The moment you arrive in your hotel after a smooth journey from New York, and you realise you made a conscientious effort to preserve a half eaten bag of Nutter Butters, but you left your brand new earphones in the plane seat pocket.
A real burner. But at least I have some sweets to cure my sadness.
Still, it’s great to be back in London. I’ve done a banter about the weather, jestered with a coffee barista about the shit tea in the states… IRONY LOST ON A MAN SERVING SUBSTANDARD COFFEE FOR AN ENGLISH CHAIN MASQUERADING AS SOMETHING FOREIGN… I’ve also had to relearn that you don’t talk to people you don’t know in public spaces. That’s being a pervert / lunatic in London.
I also feel more connected to Arsenal here. It’s good to be back. If I wanted to touch the stadium, I could do it.
What treasures do we have for you today?
Well, we’ve all the usual suspects on the ‘get dem hits!’ case…
‘Guys, no one does internet during international break. Bring me your fantasies and we’ll make them real’
‘How about Granit Xhaka boss?’
‘Too far… but maybe not?’
There’s a treasure trove of crap out there with a daily and a broadsheet in a weird symbiotic shite sharing session so intense you’d assume they’re all chatting in the same Slack group.
I’ve read Sanchez to United, Jese Rodriguez over from Madrid – who I’m sure is a baseball player… we’ve got a young kid from Barcelona we’re interested in… we’ve got most of the Bundesliga coming over at some point. I like the guy with the freekicks. Reminds me of Juninho (Lyon) for Youtube excitement moments.
One thing I will say about the states and it’s my only point of reference at this very moment, they certainly have some interesting places to read-up on sport. But, they have the same issues as we do. Durge and bitesize sells. It’s a shame. In a digital world of the 8 second attention span, the Buzzfeed wins out if you want to make money, whilst sites like The Grantland wither and die (good read on that if you’re into digital and publishing).
We don’t really have sports sites like Grantland unless I’m just not seeing the content shared on my feed?
I really liked this article on stats in the game. Basically about how it’s all a bit rubbish in football analytics at the moment and it’s tough to draw game changing conclusions from data.
I can’t imagine that’ll stay the same for too much longer. A little rule change that crept under the radar in the summer centres around the little GPS packs players wear in training are getting sign off to be used in-game. That’s kind of phase one as we plod into the 21st century.
I don’t think clubs are allowed to monitor the data in realtime from the bench, and third parties can’t use it, but there will be ways around that I’m sure (both areas, Sky will want that data). If we’re successfully driving cars across the US driverless with no problem, it’s not going to be long before cameras in the ground, meshed in with GPS packs on players chests can start giving some really deep and meaningful data in realtime.
The money is in the game to make it happen because the margins are so fine, and when we move out the current backward crop of FIFA dinosaurs, hopefully the appetite will come from the top.
Fans want to see the fittest / smartest teams playing each other week in week out. If tech can keep players on the pitch for longer, playing with deeper insights to help them along the way… who knows what the game will look like in 5 years time.
Probably faster than it is now… but kinda looking the same. Maybe they can start geo-fencing players with electrodes strapped to their balls… every time Flamandowski goes into the final third he gets a serious jolt of ‘back in your box you muppet.’
What was my point again?
Oh yeah, it would be great if some of our big publishers invested in a deeper kind of journalism. I’m not saying there aren’t great writers, there are. I’m just saying we have a very standardised version of sports writing in the UK. In sport, it’s very opinion based and it’s not particularly curious. A lot of the what… not a lot about the why or how. A shame, because the game is starting to get more curious, clubs are doing some really cool things and I don’t feel UK readers are hearing about it.
Anyway, that’s my semi coherent jet lagged rant on journalism and data.
P.S. If anyone can spare me a single ticket for the Sunderland game in December, let me know, it’s for a pal.