Good morning sports fans.
It’s Tuesday morning. Last day at work for a bit. So I’ll mostly be contributing nothing today. This is my second article of the day. That’s passion for Arsenal.
Anyway, some great debate caused yesterday by all of the Ozil and Sanchez talk.
Few things I want to address. Firstly, the stats issue. Football fans are geeks. We’re given the basic tools to drill into the detail about player performance. So we draw insights from numbers and generally, most football fans look at numbers in isolation. They also don’t interrogate the data and where it comes from.
I know that football teams data analysts at game code as they go. That’s why managers right notes on the side. If Rodgers sees a wide attack on the left on 27minutes, he’ll pen WA27. Then before half time, he’ll give his notes over and pull up the key moments. So football clubs leave details up to human eye. I don’t know how the freesites work. But you’d imagine it’s not far off that.
Here are a few things that popped up yesterday that I’d question.
> Ozil ran the most distance in the Everton game. Ok, it’s an impressive stat. Where did it come from? What was the speed? How much energy was exerted?
> Ozil contributed the most sprints out of any player that played in midweek. Again, questions would be, what constitutes a sprint (guy behind a desk scoring the game, or a computer programme), which way were the sprints, what distance were the sprints over.
> Ozil makes more defensive interceptions / tackles than Giroud. Ok, where is the stat that points to Giroud terrorising the back four of a team. Where are the defensive sprints included? Is there a stat for the amount of times Giroud closes down space and forces an error without touching the ball? Because on the face of it, it looks like Ozil defends better than Giroud when your eyes will tell you different.
I know that football clubs will have far richer data, way better technology and in the main… far superior analysts than those on the web. So they’ll be getting the data. But my big thing with amateur analysis of data is you can cut it anyway you want to tell a story. When the numbers are quite primitive, it’s really hard to draw conclusions. I guess that’s why teams hire GPS companies and on site statisticians to look at what they do. You can actually get under the skin of the data…
Also, another point I wanted to cover off is that the English can’t deal with a footballer like Ozil. Like, somehow, no one appreciates him because he doesn’t play like David Batty. I think this is totally wrong. People take issue with Ozil because the only shift he puts in is going forward. I think if you compare how he plays versus someone like Cesc (another technically gifted dreamboat) then you can see where I’m going. I know they’re not the same player. I wish they were. Because then we’d be in a better situation.
Alexis Sanchez is about as Roy of the Rovers as you get… but he’s starting to grate on people who see that he’s not much of a team player. He looks out for himself. He loses possession in important areas. He runs through players when he could play a simple pass. He’s a bit selfish. He needs to be controlled… but what I love is his intensity. That’s a Premier League trait. Santi has that as well. Ozil doesn’t, but perhaps he needs to find a bit if we’re serious about winning trophies.
Also, isn’t it about time we cut the bullshit about the Premier League not be technically supreme? Pound for pound, it’s the strongest league in the world by a margin. Don’t kid yourself it’s just a league of thugs. It’s littered with top players, smart coaches and smart systems.
Right, that’s me done. Alex will takeover tomorrow with James dropping a Thursday match report.
HAVE A GOOD DAY x