Talking about our Tactics

Shibbywiggles

Player Valuation: £70m
Not taking sides, genuine question: Do you understand xG?
I ask because to hate something, you must understand it to disagree vehemently with it.
Yes I understand it, it’s a simple concept that makes perfect sense on paper but it completely ignores the nature of football.
The beautiful game is not played with statistics and in my opinion it takes all of the joy out of a natural game of eleven versus eleven working hard to be the best.

I spend all day at work looking at spreadsheets, analysing data and giving recommendations based on it - I hate xG because I love football for it’s simplicity and the passion that takes me back to being a kid.
 

degsy

Life's been good to me so far...
When people declare something is simple, its often because they don't realise the true underlying complexity of the matter.

If football was a simple game, why doesn't every armchair manager end up getting paid 10m a year and going to the top level of the game with their sunday team?
Yeah why - giz a job etc...
Oh I understand it matey don't you worry - thats why I know it's basically simple.
It's the basic simplicity of it that is complex, but once you see through the complexness of the simplicity all is revealed

Kick ball in other guys goal while preventing him from doing it to you - simple enough?
It's when you put players, aka, people in the equation that it gets a bit tricky.
Like most things.
 
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Modern07

Player Valuation: £750k
DRFagTGW4AEHDYY.jpg
 

Wolf8312

Player Valuation: £2.5m
Hi everyone
Can you direct me to thread, (or can we make one?) that is more objective and less personal, and more about tactics, strategy and really football stuff. I would love to have conversations about how players are running, passing, defending, attacking, about shape, strategy and tactics. Because we're a mix of people - some experts, some with coaching, playing experience, all of us have watched a lot, I'd love to share opinions and see how players are doing and how the team is responding, particularly as we seem to have a Coach who is working on different ideas. It's rare now to find managers who don't just buy their way to success, so being forced into a period of money saving will be interesting.

Nowadays we re spending A LOT of time talking about social media posts, appearance, assuming that we know what's going in players' minds, about their lifestyles, wealth etc. I know it's hard because the PL is entertainment and all about money, but it would be nice to strip it down and talk just about actual football on the pitch.

instead of just 'He can't run', 'He's slow' , 'He's Fat', 'he's a money-grabbing waster etc', let me know if we can take a different approach!

For example:
James should not play because he's an egotistical waster who chooses when he plays and is always on holiday in his private jet'
> could change to >
If James plays, the tactics need to be this, and we need so and so players around him

For example
DCL is never gonna be Kane until he stops spending time and money on clothes
> could change to>
DCL is good at X,Y,Z, and needs to work on this, and this kind of tactic is good for him.



Just seems to me I don't find anyone to talk about actual football...

Thanks for reading

Most people (me included) here don't really know anything about tactics beyond maybe "we need more width" or "he needs to get the subs on..."!

And to be fair your own examples of highbrow tactics talk "the tactics need to be this" or "DCL is good... and needs to work on this" didn't fill me with much confidence (a little vague) that you'd be contributing much to these higher-level footballing discussions either!

Best we stick to James poncing around on that boat on our coin!
 

Martin Alvito

Player Valuation: £25m
I have a lot of time for people that tell me Dom has scored 3 in 3 and he’s the second or third top goal scorer in the league - that is a relevant stat

I cannot stress enough how much I hate these modern journalists who quote xG figures and all that American sports nonsense though - all that needs to go directly into the bin

I disagree with this strongly. Shocker - Yank math type believes in stats.

That said, I don't think the stats, like xG, we do have are very good. The point of the stats is to help teams figure out how to do more of that Shoot Score Win stuff. Their purpose should be to help the players understand where to be, and when, so that they have unobstructed passing lanes into better positions and dispossess the opponent more often.

Soccer, like tennis, is a game of geometry. If teams used the stats to figure out how to generate profitable geometry for themselves while denying such geometry to the opponent, they would probably win more until the other teams caught up with that thinking.
 

TheBigIguana

Player Valuation: £70m
I disagree with this strongly. Shocker - Yank math type believes in stats.

