Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Soccernomics: Why England Lose, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey and Even India are Destined to Become the New Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport [Paperback]

Simon Kuper , Stefan Szymanski
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback --  
Paperback, 6 Oct 2009 --  

Book Description

6 Oct 2009
Why do England lose? Why does Scotland suck? Why doesnt America dominate the sport internationally...and why do the Germans play with such an efficient but robotic style? These are questions every soccer aficionado has asked. Soccernomics answers them. Using insights and analogies from economics, statistics, psychology, and business to cast a new and entertaining light on how the game works, Soccernomics reveals the often surprisingly counterintuitive truths about soccer. An essential guide for the 2010 World Cup, Soccernomics is a new way of looking at the worlds most popular game.


Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; Original edition (6 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568584253
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568584256
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2009"Daily Telegraph" "If you're a football fan, I'll save you some time: read this book ... compulsive reading ... thoroughly convincing.""Observer" "Szymanksi has recently published the best introduction to sports economics ... while Kuper is probably the smartest of the new generation of super-smart sportswriters ... fascinating stories.""Metro" "[Kuper and Szymanski] basically trash every cliche about football you ever held to be true. It's bravura stuff ... the study of managers buying players and building a club is one you'll feel like photocopying and sending to your team's chairman"Paddy Harverson, former communications director of Manchester United, "Financial Times" "Demolishes ... many soccer shibboleths ... well argued, too. Szymanski, an economist, knows his stuff, and Kuper, a born contrarian and FT sports writer, is incapable of cliche ... great stories and previously unknown nuggets.""Sport Magazine" "One for the thinkers""The Times" "More thoughtful than most of its rivals and, by football standards, postively intellectual ... Kuper, a brilliantly contrary columnist, and Szymanski, an economics professor ... find plenty of fertile territory in their commendable determination to overturn the lazy preconceptions rife in football.""Prospect" "Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski are a highly effective and scrupulously rational team, combining the former's detailed and nuanced understanding of European football with the latter's sophisticated econometric analysis. With a remarkable lightness of touch, they desmonstrate the limits of conventional thinking in football, as well as the real patterns of behaviour that shape sporting outcomes."

About the Author

Simon Kuper is one of the world's leading writers on soccer. His book "Soccer Against the Enemy" won the William Hill Prize for sports book of the year in Britain. He writes a weekly sports column in the "Financial Times." He lives in Paris.Stefan Szymanski is professor of economics and MBA Dean at Cass Business School in London. Tim Harford has called him "one of the world's leading sports economists." Szymanski lives in London.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more


Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Fraser the Frank Fish VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is the US version of "Why England Lose: and Other Curious Phenomena Explained", with some small differences; the chapter on the FA Cup is replaced by one comparing Association Football with American Football, and the language is americanised. Anyway here's my review based on the English version.

I've read quite a bit of S&K's work as part of my MSc and although I don't necessarily always, or indeed often, agree with their reasoning, they do make interesting points. "Why England Lose..." is a departure into the mainstream from their early, more academic work and judging from the jaunty tone of the book they had great fun writing it, and aimed at rattling some cages along the way.

However, to appeal to a wider audience much of the academic rigour which I would normal associate with S&K is abandoned and conclusions are reached on some rather shallow arguments. A reader not familiar with the use and misuse of statistics should bear in mind that correlation does not constitute causality, and that if at first your stats don't support your hypothesis you can normally rummage around for some that do. This is not knocking S&K in any way and I wouldn't suggest that S&K have done this at all, but academic bias is a common phenomenon and often hard to resist.

Two chapters of the books were particularly interesting - one, regarding the nature of fandom, for its mythbusting and the second, regarding the inherent racism in the game, for perpetuating a flawed myth.

In drawing attention to the nature of a fan and the churn of fans at particular clubs, S&K have aimed a strong, square kick at the goolies of one of the game's sacred cows, and about time too. I'm fed up being told by people how they've followed Chelsea/Man Utd since before they were good.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Bacchus TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
While you might not agree with the conclusions made by the writers in the book, you can't deny that it is a fascinating application of economic theory to football. It certainly gave me food for thought.

