I don’t go for stats

mou

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that an analysis of the detailed statistics from a game can provide a deeper understanding of team performance than just the final result. This point of view is increasingly shared and understood in the football world, but there are some areas of resistance. Here‘s Mourinho after yesterday’s 3-1 defeat of Man United against Man City:

The way people who don’t understand football analyse it with stats. I don’t go for stats. I go for what I felt in the game and it was there until minute 80-something. I consider the performance of my team one with mistakes. It is different from a bad performance.

And here are the stats that he doesn’t go for:

Of course, there’s a fair point to be made: statistics don’t tell the whole story, and it’s always important, wherever possible, to balance the information that they provide with the kind of information you get from an expert watching a game. Equally though, it has to be a missed opportunity not to take any account of the information that is contained in statistics. Or maybe Mourinho is such a total expert that statistics are completely irrelevant compared to his ‘feel for the game’.

Except, oh, wait a minute: ‘Jose Mourinho brings statistics to press conference to silence Marcus Rashford claims‘. Hmmm.

4 thoughts on “I don’t go for stats

  1. We all say and do things to massage our ego, for most of us this isn’t recorded in public. Having said that Jose comes across as the opposite of magnanimous too often for my liking.

    1. 🙂 For most people’s liking I guess (though the EPL would perhaps be a duller place without him). Anyway, a similar thread to this also popped up on a quant team rocket chat channel today, and included reference to this quote by Swansea’s manager Carlos Carvalhal: “It’s like if you and me went for a picnic. We take a chicken and I eat all of it and you have none, but statistically you have eaten half of the chicken. This is why I don’t look at statistics”.

  2. Long may these attitudes continue in football, and in sport more generally. The longer they do, the longer Smartodds, Brentford and Midtjylland will continue to have an edge! Learn to love other people’s irrationality 🙂

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