Monthly Archives: November 2016

From me this month…

I’ll try and do this in alphabetical order, though there is a somewhat noticeable chance that I’ll have missed something.

Premier League Predictions (Eastbridge Sports Betting) – Looking at some history to predict who’s gonna end up in the top 4/relegation places based on the first 10 games of the season. Remember back when we’d only played 10 games? Ah, good times.

Smoke and Mirrors – Watford vs Hull match report (Every Team Needs A Ron) – A poetic match report of an unpoetic match, extolling the virtues of Jake Livermore while using the *excellent* StatsZone app.

Scattergun stat round-up (ETNAR) – A bit of a random collection of stat-based thoughts, on hot/cold streaks, sustainability of shot numbers, and clearances.

Two Types of Pressing (Eastbridge Sports Betting) – A look at two statistical ways to analyse pressing, PPDA and Opposition Pass Completion %.

European Intensity (Eastbridge Sports Betting) – Comparing the top 4 European leagues in terms of stat-based intensity. Spoilers, the Premier League doesn’t quite come out on top.

Crystal Palace, Manchester City, and pressing (uMAXit) – Palace and City had two of the most intense presses in the league and they played each other this month, so I looked at the two sides and questioned how good Pards’ press training is.

Manchester United, Arsenal, and Narrative Memory (Eastbridge Sports Betting) – A post-game look at the United-Arsenal game, breaking it down to find how we collectively came to the narrative of United dominating the game and ending up unlucky.

Finishing: What it is and what it ain’t (ETNAR) – A theoretical thinkpiece suggesting that, when talking about ‘finishing skill’, using all shots that a player takes doesn’t quite work.

The Relegation Battle is Opening Up Once Again (Eastbridge Sports Betting) – With the bottom of the table feeling kinda weird, I looked at recent seasons and found a surprising pattern.

The Football Manager Random Number Challenge, ep. 1 (ETNAR) – Prompted by the end of the FM series at thesetpieces.com, I re-started a challenge I’d come up with earlier in the year, this time taking charge of West Bromwich Albion with my handy-dandy random number generator RANDOM at my side.

 

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The Football Manager Random Number Challenge – The Hawthorn in your side, ep 1.

Iain Macintosh’s time at Everton has come to a premature end and Football Manager players have felt the disturbance in The F(M)orce. There is a void. But do not fear the loss of this series, for there is another.

Like Macintosh’s (not so, as it turned out) epic, this too is a returning legacy series – the random number generator challenge.

It goes like this. I pick a variety of formations and number them, in my case 1-8. Before each match, I then get a random number generator (random.org, from hereon in RANDOM) to assign me one of those formations. Continue reading

Finishing: What it is and what it ain’t

Here’s a thing. Dicussions of finishing skill in relation to Expected Goals tend to revolve around whether a player scores a similar amount of goals to their Expected Goals number. They have 18.4 xG in a season and scored 18 goals and do this more or less every year and therefore you just can’t say that the player is a ‘bad finisher’.

Here’s another thing. When I think of ‘finishing’ as a specific footballing skill, I think of the kind of thing that 99% of these goals are. Continue reading

Smoke and Mirrors – Watford vs Hull

Smoke and mirrors might be the physical manifestation of 2016. Deception and deceit is the order of the day, false equivalences and reflections stretch from one political issue to another and Truly Repulsive and Utterly Manipulative Politicians deny having said things that are then quoted, verbatim, straight back to them.

But sometimes there is light. And hope.

Hull City came to face Watford at Vicarage Road in a light purple kit and a 3-5-2 like some Bizarro version of their opponents. Immediately, I can tell something. I sense it. You’re wondering where this so-called ‘light’ and ‘hope’ are going to come into play when Hull are involved, and I’m here to tell you that it’s always been there, hidden. Or, rather, obscured.

It comes in the form of Jake Livermore. Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering their almost complete lack of activity in the transfer window in the summer, Hull are not blessed with elite playing talent. They are, as we in the North like to say, bad. Almost, if not as, bad as the clash between the purple of their shirts and the orange of their badge. Continue reading