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 […]
Wherever you look in Europe, there are newly-promoted teams who are impressing in the highest division. In England, Wolves already look set to challenge for a top-half finish. The Austrian Bundesliga has been lit up by TSV Hartberg’s enterprising approach in their first-ever top-flight season. And in Norway, Ranheim are sixth having been as high […]
If you can’t count what’s important, you make what you can count important
In Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s epic 10-part, 17-hour Vietnam War documentary series, retired army officer James Willbank succinctly summed up the approach senior officials took to measuring the success of military operations. By body count, the US were winning the war, and […]
In the midst of a season, it can be hard to think about our club’s strategy in the context of a changing sport. Saturday’s result, somewhat understandably, is the priority.
Nevertheless, developments like FIFA’s transfer market reforms help bring into focus how we as a club over the coming years should be strategising on areas such […]
There is an internet meme which simply reads: “Every corpse on Mount Everest was once an extremely motivated person”.
While parodying motivational posters, it is also – probably unintentionally – an insight into the fallacy of analysing success. An analysis of people who successfully scaled Mount Everest, for example, might reveal a list of common […]
How do we know that we’re doing a good job?
Talk to most CEOs in listed companies and they will tell you that the company’s share price is the ultimate barometer of their performance. Business strategy is therefore often in service to the share price as it provides the clearest and quickest affirmation of success.
Our equivalent in […]
Thomas Kuhn, in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions suggests that new ideas, regardless of the strength of evidence that underpins them, are only adopted once they are no longer considered ‘new’. He argues that this requires a change, not in how the ideas are viewed, but in who is viewing them.
It is […]
Predicting the outcome of the World Cup is difficult. There aren’t that many international matches, and the squads are constantly changing anyway. At 21st Club, we have two different approaches for forecasting international competitions.
Our League of Nations model incorporates results from national team matches, including tournaments, qualifiers and friendlies, to estimate how good every national […]
Back in August, like fans and pundits across the world our UK football department sat down and made predictions for the Premier League season. We each wrote down how many points we thought each team would get, giving an overall predicted league table.
It would be easy to forget about these and say that we knew […]
Real Madrid have won the Champions League in three of the last four seasons. However, if the competition were organised slightly differently, it’s not impossible that we would be reading headlines as the one above.
Imagine the Champions League were contested every four years, like the World Cup is. The narratives that would emerge would be […]