Imagine for a moment that Lionel Messi was leaving Barcelona, and he really wanted to join your team. Imagine budget wasn’t an issue (stay with me), but that he was a totally wrong fit for your team’s style of play. Would you still sign him?
For pretty much any club, the answer to this would be […]
We all know that culture matters. It’s not as easy to quantify – either objectively or subjectively – as talent, but we know that at the margins it can make a difference between winning and losing.
It feels right that culture can also influence the way in which we play too. Directors at clubs have often […]
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 […]
All clubs recognise that football is a results industry, but many would also say that providing entertainment is more important than it has ever been. Clubs and leagues’ competition is no longer just other teams or even sports, it’s often TV box sets and video games.
This shift has coincided with an era of coaches […]
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 […]
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 […]
Barely two months into the season, and ten men have already lost their jobs as head coach or manager of clubs in England, Spain, Germany and Italy’s top divisions. This level of turnover is now an accepted part of the game, despite it being a clear inefficiency.
Recruiting a head coach is a tougher task than […]
The football industry is going through a period of change in which establishing joined-up football services off the pitch is a key strategic goal and often a major logistical challenge. To be able to succeed in this respect and introduce the new ideas that are central to its advancement requires a certain bravery on the […]
Between 2008 and 2012 Barcelona and Spain’s possession-heavy playing style led to unparalleled domestic and international success. Tactically, the game across the continent shifted, led by an effort to mimic some of the best aspects of these teams.
What people also noticed was that Spain and Barcelona were winning trophies with players well under six foot […]
Professional sport is full of buzzwords and banalities, perhaps the most common of which is the demand to be “positive” or “aggressive” in one’s approach. Indeed, men’s tennis’ world number two Andy Murray spoke about this type of analysis last week:
A lot of commentators say you have to be more aggressive. Does that mean you […]