The Numbers Game
The Numbers Game

The Numbers Game

Why Corners Should be Taken Short, Teams are Only as Good as Their Worst Players, and Changing the Manager Doesn't Change Much

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"The Numbers Game" by Chris Anderson and David Sally reveals football's astonishing hidden rules. Football is 50 per cent luck, Managers only have 19 per cent influence, and Substitutes should be made in the 58th, 73rd, or 79th minute. Darren Bent's goals win more games than Wayne Rooney's We are at the dawn of football's data revolution. From passes completed ratios to average transfer fees, we are blitzed by statistics - but mostly they only confuse and hide the real story. It's time to find a way through this data minefield. It is time to learn which numbers truly hold the key to winning matches. It is time to discover which players and managers are really valuable, and why. Chris Anderson, former professional goalkeeper turned football statistics guru, is feted by the world's leading clubs. In this incisive, myth-busting book with behavioural analyst David Sally, he uncovers the numbers that count. Among the astonishing results, you'll discover why preventing a goal is more valuable than scoring one, why taking too many shots might kill you, and why it is far better to improve your worst player than buy a superstar.
Lively, accessible and full of wonderful stories and insights, "The Numbers Game" is the first comprehensive book to understand the modern world of football - the key for fans to debate and unlock their teams' performance (and win more bets and fantasy football points). This is essential reading for football fans everywhere and will also appeal to readers who loved "Moneyball" and "Freakonomics". Age 17, Chris Anderson found himself playing in goal for a fourth division club in Germany. He is now a pioneer of football analytics, and a professor at LSE in the UK and Cornell University in the US. He consults with leading clubs, writes the popular Soccer by the Numbers blog, and contributes to the "New York Times". David Sally is a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, where he analyses the way people play, compete and make decisions.