Last summer, Manchester City’s Head of Performance Analysis Gavin Fleig made a bold decision. In an effort to advance the concept of advanced statistics in soccer, Fleig decided to make City's advanced scouting data public for anybody who requested it.
Fleig’s reasoning was simple: if teams continue to keep this information all to themselves, there is a chance that they will miss out on the opportunity to advance the game as a whole, and potentially revolutionize the way that business is done. As Fleig told the Guardian, “Somewhere in the world there is football's Bill James, who has all the skills and wants to use them but hasn't got the data. We want to help find that Bill James, not necessarily for Manchester City but for the benefit of analytics in football.”
Paritally because of Fleig, the conversation about performance data is beginning to evolve, particularly with data companies like Opta leading the way. Here are a few stats that are starting to become more accepted within the soccer community.