The thing that surprised me while I was reading the book was that I was taken more by the writers' methodology than the actual subject matter. I loved the way that something as romantic as footballing glory can be analysed using regression analysis. I never thought that I would see a mathematician like Gauss mentioned in a book about football.

Having said that, the romantic football fan in me still hopes for glory and wants his team to do better than the statistical factors would suggest it should. The book seems to suggest a degree of fatalism in football which I would love to disprove but expect I can't.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2.0 out of 5 stars Obvious White Kit but need stealth to win 26 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback
I have noticed during this World Cup (Brazil 2014) the common denominator to losing or just drawing is the dumb white kits that make players stand out and telegraph their intent of movement in body language. To illustrate here are some results: France in white kit fail to score against Nigeria- resulting in a draw. Honduras in White kit lose to Switzerland. USA in white kit lose to Germany . Most disappointing, England lose twice and draw once wearing white kit. This can not just be coincidence ?
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting insights but lots of cliche 27 April 2010
Format:Paperback
I loved freakonomics and am a huge soccer fan so I was excited about reading this book. However I found parts of it lazy for example in the last chapter characterizing Russia as a underdeveloped sporting nation and therefore neglecting their performance in Euro 88 and various other tournaments or more criminally failing to mention Valeriy Lobanovskyi who while a Ukranian, operated in the Soviet league. Furthermore it suggests Australia's soccer development started with Guus Hiddink without mention of Terry Venables.

It also fell in to the trap that many "intellectual" football writers fall in to of praising Arsene Wenger to the hilt. This lazy cliche neglects the fact that for all his skill he hasn't won half as many trophies as Manchester United in his management of Arsenal.

The best moments of the book are interesting in a "huh that makes sense" way rather than a mind blowing transformative way. The use of economic models only really shows so much about a game that has too many variables to calculate. Of course countries with experience, money and population will win more often. Congratulations on stating the blindingly obvious.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  60 reviews
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting / Boring / Fascinating 31 Dec 2009
By D. M. Kemp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was made aware of this book when I heard one of the authors give an interview. Many of the topics in the interview weren't in the book, but a host of other areas where. The book is easy to read and well researched. However, it is very much written from a British point of view - so don't let the Americanized title of Soccernomics fool you. It mainly appears to be a book that hopes to explain to the English that they are not the most rabid fans nor the best players of the game they invented 150 years ago.

Some of the chapters were so absolutely fascinating, I couldn't stop reading. Other chapters were so ultimately boring that I skipped them. The good thing is that you can skip around and read each chapter independently without really losing any overall scope of the book.

Even though I didn't agree with some the conclusions and read the data differently, I certainly feel much more knowledgeable about the current game and how we got here. If you are a fan of soccer, you should seriously consider this fact-filled book. It will make for great discussions around the TV during next summer's World Cup.
38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best. Soccer. Book. Ever. 27 Nov 2009
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Simon Kuper is the long-time weekly sports columnist in the Financial Times, and he is one of the reasons I so look forward to reading the Weekend Edition of the pink paper. When I saw that he had authored a new book about soccer, and then saw more details about what the book would be about, I knew I just had to have it and ordered it here on Amazon at a very purchase-friendly price.

"Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey--And Even Iraq--Are Destined To Become The Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport" (336 pages) is co-written by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski, a British economist. An economist, you might ask? Yes indeed, as this book brings a fascinating look into the numbers of soccer. Here a couple of quotes from the book:

-- "In 2002 everyone knew that the obscure, bucktoothed Brazilian kid Ronaldinho must have lucked out with the free kick that sailed into England's net, because he couldn't have been good enough to place it deliberately." (commenting on the English belief of freakish bad luck for their national team).

-- "Our finding: England in the 1980-2001 period outscored its opponents by 0.84 goals per game. That was 0.21 more than we had predicted based on the country's resources. In short, England was not underperforming at all. Contrary to popular opinion, it was over-performing."

