The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know about Soccer Is Wrong
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Football is 50% luck
Managers only have 19% influence
Substitutes should be made in the 58th, 73rd, or 79th minute
Darren Bent’s goals win more games than Wayne Rooney’s
We are at the dawn of football’s data revolution. From passes completed ratios to average transfer fees, we are blitzed by statistics – but mostly they only confuse and hide the real story. It’s time to find a way through this data minefield. Time to learn which numbers truly hold the key to winning matches. Time to discover which players and managers are really valuable, and why.
Chris Anderson, former professional goalkeeper turned football statistics guru, is feted by the world’s leading clubs. In this incisive, myth-busting book with behavioural analyst David Sally, he uncovers the numbers that count. Among the astonishing results, you’ll discover why preventing a goal is more valuable than scoring one, why taking too many shots might kill you, and why it is far better to improve your worst player than buy a superstar.
Lively, accessible and full of wonderful stories and insights, The Numbers Game is the first comprehensive book to understand the modern world of football – the key for fans to debate and unlock their teams’ performance (and win more bets and fantasy football points). This is essential reading for football fans everywhere and will also appeal to readers who loved Moneyball and Freakonomics.
Age 17, Chris Anderson found himself playing in goal for a fourth division club in Germany. He is now a pioneer of football analytics, and a professor at LSE in the UK and Cornell University in the US. He consults with leading clubs, writes the popular Soccer by the Numbers blog, and contributes to the New York Times. David Sally is a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, where he analyses the way people play, compete and make decisions
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