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Performance League

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  • 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 […]

  • 08 Mar 2018

    The perils of day trading

    Day to day, the market valuation of a stock can fluctuate up and down like a yo-yo. Take Bitcoin right now. Whether the cryptocurrency will be up or down tomorrow is anyone’s guess, such is the sentiment volatility towards the relatively new form of exchange.

    For traders, it can be addictive. The emotional rollercoaster of something […]

  • 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 […]

  • 29 Dec 2017

    A year in review

    From Mo Salah’s expected impact to the dramatic turnaround in fortunes of Fortuna Sittard, and what Chile should learn from Germany. A few standout insights from 2017:

    Of the most expensive Premier League signings, Mo Salah was projected to have a bigger impact than the likes of Morata and Lacazette – but less than Lukaku. After […]

  • 31 Aug 2017

    The rule of thumb

    Following the 2008 financial crash, Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane looked into what factors caused the crisis. He discovered that breaching the regulations set out in Basel II – a complex 347-page document that attempted to ensure banks remained safe – proved a less effective predictor of failure than a crude rule of […]

  • 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 […]

  • 02 Mar 2017

    The Leicester City problem

    Last week’s sacking of Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri evoked an understandably fervent response. Many felt that having won the league, the Italian deserved the opportunity to continue his tenureship, while others simply felt that in a results business he had failed to assure the club that he was still the right man for the […]

  • 29 Sep 2016

    The early indicators

    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 […]