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  • 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 […]

  • 13 Apr 2016

    I cannot make bricks without clay!

    “Data, data, data!” [Holmes] cried impatiently. “I cannot make bricks without clay!” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

    The brilliant detective of Conan Doyle’s creation is not alone.  Today, key decision-makers in most fields rely on a healthy supply of objective, accurate data and analytics in order make the decisions on which their […]

  • 03 Mar 2016

    In defence of intuition

    Intuition has historically been a decision-maker’s best friend in business and sport. Then data came along and the value of intuition seemingly diminished – an objective challenger to the notion that we’re capable of understanding something immediately without the need for conscious reasoning or numbers.

    The commonly held assumption that intuition is nothing more than pure […]

  • 25 Feb 2016

    In defence of decisions

    Decision-making in football is a thankless task. Such is the diversity of opinion that even sensible action – selling an ageing player for example – is likely to attract the ire of some. Media narrative is often deliberately contrarian and fans can be passionate beyond reason. Inaction, no matter how sensible or justified, can also […]

  • 24 Mar 2015

    Trouble ahead in football analytics?

    The public football analytics scene has enjoyed a fruitful four or so years now. The work of a few talented analysts is garnering some mainstream media attention, and a few are being hired by clubs either as consultants or full-time staff. As with any cultural “scene” however, the analytics movement will be prone to a few existential challenges over time, some of which can at best slow progress for a few months, and at worst derail work in the field for years. Whilst I think the work of public statistical analysis in football is as good as ever, it’s best to identify key problems it will face in the near future.