Numbers in the forms of average, totals, and percentages have been around even before the advent of the game of football, but its relevance represents a cursory outline of its proceedings while serving as the salient entries in its annals. Numbers and data based judgment simply replacing that of personal judgment, an approach that remove the element of human error. The modern game now is calling for objective analysis rather than subjective analysis.

The most tangible information that stripped during the distillation of qualitative action into quantitative statistics in football is the leverage situation, which is simply; goals and points are not created equal. Their values are distinguished by three leverage factors: the impact the score has on the game, the impact the game has on the championship and the quality of opposition that the score came against. Consider how this applies to the beautiful game today. The fact of the matter is that, goals are football’s currency, the plain and pure determinant of each match but while all goals count equally, they matter differently. GPA goal scoring record raises serious concerns. From April 12, 2015 to April 16, 2017, GPA had played 49 competitive matches and scored 46 goals representing an average of 0.93 per game. Out of the 49 matches played, the team kept 29 clean sheets, a remarkable defensive record. On the offensive, they could managed 18 barren games, 16 games with low scoring single goal, 10 with 2 goals, 2 with 3 goals and 1 with 4 goals which was against Brikama United in 2015.

Just as how goals are the fundamental to determine match outcomes, matches, in turn, are the fundamental to determine your progression in championships. In domestic leagues, matches, much like goals, are fixed in nominal worth but variable in actual value. During the 2015/16 season, GPA played 22 matches scored 22 goals representing a goal per game whiles conceded 11, an average of 0.5 per game. Compared to 2016/17, they played 18 matches (domestic and continental) so far with 15 goals scored an average of 0.83 whiles conceded 19 goals averaging 1.05 per game. Statistical trend of both offence and defence looked alarming.

In Continental football, GPA played three away and three home games with one home win, three draws and two defeats. Scored three goals (0.5 per game) whiles conceded 7 goals. The team scored in all three home games, but failed to score away which crippled their chances of progression into the group stages.

Raw abstract scoring totals simply a tabulation of goals that occurred within a certain time frame does not adjust for these leverage situations. Bearing in mind that league and tournament championships are not decided by the cumulative goal difference across matches but by the goal difference within each match. Non-Contextualize statistics was written on the wall either cumulatively with equal match weighting or singularly with the two-legged ties.

Numbers don’t lie. When contextualized statistics are not use as future performance indicators or being utilized as strict proxies for footballing value, diagnostic analysis will be very difficult to come by.

Generally, week-to-week fluctuations by both players and team can be explained by natural variance while month-long dry spells during a season or over an entire tournament can be attributable to the occasional form slump. Tournaments are prioritized; squads are managed based on priorities.

This underachievement can mostly be accounted for by shortcomings in two areas. The first is physical: an imperfect and incomplete technical skill set that is well-suited to devour up the squads, but is distinctly neutralized when faced with the technically superior elite outfits. This is the embodiment of the flat-track bully, who disproportionately accumulates his statistics against the former but barely makes a numerical dent against the latter. The second factor is psychology or mental: The increased frenzy and the bright lights deviate the dainty from their methodically and meticulously practiced habits that is exhibited more or less flawlessly against inanimate cones in training sessions and inanimate opponents in mundane fixtures, and oftentimes induce over-compensating mechanisms such as over-pressing or over thinking an opportunity that compound the situation.

Coach AlhajieSarr has proven to be the best domestic coach on record but lack of non-contextualize statistics, which drives the modern game today cost him the setback.

Written by Mr. Kabba Ceesay,

Football Commentator


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