Omar Chaudhuri

  • 22 Jun 2017

    The challenge of scouting Ajax

    Ajax’s impressive run to the Europa League final alerted clubs across Europe to the potential of the young players in their squad, and suggested to many that they had the temperament as well as the skill to compete in bigger leagues.While clubs have access to video as well as the ability to watch Ajax’s players […]
  • 08 Jun 2017

    How to spend it

    When deciding how to improve our squad over the summer, we often have to choose between prioritising defence and attack. In the last four years, clubs have spent just over 75% of transfer fees on midfielders and attackers, which suggests that at the very least clubs are prepared to pay more for attacking talent (perhaps […]
  • 19 May 2017

    The breadth-depth compromise

    In an ideal world we would scout every footballer on the planet and have full knowledge of each player’s suitability for our club. However, limited resources mean we have to strike a compromise between the breadth and depth of our search:Prioritise breadth: by scouting many players, we reduce the risk of missing out on talent, […]
  • 04 May 2017

    The undeserving champion

    “We need in football this type of luck,” said Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp of Emre Can’s improbable goal against Watford on Monday. A loss for Liverpool would have cut their chances of a top four finish to 62%; a little more than a coin flip. As it was, Liverpool’s win gave them a 90% chance […]
  • 20 Apr 2017

    Rating our scouts

    Player recruitment is a process that should ideally combine objectivity and subjectivity. Both aspects, however, should regularly come under suitable scrutiny and review: we should question whether we are looking at the right data, and we should question the predictions of our scouts.While the former can require detailed statistical checks, the latter needn’t be an […]
  • 06 Apr 2017

    The impact manager

    We know from our research that, in the long run, managerial changes on average make little difference to the performance of a team. That isn’t to say, however, that smart hires can’t turn a struggling team around.When we look through our database of managers who did improve performance in their first 20 matches in charge, […]
  • 23 Mar 2017

    The opportunistic debut

    As we approach the final stretch of the European season, an increasing number of teams have fewer major placings for which to compete. With that comes an opportunity for young players to make their league debut, and hopefully with it a positive impression for the following season.It’s not unfair to suggest that these opportunities can […]
  • 02 Mar 2017

    The Leicester City problem

    Last week’s sacking of Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri evoked an understandably fervent response. Many felt that having won the league, the Italian deserved the opportunity to continue his tenureship, while others simply felt that in a results business he had failed to assure the club that he was still the right man for the […]
  • 23 Feb 2017

    A balancing act

    Squad-building is never a straightforward task; while accounting for size, you also have to consider cost, value and potential future performance.It’s also useful to consider the distribution of performance across the team; how good does our best player have to be relative to our tenth-best player, is there a cost to inequality in talent in […]