Currently, the biggest issue with football analytics is the lack of positional data for off-ball players. Most of the analytics is done using event based data, in which every pass, tackle and shot is logged. However, event data only contains the ball’s location. This means we as analysts are left guessing on a huge amount of our work. How do we evaluate how difficult as pass is without knowing where the players are on the pitch? How can we quantify the intricacies of good defending against bad defending?
SD Eibar, the smallest club in La Liga which consistently punches above its weight, are currently sitting pretty at 8th in the Spanish La Liga table. The club from a town of 27,000 people in the Basque country, which play at the little Ipurua Stadium, have been putting on some dazzling displays this season under the Basque manager José Luis Mendilibar.
When Barcelona’s 29-year-old midfielder Paulinho scores more goals in the league than a 5-time Ballon d’Or winner, you know there’s something weird going on. Cristiano Ronaldo has only scored 0.4 non-penalty goals per 90 minutes (NPG90) this season. Not ideal for someone who’s famous for wrecking goalscoring records every year.
Let’s start with a statement that looks pretty obvious: Liverpool have an awful defense.
While it may look like their bad defense is down to the incompetence of Liverpool’s individual defenders, it’s largely down to the high-pressing system favored by Jurgen Klopp that’s gone awry this season. When the first line of press is broken (which has happened many times this season), the ball gets into dangerous areas because of the vacant spaces left behind. This leads to tricky situations for the Liverpool backline.
My objective is to focus on the lesser known youth of our beautiful national game, and combined it with a little tactical outlook meant for the football enthusiast, after lots of time and effort I have found a large gap to be exploited in terms of combining the two. This mini-report thus focuses on young manager who mostly work or have worked in Scottish football and their tactical philosophies, deriving what got them here and where they could go.
We decided to run a football data visualization competition, and we received 19 submissions for the competition. Big thanks to Dave Willoughby and Stratagem Technologies for being kind enough to provide the data to be visualized (and for powering most of our articles with comprehensive data, of course!). I’m also really happy with the sheer quality of the vizzes. All the participants have given us new ways to use data. Continue reading The CA Data Viz Competition Participants→
With the top four separated by a mere five points, and potentially less if Roma win their game in hand, Serie A has kicked into full overdrive going into the Christmas period. Juventus’ most recent win over Napoli just a weekend ago blew open the Scudetto race even more while Spalletti’s Inter and Di Francesco’s Roma have kept pace impressively, with the Nerazzurri currently nestled comfortably into first place. Going into a crucial stretch, it’s time to separate the pretenders from the contenders.