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The Football Fanalytics Podcast
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The Football Fanalytics Podcast

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The Football Fanalytics Podcast is the show where two football fans, Ryan Bailey (TV Producer) and Mark Carey (Data Analyst at The Athletic), combine their love of the game with their knowledge of football statistics and data analytics.

Join us as we break down some of football’s key concepts, explore the ever-growing world of football analytics, and get the views from a whole host of guests across the game.

With access to the Twenty3 Content Toolbox, we will also bring you up-to-date analytics on players and teams across the continent. But this is not just about the numbers, we will be looking at all of the above from the fan's point of view.

Twitter: @FanalyticsPod and @Twenty3sport;
Instagram: @fanalyticspod
43 Episodes
After a short break, we’re back with a tactical concept this week.   In Episode 41, we take a closer look into Tactical Periodisation - a football training approach developed many years ago by Portuguese academic Vitor Frade. We unpick exactly what is meant by this approach, which managers have adopted it, and how it can be successful.   Let us know your thoughts, we always enjoy hearing from you!
We’re back to what we do best this week, exploring a footballing concept that is deserving of a deeper dive. This week’s topic concerns the concept of scanning in football, and how useful it can be in a player’s actions on and off the ball.   We chat about all things from scan timing to scan frequency, and look into some of the leading research in this field. The evolution of technology now means that such work into scanning is reaching a new level, and exciting developments are ahead.   Let us know your thoughts, we always enjoy hearing from you!   Bio links:   Geir Jordet presentation:;    Geir Jordet research paper:;     Karl Marius Aksum research paper: 
The new Premier League season is nearly upon us, and it’s the perfect time to be picking your Fantasy Premier League team ahead of Gameweek 1.   In Episode 39, we each pick our favoured FPL squads and swap notes on who makes it into our starting XI. What’s your formation? Which player is simply undroppable? Who is on your bench?   For all you FPL fans out there, you’re going to enjoy this one!   Bio Links:    Football Fanalytics Pod League code: dcrbf3;   FPL Rules:
We’re back! After a thrilling summer of international football, we now return to the bread and butter of the domestic campaigns.   With pre-season football upon us, we are back with a bang this week - taking an in-depth look at one of the Premier League’s newly-promoted sides. Norwich City’s innovation in the transfer market has been one of their key strengths in recent years, and there is no better person to speak with than Norwich City correspondent for The Athletic, Michael Bailey.   Michael and Mark discuss Norwich’s approach to recruitment, chat about their new signings, and look ahead to their upcoming season in the Premier League!   Bio links:   Kieran Scott article: 
We are now in the full swing of UEFA Euro 2020, and it has certainly had its fair share of talking points already. There is plenty of content out there reviewing the games played so far, so instead, we thought we would do something a little different in our true Fanalytics way! In Episode 37, we have some fun and swap our best facts and accolades held across the European Championships. We look across some of the records broken in this year's tournament and reveal some of our most interesting records currently held in the Championships. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed recording it!
Ahead of the start of Euro 2020, we are back with a tactical breakdown this week.   In Episode 36, we take a look into a tactical approach called “The Third Man Run”. A very simple approach as a concept, but very effective when executed properly. We discuss the nuances of this approach, why it is useful, and how it can maximise space on the pitch.   We also enlist the help of Performance Analyst & Academy Coach at Molde FK - and friend of the pod - Eric Laurie, to get his insight on this tactical approach!   Bio links:   Leeds United training:;   Eric Laurie guest episode:;    Eric Laurie Twitter thread:    
We are surprised ourselves that it has taken this long to discuss them, but in Episode 35 we discuss all things penalties!   Favourite penalty of all time? The worst penalty of all time? We share our thoughts, but we’d love you to send in some of your most memorable penalties, good or bad. Of course, it wouldn’t be a fanalytics episode if we didn’t pepper in some analysis for you. Statistically, the best place to put a penalty? You’ll have to listen to find out!   Bio links:   Calvente penalty:;   Pires penalty:;    Pirlo penalty:;  Shevchenko penalty:;
This episode needs very little build-up, as we had the pleasure of having former professional footballer and well-known pundit and commentator, Chris Sutton on the Football Fanalytics Podcast!   Chris is an English Premier League winner and Golden Boot winner with Blackburn Rovers, plus a four-time Scottish Premier League winner, a three-time Scottish cup winner, and a Scottish League cup winner with Celtic.   There was so much fantastic insight from Chris, chatting about his development throughout his career, the managers he played under, and his current role as a pundit and commentator. We, of course, also breached the topic of the use of analytics in football and its role within the game. This is not one to be missed!
As we near the end of the season, the rumour mill is certainly in full flow for potential signings in the upcoming summer transfer window.   That’s why we thought it would be a good opportunity to dive back into the Twenty3 Content Toolbox and look into some potential signings that could fit your team! Thank you to everyone who sent their requests in, we did try to get through as many as we could!   A left-back for Arsenal? A centre forward for Brighton? A centre-back for Spurs? We cover this and more in Episode 33.   Bio links:   Everton right-back analysis:;  Manchester United midfielder analysis:
It’s been a strange week for football, but you will be pleased to know that this episode does not centre on The European Super League! In Episode 32, we explore an advanced analytical model called Pitch Control. Essentially, this model looks to quantify the creation of space on the pitch and see how players can maximise this space on or off the ball, and in or out of possession. Importantly, we discuss why this model is important, how it can be applied, and what makes it such a useful tool within football clubs. Let us know what you think! Bio links:;