That said, I don't think the stats, like xG, we do have are very good. The point of the stats is to help teams figure out how to do more of that Shoot Score Win stuff. Their purpose should be to help the players understand where to be, and when, so that they have unobstructed passing lanes into better positions and dispossess the opponent more often.

Soccer, like tennis, is a game of geometry. If teams used the stats to figure out how to generate profitable geometry for themselves while denying such geometry to the opponent, they would probably win more until the other teams caught up with that thinking.
I think inside the game there are stats that go deeper into some of that stuff. xG went mainstream long after the people close to the game had been using and refining it. The stuff being used now by the teams that believe in it will probably be known to us normal folk in 2025 or something.
 

Martin Alvito

Player Valuation: £25m
I think inside the game there are stats that go deeper into some of that stuff. xG went mainstream long after the people close to the game had been using and refining it. The stuff being used now by the teams that believe in it will probably be known to us normal folk in 2025 or something.

Sounds about right. Every side has its secrets, because if they get out into the mainstream the side loses its edge. Sooner or later, the secrets get out anyway, but it's best to ride them for as long as possible.

I saw a bit of what Xavi had to say on the subject, and it sounded like he has a very sophisticated sense of what I'm getting at with the geometry. He thinks of it in terms of space, time and the other players getting to the right space at the right time in order for the ball to be delivered. This did not surprise me, since he was such a genius at managing the game by directing the ball.
 

Milkman

Player Valuation: £30m
Something I've noticed so far is the impact having two hard working wingers has had on Doucoure and Allan, in particular.

I think under Ancelotti, Richarlison was given less defensive responsibility and James was, well, James, so we had two centre mids covering the whole width of the pitch. It's a pretty big ask considering Allan isn't the most mobile guy. It probably accounted for why he looked so knackered after 20 mins every week too.
 

TheBigIguana

Player Valuation: £70m
Sounds about right. Every side has its secrets, because if they get out into the mainstream the side loses its edge. Sooner or later, the secrets get out anyway, but it's best to ride them for as long as possible.

I saw a bit of what Xavi had to say on the subject, and it sounded like he has a very sophisticated sense of what I'm getting at with the geometry. He thinks of it in terms of space, time and the other players getting to the right space at the right time in order for the ball to be delivered. This did not surprise me, since he was such a genius at managing the game by directing the ball.
Tactics is certainly influenced by data but you also have people like Pep who just relentlessly pour over tape of matches to find tactical advantages. Xavi very well could take that approach. There are still lots of people in football that completely dismiss numbers and whether that changes or not is really dependent on someone with money adopting the approach.

In American sports the gap between someone like the A's and Yankees is still small enough that a data driven approach can change the sport. In football the gap between someone like Brentford or Midtjylland and City is so big that even an approach that is adding a lot of value and having a team massively over achieve can be dismissed because it still will never challenge the rich sides. I think that value exists and that someone leaning into it that does have the resources would change the game but I'm not sure it's likely to happen. It doesn't take long reading this forum to see that football thinking is very rigid and the traditional methods don't get challenged very much.
 
Tactics is certainly influenced by data but you also have people like Pep who just relentlessly pour over tape of matches to find tactical advantages. Xavi very well could take that approach. There are still lots of people in football that completely dismiss numbers and whether that changes or not is really dependent on someone with money adopting the approach.

In American sports the gap between someone like the A's and Yankees is still small enough that a data driven approach can change the sport. In football the gap between someone like Brentford or Midtjylland and City is so big that even an approach that is adding a lot of value and having a team massively over achieve can be dismissed because it still will never challenge the rich sides. I think that value exists and that someone leaning into it that does have the resources would change the game but I'm not sure it's likely to happen. It doesn't take long reading this forum to see that football thinking is very rigid and the traditional methods don't get challenged very much.

But the value of analysis and data to a side like Brentford isn't to overtake Citeh or change the game. It's to give them an edge on sides at the opposite end of the table. That can't be dismissed.
 

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