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Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany…
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Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the… (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2009; vuoden 2009 painos)

– tekijä: Simon Kuper, Stefan Szymanski

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
5942130,152 (3.68)10
Using insights and analogies from economics, statistics, psychology, and business to cast a new and entertaining light on how the game of soccer works, "Soccernomics" reveals the often surprisingly counterintuitive truths about the world's most popular game. An essential guide for the 2010 World Cup.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:TerryMcCarthy
Teoksen nimi:Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey--and Even Iraq--Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport
Kirjailijat:Simon Kuper
Muut tekijät:Stefan Szymanski
Info:Nation Books (2009), Edition: Original, Paperback, 336 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
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Teoksen tarkat tiedot

Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey--and Even Iraq--Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport (tekijä: Simon Kuper) (2009)

  1. 20
    Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (tekijä: Michael Lewis) (chazzard)
    chazzard: The authors of Soccernomics frequently refer to Moneyball, and apply similar statistical methods.
  2. 10
    Freakonomics : outoustalous (tekijä: Steven D. Levitt) (Othemts)
  3. 10
    Numeropeli : luulet ymmärtäväsi jalkapalloa, mutta et tiedä siitä mitään (tekijä: Chris Anderson) (Anonyymi käyttäjä)
  4. 00
    Hornankattila (tekijä: Nick Hornby) (Othemts)
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englanti (20)  ruotsi (1)  Kaikki kielet (21)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 21) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
I've had this book waiting to be read on my bookcase for as long as I can remember. I've picked it up several times but always decided to read something else due to the length of it (450ish pages). It is written by a football journalist, Kuper, and a football fan economist, Szymanski, with the view to exploring the truth behind a lot of the generally accepted football maxims. While there are parts of the books which are really good, such as exploring why teams started to sign black players in the 80's when the league was basically racist, most of it feels slightly cherry picked. There are also some startling contradictions. For example, in the first half of the book Rafa Benitez is portrayed as doing a poor job because he spent a lot of money on players per point achieved. Then towards the end of the book he is portrayed as a good manager because of his wage bill per point achieved. Even if you ignore this contradiction most football fans accept that managers rarely get the final say in the signings they make and it if often done by committee. I know for a fact that Benitez really needed a winger when he first came to Liverpool. The club wouldn't or couldn't buy who he wanted so he ended up with Antonio Nunez as he was the only available player who fitted the price point. Nunez was a poor signing but Benitez should not be held solely accountable for it.

Another telling section deals with how Barcelona train kids at their youth setup and how this delivers value for money. Unfortunately for the writers this section was written after the academy had produced the likes of Victor Valdez, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Pedro, Sergio Busquets, and Leo Messi. I say unfortunate because since then they have produced very few if any players who have gone on to become stars in the first team with Sergi Roberto being the only real exception. Successful academies tend to have 'golden generations' which excel. The academies then produce players who mainly end up transfered to other teams with the odd player making it in the first team and Barcelona have followed this common pattern. The writers also extol the fact that the academy focuses on techincal skill and not athleticism when it comes to training their players. Being a small player is not a problem to them and they actively look for players other teams have overlooked. They use Leo Messi to prove this point. This convieniently misses the fact that Messi had a condition that needed growth hormone treatment from the age of 13 until he became an adult. When he joined Barcelona as a kid one of the big drivers was that the club would pay for the medical treatment he needed, something his family couldn't afford in Argentina. His size was an issue, and although there was a medical need, they never the less took steps to ensure he wasn't too small to succeed. Admittedly this is a minor point but I felt it would have been better suited to use Andres Iniesta for this example.

A final nail in the coffin for me is the fact that Damien Comolli is used as an example of the direction teams should go in when appointing a director of football. Unfortunately, he proved to not be particularly good at identifying talent during his time at Liverpool and left after a string of players failed to make the grade. He was also considered a failure at Saint-Etienne and is currently not working in football at all. ( )
  Brian. | Mar 20, 2021 |
What a great book! I didn’t really know what to expect, other than that it seemed like a popular book on soccer. It is also rather thick at around 450 pages. But as soon as I started reading I was hooked. It is extremely well written, and endlessly fascinating.

The authors have used statistical analysis in many areas related to soccer, such as penalty shots, manager impact, fan loyalty, most soccer-crazy country and the transfer market. It could have been a rather dry book, but it is not. There are so many interesting observations and conclusions in the chapters, and the writing is top-notch.

