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Luck

Currently browsing: Luck
  • 13 Jul 2018

    We shouldn’t be here

    So France vs Croatia it is. For France, it’s three World Cup finals in six tournaments, a mightily impressive feat. Croatia meanwhile become the smallest nation to reach a World Cup final since Uruguay in 1950, a fitting reward for a golden generation. Our model gives France a 62% chance of lifting the trophy.

    Both countries, […]

  • 05 Jul 2018

    Predict the unpredictable

    Football never ceases to surprise us, and this World Cup has been no different. The early eliminations of Spain and Germany have been in keeping with a tournament that has been much more competitive than many thought.

    When we published our pre-tournament forecast last month, like everyone else we made Brazil, Germany and Spain among the […]

  • 29 Jun 2018

    The German question

    Fill in the blank: Germany are the _________-best team in the world.

    It might seem like a trivial question after they’ve been eliminated from the World Cup – who cares how good they are if they aren’t going to win it? But in the coming days and weeks there will be debates and discussions about the […]

  • 17 May 2018

    Was Arsène Wenger unlucky?

    Arsène Wenger’s postmortem had already been written years before he actually announced his departure from Arsenal. As the conventional wisdom goes, he had an excellent first 8 seasons, winning 3 league titles, but then lost his way and was never again able to make Arsenal credible contenders for the league title.

    However, here at 21st Club […]

  • 15 Feb 2018

    It never evens out

    We’re often told that luck will even out over a season. After all, a year is a long time, and it seems absurd that one team would repeatedly have things go their way or against them.

    However, this misunderstands the true nature of ‘luck’. True luck, or randomness, is blind to what happened before, and can […]

  • 24 Aug 2017

    Got, expected, deserved, need

    During the early stages of the season, when the league table often lies, it can be easy to over- or underreact to results. As such, it helps to have some objective information on how the season has and might progress.

    We recommend focusing on four key metrics:

    How many points have we got? (Points per game)
    […]

  • 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 […]

  • 22 May 2015

    When a champion looks like a loser

    The conventional wisdom at the end of a season is that ‘the league table never lies’. The best team will always be champions, the worst team always bottom. This wisdom, however, is a contradiction to the comments we routinely hear after tight matches. “I thought we were the better team” or "I thought we were a bit lucky" have become stock answers to post-match questions.
  • 17 Sep 2014

    Why intuition need not be a dirty word in football analytics

    The incomparable Mike Goodman wrote an excellent summary of the state of analytics *ahem* over at Grantland last week. In giving us a snapshot of the current advances in football analytics, Goodman makes the crucial distinction between data and analytics. As a rule, the former tells you what happened, while the latter helps tell you what, to varying degrees, will likely happen.