Desperate data – the extreme numbers that defined Ipswich Town’s dismal season

Think Ipswich Town’s 2016/17 Championship record redefined tedium? Think again. Despite a low mid-table finish, set against a background of increasing supporter discontent at insipid management and directionless ownership – Town actually topped (or tailed) the league for many key attributes. Not the characteristics of a mundane team. First up, passing. Nothing defines a Mick…

Model reflections – part 2, individual matches

Part 2 of my 2016/17 model analysis looks at the performance of individual match modelling. Throughout the season I’ve used my adjusted goals rating assessment to generate probabilities for each match to test its effectiveness. I’ve analysed probabilities generated purely from the model (i.e. based solely on retrospective shots and goals data), and also probabilities…

Model Reflections part 1

As the curtain falls on another Premier League season, leaving only sporadic finals and tired internationals, to be followed by the football-free wasteland of summer sport that happens in a year ending in an odd number – it offers a great chance to reflect on and review prediction models. This is the first part of…

Could Ipswich be relegated?

The 2016/17 season is shaping up to be one of the least memorable in Town’s history. A season where the club’s lack of investment is cruelly exposed – seemingly petering out to a bottom-half, but safe, finish. February brought a fleeting upturn in form – delivering draws, that could have been wins, against accomplished opposition,…

The subtleties of Asian handicap betting

I’ve always had an aversion to Asian handicap betting, simply because the outcome isn’t intuitive. For example – a bet on Middlesbrough to beat Spurs is immediately understandable, a bet on Middlesbrough to beat Spurs with a handicap of 0.75 isn’t. However – there are circumstances where Asian handicap (AH) odds can be more attractive…

Assessing the model – the season so far

I use my adjusted goals model to generate probabilities for each Premier League match.The international break gives a chance to assess the model to find out if it’s beating the market. For an initial assessment of my model’s overall performance against the market I’ve used a Brier score method (explained here  in a good article by Pinnacle)….

Social Responsibility – Can the Betting Industry improve its image?

The Government’s recent call for evidence for its review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures offers the UK betting industry an important opportunity to improve its image. Although the review relates primarily to gaming machines – it also considers the industry as a whole, particularly concerning social responsibility measures to minimise the risk of…

Mick McCarthy’s magic method – 2016/17 Season update

Last November I wrote about the peculiar characteristics of  Mick McCarthy’s tactical signature – copied below. In particular, his unusual ability to deliver results with a consistently minuscule pass success rate. So, how’s he faring this season?  A quick look at the stats tables reveals that Ipswich are, yet again, bottom of the pass %…

Effective player assessment (and is Wayne Rooney really playing that badly?)

Quickly assessing the ability of individual players isn’t a particularly easy task; firstly because a player’s overall effectiveness isn’t necessarily the sum of a series of data points (goals, assists, passes, tackles etc) and secondly – good quality, manipulable, player-data is difficult to get hold of. There are a few good sources of Team data…

A Magnificent Seven

After a magnificent seven Premier League match weeks, it’s that time when an unscrupulous and powerful organisation disturbs the peace by imposing its will on agitated locals – the horrific International Weekend. The Bounty Hunter This enforced hiatus already prompted one City to enlist the services of an American bounty hunter, to assemble a team…

Man United v Man City detailed modelling preview

Introduction Even early in the season, Saturday’s Manchester derby appears one of those matches that will have a significant bearing on the Premier League title. Added to this it’s the first meeting of the teams’ two new managerial behemoths – so it seems appropriate to give this game added scrutiny from a modelling point of view….

Bad Numbers

Simply placing the word “bad” before a dreary noun seemingly endows an intimidating edge, perfect for a Hollywood movie title; Santa, neighbours, teachers, moms, and even grandpa all get the formulaic comedy treatment. It’s Bad meaning bad-ass in a way that gets past the censor. Three games into the season, if only there was a…