Who needs to buy what in January 2015?

With half the English Premier League season gone, the January transfer window is opening. Some time ago, NYA developed a powerful algorithm¬†for determining clubs’ top priorities for improvement. Based on historical tables, the algorithm projects how changes in goals scored and goals conceded would affect a team’s likely finishes in the league for several seasons to come. I’ve dusted off the algorithm and updated it to offer some guidance in this window. The original version of the algorithm places a cash value, at the margin, on goals scored and conceded based on a club’s current league position. The values, which…
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What should go into player ratings?

Soccer analysts – and sports analysts in general – put a lot of effort into evaluating players. Whether it’s for recruiting, team selection, scouting the opposition, planning tactics, or predicting results, measuring players’ ability and performance is crucial. Yet there is surprising little written about the content of player ratings. That’s too bad, since a club probably won’t want to use an analyst’s ratings if it can’t understand the underlying components, or indeed why the analyst chose them. I like to begin this discussion is by building from the ground up in the most general way. Let’s start by talking…
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Expected goals from situations

There’s a shift taking place in the soccer analytics landscape, and it’s probably overdue. For the past year or so, expected goals models based on shots have been very much in vogue. But recently, several analysts and commentators – notably Max Odenheimer, Richard Whittall, and myself – have pointed out that every situation on the field has some chance of turning into a goal. The big questions are whether these situations can be measured and, if so, whether the resulting models are superior to existing alternatives. The answer to the first question depends in large part on the quality of…
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