I was asked at a recent interview, ‘How much emphasis’ do I put on ‘Statistics and Scientific data or Gut feeling’. I answered – for me there still has to be a balance.
I know I made decisions in games even recently based on data and went against my ‘Gut instincts’ and it cost me the result. Personally, I do not have major evidence to support the opposite. But, facts are facts so you have to respect them and find where they fit into your needs. Another friend in football in the EPL (English Premier League) told me the story of how they had won an away game comfortably. On the team bus all staff and some players were fixed on reviewing the statistics and not even enjoying or celebrating the win, like robots, in essence. We need to be careful not to take the football out of football or the unpredictability and magic of the game could die. YES, absolutely use analysis it is vital to help you and your players clarify and improve but both coaches and players will always at some point need to trust their ‘Gut feelings’ or the heart will leave the game.