In this piece we aim to give you, the WhoScored.com enthusiast, a better understanding of our unique statistical ratings. We've calculated the average performance rating by position in the Premier League, compiling a team of those that rank closest to the resulting figures with over 10 appearances this season. This should help to gauge a player's true performance, with ratings significantly below or above the average put into perspective.
To call this team an average XI seems harsh. The word average tends to bring about a negative reaction in general but should be taken in its literal meaning here. The performance ratings calculated are not bad by any means; they're merely the norm. To say that the players that have fallen into the team are average by definition is not the intention, but just that their performances this season have fallen under that bracket.
To garner the average rating of a player that has started in a certain position, each rating from every match that a player started and completed at least 60 minutes was taken into account. The following positional groupings were made to complete our XI;
Average staring goalkeeper rating: 6.73
Closest to average: Joe Hart (6.73)
Diving straight in with a controversial result then, Manchester City and England's Joe Hart has picked up an average rating in the middle ground when it comes to goalkeepers this season. Like many of the players here, his have not been the most consistently average ratings over the course of the campaign, but fluctuating form has meant that his performances have levelled off at 6.73 in the league alone.
Average starting right full-back rating: 7.03
Closest to average: Rafael (7.03)
Continuing what appears a strong back four on paper, Manchester United's Rafael is another to have had an inconsistent season this time around. In just 15 league starts this season the young Brazilian has seen his average rating drop from a very impressive 7.32 last season to 7.03 this, having seen his attacking input diminish, contributing to just one goal all season (assist vs West Brom) compared to 6 last time around.
Average starting left full-back rating: 6.99
Closest to average: Danny Rose (7.00)
There's a slight drop in the average from right to left full-backs and having started the season in promising form the returning Tottenham youngster has seen his season disrupted by injury. He's started just 14 league matches in turn and since making a comeback from a prolonged spell on the sidelines with a foot injury Rose's form has dipped a little.
Average starting centre-back rating: 7.09
Closest to average: Vincent Kompany (7.09) and Kolo Toure (7.11)
Undeniably the most controversial inclusion here, Vincent Kompany's rating took a turn for the worse after his early dismissal last weekend. Much of the defensive blame has been aimed towards Martin Demichelis at the Etihad this season but City have kept 7 clean sheets in the 15 league matches the Argentine has started at centre-back this season compared to just 4 in 18 with their Belgian skipper in the XI. While Kompany has certainly not been poor this season, he's fallen some way short of his imperious best.
A string of high profile, and frankly humorous gaffes to the neutral from Kolo Toure may have led many to believe that the Ivorian had endured a nightmare first season for Liverpool. While it's a season that's had its share of hairy moments, shall we say, some equally impressive displays have seen Toure's rating when starting at centre-back average out at a respectable 7.11.
Average starting right winger rating: 7.08
Closest to average: Adam Johnson (7.13)
It's worth noting a positive difference of .05 from the average here, but Adam Johnson's starting ratings on the right fall closest to the norm of all players with over 10 appearances on that wing. Some have mentioned the Sunderland man's name in passing with an England recall this season, and while that may be a little far fetched he's certainly been a solid and important performer under Gus Poyet.
Average starting left winger rating: 6.99
Closest to average: Nathan Redmond (7.00)
As far as Nathan Redmond is concerned, picking up an 'average' rating in his debut Premier League season is not to be frowned upon. The former Birmingham wide man has shown glimpses of real quality since a summer move to Norwich but perhaps not performed at his best on a regular basis as of yet, earning a rating of 7.00 when starting on the left flank.
Average starting central midfielder rating: 7.07
Closest to average: Mohamed Diame (7.06) and Cheick Tiote (7.09)
Having used Mohamed Diame in a number of positions this season, Allardyce clearly appreciates the player’s versatility. With 11 of his 20 league starts coming under the central midfield bracket here, his average of 7.06 in those appearances falls marginally below, but closest to the average this season.
A key part of Alan Pardew's Newcastle side, Cheick Tiote has been dependable as ever this season, without pulling up any trees. One of the more consistent players in this XI, the Ivorian rarely performs significantly above or below the average here, with ratings ranging from 6.33 (vs Manchester City) to 7.82 (vs Crystal Palace) in the current campaign.
Average starting centre-forward rating: 7.01
Closest to average: Rickie Lambert (6.99) and Marouane Chamakh (7.08)
Another inclusion that will likely lead to debate, Southampton's Rickie Lambert is the closest centre-forward to the average rating for that position. The England hopeful was at his impressive best last time out but has scored and created in fits and starts in the current campaign, failing to net or pick up an assist in 19 of his 29 league appearances.
Completing our XI is another player that's been somewhat of a figure of fun at times, but the signing of Marouane Chamakh has proven to be an intelligent piece of business by Palace. The Moroccan may only have scored 5 goals this season but he's been an effective target man in terms of competing in aerial duels and has fitted Tony Pulis' plans at the club well, earning a rating of 7.08.
Who have been the most average performers in ther Premier League this season? Let us know in the comments below