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‘Hard for fans, managers and pundits to think rationally about football’

 • by Tom Bodell
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In the latest edition of The Science of Football, Football Whispers spoke to James Tippett, the author of The Football Code: The Science of Predicting the Beautiful Game. 

Tippett reveals in the book some of the secrets to the success of Matthew Benham, who is the owner of his former employers Smartodds, Brentford and part-owner of Danish club Midtjylland. Benham is considered to be a pioneering figure in the advancement of analytics in football.

Tippett argues that football needs to embrace a more mathematical and more data-driven approach to analysing the game, much like how baseball has taken on the ‘Moneyball’ way of thinking.

He uses Brentford as a case study, explaining how they have used analytics to form a long-term plan for the club and become one of the shrewdest players in the transfer market, while also offering an insight into why Mark Warburton’s departure as The Bees manager was part of the club’s long-term plan for success.

Tippett delves into the reasons why there is a war raging in football between the ‘nerds and the traditionalists,’ as he calls them, and also offers his opinion on how data and statistics will continue to change the game in the years to come.

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