Team Performance

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  • 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 […]
  • 13 Apr 2017

    On protecting that lead

    Pep Guardiola said that his failure to convince his Manchester City players to attack in Monaco was the reason for their recent Champions League elimination. “I tried to convince them in all the meetings we had to come here, try to attack and score,” said Guardiola. “My mistake was being not able to convince them […]
  • 09 Feb 2017

    Controlling the uncontrollable

    It is an unarguable fact that we can win or lose football matches due to factors that are outside of our control. We exert significant influence on results through, for example, team selection, motivation and sound coaching but on any given day we can only leave marginal penalty calls, the opposition keeper’s performance and that […]
  • 20 Oct 2016

    How to win on Saturday

    When we refer to ‘strategy’ in football, we normally think of processes where the results may not materialise for months or even years. A club’s strategy might seek to exploit inefficiencies in the transfer market or youth development, for example.A football club boardroom can however also focus on strategies that will help the team […]
  • 29 Sep 2016

    The early indicators

    In the opening weeks of the season, it is desperately difficult to gauge the state of affairs. Not only are new players settling in, the skew of the fixture calendar can make some teams appear better or worse than they are.We can use two composite metrics to give us an early sense of how well […]
  • 28 Apr 2016

    Taking stock

    During the season, we spend so much time in ‘push mode’ that we can forget to celebrate what went well or to evaluate why. “You’re only as good as your last game!”, or so the saying goes.  We tend to take stock only at the end of the season, when we finally get a chance […]
  • 20 Apr 2016

    The Barcelona Problem

    It’s been a difficult month for Barcelona. Three consecutive league defeats and a Champions League exit mean they are football’s current crisis club. The odds of enduring such a miserable run would have been around 2,500 to 1; outlier results this extreme at any club always demand serious examination.The first step for clubs in this […]
  • 18 Feb 2016

    The unknown truth

    Arguably the story of the season across European football is the rise of Leicester City. After winning 41 points in 2014-15, they’re on course for more than 70 this season and remain in the running for the league title.Leicester are a clear case of a team that is knowingly better - they are vastly improved […]
  • 28 Jan 2016

    The Money League overachievers

    Last week, the annual release of the Deloitte Money League prompted discussion around how some clubs were failing to convert financial performance into on-field results. Observations were most notably made around English clubs, with, for example, Manchester United (3rd in Money League) and Aston Villa (23rd) clearly underperforming domestically.What many reviews of the report have […]
  • 13 Nov 2015

    Four defending champions

    A title defence is regarded as one of football’s toughest feats, and across European football we’re seeing different teams approach the challenge with varying levels of success.It can often be easy to get swept up in overly simplistic narratives that exaggerate or conceal the need for change. “Winning ugly”, “suffering from complacency”, “lacking motivation” are […]