The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future
DANIEL KAHNEMAN – Author of Thinking, Fast and Slow
It has been wonderful to watch Ajax’s Champions League campaign. A thrilling ride made easy to enjoy by the positive, attacking football that has been the bedrock of their success.
The intertwining strands of the Ajax narrative are compelling. The club has a rich history in youth development and is the custodian of some of Europe’s […]
In recruitment, we value certain performances more than others. A commanding midfield display against a bottom-of-the-table team is worth less than a similar performance against a title contender. But as long as this process is subjective – and as long as we don’t know how much each performance is actually worth in terms of how […]
With the ever-increasing efficiency of the football transfer market, we are more and more focused on finding undervalued talent to get an edge on our competitors. This frequently involves identifying the one hidden star in a relegated squad, the proverbial needle in the haystack.
The problem is, headline stats can struggle to identify these unheralded […]
As we head into the final stretch of the football season, the prospect of playing in a different league next year looms large. The only consolation for fans of relegated clubs is that they have a chance of bouncing straight back. For teams in contention for promotion or the play-offs, the dream of a place […]
Computers? Anybody who uses computers doesn’t know a damn thing about this game
Gus Lobel, the storied baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves portrayed with typical intransigence by Clint Eastwood in Trouble with the Curve, doesn’t like statistics. The general thrust of the film is that identifying talent is an art, and statistics will never match […]
So we have a title race on our hands! Well, at least in the Premier League.
Excitement in any title race lies in its inherent uncertainty, at least for those impartial onlookers. Less so perhaps for those clubs involved, where bums are likely to stay squeaky right up until the last match.
Take the Premier League title […]
It’s important to have the best possible people in talent ID and recruitment roles. Each decision to sign or not sign a player can cost or earn a club millions. But how can we best evaluate the judgement of our scouts, when our clubs make just a few transfers each year?
Individual scouts often write […]
When buying a young player, it’s common to talk about his ‘resale value’ – the idea that that we can secure a transfer profit in the future because his value will naturally grow. However, this is the wrong way to assess market value; instead, we should be focusing on whether the player is undervalued.
In financial […]
Manchester United will have a big decision to make in the summer, and they might be able to find help from an unusual source: the betting markets.
The odds of Premier League matches are akin to a financial market, with the smartest and well-funded professional gamblers using all the available information to predict the likelihood of […]
As the transfer market becomes increasingly efficient, clubs have moved to buying younger and younger players. The quest for transfer success has led to what is effectively an informational arms race between the top clubs, who have invested heavily in worldwide scouting operations and cutting-edge quantitative analysis teams, all in order to identify the best […]