All the way back in May, site owner Ted Knutson asked me if I wanted to take on an editor’s role here on Stats Bomb. It being the home for my weekly Premier League stat round up, it was a simple decision and I accepted. Having found my way into learning about analytics via Ted, Ben Pugsley, Colin Trainor and those who contributed to the earliest iteration of the site, it was a somewhat surreal but welcome turn of events. And I suspect there are many other people out there who may not have found the wealth of statistical and analytical work that exists in the public domain without the initial gateway drug that was launched by the creation of this website. That was my route and it opened up a huge and fascinating journey into learning that continues to this day.
The sole remit given to me upon embarking on this role was to “keep the quality high”and since May, people like Dustin Ward and Ben Torvaney have added to the solid historical roster and both Bobby Gardiner and Max Odenheimer have returned with new work. One of the qualities of this site from day one has been the variety of voices that have contributed and i’d say an essential tenet of what makes the site good has been how scarcely you can read a new article and feel you’ve learned nothing. There are always people looking to solve problems with new ideas and locate essential truths from studying data and vast quantities of thought, detail and time go into every post you see. We may not usually offer a daily stream of content, but i’d like to think that you read a Stats Bomb article with an expectation that is usually met.
The return of football, or at least the European Leagues, occurs earlier than ever and as such the first week of August is deigned to be “Preview Week” here on Stats Bomb.
Between this weekend and Saturday 8th August, we will likely be bringing daily content, but fret not, this is part of a long hatched plan; the quality will remain high. Dustin Ward has created a tour de force Ligue Un preview and Ben Torvaney is tackling the Championship. Drafted in for a site debut, Will Gurpinar-Morgan will look at Liverpool and Bobby Gardiner will try and be positive about his beloved Swansea.
I can also reveal a welcome return for a third consecutive year of the Paul Riley Everton preview and another stalwart, original Stats Bomb co-creator Ben Pugsley returns with his traditional Man City run through. I’m going to try my hand at dissecting Man Utd, Tottenham and possibly others and there’s a chance we may have another returnee before the week is out.
Other leagues start in the following weeks and Dustin is going to take a close look at the Bundesliga. My weekly Premier League Round-Up will emerge quickly after the first set of fixtures and a pitifully small one game sample and Max Odenheimer is working away on something, somewhere… Regular podcasts are likely to recommence where Ben and I will try and recreate the old “Ted and Ben” magic, but with fewer Americans and more West Country folk. I also suspect regular contributors will continue to find aspects of the game to prod and poke and we will, as ever, be keeping an eye on the wider analytics blogging fraternity looking to spot new talent. If you like the work done here and feel inspired, go grab some data, ask a question and try to answer it. Start a blog. Publish your findings. Check your theories. Be as rigorous as you can. And vitally: read. There are essential truths hidden amongst the multitude of work that exists and only with experience and understanding can some of the many pitfalls be avoided or at least minimised.
The potential upside is clear: in a world of ever larger acceptance of the role of data and good analysis, there’s a wealth of opportunity for the very best people and it’s something that’s only going to increase.
Or you can just content yourself with the fact that by reading us and following other smart blogs, you’ve got better ammunition to win that pub argument about whether Harry Kane is a top, top player (he is, maybe, hopefully) or running hot and about to cool off (he was, he could, I hope he doesn’t). And if you’re new here, follow the site on Twitter, follow all the writers too, follow the people they follow and you’ll see a lot of cool, smart people devote endless hours attempting to solve new questions or resolving age-old queries involving metric naming conventions. And if you like the work you see, retweet it, take it to Facebook or your club forum and spread the word.
There is also now a huge back catalogue on site that spans over two years and incorporates work from everyone mentioned and more…
Thanks for reading and make sure you carry on!
All the best
James Yorke, July 2015