I particularly liked the chapter on which city teams have been successful in the European Cup. In it, the authors point out that teams that have been dominating are all from provincial cities, like Manchester, Barcelona, Munich, Marseille and Milan. For the most parts, the capitals have not done so well. As they write: the town of Nottingham still has more trophies – two – than London, Paris, Istanbul, Berlin and Moscow combined. The explanation they offer is that a lot of people moved to industrial towns a century ago, and one thing that united them was soccer. The capitals on the other hand had many other things to unite them, and did not need soccer in the same way. This pattern of which cities have the most successful soccer teams is rather obvious to me once it has been pointed out, yet I never made the connection myself before I read Soccernomics.

I also really liked the chapter on penalty taking. They write about the 2008 Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester United that was decided on penalties. Chelsea had access to research about which side Van der Sar usually was diving to, depending on if the penalty taker was right-footed or left-footed. In the end, Van der Sar figured out the system Chelsea was using, and saved the last penalty to win the game for Manchester United. There are many more examples in this chapter on the use of statistics for penalty taking, and it is fascinating reading.

The chapter towards the end of the book on the rise of Spanish soccer was also very interesting. The authors’ thesis on why some countries are more successful in soccer than others is that the connected-ness and exchange of ideas between countries is the most important factor. Spain is an interesting example. In the 1970s, when Spain became more open, there was a heavy Dutch influence (Johan Cruijff, Rinus Michels) that proved very beneficial for Spanish soccer. The chapter does a very good tracing and analysing this development.

These were three chapters that stood out for me, but that doesn’t mean the others were bad. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them. My only little quibble is that when analysing the importance of the manager for a team, they concluded that it is quite rare that they have a big impact – team results are mostly determined by the quality of the players, with a few notable exceptions such as Alex Ferguson. But in the chapter on the English national team, they conclude that they have performed better with a foreign manager than with local manager. This seems a bit contradictory to me, but perhaps I misunderstood.

All in all though, a really great book. I have recommended it to everybody I know that is interested in soccer. ( )
  Henrik_Warne | Dec 13, 2020 |
Part of my current futbol kick. A bit heavy on the economics side of things, but informative nonetheless. ( )
  Terrencee | May 8, 2019 |
For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S, Japan, Australia, and Even Iraq Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski is a non-fiction book analyzing the economics of soccer around the world, but mainly in the English leagues. This is an updated edition from Mr. Kuper, a soccer writer, and Mr. Szymanski a Collegiate Professor of Sport Management at the University of Michigan’s School of Kinesiology.

Posted by Zohar - Man of la Book on June 6, 2018. Latest Posts - No Comments
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Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S, Japan, Australia, and Even Iraq Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski is a non-fiction book analyzing the economics of soccer around the world, but mainly in the English leagues. This is an updated edition from Mr. Kuper, a soccer writer, and Mr. Szymanski a Collegiate Professor of Sport Management at the University of Michigan’s School of Kinesiology.

464 pages
Publisher: Nation Books
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1568584814

Buy Soccernomics from Amazon.com*



My rating for Soccernomics – 4
Buy Soccernomics from Amazon.com*
More Books by Simon Kuper
More Books by Stefan Szymanski

Thoughts:
As a fan of soccer (or futbol), not a rabid fan, but I enjoy watching and playing the game, I thought it would be great to read Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S, Japan, Australia, and Even Iraq Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski to get a bit more excited in the upcoming World Cup (as if we need more excitement). I’m glad I read it, it’s a good book for any fan or even just someone who is interested in the business of sports.

The authors give a lot of credit to Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s who had the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis, and a movie by the same name. They admit that Mr. Beane has inspired them and I was surprised to find out he even consults for the English Premiere League.

The book goes into a narrative about salaries, transfer investments, players occupying management positions and more. I especially liked the many anecdotes the authors give along with the points they are trying to make, instead of just giving a few tidbits here and there, or worst, throwing names around.

This book has tons of insights about soccer (including US soccer), with unique perspectives. I enjoyed the author dispelling many myths about the games, winners, and loser even if it got repetitive towards the end. ( )
  ZoharLaor | Jun 29, 2018 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 21) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Now, along comes Soccernomics, a sharply written and provocative examination of the world's game seen through the prism of economics and statistical data. It demolishes almost everything that most soccer fans believe about the game and how professional soccer teams should operate.
lisäsi chazzard | muokkaaGlobe & Mail, John Doyle (Jan 28, 2010)
 

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Simon Kuperensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetcalculated
Szymanski, Stefanpäätekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu

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Using insights and analogies from economics, statistics, psychology, and business to cast a new and entertaining light on how the game of soccer works, "Soccernomics" reveals the often surprisingly counterintuitive truths about the world's most popular game. An essential guide for the 2010 World Cup.

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