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in Technology - 01 Aug, 2016
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How Useful Are Soccer Analytics? A Professional’s View

With modern-day soccer becoming ever more competitive, it is no surprise to see some clubs making use of soccer analytics as they strive to find a way to become better than their opponents, but are they working?

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With the technology available it is now possible to find out more about individual players than ever before, and clubs that embrace soccer analytics have access to a huge amount of information on both their own players and those of the opposition, but there has been a lot of discussion around whether it’s actually all just a waste of time.

A Good Point

One of its harshest critics is Bruce Arena, head coach of the LA Galaxy. He was recently quoted in a scathing attack on analytics, stating how the most important of all analytics is the final score, and it’s an argument that you’d struggle to disagree with.

After all, your team could out pass, out-run and completely out-play their opposition, but put simply if the other team score one goal more than yours, then you lose the game. Points aren’t given out for stats or percentages.

For some clubs, the focus is on the performance of the players themselves rather than of their collective unit as a team, and that could be where analytics really come into play. Players can be tracked via GPS during a game, which will reveal just how far a player has run around, along with his speed whilst doing so.

Information like this gives clubs the opportunity to study how a player recovers both during a game and after it, which can then help them decide on how to nurture that players’ fitness levels to ensure that they reach their peak.

If It Isn’t Broken

Of course, what it sometimes comes down to is just reluctance to change. The reason clubs hire coaches in the first place is usually because of their individuality, and some just don’t believe that new methods based on soccer analytics will ever work, preferring instead to work with the reliable soccer drills, such as those from https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Football/;jsessionid=56B5B4058787F33A9D106510DD68AE18, that have steered them to success in the past.

Soccer analytics are here to stay, but one thing that is for sure is that it will always be the final score that counts.