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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 2016

As 2016 reaches its conclusion, we look back at some of the most innovative, thought-provoking articles, videos and podcasts over the past 12 months within football analytics.


Michiel Jongsma (with the help of Johannes Harkins) produced an analysis of defensive involvement in the Eredivisie, particularly focusing on the role of defenders in build-up play when compared to other European leagues.

Read the article 

This same article was later turned into a short film.


Renowned NBA statistician Dean Oliver delivered the first guest talk at the 2016 OptaPro Analytics Forum. Dean discussed the process of implementing an analytical approach within elite sport, and referenced his experiences of working across three different NBA teams.


At the 10th MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Dan Altman delivered an in-depth tactical analysis of Leicester City.


In an article for The Telegraph that includes comments from West Ham United Technical Scout and Analyst Rory Campbell (also an OptaPro Analytics Forum judge), Jeremy Wilson discusses how data and more advanced analytics are being used by professional football clubs.

Read the article


Garry Gelade’s excellent analysis in May revolved around shot selection and developing quantitative descriptions of shooting locations. Garry then used this information to classify and compare different players.

Read the article


In June analytics practitioner and academic Bill Gerrard launched a sports analytics blog. In his first article, Bill discussed the role of analytics in supporting decision making and how its impact can be maximised.

Read the article


Not exclusive to July but certainly deserving of a mention in this roundup is the Double Pivot podcast.

Hosted by Michael Caley and Mike Goodman, this analytical football podcast provides insightful debate and comment across different topics within the sport.

Listen on iTunes


Within football analytics writing, August is – quite rightly – becoming best known for StatsBomb’s wide-ranging data-driven season previews.

The Premier League previews can be found here.

Although not a preview, Marek Kwiatkowski’s ‘Towards a new kind of analytics' article should also be mentioned in this roundup. Taking a step back to assess how data is used to analyse football, Marek spoke of the need to avoid looking at events in isolation, and adopt a more dynamic approach.

Read the article 


Planning recruitment cycles is never a straightforward challenge for professional teams. Lucy Rushton, Atlanta United’s Head of Technical Recruitment, spoke to the Leaders Performance Institute about the new MLS team using statistical analysis to support recruiting an entire playing staff.

Read the article


For the OptaPro blog, Johannes Harkins proposed a more holistic approach to measure and quantify defensive pressure.

Read the article


Analytics FC’s November podcast featured an in-depth interview with Christofer Clemens, Head of Analysis and Scouting at the German national team.


Dustin Ward. an analyst who consistently produces excellent articles, provided a detailed breakdown of Leicester City’s passing patterns, comparing this season with their title-winning campaign.

Read the article 

Posted by Ryan Bahia at 00:00


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