What do those statistics really mean, anyway?
"Within a single match a 92% pass accuracy stat looks great, but it needs context. As in: how many passes did the player attempt? Where on the pitch did the player attempt their passes? How was the opposition set up, and were they inferior? Superior? Equal? Perhaps a player’s pass completion rate was impressive because they weren’t properly marked, or because the opposition allowed them more space on a particular area of the pitch."
Pass completion percentages, possession statistics or conversion rates, it can be difficult to find game recaps that don’t make definitive statements that rely on one or many of the new soccer statistics that have been making the rounds lately. While analytics certainly adds a new dimension to the sport, and is sure to prove valuable for clubs and fans in judging performances in the future, in our current environment, it sometimes seems that amateur statisticians are creating new performance statistics without any sense of what those numbers actually mean in the first place.
Over at the Counter Attack blog, Richard Whittall recently posted a beginner’s guide for fans, bloggers and statisticians alike, to clarify a few of those nagging question. Be sure to have a look, because the analytics train doesn’t show any signs of slowing. [Posted by Maxi]