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Player Recruitment

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  • 21 Jun 2018

    The value of a World Cup goal

    As James Rodriguez’s volleyed shot flew past Fernando Muslera in the Uruguay goal four years ago, the football world instinctively knew he had earned a move to one of Europe’s superclubs. Barely three weeks later, James was unveiled as a Real Madrid player, for a cost of €76m before his first pay cheque.

    We all know […]

  • 03 May 2018

    Changing the food chain

    With unprecedented levels of inequality in football, a clear hierarchy of both clubs and leagues has been established. While between 1986 and 1988 clubs from Romania, Sweden, Scotland and Belgium were represented in European finals alongside clubs from the continent’s bigger countries, between 2016 and 2018 pretty much all spots have been reserved for teams […]

  • 26 Apr 2018

    A Rooney Rule

    In England there is increasing discussion about implementing the Rooney Rule, the NFL policy that requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coach roles. The rule has proved a success in the NFL, and would likely go some way to correcting the underrepresentation of ethnic minority coaches in England.

    One of the reasons the policy […]

  • 19 Apr 2018

    The best player we know

    Imagine the scene. You’ve just announced your new signing. The social media team have outdone themselves with the most creative announcement yet and there are photos of the player holding aloft their new shirt plastered all over twitter. You’re satisfied. Optimism is high for the season ahead, buoyed by your confidence that you have just […]

  • 05 Apr 2018

    The big game error

    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 […]

  • 22 Feb 2018

    Apples to apples

    The European Golden Boot is an annual award recognising the best goalscorer in club football in Europe. It was initially awarded every season to the player who scored the most goals in European first divisions.

    The early awardees were a mix of household names, such as Marco van Basten, and relative unknowns, such as Cypriot […]

  • 01 Feb 2018

    The right science

    There is a lot that we can learn from seeing how the same challenges are faced and resolved in a different context. We often look to other industries to identify whether there are any approaches that may be applied to football.

    An asset management company when hiring an fund manager, for example, will seek out a […]

  • 11 Jan 2018

    Selling our Coutinho

    Selling our best player is an immensely difficult decision. We are naturally loss averse, and want to protect what we have. We imagine all the things that could go wrong without them. This is even harder in January, when it is felt the disruption is magnified.

    Key decision makers at Liverpool probably went through this process […]

  • 04 Jan 2018

    Predictions for 2018

    After reviewing the year that has been, we’ve made some predictions for 2018:

    Don’t expect miracles, Liverpool

    The world’s most expensive defender, Virgil van Dijk, will have a limited impact on Liverpool’s defensive output. Our Player Contribution model expects the Reds to concede 2 fewer goals per season with the Dutchman as a regular starter. In truth, […]

  • 21 Dec 2017

    That winning feeling

    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 […]