The irony of Moneyball is that it is a story, and the Oakland A’s management hated stories.
That story is now well-told:
The antagonists – old school scouts – used narratives (“ugly girlfriend”, “presence”, “a tools guy”) to draw conclusions on players.
The protagonists – Bill James, Billy Beane and sabermetricians – used data to try […]
After identifying a player that has the potential improve our team, we often want to see how he responds in different circumstances. How does he perform away from home, for example, or in matches where the team is expected to dominate? We often place a lot of value in a player’s ability to step up […]
Last Wednesday, Roma led 1-0 at half time against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. Their coach Eusebio di Francesco urged his team to continue attacking; not only had they outshot the Ukranians 9-4, they’d created by far the better chances. Roma had an opportunity to put the tie to bed.
Within seven second half minutes […]
There’s the story of a football club that wanted to learn more about their supporters’ matchday experience. After each game, they asked a selection of match-going fans what they thought of the atmosphere during the game, the view from their seat, their ease of buying food and drink, and so on. They asked the fans […]
If you consider how much you should pay for a house, you will be influenced by the asking price. In his best-selling book Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman tells us that the same house will appear more valuable if it’s listed price is high than if it is low.
This phenomenon is known as […]
In 1964, the CIA’s Sherman Kent tried to bridge the gap between ‘poets’ and ‘mathematicians’ when discussing the likelihood of certain events. He proposed that a phrase like ‘probable’ should represent an event with a 75% chance of taking place, while a phrase like ‘we doubt’ should be around a 30% chance.
His study inspired a […]
Back in January we wrote about some of the cognitive biases that can hinder our better judgement when recruiting new players. For example, we might overvalue experience – because know-how feels safe and so we assume it’s important – or be overly optimistic about a new player because we desperately want the signing to work out.
The ability to remain objective and view information dispassionately is central to any robust decision-making process. At 21st Club we frequently expound the benefits of getting an ‘outside view’ when setting strategic objectives or making other major decisions. But what if clubs went further and more fully incorporated the role of ‘the outsider’ into their […]
If I asked you how likely your new January signing was to be a success, what would you say?
Assuming you acquired an established player your natural instinct is that you really want your new signing to play every match between now and the end of the season – to boost your chances of survival or […]
It never ceases to amaze us as to why footballers choose to shoot so regularly from outside the penalty area, when less than 4 in 100 of these attempts are scored.
Or why top-division clubs continue to use a substantial amount of scarce resource into scouting lower and weaker leagues for peak-age players, when the relative […]