What Football Can Learn From Moneyball


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In the movie ‘Moneyball,’ Jonah Hill’s character Peter Brand told Billy Beane (Brad Pitt):

“People who run ballclubs, they think in terms of buying players. Your goal shouldn’t be to buy players. Your goal should be to buy Wins. And in order to buy wins, you need to buy Runs.”

Replace the word “Runs” with “Goals”.

That’s it.

In order to buy Wins, Football clubs need to buy Goals.

Goals scored and prevented.

Now, where do most of the goals come from? 85 percent of goals come from Shots in the Box.

By dividing the number of shots in the box taken by the total shots in the box, you get the Total Shots in the Box Ratio (TSBR).

TSBR = Shots in the Box For / (Shots in the Box For + Shots in the Box Against).

The best teams have the highest TSBR.

The best teams have the best players, too.

They have the quality to produce many more shots in the box for than against.

What if you are not a big club?

If you play like big clubs in the boardroom, you will lose to the big clubs on the pitch.

You do not need it.

Many low revenues teams have a TSBR higher than expected according to their quality and players salary.

Try to figure out how they got it before you start trading players.

Then, introduce just a couple of new key concepts in your game style.

You can sign the coach of a low salary team with a high TSBR and try to improve performance with the players you already have.

Before buying a top scorer, upgrading your players’ skills is more important.

Because if your players keep making the same mistakes that led to goals conceded, the goals scored by your forwards decrease in value.

One more year with the same players means better understanding between them.

Save money.

Heroes do what they can, with what they have, where they are.


For reference, check the Total Shots in the Box Ratio (TSBR) leaders from last season:


Serie A 2020-21

Atalanta .685

Juventus .650

Inter Milan .613

Napoli .600

Lazio .586

AS Roma .570

AC Milan .529

Fiorentina .466

Torino .466

Udinese .466

Sassuolo .462

Benevento .459

Sampdoria .457

Spezia .452


Premier League 2020-21

Manchester City .695

Chelsea .653

Liverpool .644

Brighton & Hove Albion .590

West Ham United .541

Manchester United .540

Leicester City .539

Arsenal .533

Leeds United .512

Aston Villa .506

Fulham .491

Wolverhampton Wanderers .484

Tottenham Hotspur .457

Southampton .455


La Liga 2020-21

FC Barcelona .637

Real Madrid .597

Sevilla .597

Atletico Madrid .588

Real Sociedad .582

Eibar .546

Villarreal .532

Athletic Bilbao .526

Getafe .519

Huesca .505

Real Betis .499

Celta Vigo .486

Deportivo Alaves .476

Osasuna .465

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