City sign groundbreaking deal

Manchester – It’s no secret that some managers like the old-school approach when it comes to guiding their football teams.

But in today’s day and age, one that includes a heavy reliance on mobile devices, it’s not far fetched to picture a team’s boss standing on the side of the pitch poring over a slew of numbers and statistics and using the information to influence his decision-making.

For the four football side’s that fall under the ownership of City Football Group the use of technology is set to play a massive role int he coming seasons and in the years ahead.

As part of an agreement with German software giants SAP, the likes of Manchester City, New York City, Melbourne City and Yokohama F.Marinos are set to have their football impacted by data and statistics in order to maximise their performance on the pitch.

The deal was officially announced at City’s impressive headquarters yesterday and as Brian Marwood, the managing director of City Football Services explained it’s all about using information tracked from their players to help in the process of winning football games and essentially, trophies.

“I think you can never have enough information, the important thing is how the information is used. It has to be done in conjunction with an understanding and a feeling of football,” Marwood said.

“Things have changed. the way people play have trained. It’s becoming more science and data driven. We’re searching now for what will be the next trend, what will keep us ahead of everyone else,” he added.

The relationship means that clubs will be able to analyse a slew of statistics emanating from matches and training sessions and use the information to assess things like player fitness, fatigue and performance as well as part of the scouting and recruitment process.

But is there a danger of something of an information overload and a possible over-reliance on data?

“I think when you combine the two – sometimes you have a feeling in the stand but don’t have the information to support that – the information just helps you make a more informed decision, whether that’s picking your team for the weekend or if a player is running the risk of being injured because you are detecting certain information.

“It just helps you make a better decision, that’s the most important thing,” said Marwood.

Nick Gordon is in Manchester courtesy of German software company SAP.

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