Get Goalside 100
If the 'posts' figure in my newsletter dashboard is to be believed (and discounting a couple of subscriber survey requests) this is issue 100 of the Get Goalside football analytics newsletter. It started just over three years ago, in early March 2019, and over 1400 subscribers later, here we are. It's been interesting to think back to that time and how much football analytics has changed since then. When Get Goalside #1 dropped, we were still two months away from Liverpool's research department getting their shiny feature in the New York Times magazine. The general footballing public were less skeptical of data than they had been, but it wasn't yet exciting to them. A lot of people were putting out possession value models. There's a lot of things I've learned in these past few years, but I
Mar 21 2022
17 mins read
Where is analytics? What is analytics? An autumn 2022 update.
A StatsBomb conference 2022-prompted newsletter
I hadn't been planning on writing a post-StatsBomb conference newsletter. Blame the train ride home. Part of the reason for not planning to was not knowing how to write about a conference where you can see most, but not all, of the content. So this isn't going to be a blow-by-blow review, more a combination of thoughts, many of which were percolating anyway, that the day helps to tie together. The other reason for not planning a post-conference newsletter was a desire not to be seen as being swayed into positive coverage by a free pen and free StatsBomb-branded socks. (A high-quality pen as freebies go; cannot yet report on the quality of the socks). Despite this second reason, allow me to suggest some taglines for the company's marketing team to use in their post-conference content: - '
Sep 22 2022
11 mins read
What if we didn't care about passes?
"If God had wanted us to play football in the clouds, he'd have put grass up there." — Brian Clough "If God had wanted us to collect passing data, he'd have put abacuses in the press box." — Mark Thompson A lot of people have spent a lot of time asking why it's taken so long for football to 'have its Moneyball moment'. I have two theories: 1. Michael Lewis never spent a year embedded in Bolton 2. Data might have been good quality for a long time, but it wasn't cheap and it wasn't free The foundational stone in the Moneyball mythology is Bill James, the author of the Bill James Baseball Abstracts, who spent night shift after night shift poring over all the data he could get his hands on. He was using box scores which, although not perfect or extensive, gave quite a lot of informatio
Sep 14 2022
10 mins read
Football analytics is on the brink of a new world: 3D
As long as this isn't 2014-Google Glass
There are a lot of ways to describe the path that new technology takes towards being adopted. There's the typical 'life cycle' chart, probably a product of business schools, the population (market) divided into (terminology may differ) 'innovators' (nerds), 'early adopters' (wannabe nerds), 'the majority' (normies), and 'laggards' (a stand-up comic's parents). Then there's Douglas Adams' three rules: 1) Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works 2) Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it 3) Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things. And then there's Google Glass. I
Aug 27 2022
6 mins read