Football is the geometry of numbers.

About

It started with the admiration for football. American football. :-) But first of all with passion for soccer. And then the questions began to appear themselves.

Why the statistics of a playmaker are so modest and quaterback so abundant? Is it possible to measure the effectiveness of one action in football? How to distinguish an intention from a fortuity? What is the real impact of passing accuracy on the score? Why are the statistics not related to the player’s movement vectors? Can a football pitch be a topological space? How the stats of one team affect the other and whether this correlation can be computed?

First came baseball, Billy James and SABR, then statistics, math and geometry, finally Football Manager, Excel and the MIT Sloan Sport Analytics conferences. Today brands such as StatsPerform, Match Analysis, StatsBOmb, Opta, Prozone or StatDNA are the future of modern football.

Let this site be my humble contribution to these endeavors.

Piotr Trysła.

Taxonomies

Formation team shape with the ball determined on the basis of the average players positions during activity with the ball (touches).

Tactical style – dominant playing style of a team throughout a match based on the framework developed by Stats Perform (excluding Crosses):

  • maintenance captures possessions in which a team looks to maintain and secure possession of the ball within the own defensive area of the pitch (defensive third ),
  • build Up captures also controlled ball possessions but around the halfway line and the opposition’s penalty (middle third) area where a team is looking for opportunities to attack,
  • sustained Threat playing style focus on possessions in the opposition’s defensive area of the pitch (attacking third),
  • fast Tempo capture when the team is moving the ball quickly to increase the tempo and speed of the game. Fast Tempo looks at sequences of consecutive individual ‘fast possessions’,
  • direct play captures instances of play in which teams attempt to move the ball quickly towards the opposition’s goal through the use of long passes rather than sustained possession. Specifically, it looks at the forward distance gained every time a team is active with the ball,
  • counter attack occurs once a team regains possession and moves the ball into an attacking area via passes or dribbles (the ball must reach a target location within the opposition’s half),
  • high press captures how high up the pitch a team regains possession. High press means regaining possession in the opponent’s half.

Mentalityattitude towards the opponent of a similar class. Factor of the number of all successful and unsuccessful offensive attempts (passes, dribbles, shots, crosses, set pieces) in matches with rivals of a similar class.

Transition phase – how the shape of the team changes after regain or losing the ball:

  • rigid – the team maintains its original shape until the end of the transition phase. All players move in an organized and orderly manner,
  • normalthe team dynamically changes its shape with assigned defensive and offensive roles that determine the moves of players until the end of this phase,
  • fluidthe team immediately changes its shape and players start to defend or attack regardless of their role or assigned position depending on the situation in the area of the pitch .

Pressinghow high on the pitch a team in the organized formation try to regain possession of the ball.

Playing stylefactor of the duration of offensive action, the number and the length of passes:

  • directlonger duration of the action with more passes,
  • passingshorter duration of the action with fewer passes,
  • undefinedhighly distorted distributions outside of confidence interval.

Directnessthe dominant way of distributing the ball to the teamates (length of passes).

Widthwhat width of the pitch the team uses when playing offensive actions (passes and crosses).

Tempo – how fast the ball is distributed to the teammates.