In the latest installment in our documentary podcast series Ahead Of Their Time, we look at Charles Reep, the father of soccer analytics — and a guy who made one big, glaring mistake that changed the course of English soccer for the worse. But in order to arrive at his very wrong conclusion, he first had to radically transform the way people thought about consuming a soccer match.There was no Opta back in 1950, no Total Shots Ratio, no Expected Goals. But there was Reep, who took it upon himself to attend every Swindon Town F.C. match that season — sometimes with a miner’s helmet on his head to better illuminate his notes — and meticulously scribble down play-by-play diagrams of how everything went down. More than 60 years before player-tracking cameras became all the rage in pro sports, Reep was mapping out primitive spatial data the old-fashioned way, by hand.Poring over all the scraps of data he’d collected, Reep eventually came to a realization: Most goals in soccer come off of plays that were preceded by three passes or fewer. And in Reep’s mind, this basic truth of the game should dictate how teams play. The key to winning more matches seemed to be as simple as cutting down on your passing and possession time, and getting the ball downfield as quickly as possible instead. The long ball was Reep’s secret weapon.“Not more than three passes,” Reep admonished during a 1993 interview with the BBC. “If a team tries to play football and keeps it down to not more than three passes, it will have a much higher chance of winning matches. Passing for the sake of passing can be disastrous.”This was it: Maybe the first case in history of an actionable sports strategy derived from next-level data collection, such as it was. And Reep got more than a few important folks to listen to his ideas, too. It took him a few decades of preaching, but Reep’s recommended playing style was adopted to instant success by Wimbledon F.C. in the 1980s, and then reached the highest echelons of English soccer — channeled as it was through the combination of England manager Graham Taylor and Football Association coaching director Charles Hughes, each of whom believed in hoofing the ball up the pitch and chasing it down (and now seemed to have the data to back up their intuition). The long ball was suddenly England’s official footballing policy.The trouble was, Reep’s theory was based on a fatally flawed premise. As I wrote two years ago, when discussing Reep’s influence on soccer analytics:Reep’s mistake was to fixate on the percentage of goals generated by passing sequences of various lengths. Instead, he should have flipped things around, focusing on the probability that a given sequence would produce a goal. Yes, a large proportion of goals are generated on short possessions, but soccer is also fundamentally a game of short possessions and frequent turnovers. If you account for how often each sequence length occurs during the flow of play, of course more goals are going to come off of smaller sequences — after all, they’re easily the most common type of sequence. But that doesn’t mean a small sequence has a higher probability of leading to a goal.To the contrary, a team’s probability of scoring goes up as it strings together more successful passes. The implication of this statistical about-face is that maintaining possession is important in soccer. There’s a good relationship between a team’s time spent in control of the ball and its ability to generate shots on target, which in turn is hugely predictive of a team’s scoring rate and, consequently, its placement in the league table. While there’s less rhyme or reason to the rate at which teams convert those scoring chances into goals, modern analysis has ascertained that possession plays a big role in creating offensive opportunities, and that effective short passing — fueled largely by having pass targets move to soft spots in the defense before ever receiving the ball — is strongly associated with building and maintaining possession. It probably wasn’t entirely Reep’s fault when England flamed out at Euro 1992, or when they failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup. But it couldn’t have helped that they were playing a misguided style, informed by well-meaning but faulty statistical principles.Ultimately, Reep was a cautionary tale of the damage that can be done when stats go wrong. But he was also light-years ahead of his time for tracking stats in the first place. Even though his conclusions were wrong, his instincts were right. Now, national and club teams across the globe pay for massive amounts of data that, in one way or another, come out of the tradition of soccer analytics that Charles Reep helped start. As far as legacies in the game go, you could do worse.This is part of our new podcast series “Ahead Of Their Time,” profiling players and managers in various sports who were underappreciated in their era. By Joe Sykes and Neil Paine More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS Here at FiveThirtyEight, we tend to think statistics can add to our understanding of sports. (What a surprise!) From the more mature sabermetric movements of baseball and basketball to growing ones in soccer and hockey, evidence-based examination has led to new thoughts and ideas about the games we love.But there can also be a dark side to analytics. Among other potential pitfalls, interpreting the numbers incorrectly can lead to terrible decisions or encourage habits that are hard to break, particularly given the added weight that conclusions carry if they appear to emerge from hard data. For an example, look no further than the state of English soccer after it began using what appeared to be a scientific strategy.