Many football clubs somehow use data in their decision-making processes, but the way they do so and the extent to which they do so varies a lot from club to club,” says Jan Van Haaren, chief analytics officer at SciSports. “You can’t underestimate the value of data and analysts. For a football club the most important factor is improving your chances of winning,” says Trevor Watkins, global head of sports at law firm Pinsent Masons. We adapt to the needs and resources of each club with the aim of optimizing their decisions and recruitment.
In addition, important players like offensive linemen do not accrue any statistics. football analytics will never make the impact in football as it has in baseball or basketball. The sport suffers from playing many fewer games than baseball or basketball, making it more difficult to obtain meaningful statistics. There are lots of things to consider when you’re watching football in an analytical way, so if it seems a bit overwhelming, try to focus on a couple of key aspects of their play that you want to understand. Once you’ve got to grips with observing football in this way, it will gradually become your natural way of viewing matches, and your confidence when it comes to identifying tactical decisions will only increase. Observing the team you support can be a good place to start, because the fact that you know all the players already will stop you from spending time identifying and getting to know players.
Because of that, the recent growth in sports tech companies and particular start-ups will bring all these products and services to markets that presently cannot afford what the market incumbents offer. Regions like the Balkans are now able to afford world-class tools and improve drastically in the coming years.” Tashev tells The Recursive. According to him, the data that is gathered with this method is used for a realistic representation of the football forces on the field, regardless of the result. Since xG first started being used by teams, the average distance of a shot in the Premier League has gone down in each successive season. “Since we bought Barnsley three years ago we have been heavily using data. We use it mainly to identify talented young players and coaches as well. It is proving very successful.” “Having access to people who can understand that data is critical. Arsene Wenger was a big proponent and the pioneer of using data and analytics. It’s the most underrated feature of football.”
James came up with a mathematical system to evaluate baseball players called Sabermetrics, which he released to the public in a book titled Bill James Baseball Abstract. In it, he created equations like “runs created” that factored in a baseball team’s offensive stats to predict how many runs they’d likely score. It was his first stab at a way to objectively analyze players and help general managers optimize their teams, according to the Society for American Baseball Research. Analytics has made its way into the way fans consume sports, too. Off the field, analysts, commentators and fans use data constantly — whether it’s to provide play-by-play explanations, discuss predictions or power fantasy league decisions. Provides students, researchers and coaches with a firm grounding in the principles of modern performance analysis.
Others use cameras and machine learning software to track things like ball speeds, spin rates and player movement, which regularly factor into both broadcasts and team decisions. Baseball players, for example, are regularly seen using tablets to review data like pitch distributions to make adjustments mid-game. This one relates pretty closely to the last point, but it’s worth drilling into it in a little detail anyway. If you’re looking to build your knowledge of the game and work out the best route into football data and analytics, spend some time finding people who are currently working in positions that appeal to you.
This might include using easy-to-understand graphics and terminology they are familiar with. A key feature in a program’s investment in analytics comes from the Owners’ or Head Coaches’ receptiveness of the data. Frequently, data is being rejected not because it is inaccurate, but because it is not clearly understood or applied by coaches. A Twitter thread of the original football analytics blogs from 2009 by Tiotal Football.