Blogs 2017-07-10T13:14:27+00:00

Experiments on Clustering Possession Sequences (Part 1)

The fluidity of football is one of the main obstacles to analysis. Unlike baseball or cricket which are divided into discrete one-v-one plays, football plays consist of passing and dribbling sequences which may be long or short, cover the whole pitch or some small area of it, and involve [...]

By | April 16th, 2019|Categories: On the Pitch, Recent Posts|0 Comments

Football Players are 27 (±2). But What About Teams?

The Big 5 UEFA teams that qualified for the 2018 World Cup arguably contained some of the very best players in Europe. Their average age was 26.9 years; in the 2014 World Cup it was 27.2. and it was 27.5 and 27.4 in 2006 and 2002 respectively. In recent [...]

By | April 3rd, 2019|Categories: Recent Posts|0 Comments

Some Properties of Possession Sequences

This post will describe some of the properties of possession sequences, using data from seasons 2015-2017 of the Big 5 European domestic leagues.  In particular I will look at how the probability of shooting develops as a possession progresses. We will see some differences between strong and weak teams [...]

By | February 4th, 2019|Categories: Recent Posts|0 Comments

Valuing Passes and Thoughts on Metrification

In my last post, I looked at passing performance and identified players with pass completion rates higher than expected, given the difficulty of the passes they attempted.   This seemed to pass the eyeball test, throwing up players like Kroos, Ozil, Arjen Robben and Messi as top performers on this [...]

By | January 1st, 2019|Categories: Football Analytics, Off the Pitch, On the Pitch, Recent Posts, Thinking Allowed|Tags: , |1 Comment

A Deep Learning Model of Passing

Passing is a skill that sits at the very heart of football. But for a long time the only available measure of passing performance was the pass completion rate, in other words, the percentage of successful passes.  This is not very satisfactory, because it doesn't recognise that some passes [...]

By | December 14th, 2018|Categories: Football Analytics, On the Pitch, Recent Posts|Tags: |0 Comments