-- "Soccer is not only small business business. It's also a bad one. Anyone who spends any time inside soccer discovers that just as oil is part of the oil business, stupidity is part of the soccer business."

-- "Provincial towns like Nottingham, Glasgow, Dortmund, Birmingham or Rotterdam all have won European Cups, while the seven biggest metropolitan areas in Europe--Istanbul, Paris, Moscow, London, St. Petersburg, Berlin and Athens--never have. This points to an odd connection between city size, capital cities and soccer success."

-- "Against all evidence, the stereotype persists that the typical British fan is a full-on Hornby."

-- "Staging a World Cup won't make you rich, but it does tend to cheer you up." (commenting on, among other things, the bogus arguments that staging a large sports event brings significant positive economic consequences for the host).

But if there is only one chapter that I had to pick out from this book, hands down it is "The Economist's Fear of the Penalty Kick", an absolute riveting look at the scientific side of the dreaded penalty kick. Using the analysis developed in game theory, the authors examine how penalty kicks are taken (by the kicker) and defended (by the keeper). It culminates with an in-depth analysis of the Manchester United-Chelsea penalty shoot-out at the 2008 CHampions League final. "Then, in what must have been a chilling moment for Anelka, the Dutch [keeper] pointed with with his left hand to the left corner. 'That's where you're all putting it, isn't it?' he seemed to be saying. Now Anelka had a terrible dilemma. This was game theory in its rawest form". (You'll have to read the rest of it yourself...)

Of all the books on soccer that I have read in my life time, I cannot recall being more enthralled and entertained than by this book. This is a page-turner from start to finish, and for me one of the very best books of the year, sports or otherwise. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read and Offers Surprise Truths About The World's Game 21 Nov 2009
By Laurence Zimmerman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Offers some very interesting insights into the world of soccer. While some compare it to Michael Lewis's "Moneyball", it differs in that "Moneyball" deals more with baseball at the micro level, while "Soccernomics" deals with soccer at a macro level. There is a lot of statistical analysis of national teams, but no analysis of individual players. In essence this is one of the difficulties of soccer, as it does not naturally lend itself to extreme statistical analysis like baseball does.

My main argument with the book is that it treats the NFL as the US's main export sport. While the NFL is undoubtedly the most popular league in the United States, this is a recent phenomenon. Baseball has traditionally been "America's Past Time" and thus is the sport that the United States spread around the world, although not to the same level that the English spread soccer.

One analysis that I wanted to read about was the success of Latin American teams. In particular an analysis of Mexico and Brazil. Both countries are soccer crazy and have very large populations, but Brazil has won five World Cups and Mexico none. It would be interesting to see an analysis of why this has happend, but the book mainly deals with European teams as their statistics are more reliable.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 14 Jan 2010
By R. Albin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A well written collaboration between an experienced sports journalist and an economist interests in applying statistical and econometric methods to sports. Definitely pitched to soccer fans, this book is a series of chapters exploring different aspects of soccer. Topics include the nature of fandom, how to function in the transfer market successfully, why some nations do well in international tournaments, the psychology of penalty kicks, profitability of soccer clubs, and several other relevant subjects. The authors generally draw on statistical and economic methods, often drawing on the work of other economists and statisticians interested in sports. The authors generally reach well founded though somewhat iconoclastic conclusions.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, interesting, engaging 6 Jan 2010
By M. E. Bobola - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Soccernomics is a fantastic look at a soccer from a completely different point-of-view than you're probably used to seeing. Using statistical techniques like regression and massive amounts of old match results and other data related to both the classic and modern game of soccer, Kuper and Szymanski bring a new insight to how we think of the beautiful game. There are sections on national teams, club teams, and fans, and they all bring a style similar to Freakonomics and its look at different popular subjects. The entire thing is written in an easy-to-read style, with entertaining anecdotes mixed in with clearly communicated results of statistical research. It sounds dry when you think about the premise, but there are no formulas written out or in-depth discussions of math or anything like that. If you are interested in soccer and the culture that surrounds it, you could scarcely do better than checking out this fantastic book.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback