Managing the player portfolio

Recently I posted an NYA presentation on player contributions to cash flow that outlined how players could be viewed as capital assets. In part because of the recent interest in work by Howard Hamilton and Tom Worville, I’ve decided to post portions of an earlier presentation on managing the player portfolio. Portfolio management is a field that many people dabble in as individual investors and a few people take to sophisticated extremes as professionals. You don’t have to use the fanciest quantitative models to be a successful manager, though. A few basic insights and tools can greatly enhance the health…
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What went wrong for Wigan?

It’s not hard to see why Wigan Athletic suffered relegation at the end of the 2012-13 English Premier League season. If a club gives up 73 goals, as Wigan did, chances are it’s going down. In fact, since the league went to 20 teams, every single one that conceded 73 times or more was relegated. But why did Wigan leak goals like a sieve? I ask this question because Wigan’s then-coach, Roberto Martínez, has been running into defensive problems at Everton, too. It’s also an interesting question because, by at least a few popular statistics, Wigan didn’t look that bad….
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What happened to Liverpool?

It hasn’t been the easiest road for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool this season. With Luis Suárez gone and Daniel Sturridge injured, two of their main offensive threats from last year’s title challenge have been out of the picture. Yet Liverpool would have faced a difficult 2014-15 even if both of those players had been available. Let’s put expected goal models and positional tracking aside for a moment. For Liverpool, a glance at some basic statistics can be quite revealing. Here’s how their shots looked for the past four seasons: For starters, the edge in penalty shots in 2013-14 was so…
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