by Daniel Roodt
How professional football clubs use statistical analysis to aid opposition scouting and player recruitment.
Episode 1 of the Future of Football Series.
Ram Srinivas is a young computer scientist from India who, along with three other people, founded a football consultancy service called MRKT Insights in 2019. So far, they have worked with “8 professional teams on 3 continents.”
MRKT Insights was founded when four like-minded individuals who were interested in using advanced data in football met on Twitter and decided to work together. They began working on analysing Championship side Swansea City and focused on key players in the team, and who the club should look at replacing them with if they were to leave.
Ram and his colleagues then put a report together and physically posted it to Swansea. They also shared it extensively across social media until someone who worked for Swansea reached out to them. That marked the start of their partnership with the Welsh club, and while they are no longer working together, the Swans were their first clients and the only club they publicly admit to working with.
The company specializes in using advanced data and video to assist professional clubs with opposition analysis and player recruitment. This data is provided by third-party companies like StatsBomb and Opta and is then interpreted in a meaningful way by MRKT Insights for their clients.
In terms of opposition analysis, this involves examining the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition using advanced metrics. According to Ram, it is essential that this scouting is set out in such a way that the manager can easily communicate these ideas to his team, in a manner that all parties can understand.
Player recruitment is actually somewhat similar to opposition analysis because both require the individual analysis of players, so there is an overlap in certain statistics. The primary purpose of scouting players is to make sure that they would fit the style of the team that is looking to sign them. MRKT Insight’s clients will either tell them what positions they are looking to recruit in, or they will give them a list of players recommended to them by agents. They will then go through the players on these lists and analyse them and recommend which players from the list their client’s should look to sign.
This can sometimes be challenging when a player plays in a league where advanced data such as expected goals (xG) and expected assists (xA) are unavailable. In this case, video scouting becomes more critical as there are less in-depth statistics to help with the analysis.
MRKT Insights is a company that is growing and advancing all the time. They have worked with top football clubs to provide expert insights using advanced statistics. They are highlighting how valuable statistics can be in the modern game to professional clubs, and are helping usher in the future of football.
*Click here to listen to our interview with Ram and all our other episodes.