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic revealed that his main motive in signing for Manchester United was to prove his “haters” wrong by conquering the Premier League.The Swedish striker arrived at Old Trafford in 2016 on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain and on the verge of becoming 35 years old.Due to this, questions were naturally raised over the kind of impact Ibrahimovic could make at United at that stage of his career.But the Swede quickly set about proving doubters wrong by netting 28 goals in 48 appearances for his debut campaign before suffering serious ligament damage in his right knee during a Europa League match in April 2017 against Anderlecht.Amid struggles to regain full fitness from the setback, Ibrahimovic left Old Trafford in February 2018 in favour of a move to MLS at LA Galaxy.“My challenge was, at the age I was, coming to England, where I had years of everybody was saying I wasn’t good enough,” Ibrahimovic told the club website.“I like those things because they trigger me. They give me adrenaline.“After three months, all of them were eating their own words. I needed new haters because all the old ones became my new fans!“Wherever I went before United, I won, and it was my pleasure that it happened again in England. Winning is in my DNA, I need to win – that’s my mentality. I hate losing. I’m not a bad loser, but I hate it and I love to win.“I said we would win and we won two big trophies. That speaks for itself.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“That whole first season at United was fantastic. Everything was. I really enjoyed it. The family was happy, everybody was happy, the club took care of me and made it really easy for me. I just needed to turn up, put on my football boots and perform.“When I came to United and I said I would conquer England, people were laughing at me. I wasn’t joking.”The one and only won the treble in his only full campaign at United in the Community Shield, Carabao Cup and the Europa League.And Ibrahimovic also paid tribute to the Red Devils’ supporters.He added: “The United fans are amazing. I’m not just saying that because I played for United. I know now because I’ve been on their side and I know the feeling they give you.“They really appreciated what I did and they were thankful. That is the best credit a player can get because when you do something and you get that response from the fans, it’s amazing.“They are 50 per cent of everything we do. Imagine if you played in empty stadiums… you would not play.“In Old Trafford, it was always full. Always. In every away game they always showed up, always supported.”Ibrahimovic managed 22 goals and seven assists in 26 MLS games for Galaxy in 2018 and had been strongly linked with a return to AC Milan in the January transfer window.LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 26: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United celebrates victory with the trophy after during the EFL Cup Final between Manchester United and Southampton at Wembley Stadium on February 26, 2017 in London, England. Manchester United beat Southampton 3-2. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Former National Security Advisor General Mike Flynn (L), Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (2L) and US President Donald Trump ® at the beginning of a meeting on cyber security in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC. AFP file photoThe probe into Russia’s role in the US election pierced the innermost circle of the White House Saturday, with reports that Donald Trump’s son-in-law sought a secret communications line with Moscow—the most damning allegation yet from the scandal.The latest furor was stirred up after the Washington Post reported late Friday that Jared Kushner—arguably Trump’s closest White House aide, and husband to the president’s eldest daughter Ivanka—made a pre-inauguration proposal to the Russian ambassador to set up a secret, bug-proof link with the Kremlin.Kushner, 36, even suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States to protect such a channel from monitoring, The Post said, quoting US officials briefed on intelligence reports.The revelation, if confirmed, would raise new questions about the Trump team’s relationship with the Russians, who US intelligence agencies say tried to sway the November election in Trump’s favor.News reports said the White House, reeling from the explosive developments in the long-running Russia saga, is creating a new rapid-fire communications unit to respond to the controversy, led by Kushner, senior presidential adviser Steve Bannon and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.