Why is Messi So Terrible?

For Argentina. Why is Messi so terrible for Argentina? Sorry, was that headline misleading? Lionel Messi has one goal through the group stages of this year’s Copa America in Chile, a 35th minute penalty against Paraguay. That’s only three games, so small sample size and all, but Messi’s lack of fecundity for the Albiceleste is […]

You Won’t Believe What Wilfred Bony Contributed to Swansea’s Expected Goals

Nothing. He contributed nothing. Maybe you totally believe that.Anyway, inspired by this piece at Statsbomb (it’s about whether Swansea can replicate the relative success of their 2014-25 campaign), I started trying to think of some obvious things that might explain what Swansea were doing this past season that had them outperform their expected goals by […]

Small Data Can Still Be Pretty Cool

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Sure it’s nice to be able to take data sets of 1000 variables and 100,000 observations and do meaningful calculations, but that doesn’t mean finding interesting information is solely the domain of complex algorithms.These are plots that are generated from nothing more than the season’s worth of league results (minus one week and one game) […]

Balls

First, I hate myself for having done this. But sometime after the Patriots were first caught deflating their balls, Sharp Football Analysis released a trilogy (also here and here) of pieces about the statistical (un)likelihood of how (in)frequently the Patriots fumbled the football. The presupposition being that an underinflated ball is easier to hold on […]