chart which showed the players with the most appearances.
The chart made clear, in colour, how many starts and how many appearances as sub each of the players in question had made. So you could see that the second- and third-top players (Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp) made 377 and 376 appearances respectively, but that Henry made 337 starts as opposed to 298 for Bergkamp.
That’s not to make a value judgment on the guys, and it still isn’t the same as the “fte” count I mentioned, but it is a meaningful figure all the same. Oh, and who would you say is the top player of the lot under Wenger? Answer in the next post.