Global Football Odds & Ends

candylandriots

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Of note, most studies have shown that, on corner kicks, short corners that keep possession are worth more goals than using corners as a set piece. So, being "content" to retain possession actually seems to lead to more expected goals.
It has no correlation I’m sure, but the short corner on FIFA always seems to work much better than a traditional one.
 

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We don't have a Bundesliga thread this year (for shame, @jkempa), so I'm going to put this here: the Dortmund-Leipzig grudge match yesterday was nucking futz. Both Burki and Julian Brandt gaveth and taketh away. What strengths BVB has in offense with Sancho et al, they are just as weak in defense. Timo Werner at some point probably stopped running and just doubled over laughing to himself. Impressive things were done, and whatever is the opposite of "impressive", as well.

Worth your 11 minutes:

https://yfl.evideohat.com/player/html/9M9YNwoRTu
 

Tangled Up In Red

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Shades of Schumaker '82.

Nubel gets straight red and a 4 game suspension. Gacinovic fared better than Battiston, fortunately.
 

Titans Bastard

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The second leg of the Liga MX final last night drew 3.3m viewers in the US, beating out the Champions League Final to be our country's most-watched club game of 2019.
 

Titans Bastard

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I wonder if Club America is the club with the largest fan base in the U.S.
There's no data I'm aware of that could settle the issue, but it's a good bet. Liga MX is the most popular league in the country and support for Mexican clubs in the US tends to be concentrated among the big ones like América, Chivas, Tigres, etc. American fans who follow Euro teams are spread out mostly among a larger group of superclubs.

It may ultimately depend on how you measure fandom. I'd guess that there are fewer very casual fans of América than there are people who profess to like Barcelona but aren't really engaged in any meaningful way aside from owning a Messi shirt as a fashion/identity statement.
 

Kliq

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There's no data I'm aware of that could settle the issue, but it's a good bet. Liga MX is the most popular league in the country and support for Mexican clubs in the US tends to be concentrated among the big ones like América, Chivas, Tigres, etc. American fans who follow Euro teams are spread out mostly among a larger group of superclubs.

It may ultimately depend on how you measure fandom. I'd guess that there are fewer very casual fans of América than there are people who profess to like Barcelona but aren't really engaged in any meaningful way aside from owning a Messi shirt as a fashion/identity statement.
There also a lot of Latin Americans who support their "local" club (America, Chivas, Penarol, etc.) and are also big fans of Barca/Real Madrid/Juventus, etc.
 

Titans Bastard

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There also a lot of Latin Americans who support their "local" club (America, Chivas, Penarol, etc.) and are also big fans of Barca/Real Madrid/Juventus, etc.
Yeah, that's an interesting factor as well.

I believe that Latin Americans in the US tend to support clubs from Spain and Italy more than from England. I wonder if that balances out the Anglophile leanings of white American soccer fans.
 

Titans Bastard

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Oh, @Vinho Tinto, I'm sad to report that my wife and I completely whiffed in the soccer department on our trip to Portugal over the holidays. I was hoping to catch a game in Lisbon at Benfica, Sporting, or even Belenenses [though I suppose that would be especially weird given their recent club split], or if not at our next stop with C.D. Santa Clara, but I didn't realize until a few weeks ago that the league takes a short winter break.
 

Kliq

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Yeah, that's an interesting factor as well.

I believe that Latin Americans in the US tend to support clubs from Spain and Italy more than from England. I wonder if that balances out the Anglophile leanings of white American soccer fans.
Well, until relatively recently, England didn't have many Latino players, so it makes sense for them to gravitate towards the leagues that featured the best Latin players, not to mention the language aspect.

Just kind of bullshitting here, but most typical American soccer fans started watching European soccer within the past 20 years. However, if you or your parents grew up in Latin America, chances are you may have inherited a fandom that dates back generations. So if you are a Mexican American born in 1990, your parents may have been big Real Madrid fans so you inherited that fandom. Since the English Football League was fairly isolated, it is less likely they have Latin fans dating back that far.
 

Vinho Tinto

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Oh, @Vinho Tinto, I'm sad to report that my wife and I completely whiffed in the soccer department on our trip to Portugal over the holidays. I was hoping to catch a game in Lisbon at Benfica, Sporting, or even Belenenses [though I suppose that would be especially weird given their recent club split], or if not at our next stop with C.D. Santa Clara, but I didn't realize until a few weeks ago that the league takes a short winter break.
Yeah, that's what happens when the Liga makes sure their schedule is Pope friendly. I was in the same boat when my wife and I visited 6 years ago. The only match Benfica played in 3 weeks was in the Acores. We did get to see Portugal play Holland in the Algarve instead.

