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  • 14 Dec 2017

    The cost of January

    The January transfer window is well-known to be a chaotic period, with circumstance rather than planning being a key driver of activity.

    The general perception is that a good window can turn performance around; we can all think of examples of teams that spent significantly on new players, and saw an improvement in results. The bigger […]

  • 07 Dec 2017

    Finding Marco

    We are beginning to appreciate the substantial impact that a good manager or head coach may have on our prospects over a season, and those that have had high-profile success are becoming increasingly desirable. Take Marco Silva for example, who was recently subject to a £10m offer to buy him out of his current obligations. […]

  • 30 Nov 2017

    More than what we paid for

    This week, Sportingintelligence released their annual Global Sports Salaries Survey (GSSS), providing insight into how pay varies across top sports leagues.

    The inclusion of average first team pay in the big 5 European leagues means we can, using our World Super League (which ranks teams globally according to how good they are), compare teams on a […]

  • 23 Nov 2017

    Kasparov’s Law

    In 1997, IBM’s chess-playing computer Deep Blue became the first machine to beat a world champion, in Garry Kasparov. Since then, computers have become part of the fabric of the game, competing in tournaments as well as providing training assistance for players.

    ‘Freestyle’ tournaments have also grown in popularity, where humans compete both with and against […]

  • 16 Nov 2017

    A temperature check

    If you wanted to go somewhere warm on holiday, which city would you choose: New York or Sydney?

    While Sydney is 6 degrees hotter on average over a year, no one would buy flights to Australia on this information alone. New York City is warmer from May to September, and Sydney warmer for the rest of […]

  • 09 Nov 2017

    The rise and fall of Chile

    Between 2013 and 2016, Chile were one of the most watchable and successful teams in world football. From qualifying for the 2014 World Cup with 5 wins in their last 6 matches, to being the width of the crossbar away from knocking out Brazil in the tournament proper, to consecutive Copa América triumphs, Chile were […]

  • 02 Nov 2017

    A zero-sum game

    There is an old (and frankly pretty weak) joke about two campers who are confronted by a bear. On assessing their predicament, one of the campers quietly starts to put on his trainers, removing his heavy walking boots in the process. The other asks, with incredulity, “surely you don’t think you can outrun that bear?”

    “I […]

  • 26 Oct 2017

    The right head coach

    Barely two months into the season, and ten men have already lost their jobs as head coach or manager of clubs in England, Spain, Germany and Italy’s top divisions. This level of turnover is now an accepted part of the game, despite it being a clear inefficiency.

    Recruiting a head coach is a tougher task than […]

  • 19 Oct 2017

    What’s the worst that can happen?

    Risk is one of the many excuses for failing to grant opportunities to young players in the first team. With ever increasing stakes, coaches often prefer the perceived reliability of experience at the expense of blocking the talent pathway. With average tenure hovering a little over 12 months, coaches are naturally inclined to focus on […]

  • 12 Oct 2017

    The motivated player

    This week, Arjen Robben retired from international football. With the Netherlands having failed to qualify for the World Cup, Robben will finish on 96 caps and will therefore not become the 9th Dutchman to reach a century of national appearances.

    History tells us that this is unusual: of 52 now-retired players to have reached 90 caps […]