Today’s guest is David Sumpter, a professor of applied mathematics, known in football circles for his seminal work, Soccermatics and for consulting with several top European clubs. His latest book has just been released in October: The Ten Equations that Rule the World, explains key mathematical equations that have revolutionized our world. In addition it reveals "the softer side of math", showing the reader how these equations influence your everyday life from understanding YouTube algorithms calculating insurance, sports betting, learning, or making career decisions amidst uncertainty.
David also works as the data scientist for Sweden’s Hammarby IF, interacting and influencing decision-making based on math in everyday football operations. David is in a unique position as both a football outsider (as a math professor) and an insider (working with clubs). Moreover, as a public intellectual, he has also been influential in the football analytics sphere, writing articles, holding lectures and courses, as well as being active on Twitter.
Our discussion begins with his new book, before taking stock of the use of math, data and analytics in football from the media to the professional side, discussing xG, event and tracking data and randomness in football. In addition, we asked David for “the next big thing” in football, whether football needs its Moneyball as well as for his advice for budding analysts. We hope you enjoy this stimulating conversation, as much as we did.
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