I know visiting the Luz wouldn't have been a wasted trip. The stadium tours are offered in English and the museum is bi-lingual. It has pretty much every trophy the senior team has ever won (Even the choochie hardware that is handed out for cash grab matches) with the stories behind the matches. One trophy was just a giant embalmed elephant's foot (I don't know why this was considered a good idea). They also have every trophy for any of the club's non-football sponsored teams and athletes. And they are not displayed in the back corner. Awards won by Telma Monteiro are displayed just as prominently as anything won by Eusebio. You can also take a photo with one of the two eagles that soars around the Estadio Da Luz pre-match.

Hope you had a good trip, regardless. Perfect time of year to catch a big wave.

 

Titans Bastard

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Well, until relatively recently, England didn't have many Latino players, so it makes sense for them to gravitate towards the leagues that featured the best Latin players, not to mention the language aspect.

Just kind of bullshitting here, but most typical American soccer fans started watching European soccer within the past 20 years. However, if you or your parents grew up in Latin America, chances are you may have inherited a fandom that dates back generations. So if you are a Mexican American born in 1990, your parents may have been big Real Madrid fans so you inherited that fandom. Since the English Football League was fairly isolated, it is less likely they have Latin fans dating back that far.
That's probably a factor. I wonder if another factor could be language patterns. One reason why the EPL became so popular is that there's no language barrier for most Americans. It's easy to consume the news, forum chatter, twitter, etc. Hispanics might gravitate towards La Liga for the same reasons.

Another thing to consider is that historically La Liga was more likely to feature a style of play that was familiar to and similar to what was found in Latin America than '80s English soccer. A lot of national soccer stereotypes are lazy, IMO, but I've never found reason to disbelieve the old-school English ones. Obviously things are quite different in the EPL now, so I wonder if we'll see a shift among Hispanic soccer fans in the US and in Latin America.

Personally, I hope all fans all around the world continue to engage in and support their local clubs and leagues in addition to whatever overseas allegiances they might have developed.
 

Titans Bastard

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Yeah, that's what happens when the Liga makes sure their schedule is Pope friendly. I was in the same boat when my wife and I visited 6 years ago. The only match Benfica played in 3 weeks was in the Acores. We did get to see Portugal play Holland in the Algarve instead.

I know visiting the Luz wouldn't have been a wasted trip. The stadium tours are offered in English and the museum is bi-lingual. It has pretty much every trophy the senior team has ever won (Even the choochie hardware that is handed out for cash grab matches) with the stories behind the matches. One trophy was just a giant embalmed elephant's foot (I don't know why this was considered a good idea). They also have every trophy for any of the club's non-football sponsored teams and athletes. And they are not displayed in the back corner. Awards won by Telma Monteiro are displayed just as prominently as anything won by Eusebio. You can also take a photo with one of the two eagles that soars around the Estadio Da Luz pre-match.

Hope you had a good trip, regardless. Perfect time of year to catch a big wave.

Thanks, and we still have one last hurray in Ponta Delgada tonight. This trip has been my second time time through Lisbon and my first time in the Azores. São Miguel may be the most stunning and dramatic place I've ever been.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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Enjoy this photo of Adama Traore asserting his dominance after Wolves’ latest victory.

A0720634-514A-49AC-B9C0-FF26FE797FD3.jpeg

Secretly wonder if BB would use him at TE or OLB or both.
 

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Toni Kroos scored an Olimpico against Valencia for RM a little bit ago. VAL Keeper and players were arguing with the ref over whether it should be a free kick; Kroos took the corner quickly, curved it straight into the net with almost no one paying attention, and the goalie only realized it late and couldn't do more than punch it straight into his own net.

edit: video
View: https://twitter.com/ESPNFC/status/1214990057007923203
 

Vinho Tinto

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ESPN article on Leipzig.

Remember, having three clubs (Bayern, Dortmund, Schalke) with a big economic advantage is traditional and right. Leveraging a large corporation to scout and develop your own squad is a threat to the soul of the sport, or something. The western clubs had no issue going scorched Earth in raiding the east for talent following unification. I've suspected from the beginning that there is a bias against Leipzig for being an Eastern club.
 

