How Lucky is Top Tier English Football?

A recurring question in sport is the extent to which skill or luck determine the outcome.  Back in 2012, Michael Maubisson the Director of Research at BlueMountain Capital Management, published a book exploring the relative contributions of skill and luck in the domains of sport, business and investing. Michael Maubisson found that Premier League football […]

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10000 Hours and The Myth of Talent. New Counter-Evidence?

Why are some performers better than others?  Is it because they are more talented than their peers, or is it because they practice more? One school of thought claims that talent is relatively unimportant, and that what distinguishes elite performers from the rest is the amount of accumulated practice.   Advocates of this view cite the 10,000 hours rule, […]

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Defining and Measuring Player Roles in Football

In this post I want to talk about player roles.  For the present purposes I prefer to think in terms of role rather than style because role conveys something rather more fluid than style. Of course every player has his own style, which is derived from his individual mix of skills  and preferences, and his own strengths […]

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What Makes Countries Good at Football?

But World Cup upsets aside, what makes a country good at football? I thought it would be worth updating a regression model I built some years ago in which I found that the strengths of national football teams are largely determined by social and economic factors. The research was originally published in Social Sciences Quarterly back […]

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Data and Modelling in the Work of the Goalkeepers

I developed two models. The pre-shot model (Model 0) was meant to be comparable to Paul’s model and used location (shot xy co-ordinates) and contextual features. The post-shot model (Model 1) used location, contextual and placement features (Ball height and distance from goal centre). The features in each model are shown below: FeatureNotesPre-shot model featuresPost-shot […]

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