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The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong (Anglais) Broché – 30 juillet 2013

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Broché, 30 juillet 2013
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  • The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong
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  • Soccernomics
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  • Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics
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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"The Numbers Game does the impossible of making the beautiful game even more beautiful." - Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point and Blink

“Chris Anderson and David Sally have the ability to see football in a way few have before them. Be warned: The Numbers Game will change the way you think about your favorite team or player, and the way you watch the beautiful game.” – Billy Beane, Manager of the Oakland A’s and subject of Moneyball
"I learned a lot, and it's hard not to applaud a project that is bent on the disenchantment of football's internal conversations and archaic practices, while simultaneously acknowledging an ineradicable core of the unpredictable and random at its heart." - David Goldblatt, author of The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Soccer for the Times Literary Supplement

“…North American soccer fans would do very well to pick up this book.  It will not only help them understand the game better, but it will also stimulate new ways to analyze and think about the game.”  – Forbes
“[This] is the book that could change the game forever.” – The Times (London)
“By any standards, this is a landmark book, scrupulously researched and bound to be influential.” – Booklist (starred review)

“Witty and thoughtful…should appeal not just to soccer fans, but to readers of Malcolm Gladwell and Freakonomics.” – Kirkus Reviews

"Their rather innovative and revolutionary way of looking at the game makes for fascinating reading." - The Library Journal

“A highly original contribution to our understanding of what we are seeing at a match, their book is unbeatable” – The Independent on Sunday
“Pundits, armchair fans and professionals, will find that several of their long-cherished truisms are not true at all.” – The Guardian
“Superb” – GQ

Présentation de l'éditeur

Moneyball meets Freakonomics in this myth-busting guide to understanding—and winning—the most popular sport on the planet - now with a new afterword on the 2014 World Cup!

Innovation is coming to soccer, and at the center of it all are the numbers—a way of thinking about the game that ignores the obvious in favor of how things actually are. In The Numbers Game, Chris Anderson, a former professional goalkeeper turned soccer statistics guru, teams up with behavioral analyst David Sally to uncover the numbers that really matter when it comes to predicting a winner. Investigating basic but profound questions—How valuable are corners? Which goal matters most? Is possession really nine-tenths of the law? How should a player’s value be judged?—they deliver an incisive, revolutionary new way of watching and understanding soccer.

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Amazon.com: 58 commentaires
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Data & Soccer 26 janvier 2014
Par C. Paris - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I liked both this book and Soccernomics, but I thought this one actually focused better on the game and the impact of data. Soccernomics spent more time than I would have like discusses fans of soccer.
17 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Could be better, not as good as Soccernomics 6 septembre 2013
Par I. Taylor - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The authors clearly love the game, and love analytics, but they haven't written a great book. I found myself nitpicking their arguments more than agreeing with them, starting with the "Why everything you know about soccer is wrong" subtitle, which they quickly contradict in the introduction with the statement "We will, we expect, challenge some of your assumptions, but we will doubtless support others."

Among the many other contradictory elements are the discussions of the Castrol Player Index which they use to argue for a high correlation between the quality of players within any team: "Great players play with other great players." This is followed four pages later by the statement "...Messi's score arises from his inclusion in the Barcelona subsystem...", suggesting that the Castrol rankings are dependent on the quality of the team and not an independent measure of a player's performance. If team quality influences the ranking, how believable is the initial conclusion about correlation between? In fact, it's still believable, because it matches the many things we know about soccer that isn't wrong.

Finally, I found the Americanization of this edition for sale in the US to be inconsistent and distracting. The word "football" has been excised, even in quotations: "As Ronay write: 'In the early 1990s, [soccer] entered a new era.'" On the other hand they make frequent reference to the book "Why England Loses", which was sold in the US (probably everywhere outside the UK) under the title "Soccernomics".

