Thursday, July 26, 2012

The 2011/12 Update to the All-Time Best Managers Versus the m£XIR Model

I am way behind in cross posting my material to my own blog, so this update is nearly two weeks in coming.  Over at the Transfer Price Index blog I posted an update to the all-time manager over and under performance versus the m£XIR model that integrates the managers' performances during the 2011/12 season.  In addition to an overall ranking I also provide the first post-Abramovich ranking to study to identify who's out performed the model in the "financial doping era" of the league.

Some of the biggest changes from the 2010/11 ranking include:

  • Kenny Dalglish falls out of the elite Top 10% of managers with last year's performance at Liverpool.  His record is actually to financial expectations if his pre-Abramovich record is excluded and only his Liverpool-era management statistics are used.
  • Roberto Mancini's championship with Manchester City earned him enough points to move him into the top three managers of all time.  In the post-Abramovich era he ranks fourth overall.
  • Claudio Ranieri's single season with Chelsea in the post-Abramovich era is good enough to give him the top overall spot of all managers who have overseen at least 38 matches since the 2003/04 season.
  • Arsene Wenger is worth an average of 18 points a season to Arsenal in the post-Abramovich era, and last season he outperformed the m£XIR model by 14 points.
Click on the link above to read even more, and find out where every manager who has at least 38 matches to their record sits in the history of the Premier League.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

On Forbes: Why Arsenal Should Give Robin Van Persie the Divorce That He Wants

It's been a trying 24 hours for me as an Arsenal fan.  The inevitable has happened - RVP is leaving the club.  The statistician and economist in me knows this was inevitable, and that RVP will likely never have another run of form like he did the last season and a half.  The romantic in me wants to believe the opposite, and the fan in me is angered that yet again we have lost our premier player for the second year running.  There can't be any other conclusion that our club's aspirations are much lower than they were in the past.

As a way of coping I penned a two page analysis of why Arsenal should look to sell RVP this summer rather than hold on to him another year and have him leave on a free.  He's toxic goods around the club right now when it comes to player and coach relationships, and he still has nearly £20M in transfer value to be realized.  Arsenal need to think logically during these tumultuous times.  The only logical conclusion is to sell him now rather than hold out romantic hope for some sort of reconciliation.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

On Forbes: Why Villas-Boas Will Be Under More Pressure at Spurs Than Chelsea

My latest post is up at Forbes, and it looks at why Andre Villas-Boas is likely under greater pressure at Tottenham Hotspur than he was at Chelsea.  Everyone knows how much Roman Abramovich expects of his high-priced teams and thus their managers, but at least he pays for the talent to meet such expectations.  The challenge for Villas-Boas is that Tottenham clearly has expectations of regularly qualifying for the Champions League, yet tries to skimp by on a budget that makes realizing that goal much more difficult.  Read the story to understand just how little they spend, and how it compares to AVB's and his successor's performance at Chelsea.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thank You!

I wanted to take a minute to thank all of my readers for their continued support and for lack of a better way to express it, their clicks.  For the last 2+ years you've helped me grow in both my writing and analytical skills, and the result has been the continual growth in opportunities I've realized through this medium.  When I started out in April 2010 I had no idea where this would go.  I was just trying to make sense of a new sport that I loved, one that has a rich history with which I needed to catch up if I were to understand the game as it is today and how it's continually evolving with every match played.

Two months ago I started writing at  I didn't know what to expect.  Perhaps the visibility of my writing would go up a bit given the network that Forbes has.  Maybe in the first few months I would make a few bucks in beer money.  I was hoping to grow it into something that would help offset the costs associated with travel to the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference or my recent visit to ESPN.  Other than that, I had few expectations.  These first two months have surpassed my wildest dreams.  Over 15,000 total visitors came by my Forbes site in June alone, with more than 32,000 total page views generated.  This easily surpassed my best month ever at this site.

Thank you so much for your readership, your feedback, and your interactions on services like Twitter and Facebook.  Your support and constant dialogue are what sustain my drive to provide ever better content.  The level of readership is what gives me the "journalistic heft" to have the opportunities like covering how ESPN integrated statistics into their Euro 2012 coverage.  It's an experience I'll never forget, and it's due in large part to your readership and demand for such content.  Thank you.

Now it's time to get back to writing.  Tottenham Hotspur has a new manager that needs to be analyzed...

Monday, July 2, 2012

On Forbes: Euro 2012's Outstanding Teams - Italy, Germany, Portugal, and England

I am back after being on a very busy business trip in Europe for the last week.  My first post-trip article at Forbes focuses on identifying the teams in the Euro 2012 tournament who most over and under performed versus pre-tournament expectations.  I give Spain their due as what they've done over the last four years is simply amazing, but far better writers will certainly give them the ink they deserve.  I chose instead to talk about the less obvious teams, explaining why Italy, Germany, Portugal, and even England outperformed expectations.  I even turn my attention to the bottom of the table, where I provide numerical justification as to why Ukraine outperformed Poland, and why there's likely not another conclusion to be drawn than the Netherlands was the worse under performer of the tournament.  Finally, I close with a quick evaluation of which of the four models examined - the Soccernomics Europe-specific model, Infostrada's Euro Club Index, ESPN's Soccer Power Index, and an aggregate of the three - was the most accurate at predicting group play outcomes.