Everyone knows that data analytics in football is being used by the top clubs to help boost individual player performances to improve on-pitch results. The aim is to try and win more games and eventually generate more revenue.
There are lots of books out there today that explain how sports data is gathered and how these stats are analysed, but instead of listing each and every book that covers this topic, here are just three of the best football books that introduce you to the rise of statistical analysis.
Number 1 – The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong
The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong is another great read. It was written by David Sully (noted behavioural analyst) and Christopher Anderson (a former professional goalkeeper turned soccer stats expert), and it was originally published in 2013. If you hadn’t already guessed by the title, this book is all about how important numbers are in the game.
The duo team up to discuss exactly how numbers can be used in football to predict winners and present the game in a light that it’s not often portrayed in. It will change the way you think about certain aspects of the game. It’s witty and thoughtful, and it offers a deep insight into the inner workings of the game. The Numbers Game can be enjoyed by everyone from pundits and coaches to football fans and bettors looking to hone their William Hill online betting strategies.
Number 2 – Football Hackers: The Science and Art of a Data Revolution
This well-written book by Christoph Biermann was originally published in May 2019, and it takes readers on a journey into the minds of some of the beautiful game’s most forward-thinking intellects. It talks about how detailed analysis and advanced metrics is being used to reshape the modern game of football by analysing each player’s performance on a regular basis.
The book discusses how some of the most Elite clubs are using clever teams of analysts to collect a wealth of data and analyse it in the best way possible to gain an edge over their rivals. Some of the people he talks to throughout the book are football managers and coaches, scouts, and even scientists who are at the forefront of tracking and developing data-gathering technology. It’s packed with thought-provoking ideas about how the modern game can be influenced by using statistical analysis, and it’s a thoroughly exciting read for all ages.
Number 3 – Soccermatics: Mathematical Adventures in the Beautiful Game
Soccermatics: Mathematical Adventures in the Beautiful Game is another fantastic book that has made it into our top three. It was written by David Sumpter and originally published in 2016. It looks at football in a completely new light and really delves into the mathematics of what’s really happening at a fundamental level.
If you’re into statistics and learning how to react to them, this is the ideal read for you. It covers a variety of topics, such as economics, geometry, physics, biology, shapes, numbers, and other patterns. It focuses on these subjects to better teach fans and professionals how to really read the game and learn from these stats.
Other honourable mentions
Some of the other great football books that also cover similar topics of interest are The Expected Goals Philosophy: A Game-Changing Way of Analysing Football, Soccernomics: Why England Lose, Why Germany, Spain and France Win, and Why One Day The Rest of the World Will Finally Catch Up, and also Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics. If that’s not enough to keep you going, there’s also Outside the Box: A Statistical Journey Through the History of Football, and, finally, Soccernomics: Why England Loses; Why Germany, Spain, and France Win; and Why One Day Japan, Iraq, and the United States Will Become Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport.
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