‘Naive’ or ‘Sinister’White House officials declined to comment on Saturday, ahead of Trump’s return to Washington following his first overseas trip.“We’re not going to comment on Jared, we’re just not going to comment,” said Gary Cohn, Trump’s chief economic adviser, during a press conference in Italy as a G7 summit wound down.National Security Advisor HR McMaster refused to talk about the allegations but said that in general, “We have backchannel communication with a number of countries. What that allows you to do is communicate in a discrete manner.”“I would not be concerned about it,” he added.But a former head of the US National Security Agency harshly condemned Kushner’s alleged effort to set up a secret communications line, saying if it’s true, it would reveal a dangerous degree of ignorance or naivete.“What manner of ignorance, chaos, hubris, suspicion, contempt would you have to have to think that doing this with the Russian ambassador was a good or appropriate idea?” Michael Hayden said on CNN.He said he leaned toward “naivete” as an explanation, though he did not find it comforting.Malcolm Nance, a retired naval officer and expert on terrorism and intelligence, said: “This is now sinister. There is no way this can be explained, from the intelligence perspective.”“That is indicative of espionage activity of an American citizen that is working in league with a hostile government,” he told MSNBC.The Washington Post said Kushner’s secret communications proposal was made December 1 or 2 at Trump Tower in New York, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by US officials.Michael Flynn, who was Trump’s national security adviser for just 24 days before being fired amid questions about meetings he held with the Russian ambassador, was also present, the newspaper reported.The Post said the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak, was surprised by the future White House aide’s idea of a secret channel and passed it on to the Kremlin.The New York Times said the channel was never established.Trump will return to Washington to face a cascade of other worries related to the Russia probe in the coming days, including expected testimony by fired former FBI director James Comey before a Senate committee.In another development, The New York Times reported Friday that Oleg Deripaska, a Russian once close to Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, has offered to cooperate with congressional bodies probing alleged Russian election meddling.Not yet a ‘target’Kushner boasts an enormous portfolio of domestic and international responsibilities underscoring his importance as Trump’s chief aide-de-camp, despite having no experience in politics before the 2016 White House race.He is the only person currently in the White House known to be under investigation.The Post and other media have been careful to note that their sources did not say Kushner was a “target” of the investigation, nor that he was accused of any wrongdoing. Labeling him a “target” would suggest Kushner was a main suspect of the investigation.But there have been a number of as yet unexplained contacts—during last year’s presidential campaign and afterward—between other top Trump aides and senior Russian officials, including Flynn, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Manafort and others.The investigation is being led by Robert Mueller, a respected former FBI director who was given broad powers to pursue the case as a special counsel after Trump abruptly fired Comey on May 9.The Senate and House Intelligence committees also are investigating, but not with an eye to bringing criminal charges.Former CIA director John Brennan revealed this week that intelligence chiefs had been looking into suspicious contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials since mid-2016.Trump has denied any collusion with Russia, calling the probe “the greatest witch hunt” in American political history.
.Electricity and gas connections of a building that housed a chemical warehouse were cut off at city’s Bakshi Bazar area on Saturday noon amid protests by locals, reports UNB.It was part of a drive launched in the aftermath of the 20 February fire at Chawkbazar that has so far claimed 71 lives.In the morning, the taskforce formed by Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) to evict chemical warehouses in the Old Dhaka was forced to stop in the face of unrest by locals.DSCC mayor Sayeed Khokon later joined the drive around 2pm and cut off the utility connections.Chawkbazar police said a DSCC team found a chemical warehouse at a residential building on Joynag Road in the morning. Locals started agitation when the team tried to disconnect electricity and gas lines, forcing the taskforce to halt the drive.Representatives of Fire Service and Civil Defence, Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited, Department of Explosives, officer-in-charge of local police station, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, and Dhaka Power Distribution Company were present.
