The Secret Footballer and the Truth on Moneyball

The Secret Footballer and the Truth on Moneyball
June 6, 2012 Chris Rowland

By TTT subscriber Krishen Bhautoo.

As some of you may have read, I wrote a piece on the 28th May which unfortunately (from my point of view) got gazumped by the news of Brendan Rodgers’ appointment. As Paul put it, “Possibly the worst-timed article ever”.

The piece, which you can read here, was primarily a look at our season in regards to shots by ourselves and by our opponents as well as Shots On Target (SOT) and how many points on average we gain. For this piece I decided to look at the crossing and aerial duels, which immediately reminded me of the Secret Footballer’s comments:

“At Liverpool Comolli has relied more heavily on the so-called “Moneyball philosophy” (which, irritatingly, has also infiltrated my club), which argues, among other things, that a team that wins more than 40 headers, or crosses the ball more than 30 times or makes 12 regains in the final third, will nearly always win”.

The Secret Footballer embarrassed by his lack of understanding of sabermetrics

Clearly, he’s not a fan of ‘sabermetrics’, but was he right or was he wrong? Was he pulling numbers out of the air or were they the actual figures that are proven to work? Thankfully, the numbers are available for us to explore further.

Aerial Duels Won vs Average Points Gained

To read the rest of this article you have to be a subscriber