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It isn't just Eintracht and Dortmund, two of Germany's most traditional clubs. The first time Leipzig traveled to Union Berlin, the page in the game program usually devoted to the history of the visiting club was replaced with a primer on bull breeding instead. Fortuna Dusseldorf has updated its bylaws to forbid the club from scheduling friendlies with Leipzig or offering recognition in any way "beyond what is required by the rules of the sport."
I hope @candylandriots can educate the rest of us after his club's public service. And they'll be squaring off again this Saturday.

edit: that article makes me want to go buy a red bull on general principle for all these haughty haters. The difference between Leipzig's rise and, say, Man City's reformation under the UAE, are different in a huge number of important ways.
 
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candylandriots

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I hope @candylandriots can educate the rest of us after his club's public service. And they'll be squaring off again this Saturday.

edit: that article makes me want to go buy a red bull on general principle for all these haughty haters. The difference between Leipzig's rise and, say, Man City's reformation under the UAE, are different in a huge number of important ways.
Yeah, there are a few things that I've encountered since I've been here where I was initially dumbfounded after first looking at things through my American lenses. I expected RB Leipzig to be a fashionable new team based on how they tore up the ladder and challenged entrenched behemoths like Bayern and Dortmund. Think Moneyball-era Oakland A's to picture what I had in mind. I was quickly disabused of this notion.

On the one hand, I get it. It looks like queue-jumping (another big no-no here). Instead of playing the game "the right way" (which is never written down), it's easier to attack an team like Leipzig that uses *a* financial advantage (and art the article clearly notes, they are not playing in the same league as some of the other teams financially). If you've been supporting a team that does things the traditional way (again, think of how much grief Billy Beane got at first), it does seem like not_paying_your_dues. But there is also an anti-corporate streak in Germany that the team certainly should have been aware of, especially in a place like Berlin, makes me wonder if they didn't do the stupid Rasenballsport thing and left the logo off the kit, whether things would be somewhat different. I really think that those two, completely superficial things, mean more to the German fans than anything else that Leipzig has done "wrong".

When Union Berlin (my local team, who the links above are for, and I encourage you to read about them because it's a very cool history) made the Bundesliga for the first time this season, their first game of the season was at home against, as luck would have it, RB Leipzig. What should have been a cause for a raucous celebration, was met with complete silence in the stadium for the first 15 minutes. They went on to lose 0-4, but that was kind of beside the point. Union had made the big time two years after Leipzig, but done it with community ownership and a fan-first outlook that permeates every part of the club. Never mind that I haven't seen a game this season in person, because the stadium is so small that only season ticket holders and extremely lucky members can get a ticket now, but this is considered far better in Germany. I'm locked in to Union, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who reads those stories I linked to and knows my posting history here, but I personally can't get that worked up over RB Leipzig. My wife and I are going to Leipzig in March for a weekend, and I was really disappointed to find out that they were on the road that weekend. Maybe I'll take a run down there for a game, because it is definitely going to be easier to get tickets in a city two hours away than in my own.

Hopefully Tyler Adams keeps having success there...I miss having Bobby Wood knocking in goals all over the place in Berlin.
 
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Kliq

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European soccer has been set up to reward a select few blue bloods; any team that is willing to spend to get a seat at the table with the big boys is imo, healthy for the game. Everyone that complains about Leipzig, PSG, Man City, etc. to me comes across as whiny and insecure, upset that someone is intruding on their established hierarchy. And yes, I understand the difference between what happened at Leipzig and what has been going on at the petro clubs, but it doesn't change much to me. Thank god we have revenue sharing in America.

The executives of the other clubs who are quoted in that article sound like conservative parents in the 1960s complaining about how The Beatles are ruining the youth of today with their long hair.
 

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Well, I do draw a distinction between a team deficit-spending willy-nilly because they have so much money that they literally don't care how much they lose (PSG, City), and a team that's corporate-owned and ultimately P&L-driven, but able to invest because of marketing value, and can take the long view with development of a roster, fanbase, team infrastructure, stadium, etc. I fully get and sympathize with the complaints about those insurgents, because as the Dortmund guy points out, it's only as stable as the ownership's passing fancy. The next guy like the Leicester owner who (literally or figuratively) goes down in flames, maybe your club's fortunes are shattered and it's back down to the netherworld with you. I don't get the vehemence of the objection from other fans, but I do get the sneering about "bought their way in" when it comes to those clubs (though not Leipzig). After all, we said the same about the Yankees with respect to the rest of MLB for many years.

With any sport that's not a closed shop, the way US pro leagues are, you could never enforce a salary cap system because rival leagues would gleefully poach your talent in order to draw more attention to themselves, as a long-term investment / loss leader. FFP in UEFA is a joke, as we all know, but it's not clear that they could impose anything that wasn't a joke and get away with it given the sport's politics.
 

