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Good, but flawed.
on 30 August 2015
I read this a few weeks ago and remain in two minds. In certain parts the book really got me thinking and it is very refreshing to see evidence based analysis of the game challenging the seemingly more plausible anecdotal stories that dominate the game.
However, there was a nagging doubt throughout that some of the analysis was not thought through properly. Comparing football to other sports is all well and good, but they failed to consider fully that there are 3 common results in football (win, draw or lose) as opposed to two (win or lose) in other sports they were comparing too, particularly American sports.
That said, sections about when to make substitutions and the comparison of the worth of scoring vs. conceding (who knew that scoring two scores is worth the same as a clean sheat, hence why some teams focus on defence so much?) were done very well.
That all said, the book tried to make this all sound new, when in reality you suspect there is much similar work happening at top clubs. But it would be refreshing to see a further emergence of this style of analysis in the television pundrity of the game, rather than simply over discussing refereeing decisions.