The Economist published an article last week exploring which head coaches are able to consistently lead their teams to overperform the overall talent level in the squad. This is one of the most important functions of a head coach, but not the only one. As we have argued before, in addition to winning on the […]
There are three main ways in which a head coach/manager can improve a team:
Improve the squad through transfers
Improve individual players through coaching
Get better performance from the same set of players through tactics
Traditionally, managers have accumulated all three of these functions. However, there is no particular reason a single person should be in […]
On Saturday, Chelsea host Arsenal in a match that is ostensibly a chance for both teams to continue to assess their own progress under new head coaches. The narrative goes that given it’s early in the season, it would be wrong to read too much into the result, and in any case there is plenty […]
After his side climbed the table from 22nd to 6th in 2004, then-Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie famously coined the term ‘bouncebackability’ to praise his side’s impressive rebound. The term has stuck – it even entered the Oxford English Dictionary the following year – and is now attached to any team who comes back from […]
So France vs Croatia it is. For France, it’s three World Cup finals in six tournaments, a mightily impressive feat. Croatia meanwhile become the smallest nation to reach a World Cup final since Uruguay in 1950, a fitting reward for a golden generation. Our model gives France a 62% chance of lifting the trophy.
Both countries, […]
Football never ceases to surprise us, and this World Cup has been no different. The early eliminations of Spain and Germany have been in keeping with a tournament that has been much more competitive than many thought.
When we published our pre-tournament forecast last month, like everyone else we made Brazil, Germany and Spain among the […]
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 […]
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 […]
In terms of on-field output, there are broadly two things a team can try and control: how they play, and how well they play. Unfortunately, as we all know, one is harder to influence than the other.
We often feel that making a strategic decision to change our team’s playing style can have a significant and […]
We all know that making our home stadium a ‘fortress’ can go a long way to achieving our objectives for the season. A part of that is having supporters who will get behind the team to both motivate our own players and intimidate opponents.
The impact our fans can have is hard to quantify, and while […]