Preseason Analysis


Preseason Analysis

Oh aye, yeah.

The World Cup’s over and so we get a bit of genuine peace for a couple of weeks before the Premier League barm-pottery starts all over again.

If you are still reading this old claptrap you are almost certainly someone who just feels a bit long in the tooth for getting excited about transfers, whether they are happening or not, and certainly about fucking football kits.

Anyway, regardless, bad-tatt-sporting-gets-his-clobber-from-the-Officer’s-Club Bosnian midfielder Mohamed Besic looks like he’s signing as he’s travelled to Thailand with the squad. He’d look a right tit now if the deal was called off just because his agent is demanding a set of presentation steak knives and a Yorkshire terrier named Bobby.

Roberto Martinez also appears to be ready to indulge his jinky winger fixation with a £1.5 million bid for Anderlecht’s David Henen. He spent last season on loan to Monaco B so it’s probably fair to say he’s more of a replacement for Magaye Gueye than Gerard Deulofeu at this point.

To be honest, alarm bells ring slightly when you hear that Henen is asking for a particular shirt number: 39 in this case. Firstly, you get what you’re given, soft lad. When you’ve achieved something you can start worrying about shite like that. Secondly, you really need to look for a better role model than pharaoh-faced anti-Semite Niclas Anelka.

Other than that though, welcome to Everton, David!

What else?

Have you read The Numbers Game? The book that’s getting pushed on the Waterstones 2 for 1 and professes to be football’s answer to Moneyball? Well it isn’t, for a start, and that’s because neither of the writers are as skilled as Michael Lewis, but then very few are. And where the story of Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics was a very human one – their use of statistical analysis to overcome the odds was very much a classic David and Goliath tale – The Numbers Game is at heart a maths text book applying examples to football. That’s no to say it’s not interesting – a Poisson distribution* is a fascinating thing – but there’s a real attempt to hype up the gravity of the subject matter that begins to grate very early on. To be fair though, that’s judging the whole book on the first three or four chapters. And they do say early on that Roberto Martinez emerges as one of the heroes of the book, so you might be interested just on the strength of that. Or not.

* Not to be confused with the tale in French bibles about Jesus feeding crowds of people.

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