r/LiverpoolFC: A subreddit for news and discussion of Liverpool FC, a football club playing in the English Premier League. Graham grew up idolising Ian Rush and his all-conquering Liverpool teammates while creating virtual squads on Sensible Soccer. Which brings us neatly onto a little-known member of staff by the name of Ian Graham. The data “strongly endorsed” the Brazilian; after signing, staying and eventually being sold, the profits from his exit led to the arrivals of Virgil van Dijk, Alisson and Fabinho. A decade-and-a-half later, Graham is Liverpool FC’s director of research; the leader of a six-strong data analysis team that has a remit encompassing pre and post-match work, sports science, the Academy and, primarily, recruitment. Liverpool's celebrated sporting director Michael Edwards was once derided in certain circles away from Anfield, with some perhaps fearful of a data-driven change unflatteringly branding him a 'laptop guru'. And he—along with his team—has gone on to help shape the currently Liverpool squad enormously, based off his work producing statistical models and formulas which produce evidence for everything from opposition reports to player analysis and which transfers to pursue. That switch in focus afforded lifelong Liverpool fan Graham an opportunity to professionalise two interests that had captured his imagination since childhood: football and data. Graham joined Anfield from Decision Technology - a London-based business management consultant company based in London - in 2012 and was appointed by Edwards. Out Now: Liverpool FC 2020/21 Third Kit. Developed and maintained by the LFC Technology and Transformation Team. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. “We have done one-off bespoke pieces of work where they’re concerned about a particular area of play or want to know something about travel before a game and whether that affects performance.”. FOOTBALL’S preoccupation with the ‘unicorn’ manager or head coach is a "flawed leadership concept" and needs to change, says Dave Reddin, the former Head of Team Strategy and Performance? Liverpool FC is very lucky and blessed with vision to have hired Klopp. Such is the level of impression he has made at the club, and such is his influence in matters of importance. Liverpool's research department is six-strong. “In terms of our week-to-week relationship, I don’t have very much interaction with him, but that’s not a bad thing because he knows the analysis we do and how it feeds into the various reports and the weekly work that him and his team do. LIVERPOOL Director of Research Ian Graham says that although manager Jürgen Klopp “intuitively understands the numbers”, he does not have "day-to-day or week-to-week" contact with the club's data team. They do all the tech stuff and that lets the four of us focus on the data science part of it.”, READ MORE: William Spearman - How Liverpool build pitch control models, READ MORE: Tim Waskett - The maths behind Liverpool's title charge, READ MORE: Ian Graham - The 'one currency' Liverpool use to judge players, For latest updates, follow us on Twitter at @ground_guru. It was a very sudden thing - the career didn’t really exist at the time in the same way that it does now, when if you graduate from uni with a numerate degree then you can get into the sports industry in various roles. “Jürgen is very open and receptive to our area,” Graham notes. “So Andy Robertson’s problem was his background as much as anything. Prior to his arrival at Melwood, Graham earned a doctorate in theoretical physics at Cambridge and built his own database that tracked the progress of more than 100,000 footballers from across the planet. “Damien liked what we did and we’d also signed a deal with Castrol to do The Castrol Index, a player ratings system which we did from Euro 2008 to Euro 2012 while I was there. Those three have been utterly key to Liverpool’s defensive improvement over the last 12—and in the case of Van Dijk, 18—months, and it’s a similar story in attack. All rights reserved. Comolli took up post as Liverpool’s director of football soon after Fenway Sports Group - then known as New England Sports Ventures - had completed its takeover of the club in October 2010. “So if we spot a player that we would like to play for Liverpool and we can pay the price that the selling club demands, then we can buy him. Graham also explained how data science had played a role in the hiring of Klopp from Borussia Dortmund to replace to replace Brendan Rodgers as manager in October 2015. “So as a football fan I’d do Fantasy Football but I didn’t realise that data existed. We’ve done one-off bespoke pieces of work where they’re concerned about a particular area of play or want to know something about travel before a game and whether that affects performance. “Originally, I thought I would be a scientist,” Graham tells Liverpoolfc.com. Ian Graham has worked for Liverpool since July 2012 Written by Simon Austin — June 15, 2020 LIVERPOOL Director of Research Ian Graham says that although manager Jürgen Klopp “intuitively understands the numbers”, he does not have "day-to-day or week-to … BEN MACKRIELL, VP of Pro Products at Stats Perform, explains why it's shape and not formation that matters in football. I mean, data analysis, because it’s new and because football is a very conservative sport, it’s something that is difficult to get across and it’s very understandable for a manager who has a hundred other things to worry about to just say, ‘You know what, I’m not interested in this.’. LFC Official Membership for the 2020/21 season is now on sale. Champions: Joe Gomez's Story 00:00. PERFORMANCE Psychologist Tom Young, who has interviewed Sean Dyche for his new book, outlines the 12 key attributes of the Burnley manager's leadership style. 