In his debut blog for OptaPro, data scientist @WillTGM analyses central defender passing trends in the Premier Leag…… 17 Jan

VACANCY - we are recruiting a data scientist, who will work across @OptaPro & @OptaSuit. Opportunity.… 16 Jan

Fantastic to have @WillTGM join the team. We'll be publishing Will's first blog for OptaPro this week, which explor…… 14 Jan

Valuing passes – @GarryGelade considers how passing performance can be evaluated using a Pass Reward model. Vision.… 10 Jan

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Welcome to the OptaPro blog, featuring news and analysis from OptaPro's cutting-edge research team.

BLOG: 12 of the best in 2015

As 2015 reaches its conclusion, we look back at some of the more interesting, unique and innovative data-driven content, analytical blogs, videos and feature articles published over the past 12 months.


January – Martin Odegaard: exceptional talent or YouTube sensation?

Former OptaPro Analyst Sam Green analytically assessed Martin Odegaard’s performances and attacking contributions in the Norwegian Tippeligaen ahead of his move to Real Madrid back in January.

Read the article


February – Devin Pleuler leaves OptaPro to join Toronto FC

Although not strictly an analytical article in the traditional sense, Devin’s move to MLS side Toronto FC further demonstrated the demand for data-literate football analysts within professional cubs. Devin’s combination of innovative, advanced analysis that maintained relevance and application made him an ideal fit for a team.

Read the article


March – Beyond shots

Taken from the 2015 OptaPro Analytics Forum, Dan Altman (@NYASoccer) combined Opta data with tracking data to present on the development of a metric to quantify scoring opportunities, but without basing the model on shots.

Watch the presentation


April – Premier League pass masters

Will Gürpinar-Morgan (@WillTGM) applied his Territorial Possession Dominance (TPD) metric to the Premier League, and identified some of the league’s more effective passers.

Read the article


May – How does Raheem Sterling score against Ronaldo and Messi at 20?

Sean Ingle (@seaningle), writing for the Guardian, statistically analysed Raheem Sterling's performances on the pitch, using benchmarks set by older players in similar attacking positions when they were 20.

Read the article

(The Analytics FC podcast should also be mentioned here. Since launching in May, the podcast has consistently held engaging discussions with a range of guests from the analytics industry.) 


June – Assessing defensive impact

In his debut blog for OptaPro, Johannes Harkins (@jmyrharkins) used Expected Goals to assess defensive impact. Johannes focused on the defences of Arsenal and Manchester United, based on their selection choices (often influenced by injuries) throughout the 2014/15 season.

Read the article


July – StatsBomb season previews

Throughout the summer months, analytical blogging platform StatsBomb produced in-depth previews of leagues and teams ahead of the 2015/16 season. The series of articles includes a Q&A with Brentford FC's Ted Knutson.

Read the articles


August – Intentional assists and shooting in the Premier League 

Johannes Harkins provided an in-depth analysis of shooting and intentional assists in the Premier League.

Read the article


September – Leicester City’s recruitment

Mail Online spent time with Leicester City’s recruitment department, discussing the role of data within the club's recruitment processes.

Read the article

LCFC Reports

The following month, OptaPro spoke with first team analyst, Peter Clark, who explained how the Premier League team implement data analysis in pre-match, live and post-match situations.

Read the article


October – The frustrating promise of analytics: soccer has a left-handed pitcher problem 

Mike Goodman (@TheM_L_G), writing for Grantland, provided a unique, in-depth analysis of the current state of football analytics.

Read the article


November – Dear Alan Shearer (why stats matter…)

Joel Salomon (@MessiSeconds), following a Twitter discussion with Alan Shearer, illustrated the importance of context and data-led analysis in football with this engaging video.

Watch the video 


December – Weekly round-ups

Although by no means exclusive to December, James Yorke’s (@jair1970) weekly statistical Premier League roundups on StatsBomb have consistently provided additional underlying context and relevance when reviewing the latest round of Premier League fixtures.

Visit the website


Are there any other analytical articles that stood out for you over the past 12 months? Please share them in the comments section below.


Posted by Ryan Bahia at 00:00


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