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 […]
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 […]
Professional sport is full of buzzwords and banalities, perhaps the most common of which is the demand to be “positive” or “aggressive” in one’s approach. Indeed, men’s tennis’ world number two Andy Murray spoke about this type of analysis last week:
A lot of commentators say you have to be more aggressive. Does that mean you […]
- 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.
- Good analysts will always be willing to check noticeable data patterns against the living breathing thing that is football. They may not be able to tell you who God is, but they can at least go back and check the tape
- Why is PDO useful? Simply because the statistic tends to regress quickly to the mean. A high or low club PDO may help explain good or bad performances in the short term, but will regress toward the mean over time. To help understand why that’s important in football statistics, we can use a very simple example.