There are certainly interesting analyses and new ideas here, but my recommendation is to read Soccernomics instead.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Up there with soccernomics 25 octobre 2013
Par English Guy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
This book is up there with soccernomics as a statistical analysis of the game. However, unlike Soccernomics, which delves a lot into the economic backdrop of the game (relation of GDP to world cup performance etc.), this one focuses on the game on the field. How many shots does it take to score one goal on average? How often are goals scored from corner kicks? What is the point value of a clean sheet (on average) or scoring two goals in a game? What is the value of share of possession and how did Stoke City manage to outperform their time of possession? I think some of the claims it makes about the value of statistics are a bit overstated but it is a first class read.
62 internautes sur 84 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A sacrifice of objective conclusions for surprising revelations. 16 juin 2013
Par Miguel Gonzalez - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
As a statistician and soccer fan, I have always been a fan of books that attempt to sift through the data and come to objective conclusions about the reality of the game. Unfortunately, the book's positioning statement (Why Everything You Know About Football is Wrong) appears to have been implemented at the expense of objective conclusions based on that data.
Let me give you a brief example based on certain claims made in Chapter 1.

The authors make the conclusion that half of all games are decided by luck, unfortunately, this conclusion does not follow from its premises.

- The first problem (I admit, this might be a failure to clarify as opposed to making unwarranted conclusion) is that the authors fail to specify how draws work into their analysis. They claim that "a little over half" of all games are won by favorites and that "the likelihood of the underdog winning was 45.2%" while at the same time stating that 1-1 draws are the most common score line. It may just be that the percentages they offer simply do not include game that ended in a draw, however, if this is the case, they did a terrible job communicating this to the reader.

- The authors also failed to eliminate other possible explanations for their data and instead jumped to the one conclusion that might result in the more surprising revelation. Their claim that 50% of games are decided by luck stems primarily from the fact that only about 50% of the game is won by favorites, therefore if skill is not the determining factor in a specific game, it must have been a result of chance. One very possible reason is that even though team A is favored over team B, team A's quality is only slightly better than team B so that even if skill was the determining factor most of the time, in the long run the difference in quality is not enough to break the 50/50 paradigm. In other words, the nature of the game might require a more drastic difference in quality in order for one team to dominate another, but this does not help to establish that a slight favorite losing is simply a result of chance.

- Another problem in their analysis is that they set up a false dichotomy between skill and luck, as if these were the only two contributing factors to the result. This is surprising since they talk about the 48/26/26 rule (48% of game are home wins, 26% ties and 26% losses). Most of the data they collect comes from League games, where every team plays every other team at home and away. Therefore, since 50% of all games are won by the home team and 50% of all home teams are underdogs, it renders the fact that roughly 50% of all games are won by the underdog a lot less surprising.

Examples such are these are scattered throughout the book and it is difficult to know whether these are a result of lack of clarification or intellectual dishonesty.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
More Pluses than Minuses in "The Numbers" 30 août 2014
Par J. Draper - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
On the plus side: "The Numbers Game," to paraphrase Mark Twain, makes a lot of good hamburgers out of sacred cows. Anderson and Sally provide us with much food for thought regarding assumptions about soccer that we may never have questioned before. One great example is the strong evidence they provide that the game's outcome is about half determined by luck. They go a little too far when they say this means soccer is a "coin-toss game," but still, it is a revelation to realize that so much is out of the hands (or off the feet) of the players and coaches. It makes you wonder how much else in sports--and in life--is determined by chance. There's also a connection here to much later in the book, where the authors address the issue of "regression to the mean." Again Anderson and Sally provide us with examples that question how much control coaches and players really have over the game they are trying to influence. It was astounding to learn that in many cases, whether you replace a manager or not can be irrelevant--a team can "regress to the mean" and start improving their play just as much by keeping the manager as by firing him. (The same goes for whether the manager screams at them for losing or calmly explains how they can play better--though the latter, they suggest, is better for morale.) One final point I thought was very important was the evidence the authors provide that money alone does not rule soccer--they prove that there are "plenty of clubs [...] that outperform their salary tab in any given season." This is akin to the argument made about Billy Beane and the Oakland A's in "Moneyball." It's heartening to know that the underdog can still win, any given Sunday, with the appropriate strategy and a bit of luck.

On the minus side: One thing I found a little disappointing about the book was that it didn't really have one or two main heroes to root for like Billy Beane or Bill James in "Moneyball"--in fact the book probably mentioned those two sabermetricians almost as much as any other single soccer statistician, manager or player. I think it would've made the book's narrative more compelling overall if the authors had spent more time getting to know say, Tony Pulis of Stoke, Arrigo Sacchi of AC Milan or less famously, Jimmy Davies of Waterloo Dock AFC. All three men were mentioned as fascinating examples of managerial insight, but were only given a few pages to shine. I suppose we'll have to settle for the pioneering role of Wing Commander Charles Reep for now...
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