Howard Wilkinson’s managerial career was at its apex around the time the Premier League was formed, yet he remains the last English manager to win the country’s top flight. That came with Leeds United in 1991-92 in the old First Division’s final campaign, and the Premier League’s subsequent 25 seasons have been won by Italian, Scottish, French, Portuguese and Chilean managers.
Wilkinson has seen analytics and video analysis revolutionize the game during that time. What’s remained a constant is the value in beating opponents to the facts, and much of that now hinges on innovations from data providers.
“Without the facts, it’s very difficult to make effective decisions,” said Wilkinson, the League Managers Association chairman. “And although intuition comes into it, intuition only comes with experience. Therefore, the two are linked, and the longer you use data analysis, the better you become at making those intuitive leaps, which are necessary.”
STATS has taken such expert opinions into account in its attempt to revolutionize football analysis with STATS Edge – an intuitive search and analytics application that leverages artificial intelligence so clubs can find specific game clips and analyze complex patterns with speed and accuracy never before possible.
“The reason STATS and their forebears have been around so long and have been successful is that they’ve not only moved with the times, they’ve anticipated what the future might bring,” Wilkinson said. “And that plus the amount of games, players they’ve analyzed has allowed them to build models, which are models for football, not just for that club.”