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Isn't that where Dimitri Payet is from? (Edit: yup they name check him in the 2nd paragraph, he played for that club, too). That place seems to be to football as the Dominican Republic is to baseball.

I love stories like this. MLB really ought to have a tournament for the whole minors system that includes MLB clubs at some stage.
 

Titans Bastard

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The Coupe de France is pretty cool for several reasons

1) They provide travel funding for all their overseas departments in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, and Pacific Ocean to participate. That obviously includes transportation, but also sometimes winter clothing that tropical islanders never had a previous need to buy. Even St. Pierre and Miquelon fielded a few teams in the 2019-20 edition (probably didn't need new hats though!).

2) They don't seem to have any stadium requirements at all. The FA Cup doesn't include literal pub league teams because you need an enclosed pitch, floodlights, and a bit of seating. This year's FA Cup has 735 clubs. The Coupe de France has something in the range of 8,500.

Also:

3) The preliminary rounds in Coupe de France actually stretch all the way back to the previous February, so although he retired in June, one contributor to Saint-Pierroise's run was Florent Sinama Pongolle, formerly of many clubs including Liverpool, Atlético, and for a brief moment in 2014, the Chicago Fire.

4) I took Dover Athletic from the Conference South to the Premier League in FM11. That edition of the game had a weird quirk where a bunch of players from Reunion were super cheap and super awesome at low levels. Mad props to Patrick Vaz, Yohan Guichard, Eric Farro, Didier Caro, and Giovanni Songoro.
 

SoxFanInCali

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UEFA released their Fans' Team of the Year for 2019, based on fan voting.

They set it up in a 4-2-4 formation, a pretty blatant move to sneak 4th place forward Cristiano Ronaldo in at the expense of 3rd place midfielder N'Golo Kante.

Anyways, here's the team:
Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Matthijs De Ligt, Virgil Van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Frenkie De Jong, Kevin De Bruyne; Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane.
 

67YAZ

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Villa sign Mbwana Samatta, the Tanzanian striker from Genk. Samatta will be the first ever Tanzanian to feature in the EPL. Only 5 other East Africans have ever played in the EPL, the only current player is Kenyan Victor Wanyama.

Samatta was born in Dar-es-Salaam and as a youth joined the country’s top youth side, Africa Lyon. He then spent all of 6 months at Tanzania’s most dominant club, Simba SC, before moving to continental giant TP Mezembe in the DRC. After 5 season there, he transferred to Genk and now the EPL after netting a goal at Anfield earlier this season.

All in all, this is a fantastic story for African football. It blazes a path from one of the continent’s footballing backwaters to the biggest league in the world. I hope this spurs more excitement and investment in the game in TZ. (I have spent some time in TZ and had a student write a thesis about Simba SC supporters several years back...it’s a fascinating, wonderful footballing culture.)

Too bad Everton didn’t sign Samatta, eh @OilCanShotTupac? After playing a friendly there, signing Samatta would have made Everton the most popular club in TZ ever.
 
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Leicester City and Austria LB Christian Fuchs has, almost bizarrely, bought a sports complex with an indoor dome out of bankruptcy in Warwick NY, and re-opened it as Hudson Sports Complex. Apparently Fuchs is bringing some of his EPL players to play a local friendly at the end of May as part of a charity fundraiser.

An owner of a rival facility south of there (and winter sometimes-training ground for NYRB) tells me the previous owners took a former prison, put a ton of money into converting it, and it starved - open to close in 18 months. There are 250+ soccer clubs in the greater region, but this place is an hour in the wrong direction. It's only 90 minutes from manhattan, but still somehow in the middle of nowhere, amid the likes of dairy farms.
 

Titans Bastard

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The African qualifying format is pretty bad. There are these ten groups of four, which are usually uneven (seeded based on FIFA rankings, naturally). Only one team advances, so usually several strong teams get screwed by the draw and there are a few groups that are way too easy.

Then there's the randomness of five home-and-aways among the ten group winners for Africa's five spots.

Of all the different confederational qualifying formats, it's the one that's least likely to produce qualifiers who are actually the best the region has to offer.
 

67YAZ

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The African qualifying format is pretty bad. There are these ten groups of four, which are usually uneven (seeded based on FIFA rankings, naturally). Only one team advances, so usually several strong teams get screwed by the draw and there are a few groups that are way too easy.

