After a strong season under Claude Puel in 2016, finishing 4th, Nice got even stronger under the control of Swiss manager Lucien Favre, finishing 3rd in Ligue 1 and securing a Champions League qualifying berth in 2017. However, as a (self-professed) stats guy, I like to look at Expected Goals – soccer analytics’ most popular model – to see if the league table lies.
With the summer break giving many analysts time to refine their models and peruse the transfer gossip, we have been hard at work developing a new metric for evaluating players across Europe’s top five leagues.
Interview by SideLineTeamTalk
Nick Gearing is Head of Analysis at League 2 Leyton Orient and runs courses for aspiring analysts. If you’ve ever wondered what analysts do or if you could be one then this will be perfect for you and, we hope, very insightful.
This year, Leicester City decided to soldier on with the strategy they used last year that won them the title. They bought players from peripheral or lower leagues, which means I can’t say whether Islam Slimani, their most expensive signing this year, was any good. Incredibly annoying. Anyway, for the players I can evaluate, here are their stats.
Since Pep Guardiola has taken charge of Manchester City, one big move that has been talked about a lot was replacing long serving, England number 1 for Claudio Bravo from his old club, Barcelona. Many people refer to Bravo’s passing and that’s why Pep likes him and that Hart’s distribution wasn’t good enough to cope in the new Manchester City team under Pep’s style. Continue reading At the Hart of it – Joe Hart’s Distribution
As Summer 2016 was Antonio Conte’s first transfer window as Chelsea manager, I was expecting a huge negative net spend. But Conte was more than happy to let the same team that won the Premier League and crumbled soon afterwards carry on. He did bring in a few players, but not as many as I thought.
If you’re interested in analytics and potentially following a career in it this interview with Sam Jackson (@Sam_Jackson94) is for you. Sam is currently Head of Research and Analytics at World in Motion. He started off with his own blog and got his job through that. He has also presented at the OptaPro Forum which is worth a watch, as well as recently appearing on Sky Sports. Sam’s niche is Goalkeeper analysis, something you don’t see often enough.