How statistics can be useful for a football fan

You can say that every observable thing in the universe can be described and explained by maths. This approach has certainly become a powerful tool in the process of getting to know our world. Football is no exception here, as the numbers in sports are gaining more significance every year, especially when the discipline is ruled more and more by the money factor and its implications. Crunching those numbers can tell us a lot about our favourite teams and players.

Not too long ago, statistics in football concerned just a few basic aspects like goals or assists. In recent years that data grew exponentially, and began to cover a lot more of the aspects and relate to more sophisticated scenarios and players movement on the pitch. Any detail, however trivial it may seem, might come in handy for someone who knows how to interpret it. When clubs have to invest big money for prospect players who may or may not become valuable additions to their squads, there is very little room for error. This is where analysts come into play and their role cannot be overestimated.

Photo by Fallschirmjäger / CC BY-SA 3.0

There is no reason why we, the spectators, can’t enjoy the statistical side of it, or even benefit from it. For starters, it certainly is an easy and fun way to follow our favourite players and measure their performance. We can see how well they are doing in various aspects of the game, and how that compares to others. Looking at Lionel Messi’s achievements in his best seasons gives you the perspective of how exceptional he truly is. In order to really grasp the bigger picture, one can take a closer look at more specific indicators, such as key passes, interceptions, accuracy, tackles.

Photo by L.F.Salas / CC BY 2.0

It is much harder to do but can provide you with better understanding about true value of a particular player. What comes to mind in this situation is the case of Mesut Oezil who often perceived as not giving the team his absolute best and simply not working hard enough. It’s easy to see his potential and great passes when Arsenal play the offensive football, but when they get less opportunities in the opposition’s box, the German playmaker appears weak.

However, regardless of what fans may think about his lack of effort, stats show that his contribution is enormous. He creates plenty of chances for his teammates, and recently he celebrated 50th Premier League assist in the club, achieving the record faster than any other player (141 games) in league history. All that during a not so favourable period for the Arsenal team.

To some extent, statistical approach can be very useful in trying to predict future outcomes. In gaming industry, this is especially true for poker and betting games. PokerNews portal and similar informative pages are great sources of guides and tips on how to use it to your advantage. Oftentimes, those sites have something interesting to say about football matches as well. Whether playing recreationally, or planning on earning some money, following some sort of analytical solutions and maintaining proper discipline is crucial part of the winning. Unless of course, you just want to burn some cash for the experience.

How statistics can be useful for a football fan

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