When I am in the mood of reading about football (soccer), I hardly find books to read. Eventually, I got this book from a friend of mine, who like me, is suffering from Football Fever.
In The Numbers Game: Why Everything you should know about soccer is wrong, Chris Anderson, a former professional goalkeeper turned soccer statistics guru, teams up with behavioral analyst David Sally to uncover the numbers that really matter when it comes to predicting a winner. Investigating basic but profound questions—How valuable are corners? Which goal matters most? Is possession really nine-tenths of the law? How should a player’s value be judged?—they deliver an incisive, revolutionary new way of watching and understanding soccer.
The book answers each of the above questions and many more with facts and immense amount of interesting data and evidence supporting it. The book is purely statistical and the authors are assuming that many aspects of the game have reached an equilibrium point and will not change for decades. It is more or less the same genre as Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski and the only difference that it’s uses large scale of data and is quite informative than the Soccernomics itself. Though before reading the book, a reader might have thought that this book is better attempt to understand the beautiful game of football, well it’s so & so. The book is a Pandora’s Box of knowledge but the statics used are not sufficient for a reader to apply them in day-to-day football life. Some might diverse into the other direction and thinking the applicability of data in football is limited, but my friends, that is not the case either. This book quietly shows how the data is manipulated and used as an resource. Fascinating it may be, the book still lack the complete insight of the beautiful game. It could have been a bit more explanatory in few aspects for a foot ball fan
I would recommend this book to a football lover rather than the Soccernomics. “The Numbers Game 1-0 Soccernomics”.
3 out of 5!