Then there's the randomness of five home-and-aways among the ten group winners for Africa's five spots.

Of all the different confederational qualifying formats, it's the one that's least likely to produce qualifiers who are actually the best the region has to offer.
Add in the sometimes drastic differences in climate, altitude, and pitch quality and you have the recipe for a lot of upsets. I think this does have an effect on the FAs, who see the heightened likelihood of upsets and decide to make the short term investment in pricier European managers & staff in order to win now instead of developing coaching pipelines and other national football infrastructure.
 

dirtynine

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Seems like a good price. I’d have thought any perennial EPL club with that size following would be into the B range.
 

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Seems like a good price. I’d have thought any perennial EPL club with that size following would be into the B range.
When the expectation of such owners is that you will use every accounting trick in the book to spend into the red in order to try to win, the NPV of your future cashflows - which is, at least theoretically, your franchise value - doesn't look so hot.
 

dirtynine

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Stolen from Reddit, here's a look at the state of the title races in the big continental (can't say Euro!) leagues:

 

tmracht

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Well thats quite a chart, there would need to be what 7 more columns to get Man City back into the picture?
With the Eredivisie only a 3 point lead, the Primeira League 7 points difference and the Turkish Super Lig a complete cluster. The EPL and France really standout.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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Villa sign Mbwana Samatta, the Tanzanian striker from Genk. Samatta will be the first ever Tanzanian to feature in the EPL. Only 5 other East Africans have ever played in the EPL, the only current player is Kenyan Victor Wanyama.

Samatta was born in Dar-es-Salaam and as a youth joined the country’s top youth side, Africa Lyon. He then spent all of 6 months at Tanzania’s most dominant club, Simba SC, before moving to continental giant TP Mezembe in the DRC. After 5 season there, he transferred to Genk and now the EPL after netting a goal at Anfield earlier this season.

All in all, this is a fantastic story for African football. It blazes a path from one of the continent’s footballing backwaters to the biggest league in the world. I hope this spurs more excitement and investment in the game in TZ. (I have spent some time in TZ and had a student write a thesis about Simba SC supporters several years back...it’s a fascinating, wonderful footballing culture.)

Too bad Everton didn’t sign Samatta, eh @OilCanShotTupac? After playing a friendly there, signing Samatta would have made Everton the most popular club in TZ ever.
Evertons shirt sponsor is an Kenyan betting site. Part of the sponsorship deal is an annual visit to Kenya/TZ for friendlies, they invite the winner of a tourney there to Goodisin for a friendly, the club sponsors charities there, etc. I hate that we have a gambling site and want to upgrade but if we have to have one, getting into Africa is shrewd. PL is so popular, it’s a growth market, and other clubs have done well establishing fan bases overseas (Newcastle in Thailand, etc).
 

Tuff Ghost

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The Athletic had a pretty interesting article on how clubs may begin to utilize Watson to evaluate and organize data (which could then be accessed through a conversational-interface, i.e. "show me Vardy goals"), as well as the creation of a VR interface to re-live games.

Regarding VR, which is only at prototype level of build currently, and requires programming in the data (i.e. GPS, etc.) at this time:
“The idea of doing this in virtual reality is you get a clearer view of what is happening than on a 2D screen,” Pavitt, a West Ham United supporter, says. “You get more context of the players’ positions, and you get the idea of standing in the players’ shoes.

“The graphics aren’t exactly FIFA [the video game] standard yet, there is still work to be done, but this demonstrates what is possible with this technology. You get the sense of how fast the players and the ball move in real time.

“Players may review their performances by watching videos but this takes that analysis to another level as they can revisit moments in games so they can learn from mistakes and experience what they can do differently next time through VR. They can also look at their future opponents."
It also gets into the competitive edges that can be found for the clubs that use data properly, such as Klopp's throw-in coach:
“Watson has learned over time to distinguish where a play originates and, using data from the Premier League since 2017-18, it analysed that 20 per cent of shots on goal in the Premier League came from plays which began with a throw-in. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp recently appointed a throw-in coach."
It sounds like very few clubs actually take advantage of this type of stuff, which is surprising:
We spoke to a Champions League side in Spain about this and they said they knew that AI would be massive in the sport in the next five to 10 years, but they didn’t know what it was or how it worked so they didn’t trust it...

[In the Premier League]:
There are just three clubs doing it properly that I am aware of: Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester.
 

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Ugh.