“Den of Thieves” is a convolutedly narrated heist film that involves concepts from other superior crime thrillers of the past. With a handful of stylish shootouts, chase sequences and other confrontations bridged together by a lacklustre screenplay, this over-the-top crime saga is a predictable derivative saga of cops and robbers.The film begins with some onscreen graphics informing us about some true-life statistics about bank robberies in the US. Apparently, a bank robbery occurs every 48 minutes there. Given this information, one expects that the opening sequence in Los Angeles would give us an adrenaline-packed thrilling insight into one such robbery. But instead, we witness a run-of-the-mill heist of an armoured truck by a very well armed gang of thieves. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThis dacoity is led by Ray Merriman (Pablo Schreiber) a one-time special forces soldier and criminal mastermind and cohorts including Enson (Curtis “50 Cents Jackson) and Bosco (Evan Jones).Despite the robbers’ military precision, there are fatalities on both sides. And to the amusement of his colleagues, Ray mentions, “We are cop killers now.”The case catches the attention of the Major Crimes unit of the local Sheriff’s department, led by Nick Flanagan (Gerard Butler) who is also known as “Big Nick” among his co-workers. While surveying the scene of the crime, we learn that he is at loggerheads with the head of FBI. At the same time, he is wary and anxious as he gravely says, “We’re dealing with a different animal here, boys.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveTo top it all, Nick has a troubled personal life. He tells us that he and his unit are bad guys and there’s no reason to doubt that claim.The battle of wills between Ray and Nick aspires an epic level, but the characters exhibit far less real respect for one another. The bad blood incorporates a personal element where both Ray and Nick casually indulge in sex with the same person.Personal foibles apart, Ray and his team eye the Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve. In order to succeed in their endeavour, they rope in a genial bartender Donnie (O’Shea Jackson Jr) who is skilled in speed racing. But Nick who tries to stay a step ahead of Ray, roughs up Donnie who knows the consequences of turning into an informer.The plot takes a convoluted route. It oscillates back and forth between the two sides, offering would-be poignant exchanges. It teases the audience unnecessarily with personal issues and wastes precious time that could have been spent on the tense heist and its explosive aftermath, which is where the viewer wants to be. The execution in these moments is thrilling, although muddied by a final plot twist. There is not much time spent on motives or on explaining the ridiculous twist at the end. Also, parts of the film remind you of scenes in “The Usual Suspects” and the 1995 released film “Heat”.As for the performances, despite packed with testosterone-fuelled swagger and tough guy posturing by its ace-cast, the poorly developed characters are its undoing. Without much meaningful character development, the lines between heroes and villains blur. While the film majorly focuses on Butler and Pablo Schreiber who deliver compelling performances, the others too have their moments of onscreen glory.Though the story lacks in originality, it displays more brawn than brains and excels in its production values. The production designs, cinematography, editing and background-score are all of ace quality.
Kolkata: The city on Tuesday witnessed eastern India’s first green corridor which was facilitated to ferry a critical patient to the hospital from the Calcutta airport after he suffered a stroke in Uttar Pradesh.The patient was brought to the city by an air-ambulance on Tuesday morning. Both the Bidhannagar and Kolkata police made necessary arrangements to set up a green corridor in the city to ensure a smooth passage for the patient. The patient, Samarjit Das (69), a resident of Sil Lane in Tangra went to Manasarovar with his family members a few days ago. On his way back to the city, Das had suffered ischemic stroke and pneumonia in Uttar Pradesh. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe patient was brought in an air-ambulance that had taken off from Lucknow. It landed at the city’s airport in the morning. Another ambulance was waiting outside the airport with the police escort. The patient was taken to a private hospital in Mallick Bazar within 23 minutes. The ambulance was however caught in a traffic jam for nearly five minutes at Hudco More before it finally reached the hospital around 11.38 am. Green Corridor was facilitated by Bidhan Nagar police as well as Kolkata Police in their respective jurisdiction. The patient was admitted to the hospital and a surgery was conducted in the hospital later in the day. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAccording to the hospital sources, patient suffered a major stroke due to his visit to a high-altitude area. As he is an elderly patient, he could not withstand acute shortage of oxygen. A city-based doctor said elderly people suffering from heart related ailments and sugar are often prone to heart attacks. The actual cause of the heart attack in case of Das is yet to be confirmed. The victim’s family members told the hospital doctors that he had no history of heart ailments or sugar. After performing various tests on the patient, the doctors felt the need of an immediate surgery. His condition is stated to be critical. The doctors thanked the police administration for creating the green corridor which helped the patient to reach the hospital on time. It may be mentioned that the city had witnessed a series of green corridors earlier also but in those case organs were transported from one place to another. But, this is for the first time in the state’s history, a critical patient was brought to the hospital.
December 3, 2018We’re sending heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to our #GivingTuesday campaign! With your help, we raised $3,000!That money will be matched from our own funds to offer scholarships for the 2019 Workshop cycle. Your support means candidates from low income households will get opportunity to have their life changed for the better with an Arcosanti Workshop!In the meantime, we’re still accepting donations for our scholarship program on our website. If you felt called to give but were unable to make a contribution for Giving Tuesday, you can find the link to donate here:Sponsor a StudentReminder, the Cosanti Foundation is a nonprofit organization which means donations given to Arcosanti are tax deductible!