Matteo de Brienne arrived onto the scene of the Canadian Premier League just last year, coming to life toward the end of the campaign to score one of the most outrageous hits. The young Canadian would have expected to have more of a role to play this season, but I don't think anyone expected such a drastic transformation in that role. The 22-year-old has not missed a minute of action so far this campaign, playing every single match as the team's left-back, a role he never played in 2021. Here is our analysis of Matteo de Brienne's wonderful left-back transformation.
Category: Data Analysis
The next evolution of my ‘Role Continuity Evaluation System’ one year later
At the beginning of 2022, I established twenty-two player roles that footballers often adopt on the pitch. One of the objectives of the RCES and the presentation of 'IQ scores' pertaining to a player's specific role was to present an alternative to the statistics sites that use data as their sole metric for evaluating players. But in creating a less subjective and more sustainable approach to the evaluation model, data must continue to be the centrepiece. As I always preach, we can then use that data to follow-up with an eye test before dissecting deeper or recommending a player to a club. So with that, 'Role Continuity' evolved.
Why Raphaël Guerreiro would be perfect for Manchester City
Any scouting & recruitment scenario is based on a variety of factors, and Guerreiro would be a dream signing for Manchester City based on a variety of factors. For Dortmund's perspective, you simply cannot let him go for free. But for a club like Manchester City, this would be an absolute no-brainer.
Fixing Tottenham Hotspur – Transfer Market Analysis – 2023-24
Despite their torrid time this season, I disagree with many of the takes that Tottenham are in need of a complete rebuild and overhaul to change their fortunes around. That said, a few positions remain in need of severe upgrades, specifically at the back. So once more, in my search to fix Tottenham without European football, I'm searching for a goalkeeper, two centre-backs, and a left-back.
How I assess ‘player mentality’ through video and data analysis
Many facets of the beautiful game simply cannot be quantified in many statistical data models. For any recruitment scenario, you need to be sure that the player not only has the technical, physical and tactical quality to excel in a new environment, but the right psychological frame and social aptitude. It is therefore imperative that clubs sit down to identify what player traits, mentalities, and personality types they want to have in their dressing rooms, and then actively use that as a model for hand-picking players when scouting.
Game of Numbers #21: How to play as the ‘Target’ like Sébastien Haller
Sébastien Haller has been one of the key difference makers to Borussia Dortmund in another title-chasing campaign for the Black & Yellows. They've been brilliant under Edin Terzic since the turn of the year, and some of that success has been down to the resurgence of cancer-free Sébastien Haller into the team.
How I create scouting reports for pro clubs
Scouting seems to be one of those professions that just about anyone thinks they can get into. And to an extent - with good reason! With a knowledge and passion for your sport of choice, it's not incredibly difficult to take the necessary courses and begin the path toward being a scout. But talent identification goes far beyond just the ability to watch matches and identify talent. Most of the time, it's not difficult to identify talent. What's difficult is to identify talent that will transfer over to a new environment, under new circumstances, repeatedly over time.
Game of Numbers #19 – How to cross like Pervis Estupiñán
Crucially for his role as a 'Wing-Back', Pervis Estupiñán is one of the best crossers of the ball in the division. That has translated in over 3 crosses and 1.6 key passes per 90 in league play. It's the awareness of when to keep the ball on the grass or when to raise the ball in the air that comes as such an underrated skill, and one that often allows the Ecuadorian to set his teammates up for a real chance of scoring.
Why Wellington Phoenix signed Mohamed Al-Taay – Player Analysis
Ahead of the 2023-24 season, Wellington Phoenix's squad is looking bleak. But they are making active steps in the transfer market to improve upon their 6th place finish from 2022-23. New midfielders remain one of the first agenda items after the departures of first-team regulars Clayton Lewis and Steven Ugarkovic. In Mohamed Al-Taay, they've uncovered a 22-year-old gem who can tick all the boxes they need to become a more assertive side in the A-League. Here is what Al-Taay will bring to Wellington Phoenix, as we break down the defensive midfielder's game.
Top 20 Sweeper Keepers – 2022-23
Last season, I broke down positions into twenty-six different roles. The aim of my Role Continuity Evaluation System was to assess performance via what actually matters for a player's own unique set of tasks. As I recently spoke about in 'Data-Driven Decision Making & Player Roles', even two players within the exact same role may have different job descriptions based on their team ideologies and their own unique characteristics. Role Continuity recognizes those differences, by assessing not only data, but by utilizing the eye test to uncover player IQ and decision making.
Data-Driven Decision Making & Player Roles – Podcast Episode with Unlocked Football
During the pandemic, I probably watched close to twenty football matches a week. I got quite good at watching matches (i.e. analyzing football) but I didn't feel as though I was living the most well balanced life. It's cool to watch football for entertainment, but I no longer find it particularly possible. Even if I enjoy watching my favourite teams play, I'm always thinking about the site and how I can use my learnings from any given match to create content. For my line of work, I then find it imperative that I understand my purpose for watching football.