The last few years have seen an increase in the number of fly on the wall documentaries at football clubs. The All or Nothing ‘docuseries’ broadcast on Amazon Prime is one of the most prominent examples. Amazon have followed teams at a national and club level, going inside the dressing rooms of Brazil, Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal and Juventus. The first versions of the series were for NFL franchises.
On occasion, we get interesting insights into the player selection and transfer process. Here is one.
Jose Mourinho is considering a player report for Steven Bergwijn before his potential transfer from PSV to Tottenham in the 2019-20 season. While there is clearly more in the report, we can see the type of basic information a manager is given prior to a transfer. The picture is grainy but it shows a file in Mourinho’s hand where he has information on Bergwijn’s goals, assists, honours, his number of seasons experienced in football (Top 5, CL, EPL and ‘other leagues’), his position on the pitch, his starts and his minutes. It is this type of data that forms our understanding of how much players are paid and how much they are transferred for.
Almost all of these stats are freely available online and there is no evidence of any advanced analytics in Mourinho’s report (of course we see just one page). The most interesting statistic – that is not readily available at the click of a button – is how many minutes a player is ‘available for’. This number must control for injuries and other reasons for absence. From a managerial perspective, this is likely important.