Smart clubs know that results do not always reflect performance, and that in turn teams that are performing well will over time get better results than those that are performing badly – regardless of recent results.
The question is how we measure performance. Managers often speak about ‘creating the better chances’ in post-match interviews following ‘unlucky’ defeats – and it’s true that tables like our Performance League (which uses the increasingly popular expected goals metric) are good indicators of performance.
However, these advanced metrics require depth of data and statistical modelling skills, neither of which are always readily accessible for all clubs globally. We therefore often like to use the following rules of thumb to get a gauge of a team’s performance – and an indication of where their results will go.
These featherweight metrics actually pack a substantial punch. When we see two teams that are seemingly neck-and-neck in competing for the same goal – whether it’s the title, Europe or survival – we often defer to these simple metrics to get a sense on which team is more robust in their direction of travel. Just as customer satisfaction might be a leading indicator for sales, these measures are a leading indicator for results.
Assessing our own team’s performance relative to others with our eyes is complex and subjective. We therefore need an objective view – and these metrics can help any team in the world, regardless of access to data.