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Football Analytics Round-up for November 1-14

A lot happens in football analytics that doesn’t fit into our normal articles but is worth knowing about anyway. The many incredible analysts who put their work up online should be noticed, and we’d like to point out a few pieces you may have missed on a bi-weekly (the one that happens once every two weeks, not twice a week) basis. Because this is the first time (but not the last) we're doing a piece like this, we allowed ourselves to cheat a little and included a few from last month.

Grace Robertson makes a point and proves it

On November 7th, Grace Robertson made a strong statement: “Trent is to my mind pretty clearly Liverpool's second best player.” She then decided to prove it on her substack a week later. Using data analytics, she not only diagnoses his level of play, but she also suggests in-depth strategies to incorporate his strengths better in the English national team. It is not only a valuable read, it’s a good one.

Megan Rapinoe is changing the game on her terms

This one is less analytics-related and more general, but Megan Rapinoe is one of the most famous football players in the world, and the Forbes article discussing her shows how she is developing her career and why, including work with data. We also read it with another article in mind, about how women’s sports are a space for innovation in media. With the expansion of data analytics, women’s sports could be a frontier for innovation on that front as well.

John Muller proves that perception isn’t everything

Using the power of pure science and experimentation, John Muller discusses a paper that tentatively proved how biases affect perceived facts. The experiment showed a game where black players were thought to be faster than white players, but colored all of the players gray - and the audience perceived them more accurately. This is a hugely important fact that influences how we receive data, and why precision matters.

Tifo Football teaches the phases of the game

Tifo Football’s videos are excellent. If you’re an expert in the game, you probably know what they teach in this video, but even so, there might be insight you’re missing. The ten phases of the game are described in simple terms that even a layman can understand, and this video makes for an excellent resource.

StatsBomb drop a Messi bomb

Earlier we mentioned Megan Rapinoe as one of the most famous players in the world. Undoubtedly the most famous player in the world is the Argentinian legend, still at the top of the game almost twenty years into his career. Statsbomb collected data from all over his career, and dropped it for any analyst to use and learn from. This is an as-of-yet nearly untapped resource, and there are definitely secrets hidden in it for anyone who wants to learn how the greatest got there.

David Sumpter tries to beat DeBruyne with data

David Sumpter begins by establishing a fact: Kevin DeBruyne is the best passer in the Premier League. He then uses data to compare him to other players, to ask if that really is a fact. We won’t show you his conclusions, but suffice to say that Sumpter is one of the greatest experts in the field of data analytics and everything he writes is worth a read.

Did we miss something? Do you see something for a later round-up? Let us know!

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