Blog

Why we’re all only as good as the tools we have

As part of my role at Twenty3, I help out various departments and work alongside different people. It’s rare for me to work directly with my former editor, but the opportunity arose not so long ago.  We discussed a few content ideas for my weekly column and one that I was really fond of was…

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4 rules for using data in football content

Football data is everywhere. There are free sites, such as WhoScored and FBRef, and premium offerings from Wyscout, StatsBomb and Opta. Stats are used to antagonise and inform. They’re used as argument makers and argument breakers. However, all of this data doesn’t come with a manual and there are plenty of potential pitfalls when using…

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How Twenty3’s Discover tool identified the perfect van Dijk replacement

Everyone involved in the world of football had the same question in October – how would Liverpool replace Virgil van Dijk? The Dutchman hobbled off in the Merseyside derby. It was later confirmed that he had suffered an ACL injury and that he’d likely not be seen on the pitch again this season.  The one…

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6 players in line for breakout years – Part II

Welcome to Part II of our search for 2021’s breakout stars, where we use the Twenty3 Toolbox to help identify those who are primed to explode this year. Part I gushed over the passing style of Teun Koopmeiners, the spritely creativity of Emile Smith Rowe and the boldness of Roger Ibañez.  Here, we select three…

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The 5 key football metrics to know about in 2021

Things just keep moving.  A decade ago, possession percentage wasn’t yet on peoples’ minds; now, the biggest symbol of stats in football — expected goals (xG) — is calculated with computer modelling. That’s quite a change. However, just because there’s an algorithm involved doesn’t mean it’s difficult to understand. The concept is pretty intuitive, even…

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The difference in: Central midfielders

Football is and forever has been perpetually evolving, but things have really sped up over the last decade. Previously, roles were defined by positions. Everyone had a rough idea of what to expect from each area of the pitch. Now, though, one position can be, and regularly is, filled by a number of players all…

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We need to talk about André Silva

Eintracht Frankfurt have a habit of taking undervalued strikers and turning them into goal machines. Sébastien Haller and Luka Jović both caught the eye when calling the Deutsche Bank Park home. Their impressive output resulted in West Ham breaking their club record to sign the former, while the latter moved to Real Madrid, with the…

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The Data Game: Mark Carey’s approach to data-driven analysis

The Data Game series sees Twenty3 speak to prominent writers and figures from the world of football to get their opinion on the use of data and analytics in the beautiful game. In the third instalment, we spoke to Mark Carey, who co-hosts the Football Fanalytics podcast and is the Data Analyst at The Athletic. Here’s what Mark…

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Looking on the bright side of Newcastle United

At the beginning of a new year, it’s always a good time to remind oneself that there is hope for everyone. That each of us has the space and capacity to grow, to learn, to evolve, to strengthen, to become a truer or better version of ourselves. Even football teams who haven’t scored in six…

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Analysis: How James Maddison has added goals to his game

James Maddison’s post-match interview following Leicester City’s 2-0 win over Chelsea was a refreshing one. The versatile midfielder spoke candidly about a number of things, but there was a big focus on how he’s gone about improving his goal return.  The 24-year-old found the back of the net against Frank Lampard’s side to take his…

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