243. Ο Ian Graham και η ομάδα του αποτελούν το ποδοσφαιρικό Bing Bang Theory με έδρα το Merseyside. They won the German Bundesliga twice at a huge financial deficit to Bayern Munich, and so he was always one of our dream hires as manager. Some of the best passers in the game have some of the lowest pass-completion percentages in the game. Meet Ian Graham, the physicist who leads our data department In our latest Behind the Badge, he tells the story of his journey from budding scientist to LFC director of research Today, he heads up a department at the club he loves and has contributed to the assembly and success of the elite, record-breaking side Klopp has led to Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup glory. “They are responsible for the technology side of it - so maintaining the database for us, building our research website and so on. “It’s done with optical tracking. If the computer said no, the deal was off.”. We have detailed data on hundreds of thousands of players. I ended up doing the work for that for six-and-a-half years.”. Trent Alexander-Arnold said the corner was slung on in "instinct" after the game, but it was also reported that Liverpool's analysts spotted Barca regularly switched off at set-pieces, choosing to grumble to officials about the decision rather than preparing to defend. They do all the tech stuff and that lets the four of us focus on the data science part of it.”. “I was a year into it but slowly came to the realisation that maybe that career wasn’t for me.”. How FSG and Michael Edwards’ connections helped Liverpool spot Salah, Keita & Coutinho . That includes their director of research. “These are sort of awkward, ungainly-looking players or players that have been overlooked for various other purposes,” he said. So we can really help that filtering and identification process.”. “In the early days it was difficult at times. “After doing my PhD, I started a two-year post-doc - which is basically your first job if you’re going to stay in the university sector - in polymer physics at Cambridge. So he only started playing English Premier League football maybe at the age of 22. “So they won the German Bundesliga twice, at a huge financial deficit compared to Bayern Munich. It was just some terrible luck that cost Jürgen that one season.”, For latest updates, follow us on Twitter at @ground_guru. 'The Liver bird is soaring': Fowler on how Klopp has given Liverpool their pride back, Van Dijk reveals story how Klopp managed to keep him humble despite huge personal award, Klopp up for UK Coaching Moment of the Year award. The most striking example was perhaps the employment and deployment of … He’d properly interrogate and ask the right questions about what we were doing and would accept that there are certain things you do see and certain things you don’t see in the data. @SamWilIiams. It was Harry Redknapp’s appointment as Tottenham manager in October 2008 that precipitated the start of a working relationship that would come to shape the course of Graham’s career. “What we’ve built is a platform where the analysts can either look at the opposition analysis or post-match analysis from our point of view, so we’ve got expected goals models and expected possession value models that are linked to video to say: ‘This is what we thought was a dangerous situation.’. One of Graham’s earliest responsibilities at Liverpool was to research Philippe Coutinho. Ian Graham - Liverpool's hidden transfer guru working alongside Michael Edwards and Jurgen Klopp Throughout his career in management, Jurgen Klopp has always embraced forward-thinking ideas. All rights reserved. Watch Now. Another prime example is the Reds exploiting lapses in concentration from Barcelona to sweep home a quickly-taken corner and net the all-important fourth goal in the 4-0 at Anfield recently. Some years later, Liverpool head into the 2019 transfer market with a chain of command that is the envy of Europe with Edwards repeatedly hailed for his work and bringing primary targets to Melwood and fetching healthy sums for those leaving out the back door. At the time he was responsible for advising on recruitment, the Academy and video analysis for the first team, so he was already involved in all aspects. Graham joined Liverpool in 2012 Written by Simon Austin — November 11, 2019 LIVERPOOL’S Director of Research, Ian Graham, has revealed that the club use a metric … A big part of the club in the modern era is the continual search for benefits provided by analytics and data and there’s an argument for Liverpool being the most forward-thinking club in the Premier League in this regard. Terms & Conditions Liverpool’s director of research, Graham joined the club in 2012, appointed by Michael Edwards (pictured below). User account menu. “The four of us work on the stats side, but also we’ve got people who were originally in the technology department but I brought them into the research department, Mark Howlett and Mark Stevenson,” Graham said. How FSG and Michael Edwards’ connections helped Liverpool spot Salah, Keita & Coutinho . log in sign up. “They are responsible for the technology side of it - so maintaining the database for us, building our research website and so on. A desire for change led Ian Graham to conclude that a life in academia wasn't for him. And the real power of data analysis is when the data set is large. View the profiles of people named Ian Graham. “They’re aware that we can help out with stuff and give an opinion on it, which is great. Graham’s first experiences of working on the frontline of football’s burgeoning data analysis subsector arrived in late 2006 and 2007, when Damien Comolli - then director of football at Tottenham Hotspur - commissioned Decision Technology to complete various one-off projects.
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