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Currently browsing: Luck
  • 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.