Watson isn't AI in any practical form, it's a marketing campaign built around the ideal and persona of a HAL-9000 type superintelligence. There is no unitary "Watson" entity to speak of, it's a bunch of hand-waving and IBM consulting teams, some of whom have a clue about data modeling and metrics development but most of whom just know how to sound smart and look good in suits.

IBM itself owns some decent patents and employs some decent experts in natural language processing (NLP), so anything involving mining a lot of unstructured text for things you can turn into data is one area of some competence for them. They've also built a good platform from which enterprise clients can select and immediately use a range of data sources and analytics tools from a catalogue, and then put them on their own execution cloud and related services. Those are strengths.

But those kernels of value are swamped by the delusions of grandeur that their marketing team has for them. They're consultants first, data scientists second. Here's a good summary, focusing on healthcare. The archetypal example when it came out was how they basically got politically sold into the MD Anderson cancer center in Houston (which for both research and clinical work is on-par with Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Dana-Farber), and more or less did nothing while eating $60M / year and trying to politically insulate their clients. That link is to a report by auditors for the board of the University of Texas, who basically came in to regulate once the emperor was revealed to have no clothes.

The same is true of other industries they've tried to get into. I've personally been a part of getting IBM kicked out of insurance companies because they were adding no value, and we could (on a much lighter budget). In sports, as the Athletic article alludes to, they poured an enormous amount of money into sponsoring the tennis Grand Slams, with their branding all over the event websites, they were "providing" the live streams of outer courts (i.e. not the show courts), and they got IBM branding on "next-gen stats" that were really just a little player movement tracking and things like plotting locations of ball striking. There was no higher-level integration of game flow, no indications of tactics. Their generated keys-to-the-match before each tennis game amounted to some late-career-Madden-esque banalities and exercises in the obvious, like "this player needs to win a high percentage of their first serves". Yeah, no shit. Tell us how they're going to go about that. Give us something that the player themselves would probably be interested to know, assess some weaknesses, observe combinations that work a disproportionate fraction of the time. Something. But no, instead we got TV commercials with Serena Williams so they could tout their omniscience.

There may be examples of innovative derivation of data within football, innovative assessment of it, and then implementing the conclusions of it in interesting ways. But until it gets good enough to understand tactics and spot weaknesses at something approaching what a decent football manager can do - in other words, until it gets conceptual understanding of the game - I think it's going to add almost no value and be a huge distraction to the football staff and waste of resources for management.

I wish them luck (moreso the teams than IBM), but this article is PR by a half-informed but very excited football fan. It is not heralding a new era.

Sincerely,
Big Data Guy
 

Tuff Ghost

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Quincy
I wish them luck (moreso the teams than IBM), but this article is PR by a half-informed but very excited football fan. It is not heralding a new era.
Well, my dream of Arteta slapping an Oculus Rift on Ozil’s head and asking Watson to “show him how to create a goal scoring opportunity” is officially dashed.
 

OilCanShotTupac

Sunny von Bulow
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
17,888
The 718
European soccer has been set up to reward a select few blue bloods; any team that is willing to spend to get a seat at the table with the big boys is imo, healthy for the game. Everyone that complains about Leipzig, PSG, Man City, etc. to me comes across as whiny and insecure, upset that someone is intruding on their established hierarchy. And yes, I understand the difference between what happened at Leipzig and what has been going on at the petro clubs, but it doesn't change much to me. Thank god we have revenue sharing in America.

The executives of the other clubs who are quoted in that article sound like conservative parents in the 1960s complaining about how The Beatles are ruining the youth of today with their long hair.
I'm reading Carlo Ancelloti''s book, which is very good - it's a football memoir but also a lite-reading life philosophy and how-to management book, kind of like a footy John Wooden.

I was not aware that PSG was once a kind of crummy club - when Carlo got there they were competitive but certainly not dominant, and several years removed from their last dynasty years. They had almost nothing in the way of infrastructure. He had just come from Chelsea, which had a very good organization and infrastructure to support the coaches and players. He built something similar at PSG, putting them on their upward trajectory. His big asset and ally in all of this was ZLATAN! Carlo told him, you're going to be the leader on the pitch, you're the stud, I'm putting it on your shoulders, and ZLATAN! was like fuck yeah boss, let's blow this motherfucker up. There's a nice piece from ZLATAN! in the book re: how much he loves and admires Carlo.

Interesting because I didn't know much about PSG's history.
 

Vinho Tinto

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 9, 2003
5,895
Auburn, MA
Two random things about PSG:

1) They’re one of the few big clubs that doesn’t have a major rival within the same city.

2) Compared to most of the big clubs, they aren’t that old (1970).