It’s the very essence of the game. For any team to score a goal they need to have the ball. And having the ball for any period is, of course, termed possession. But how useful are possession statistics in providing information about the game? What else can be used to outline which team was more dominant? As always, we scratch below the surface to look deeper into some key analytics terms. We also uncover our latest ‘unpopular opinions’ in football, and delve back into our fanalytics mailbag. A lot of ground covered this week, so not one to be missed!
Certainly an episode for the fan side of our fanalytics content, this week! In Episode 30, we focus on dribbling and recall some of the best players to have ever graced the game with their ability to run with the ball. We’re talking Ronaldinho, Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Okocha - all of them capable of getting us off our seat with their skills. But how can we measure dribbling from an analytics perspective? How does a dribble differ from a ball carry? It wouldn’t be a fanalytics episode unless we peppered in a few metrics ourselves! Bio links: Messi dribbling:;  Statsbomb article:
After our football analytics debate in Episode 28, we are back to our more traditional format this week!   With a football twist on a classic song, in Episode 29 we thought we would dig back into the Twenty3 Content Toolbox and take a closer look at some Premier League players whose “stats are on fire”.    A bit of fun to be had in this one, and let us know which players you think are hitting some red hot form recently! Remember you can follow us on Twitter at @Fanalyticspod or email us at
We’ve decided to take a slight change of pace this week. No new analytics terms, but an old-fashioned debate!   In Episode 28, we chat about the ongoing discussion surrounding the use of analytics in football. While it is a thread throughout all of our episodes, it has been a topic that has re-emerged in the media in recent weeks and we wanted to offer our thoughts on the pod.   Importantly, we don’t want this discussion to end here! We want to hear your thoughts on this debate, so please get in contact on Twitter at @Fanalyticspod or email us at    Bio links: Jack Grealish interview:;  Telegraph article: 
It’s the age-old question. How can you reliably work out which team is better than another? You might say whoever has more points in the league, sure, but what if you wanted to compare teams between leagues?   In Episode 27, we dig into exactly how to assess team strength using the Elo rating system. We explore how the system works, why it is useful, and we even throw in a game for you! Inter Milan vs. Borussia Dortmund - which team is stronger? Have a listen to find out!   Remember you can follow us on Twitter at @Fanalyticspod or email us at   Bio links: Club Elo:
It will be of no surprise to anyone that the closer you are to goal, the more opportunity you have of scoring. But exactly where on the pitch might be the best location to create a goalscoring chance?   In Episode 26, we take a closer look at a piece of tactical analysis that divides the pitch up into key zones. The zone that has been shown to be most lucrative to score is ‘Zone 14’ - just outside the penalty area.   We discuss exactly what Zone 14 is, why it is such an important area of the pitch, and how it can be used by teams to increase their chances of scoring a goal!   Remember you can follow us on Twitter at @Fanalyticspod or email us at
In Episode 25, we were very excited to welcome Sam Tighe on the podcast as our first guest of 2021. Sam is best known for his writing with ‘Bleacher Report’ and Southampton Football Club, plus his very successful ‘Ranks FC’ podcast and his huge love of worldwide football! We chatted about Sam’s career so far, his thoughts on data and analytics in the mainstream media, and his favourite interviews with professional football players. Look out for anecdotes about Marcus Rashford’s exhaust pipe, Thomas Müller's horses, and chasing Leon Bailey to a park in Düsseldorf! Plus, we discussed our mutual friends over at Twenty3 and how their Content Toolbox can be used to enhance our knowledge of player and team trends. This is not one to be missed.
With Frank Lampard’s recent dismissal, we thought it would be a good opportunity to see whether Chelsea’s underlying numbers were as bad as first thought.   In Episode 24, we discuss expected points - an extension of xG which allows us to see how many points you’d expect a team to accrue based on the quality of chances they make and concede. Does the league table lie? Who has been most unlucky this season?   We also answer some more of your questions in our fan(alytics) mailbag!   Bio links:   Understat xPoints:;  Martin Odegaard article:
It is our last opportunity to talk about signings this month, as the January transfer window draws to a close!   In Episode 23, we chat about the players who didn’t quite make the impact they wanted to, upon signing for a new club. What is it that makes a ‘football misfit’ when a player makes the transfer to a new team? How can we use analytics to minimise this risk?   We also dig into some of the questions sent in by you, in our fan(alytics) mail. Look out for more of this in the coming weeks, and please continue to get in touch with us!   Bio links:   Ai Abacus: 
Closing the opposition down, and winning the ball back is nothing new in football. But in modern football, you often hear more use of terms like “gegenpressing” and “high intensity”.   In Episode 22, we delve deeper into our understanding of how a team presses the opposition. Using analytics, we can reveal which teams press with high intensity, and who is most effective at doing it. If you hadn’t heard of PPDA before this episode, you will be very familiar with it by the end!    We also show how a good pressure can be very different from an effective team press, just ask Andy Robertson...   Bio Links:   FBref:;   Andy Robertson pressing: 
Comments (1)

Joshua Ryan Schroer

Haven't even Listened to whole Podcast yet but the title 'Football Misfits' got me. Should do ranks of clubs best & worst signings then overrated & underrated players. Enjoyed the 'Talking Transfers' episode slow so far but bet will be busy last 48 hours. Keep up good work stay safe 😷

Jan 27th
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