The Forest from the Trees: A post for the stats nerds

I think analytics are a core part of a modern coaching team. Critical! But by no means the answer to a premiership. I also think coaches who rely too much on it would stop focusing on more important areas like player development and teaching the game style.


I think far too many people look at analytics the wrong way, they are constantly trying to glean some indication of what they should be doing. I believe they should be looking at what it’s is telling them to NOT do.

A good example is recruiting, it could never be accurate telling you who to draft, but i have no doubt it could rule out a bunch of people and be consistently accurate.


Perhaps you could be more specific?
I’m not sure we need a specialised analytics position to tell us not to draft the fat slow short kid who can’t mark and can only kick 25 metres.

If we do I’ll put my hand up for the job.
What’s the starting salary?

Something perhaps a little awry on Squiggle. Maybe someone can explain. ( Trevor Bix, where are you?)


The width of colored rectangles reading from left to right are the probabilities of finishing in the position designated by the number in white.

So by adding probabilities from left to right up to a given number boundary gives the cumulative probability of finishing at that number or higher.

In the case of Essendon, they predict a highest finish of 9th, while for Hawthorn its 8th. This does not follow from the bar graph segment widths where Essendon has a greater cumulative probability than Hawthorn of finishing higher than 9th.

Does having people with background in the game lead to the reinforcement of assumptions though? I feel you’d want a diverse group. Some to provide the sanity checks, and some to provide the fresh eyes?

Although there is a risk that it can also ingrain biases as well right? A model is only as bias free as the data that was used to make it I think?

I agree though, it’s another tool to help make decisions. I think the key role in an analytics group might be the communicator/translator who is perhaps managing the hardcore analysts, but who can understand the problems, translate them for the analysts and then frame the answers when communicating back to the coaches, recruitment staff and fitness staff.

Is that how you interpret that? I am not sure, I just thought it was the average probability of each result, so essendon have a tiny chance of finishing 3rd, little bit more and so on. I’ll have a think about, seems right to me? Especially the updates version :wink:

West Coast currently overwhelming favorites according to the bookies.

Squiggle showing we are currently superior in defence and about the same in attack.
Since this is reflective of the WCE results in WA as well as away, we are a good chance.

Geelong and Carlton loci shown to put the current position in context.

We are heading into Ross the Boss territory.

You wanted a plan B blitzers!


We are indeed 4th quarter specialists.

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Am I reading this right:
Teams are having heaps of scoring shots against us and missing heavily?
So we are actually lucky or are we forcing difficult shots?
Our first qtrs are pretty bad compared to ‘17 and 18. Pretty sure they were right up there.

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That is indeed the question. I think we are collapsing back quickly and guarding the dangerous space.

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Against Hawthorn it was obvious that we gave up very few shots from dangerous spots

So my opinion is I think we are a bottom 4 team for skill.
We’re on avg bringing teams to a level below ours. We’re actually number 1 for disposal efficiency differential against our opponent. We’re also 2nd for clangers.
No wonder there’s no happiness amongst Essendon fans, our games are the worst skilled games going round. It’s a myth we’re the most exciting team.

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Some interesting data here.

in the WCE game (which is the last game we got scored heavily against) it was obvious Hurley was far more concerned with defending the corridor than defending Kennedy.
Which is presumably a team thing.

Our opponents are going at 46%. At the other end of the spectrum, St K and Melbourne’s oponents are going at 60%

That’s brilliant, expected accuracy data! Figuringfooty did amazing analysis with this for a descent years (until he was poached by Port Adelaide).

A quick scan shows we have actually been a little inaccurate this season, relative to the shots we’ve had. Not a bad thing really, as sides with unusual levels of accuracy rarely maintain it.

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Don’t watch enough StKilda to comment, but the Dees woes are definitely game plan related. Goodwin still employs the ultra high press (as we did under Hird) which leads to lots of inefficient i50s and makes you susceptible to easy goals out the back.

Yeah Dees entries are crap, and so is their forward line.

They’re hard to watch.

Loving this- if we take a + or - 5% differential as our starting point we get some interesting observations:

  • Pies were very accurate last year, but are the reverse this year (accuracy rarely lasts!)
  • Geelong are plus 9(!!!)% expected accuracy this year. Can it be sustained?
  • Hawks and Swans were accurate last year
  • Dees terrible shots to go with their ■■■■■■ gameplan
  • Dogs and Saints back to back poor years in front of goal
  • WCE bucking the trend with two +5 seasons in a row
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